If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have a few unwelcomed, blood-thirsty guests in your bed, then it may be time to learn how to treat bed bug bites. Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on human blood. They can usually be found in dark places near human sleeping areas, such as between the crevices of a mattress, in headboards, or even in the walls. Unfortunately, they only come out to feed, so it is unlikely that you’ll see one unless you look for them.
But, while bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of, their bites are fairly easy to treat.
To cure a bed bug bite, you will first need to wash the bite with soap and water. This will reduce itchiness and prevent skin infection. Next, if needed, apply a cold compress directly to your skin to reduce swelling. Lastly, apply calamine or cortisone cream to soothe any itchiness.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped insects that feast on the blood of humans and animals. Adult bed bugs are brownish and about the size of an apply seed. They have flat bodies that become engorged with blood after feeding.
Bed bugs can’t fly but can move rather quickly. They prefer to live near human sleeping areas and only come out when it is time to feed. Because of this, they can be particularly difficult to spot if you’re not looking.
Unfortunately, most bed bugs have become resistent to modern pesticides, so they have been difficult to completely erradicate. This is worsened by the fact that these bugs can go up to 5 months without a proper meal.
What do bed bug bites look like?
When bed bugs choose to feed, humans are the ones that have to suffer the consequences. This is because bed bugs primarily feed on blood as their main source of nourishment. At first, the symptoms as a result of being bitten by bed bugs appear as small, slightly-raised bump on the skin.
These small welts usually appear in lines or clusters, because bed bugs prefer to feed in one general area.
When do bed bugs bite?
Bed bugs have a peak feeding time between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., with their feeding time lasting a few minutes. However, trying to avoid this time won’t work. If you decide to sleep during the day, they will come out during that time. This is because they are attracted to us by our body temperature and by the carbon dioxide we exhale.
Once they get to us, bed bugs will feed until they become engorged with blood and then crawl back to wherever they came from.
How often do bed bugs feed?
Bed bugs feed about once a week, but they can go up to 5 months without any source of food. However, if given the opportunity, they will feed until they are full and then go back into hiding. If you are constantly waking up with bites, this may be a sign that your infestation may have reached the hundreds or even the thousands.
How long do bed bug bites last?
Most bites will go away within a week or two. There are, however, some people who have a heightened sensitivity to insect bites. In these cases, they may take as long as 3 weeks, if not longer, to fully heal.
Do bed bug bites itch?
Are bed bug bites itchy? Unfortunately, bites from bed bugs can be quite irritating and tempting to scratch. While some people may not find them itchy, most people do.
How long do bed bug bites itch?
When someone gets bitten by a bed bug, they will usually develop small, itchy welts within the first few days. However, it can take as long as 14 days before the bite begin to truly itch.
The reason that they are not initially itchy is because bed bugs release a numbing chemical in their saliva. As a result, we only start to feel the itch when this chemical wears off.
Where do bed bugs bite the most?
Bed bugs will bite any part of your body that you keep exposed throughout the night, such as your arms and neck.
How to stop bed bugs from biting you
The best way to prevent bed bugs from biting you is to get rid of them. Here are a few things that you can do:
- use a mattress encasement
- wash your sheets with hot water
- vacuum your house
If you want to get rid of bed bugs, mattress encasements are a good option. These encasements go over your bed and prevent bed bugs from feeding, eventually leading to their death. I like this one from Amazon because it’s waterproof and comes in different sizes.
Next, once you’ve bought a mattress encasement, you’re going to need to do is to machine wash your sheets in water that is at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about 50 degrees Celcius.
After this, make sure to vacuum every small crevice of your house to get rid of any bed bugs that may be hiding.
What’s the best treatment for bed bug bites?
Here’s how to get rid of bed bug bites:
- wash with soap and water
- apply a cold compress
- use calamine or cortisone lotion
The first thing that you want to do if you ever get bitten by bed bugs is to wash them with soap and water. Not only will this reduce itchiness, but it will also lower the chance of infection. Make sure to be gently or this can irritate the bite further. This is especially true for those that are sensitive to insect bites.
Next, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. I recommend this one from Amazon because it’s fairly large and can cover a greater surface area if the bites are spread out on your body.
Lastly, apply a calamine or cortisone lotion to the bites to soothe itchiness. Bed bug bites can irritate the skin and scratching them will make symptoms worse.
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