Bed bugs were almost unheard of in America as recently as 15 or 20 years ago. You could only find them in lower income neighborhoods and densely populated areas such as New York City.
Fast-forward to today, and they are now an extremely fast-growing and -spreading epidemic across the entire country. According to a National Pest Management Association survey in 2015, nearly all pest-control experts had treated bed bugs in the previous year. An enormous increase from the prior decade.
How Bed Bugs Spread Rapidly
Bed bugs are hitchhikers, and because of travelers bed bugs have rapidly spread across the nation. Bed bugs like dark places such as luggage and suitcases, and will catch a free ride back to your final destination. Once there, they take up residence in your home.
Of course, you don’t have to have checked into a hotel to be dealing with a bed bug problem. Perhaps someone in your household attends daycare, works out at a gym, returned home from living in a college dorm, or has recently stayed in a hospital—all places in bed bugs can live these days.
Bed Bug Bite Symptoms
One of the first signs of a bed bug infestation in your home will likely be bites on your body or your loved ones. Some people are more susceptible to the bugs’ bites than others, so one person might not have any indication of bites while another could be suffering from a nasty rash or a series of bites on the face, neck, chest, back, or any areas left exposed while sleeping.
Thankfully, bed bugs and their bites are not dangerous, and they do not spread disease. The worst outcome, in most cases, is the itchy rash you’ll have to endure if it turns out you are allergic or sensitive. Other than that, most people report a higher incidence of emotional trauma from bed bugs than physical injury.
How to Treat a Bed Bug Rash
Since bed bugs don’t usually cause any serious effects to your health, treating bed bug bites mostly requires patience, time, and self-control. If you or a family member ends up with a rash, treat it as you would any itchy rash, such as those from poison ivy or poison oak. Avoid scratching the affected areas and treat with anti-itch creams or cold compresses as needed. An oral antihistamine (e.g., Benadryl) is an excellent choice for severe reactions.
How to Rid Your Home of Bed Bugs
If you have accidently brought home bed bugs from a recent trip or other out-of-the-home encounters, you will want to rid your home of them as fast as you can. You can treat your bed bug bites all you want, but until the source of the problem is gone, your nights will never be the same.
Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of as they are tiny, almost invisible to the naked eye, and usually hide in dark, tight places during the daylight hours. Thoroughly wash all sheets, clothes, and carpets. Treat your home, especially your bedroom, with insecticide or heat since bed bugs cannot live in extreme heat.
While you can buy bed bug sprays, this is not a task to take lightly. The bugs are excellent hiders, and treatment needs to be thorough to be effective.
Instead of launching into a DIY endeavor, it’s time to call in the experts. Budget Brothers Termite and Pest Elimination should be your first call. We will inspect the areas to determine the best treatment route and provide support and guidance as you move through the process.
Don’t lose sleep and don’t suffer from bed bugs. Call us now for quick relief!