Cimex lectularius (bed bugs) are small, flat, parasitic insects. Like lice and fleas, they feed on blood from animals and sleeping humans. They are reddish-brown and wingless. They’re so tiny (about 1/4″ or smaller), it’s difficult to see body parts, but they have 6 legs and two antennae. Bed bug bites are annoying and cause health problems.
1. Ten Signs You Have Bed Bug Bites
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) says bed bug bites do not spread disease. Many people don’t feel the bite or develop symptoms. Some people have allergic reactions.
Bed bug bites itch badly enough that extreme scratching can lead to secondary disease. Signs you’ve been bitten include:
- Blood spots on clothing or bedding
- Brownish/reddish stains on clothing or bedding from bed bug droppings
- Burning, painful sensation
- Clear or whitish “skins” from shedding nymphs (baby bed bugs)
- Inflammation around the bite site
- Small, light-colored raised, itchy bump with a clear center
- Small, red bumps surrounded by blisters or hive-like welts
- Small, red bumps/welts in a line or a zigzag pattern
- Zit-like, inflamed skin areas
2. Ten Bed Bug Bites Symptoms/Reactions
It’s very rare to develop a severe reaction from bed bug bites. But it’s possible. Symptoms of allergic reactions can include:
- Breathing difficulty
- Depression/anxiety – Some people avoid sleep, which leads to fatigue. Fatigue combined with feelings of being “unclean” can lead to depression and low self-esteem.
- Flu-like aches/symptoms
- Heartbeat irregular/rapid
- Reduced immunity – Any time an area on your skin is compromised, it’s more susceptible to infection.
- Sleep deprivation – The idea of bugs in your bed is enough to keep many people awake and upset.
- Tongue swelling/swollen
3. Four Treatments for Bed Bug Bites
As soon as you suspect bed bug bites, clean the affected areas with soap and water. If you develop minor skin symptoms or reactions:
- Apply OTC (over-the-counter) hydrocortisone or anti-itch lotion/cream.
- Put rubbing alcohol on exposed or affected skin (Rubbing alcohol delivers a “1-2 punch.” It disinfects the affected area and kills bed bugs. It is also flammable, so handle with caution.).
- Take the recommended dosage of antihistamine.
- If symptoms continue or inflammation occurs, seek medical attention. Treatments can include:
- Antihistamine prescription
- Corticosteroid/antihistamine injection
4. EPA Recommends Professional Extermination
The Environmental Protection Agency says an integrated pest management (IPM) solution is most effective. This method of bed bug elimination involves:
- Bed bug high-heat treatment(s) for affected rooms
- Chemicals applied by your local pest management professional
- DIY (do-it-yourself) non-chemical methods
- Freeze affected items you can’t wash (books, shoes, etc.)
- Put pillows/mattresses in bug-proof, zippered covers.
- Use bed bug interceptors on bed legs.
- Wash clothes and bedding/dry on highest possible heat.
5. Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination
Budget Brothers’ bed bug professionals get many questions about bed bugs. A common misconception is that you can only get bed bugs while traveling. Your pets can bring bed bugs into your house. Used furniture can transport bed bugs. Bed bugs travel in purses and backpacks that have come into contact with infested upholstery.
The second most frequent bed bug misconception is that only “dirty” people or bad housekeepers get bed bugs. Any of us at any time are susceptible to a home bed bug infestation. What’s most important is knowing that Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination has over 20 years of professional experience in pest control solutions, including bed bug extermination.
Don’t delay. If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination.
For fast, affordable, and effective service, contact us or call Budget Brothers today at 602-253-2495