Bed bugs are small parasitic non-flying insects that are oval. They feed by sucking blood from their prey usually humans and animals. There has been a sudden rebound of bed buss in U.S. cities after they vanished in the 1940s and 50s. Bed bugs live in fissures or furniture as well as in clothing and bedding. They normally spread by crawling and can be found in rooms of buildings or other dwelling environment. These insects are active at night and it is this time they feed on their prey.
Moreover, they also reside in upholstered furniture and boxsprings. People who travel frequently and share living or sleeping area are at a higher risk of suffering bed buts bites. Travelers who travel in areas, which are known to house these insects, may get the bites or pick the eggs from clothing and thus spread them to their homes.
What are the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites?
Because these insects bite and suck blood from people, they do this from the skin. The bed bugs mostly feed at night when people are asleep and can bite any part of skin that is exposed. You can visibly see bites on face, arms, neck, hands, and the back. However, the bite of bed buts is painless meaning that you will not feel when it is biting and therefore, they are not easily noticeable.
Some of the signs that may show that there are bed bugs in your beddings, clothing or areas you live are the presence of small, flat or raised skin bumps. These result from the bites and they are mainly characterized by redness, itching and swelling. If you scratch the bites, you may get infection of the skin and this is because you expose the dermis to pathogens.
Scratching tears the skin and exposes it to disease-causing microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. One way you can distinguish bed buts bites from other bites like mosquito is that you are likely to get a peculiar bite pattern. Bed bugs have a tendency of biting on one line meaning that you will find several bites lined up in a row. Usually the infectious disease specialists refer to this as breakfast, lunch and dinner sign and it shows a sequence in which insects feed from site to site.
Bed bugs bites may not be easy to distinguish from other bites like flea and mosquito bites. They may also mimic rashes and skin conditions and therefore, you need to look for other signs such as presence of telltale marks on face, hands and arms. In addition, the bite marks may even take many days ( as long as 14 days) to develop in some people and this may not be a reliable way of establishing if your home is infested with these bugs.
Some signs, which may show that the bites you are experiencing on your skin are actually bed buts bites, are the presence of bed bugs’ exoskeleton when they molt. In addition, you may look for common areas where they are likely to hide such as in folds of mattresses and bed sheets.
In addition, bed bugs release a sweet musty odor, which could be another way in which you can identify the presence of bed bugs. The odor is released from the bed buts glands. Last but not least, you may know that there are bed bugs by checking for rusty-colored blood spots. These spots are from the fecal material which they release when they feed since it is filled with blood. They excrete these rusty-colored feces on mattresses or cracks in furniture where they rest when they are not feeding especially during the day.
Treatment for bed bug bites
Primarily, there is no treatment, which is required for bites from bed bugs and the common type of medications are provided to relief the symptoms. The bites can cause severe itching leading to restless, lack of sleep and discomfort. There are different products, which may be used such as steroidal anti-itching cream that contains hydrocortisone or simply cortisone.
Similarly, calamine cream may be applied to dry the rash and also help protect the skin when it is healing. Anesthetic products that contain pramoxine used for pain relief may also be applied. These tropical anesthetic products also have diphendrydramine, which is ideal for controlling itching.
In addition, patients who are suffering from bed buts bite itches may also use oral antihistamine allergy tablets to reduce swelling and development of rashes on skin. Besides these products, there are other methods that may be applied such as immersion of the body part in warm water to reduce itching. If you have a secondary infection as a result of scratching the skin, an antibiotic may be administered to treat the infection.
In essence, bed bugs can be nuisance though they are not know to spread any disease. The bed bugs\ bites can cause severe itching and different individual will react different to the bites. Some may show signs shortly after the bites while for others it may take several days for the signs to appear.
Pictures of Bed Bugs