Bed bug bites often manifest as small-sized itchy, elevated, reddened areas on unprotected skin typically a few days after the actual bite. Some adults and children do not even develop a reaction to the bed bug bites at all, even after repeated exposure.
Characteristics of bed bug bites
Upon assessing the skin, the bed bug bites appear as the following:
- A line of bites
- A rash
- Cluster of bites
It is important to note that bed bugs do not spread contagious diseases. Nevertheless, these blood-sucking insects can lead to the development of anemia if they are too many and even trigger asthma attacks.
Who are at risk?
There is no direct connection between bed bug infestations and poor sanitation. A living space that is clean is a susceptible as a messy one. In most cases, sleeping in an area where several individuals have slept also increases the risk. One might be at risk for beg bug bites if the child or individual:
- Recently travelled
- Resides in an apartment building
- Slept on a used mattress or sat on a piece of furniture
- Lives in or recently spent time in a dormitory
- Unexplained bites every night
- If there are bed bugs present in crevices or seams in the mattress or box spring, behind photo frames, along the edges of carpeting or hiding within the recesses of furniture.
A proper diagnosis is a vital step in effectively managing bed bug bites. It is sad to note that the bites are often misdiagnosed as chicken pox, scabies, antibiotic reaction, mosquito or spider bites and food allergy.
Once bed bug bites are confirmed, they should be eliminated from the house while the individual is treated with the following:
- Topical steroids to reduce the inflammation
- Antibiotics or topical antiseptic lotions in case of bacterial infections
- Antihistamines to alleviate the itchiness
- Non-steroidal topical anti-itch remedies can be used such as calamine lotion
- Oral antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or a prescription-strength variant
- Over-the-counter topical steroid creams such as 0.5% and 1% hydrocortisone cream
How to get rid of bed bugs
Even though dealing with bed bug bites is not difficulty, actual elimination is a different aspect. There are measures to reduce the risk which includes the following:
- Detection of infestations as early as possible with the help of monitoring devices
- Purchase new furniture instead of used options
- Mattresses must be stored in a bug-proof cover
- Purchase plastic and metal furniture instead of wooden products
- Any crevices and cracks in the sleeping areas