How do you spot bed bug bites?
It is very difficult to distinguish bed bug bites from other insects. The bite marks are itchy welts usually in a pattern of threes or fours, in and around areas like your arm and neck that are exposed while sleeping. It is easy to confuse bed bug bites with mosquito or flea bites and so it’s important to look for signs and symptoms of the bed bugs themselves to ascertain the creatures responsible for the bites.
What can you tell me about bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small (about a quarter of an inch long) reddish brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and other mammals. In the daytime, they hide within cracks and crevices in walls and bed posts, and within the seams of mattresses and bedding. They come out at night and attach themselves to the skin of sleeping hosts and suck their blood through their elongated probe like tongues. Their saliva acts as a local anesthesia, making the area around the bite numb and also prevents blood coagulation. As different people have different reaction times to the sensitivity of the bites, it is extremely hard to pin point the exact time and hence location of the bites. The only way to be sure is to look out for the presence of bed bugs around the bed and furniture.
Where should I look for bed bugs?
A good place to start is your bed and mattress. Regular blood stains on sheets and pillows would be a clear sign of infestation. The bugs also excrete a characteristic pungent odour that is easy to detect. You should also inspect under the mattress by turning it over to look for dead bugs, shed skin, egg shells and feces.
How do I treat bed bug bites?
Bed bugs can be treated by using over the counter medication that contains hydro-cortisone or cortisone. In case of excessive itching, anti rash creams can be applied for drying it up and controlling swelling. Some homemade remedies like baking soda with water and aloe vera paste are also known to be effective antibiotic and anti-fungal solutions.
How can I avoid bed bugs?
It is a healthy practice to wash the sheets and bedding in warm water (120 degrees) to kill all bugs nesting in the fabric or you could get them professionally cleaned where they use safe commercial chemicals that not only eliminate the bugs but also deter the insects to come in contact. It is also advised to use beds with metallic frames and move the headboard away from walls so that bugs are not able to crawl onto the bed easily. Regularly vacuuming carpets and disposing off the bags in plastic bags ensure that the critters are not able to crawl back into the house.