Before I get started with the topic of how to treat bed bug bites, I would like to dispel a major myth about bed bugs: Bed bugs just live in dirty homes. Wrong! You can find a infestation in the cleanest of homes, hotels and even hospitals. Just because a hotel is 5 star, don’t assume it is bed bug free. The problem may be addressed faster, but it has more to do with who may have carried them into the room before you.They are more a transport problem than a cleanliness problem. I would also like to let you know how to recognize them and also a couple of facts about bed bugs. If you were bitten by a bed bug and would just like to know how to treat bed bug bites, jump to the bottom of the article for treatments.
How Do You Recognize Bed Bugs?
They are an oval shaped insects with no wings. Bed bugs are flat before they eat. Then after they eat, they swell up and become a dark red color. An adult is usually about a quarter of an inch long.
The Facts About Bed Bugs
- Bed bugs usually feed on human blood but are also known to bite birds and mammals. Their only source of nutrition is blood. They can survive for up to six months without feeding. So this fact alone makes it very difficult to starve them out.
- They will generally bite exposed body parts such as your face, neck, arms and legs.
- While bed bugs can be a real nuisance and hard to get rid of, they are not usually dangerous.
- It may not be immediately obvious that you were bitten. It may take a couple of days for symptoms to appear.
- Bed bugs have a one year life span and a female can lay up to one hundred eggs. This is another reason why they are so hard to totally extinguish.
- Bed bugs have been known to travel from apartment to apartment through pipes and wiring or any other common openings.
- Some common ways that bed bugs are brought into your home or hotel room is on clothes or furniture. Try to be extra vigilant when buying second-hand.
- Bed bugs can be elusive little buggers. They can burrow in creases in your couches and chairs, folds in curtains, mattresses, pillows and box springs, in drawers, and just about any other place they can squeeze their annoying little selves into.
- Since a female can lay so many eggs, it doesn’t take much before you have a major infestation on your hands. They can hatch almost anywhere that the temperature is right.
How To Treat Bed Bug Bites
Hydrocortisone Cream – To reduce the redness, itching, and swelling use hydrocortisone cream according to the directions. It is very important to wash your hands after use to avoid getting it in your eyes.
Vinegar – Rub vinegar over the infected area to get rid of the itching. This will keep you from scratching and maybe getting an infection.
Antihistamines – These can help reduce the swelling and discomfort associated with bug bites. Be careful when treating children with antihistamines. They may not have a reaction to the bites, but to the antihistamine.
Witch Hazel – This has anti-inflammatory properties which will reduce swelling and itch.
Hemorrhoid Cream – This is excellent for reducing the swelling and to get rid of the itch. Hemorrhoid cream with Bio-Dyne (eg. Preparation H), will also make your bites heal faster.
Deodorant – If you happen to be at a hotel and you don’t have any other products with you, rub deodorant onto the bites. Deodorant contains aluminum chloride, which is great to stop swelling or pain caused by the bed bug bites.
Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is wonderful for speeding up healing for bed bug bites. This is a great oil to always have on hand. It can treat so many skin ailments, not just bug bites.
Calamine Lotion – This contains the compound zinc oxide. This is very helpful in reducing the swelling and itch.
So as you can see, an infestation can occur fairly fast. It can also be hard to get rid of. It may be a problem that is better left to the professionals. But if you feel you up to the task, please do some research before using any pesticides. You may do more harm than good for you and your family. I wish you luck and I feel your pain.
Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions below.
Thanks, The TFA Team