Even the cleanest environment; your home, a hotel even a close relative you’re visiting can end up with an infestation of bedbugs. They travel around on people’s luggage, clothing or other surfaces and can move into just about any home. This means you can be at risk of receiving bedbug bites just about anywhere. The bedbug bite varies from person to person in severity. Some people do not even know they’ve been bitten, while others are so allergic they develop a rash and extreme itching. There are ways to treat bedbug bites but first, be sure that is what you are treating.
Inspect the Bed Bug Bite First
The bedbug bite resembles other insect bites, especially the mosquito. They are generally a raised, red bump that can look much like a blister. Often even a doctor will have trouble telling if it is definitely a bedbug you are suffering from. They do have some characteristics that are theirs alone:
- They have a unique pattern in their bites. They are sometimes singular but most often occur in a “breakfast, lunch and dinner” pattern. This is a pattern of three to five bites appearing in a row.
- The bedbug generally bite exposed areas of your body like the; neck, face, feet and arms. They will seldom be found on the back of your knees or in the folds of your skin.
- The bit marks will typically go away by themselves within one or two weeks. To ensure you don’t get more bites, you will have to take care of the infestation. If you are still sleeping with bedbugs, you will get bitten again.
When Did the Bite Occur?
If you can find out where you were bitten; you can treat the area and eliminate the bedbugs. It may not be easy as not all people react at the same rate. It can take anywhere from a couple of hours to more than a week for a bite mark to appear.
- Bedbug bites have a long incubation period and the red bump can take up to ten days to appear on some people.
Check your Home for Signs of Bedbugs
Starting with your bed which is where the bedbug will want to be to get their source of human blood; look for red spots on your sheets. These will either be the squashed bug that bit you, or from the bites marks they left when they were finished eating.
- Other signs to look for on your mattress are; the bugs themselves either alive or dead and feces. The feces they leave are little black spots like black pepper. Check entire bed including sheets, pillows and pillow cases.
- The bedbug is hard to find as it is very tiny and brownish in color. You need to find the bedbug or signs of one to know if you are truly treating bedbug bites.
How to Treat a Bedbug Bite
Washing the bite with soap and water is your first step. Use a bar soap and enough water to completely wet your hands. Work the soap in your hands until you have a thick soapy lather and spread that over the bite area. Leave the soap on the area to dry. This should ease the itching. This method not only eases the itching it will also help prevent a skin infection.
Home Remedies to Relieve the Itching from Bed Bug Bites:
- Put an amount of baking soda that will be enough to cover bites and mix with water until you have a pasty consistency. Apply a thick coat of the paste over the bites and allow to dry. Leave the dried paste on the bite for about an hour before washing off with warm water.
- Pour enough lemon juice on a cotton ball to saturate it. Dab the wet cotton ball on the bite marks. You can also use St. John’s Wort or witch hazel to relieve the itch.
- Gel from the aloe plant can also be applied to bedbug bites to relieve the itch. Pure 100% aloe vera gel contains both antibiotic and anti-fungal properties so will also help prevent infections.
- Steroidal anti-itch creams which can be purchased over the counter will also relieve the itch from the bedbug bite. The cream that contains hydrocortisone or cortisone will reduce your inflammation and itching. If it does not provide sufficient relief, your doctor can prescribe a stronger strength for you.
- Oral antihistamine such as Benadryl can also help control an allergic reaction. It will relieve the swelling, rash and the itching from the bite. If there is pain involved try; Ibuprofen, Aspirin or Tylenol.
Bedbug bites like all insect bites can become infected. Use these tips to prevent infection and gain relief from the itching. If you should develop a fever; contact your doctor immediately.