Bed bug are attracted to warmth, so they bite as we sleep. They are also happy with carbon dioxide. They live in dark areas of their host. Bed bug feed on blood and blood from their host is the only food for them. All poultry, pigs, cats, dogs, nice, bats and even man becomes host for them. Bed bug securely hold the skin using claws and insert beak with two tubes, one to suck hosts blood while other tube injects saliva to keep blood diluted. It is because of this saliva we have itching feel. Nymphs feed 3-5 minutes but an adult feed on the hosts blood for 10-15 minutes.
Bed bug bite symptoms
When we have a bed bug bite, it gives rashes. The rashes developed gives an extremely irritating itching sensation. It is mostly misunderstood that the bites caused are due to some other insects. When we find tiny raised skin bumps in a row or clustered pattern, it is bed bug bite because they often feed more than once at same place.we can even check for red spots on our bed sheets.
How and when rashes occur for bed bug bites
We can see the bite often caused in the night during sleep and the rashes increases. The rashes are seen in legs, arms ,face, neck and back, which are exposed in the night. For many people this bites cause bumps after hours or a day after the bite and they start itching. If they are scratched it will burn out of infection. Mostly they are misunderstood to a bite by mosquito, flea or even as scabies. Many find it as bed bug bite later sometimes ten days after too.
How long do bed bug rashes last
The rashes appearance is based on the individual allergic reaction to the bite. For some of lasts for many days and for others rash appears after a day.
Even some people don’t get rashes even after so many days. If rashes occurred it fades away slowly after some days. If the individual has more intense allergic reaction to the bites the rashes lasts long, Medical help is needed for such persons.
Home remedies for bed bug bites
- Bed bugs can be treated with the paste made by adding baking soda and water. Wash the rashes before applying this paste with soap and water. After applying baking soda paste for about an hour wash with water.
- Use a tub full of warm water and half cup of peppermint oil can also be used to wash the rashes which stops itching.
- We can also apply gel from aloe vera plant leaf, applying it heals all wounds including bed bug bites.
- Witch hazel solution used for cleansing face also can be used for cleaning rashes.
- Lemon juice also helps cleaning the rashes to reduce itching and infection.
- We can also apply benzoyl peroxide or rub alcohol on the rash to decrease infection.
- Natural Lotions and creams containing calendula can also be used.
- Applying a mixture of baking soda and salt will help relieve from inflammation.
- Washing the affected area with antibacterial soap often helps in controlling the infection.
- We can make a paste with the powdered oatmeal and water and apply on affected area.
- Add some powdered oatmeal in lukewarm water and have a bath. It gives relief and reduces the infection.
- We can wash the affected area with soap and water and apply some anesthetic lotion to reduce infection and ice cubes can also be privileged and to reduce the swelling.
Medications used for bed bug bites
- Consulting our family doctor who can help find and suggest the severity of rashes and its treatment.
- We can also crush some aspirin and mix it with water to make paste and apply it over the affected areas to reduce swelling.
- Applying steroid creams, calamine lotion, cortisone cream or using hydrocortisone creams will reduce allergic reaction and swelling.
- Anaesthetic containing pramoxine will remove the pain or reduce the infection.
- Antihistamine like benadryl will reduce the swelling.
- Painkillers like ibuprofen or naproxen can also be used to reduce pain.
Bed bug bites – How to prevent
We have to first clean our bedding and bed clothes often either by vacuuming, washing, steaming or putting in sun. Whenever we see a first bite, we must start our prevention. Through cleaning of the ingested room using stiff brush is good. Always wash the infected garments with hot water. Seal all the unwanted holes and cracks in wall and furniture. When we go for hotels to stay, theaters to watch movie and some common places it is better to put our clothes in laundry before going to bed. We can even have a shower to avoid bringing infestation from there.