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What to Do if Bed Bugs Bite You

January 13, 2016  |  Difficulty: Easy

bed bugs bites

Bed bugs - from the Cimicidae family - are small, flat, and wingless bugs that feed on blood. Although there are several different species, the most common species associated with human infestations are Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus.

It is a good chance that you have bites from bed bugs if you repeatedly wake up with red spots that you hadn’t had before you went to bed. The signs and symptoms can appear from minutes to days after the initial bite. Sometimes they may be mistaken for mosquito, fly, ant, or spider bites.

Bed bug bites cause itchy welts that appear in a zigzag pattern or in a line. There are often clusters of bites where each usually contains three to five bites. During their hunt for food, bed bugs won't necessarily go farther than they have to, and since it is difficult to bite through most clothing, unless loose, the bites tend to occur on the exposed skin.


The Cure

Bed bugs bites can be intensely itchy, so treat the itch to prevent scratching. First of all, wash the bites with soap and water, then process with more threatment. Unless you have an infection or allergic reaction, you can treat the bites at home.

Any over-the-counter anti-itch soothing gel or lotion will help to take the itch away. If you don’t have any at the moment, first aid in the form of an onion will do.  Simply cut the onion in half and rub it on the skin softly. Another great home remedy is honey – it is an anti-inflammatory that can make itching a little less tempting. Also, cool tea bags draw fluid out of a bite to reduce itching and swelling.

If necessary, use an antihistamine allergy medication or a pain relief pill.

Some people may require an injection of an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or epinephrine (adrenaline) for a severe allergic reaction (red and swollen skin or hives).

Besides the bites, a number of people mentioned bed bugs causing sleeplessness, and others mentioned bed bugs causing emotional distress, anxiety, and stress.

Bed bugs are creatures that are not easy to get rid of, so it is essential to seek professional pest control to address an infestation.

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