Nothing is more annoying than the proliferation of bed bugs in a resident or a locality. What begins as a mere occurrence of these tiny insects in sofas or cupboards in the homes leads to a bed bug infestation within few weeks, causing panic and frustration amongst urban dwellers. When insects populate a home, they easily find a way to wardrobes and beds.
What they bring along with them are disturbing and irritating bites. Be it the bite of an ant, a mosquito or a bed bug, all of them have the possibility of inflicting pain on the human body and causing some type of skin complication.
If a bed bug bites you, you may or may not suffer from any skin rash. Many people have been found to be immune to bed bugs bites. Nevertheless, even if the bites of a bed bug trouble your skin, there is help available in the form of several bed bug bite treatment options.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval, and brownish insects that infest the house just like cockroaches, termites, and fleas. These tiny insects are just 1/4 inches (size of an apple seed) and are hard to be spotted by the naked eyes. Bed bugs belong to the insect family Cimicidae that are parasites and feed on hosts, like animals, birds, and human.
A bed bug has a lifespan of one year and it mostly thrives on human blood. Generally, bed bugs feed on human blood during nights while you are asleep. Initially you may not realize the biting of bed bugs, but when they spread on a large-scale you may experience trouble in sleeping.
The bed bugs pierce the skin using a proboscis rimmed with barbs. They suck the blood for about 10 minutes and have stings that are double their body weight! It is believed that increasing tourists and third world immigrants has led to the spread of bed bugs. Bed bugs are parasites that travel throughout the world by hiding in the luggage of their hosts.
The immense use of pesticides (DDTs) in the USA in the late '50s resulted in the quantitative deterioration and decline of bed bugs. But, as the DDTs were banned in 1960s due to environmental concerns, the latter decade saw the increase in the number of these bugs.
In the past of couple years, there have been numerous complains in many US cities regarding issues related to bed bugs infestation. Bed bugs are hardly seen in open areas and usually hide in the cervices of furniture, doors, windows, bathrooms, kitchen basins, and storerooms of houses. If left unchecked, the population of bed bugs increases exponentially.
Treating Bed Bug Bites: Methods Incorporated
Treatment of bed bug bites involves taking medication, following several natural remedies, ensuring hygiene, and being aware of precautionary measures. Generally, a sensitive or an allergic skin is susceptible to skin rashes and small blisters, like inflammation. The skin rashes may be like hives and there may be swollen pus type formations on the skin.
Some effects of bed bug biting are anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Bed bugs bites take time to recover.
Antiseptic lotions, creams, and ointments reduce inflammation of the skin thereby lessening the severity of rashes or itches. Creams like cortisone give relief from itching and skin irritation. Corticosteroids are often recommended in cases of severe bed bugs bites.
Hydrocortisone creams or calamine lotion is also used for healing bed bug bites. Since skin of different individuals will respond to bed bug bites and its treatments in a different way, an expert advice is necessary before going for any medication.
► Mint is another scented spice that can be a better option than garlic or cayenne owing to its good aroma. Black pepper, red pepper, and black walnut are other herbs that are effective in bed bug bite treatment.
► Applying a thick paste of baking soda and water mixed together helps in reducing itchiness. The applied paste must be left for few hours until it is dry and later, it must be washed off gently with warm water.
Precautionary Measures to Curb Bed Bug Growth
No amount of treatment can be beneficial unless the threat of bed bug growth is eliminated. Hence, try to maintain a clean and healthy environment in and around your home. This helps to reduce risk factors to a considerable extent.
Freeze the infested clothes or launder them in hot water (steam cleaning). Wash them in boiled water and then use. This checks the bed bug growth. Drying your clothes in natural sunlight also kills germs. Keep your furniture, carpets, and other infested materials under the sun to kill bed bugs.
Pesticide sprays such as permethrin, malathion, etc. are used to effectively treat bed bugs infestation. But, before you rush to your nearest store to bring these insecticides, a word of caution. Don't start applying pesticides or insecticides in your homes, especially the kitchen and dining places on your own. Leave this job for the pest control experts.
Bed bugs have a unique smell that can be detected by bed bug detection dogs! You can even opt for electronic pest control methods. In most of the bed bug bite cases, the bitten person remains unaware of the stings. Mostly bed bug bites go unrecognized. It's only when symptoms of skin inflammation appear, that the person becomes cognizant of his skin problem.
Basically, scratching and rubbing the affected part leads to severe skin rashes. Hence, even if a person feels the urge to scratch, it must be avoided. It is good to refer to a medical professional for proper medical assistance.