How To Id Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are considered by many experts to be one of the most challenging pests to treat, considering theyre both resilient insects and also capable of reproducing quickly. They can survive in many different climates, go very long periods of time without eating, and are small enough to live in tiny places and go easily go undetected.
There are many myths surrounding bed bugs including that they only bite at night, are only found in the summer and can jump across entire rooms. They dont just wait until youre sleeping to start biting theyre actually capable of biting any time of day.
Although its a common misconception that bed bugs fly and can move quickly from room to room, they dont actually have wings, and they arent capable of jumping/hopping far either. Instead, they crawl from surface to surface, usually on the search for more food.
Bed bugs arent seasonal pests for the most part, like mosquitoes or ants, for example, and can take up residence in your home or other areas at any point in the year.
Although not a seasonal insect that tends to thrive or die off at certain points in the year, surveys show that bed bugs are reported in higher numbers during the summer months. The reason experts believe this is true is because people tend to do more traveling during the summer and stay in more hotels/motels. Public transportation use can also increase in the summer months, which raises the risk for bed bugs being transmitted from location to location.
Diagnosis Of Bed Bug Bites
- Live bed bugs hide and are not usually seen. Close inspection of the mattress may find some.
- They are ¼ inch , flat, oval shaped, reddish-brown bugs.
- Suspect bed bugs if over 3 red bumps in a row are on exposed skin. The bumps or bites are very itchy.
- Bed bug waste is found on bedding or mattress seams. It looks like dark brown flecks or coffee grounds.
- A blood stain on the sheet may sometimes be found. This is from a bug smashed after feeding.
Can You Have Bed Bugs And Scabies At The Same Time
Unfortunately, it is possible to have both bed bugs and scabies at the same time. As previously discussed, both insects feed on your blood, but they do so in different ways. Bed bugs bite you on the outside of your body and scabies burrow beneath your skin to feed. This means they’re not in direct competition with each other and can thrive at the same time.
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How To Properly Diagnose A Bed Bug Bite
Believe it or not, bed bugs really do live in your bed!They are flat, small, brown and red insects that hide in places like crevices on sofas and chairs, inside electrical outlets, behind picture frames and many other places inside your home.Because they are so tiny, they are hard to
Are Bed Bugs And Scabies Contagious
While bed bugs are not contagious, these pests can easily migrate from person to person, and from place to place. Bed bugs can hitch rides on clothing, luggage, and furniture and then infest your home and move from one home or room to another. Scabies, on the other hand, require prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infected person in order to be contagious. However, as mentioned previously, crusted or Norwegian scabies are highly contagious.
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Most Of The Time Bedbug Bites Themselves Dont Require Medical Attention
Bedbug bites dont normally require treatment by a doctor, though there are a few precautions you should take at home. Start by cleaning the area with soap and water to lower your risk of infection and to relieve itchiness. If the bites are itchy, pick up a corticosteroid cream at your local drugstore and apply it to the area. The bites generally will heal within a couple of weeks.
Some people develop allergic reactions to bedbug bites, which can include a fever, difficulty breathing, hives, or a swollen tongue. Others may develop an infection where the bite starts oozing pus. If you experience either of these reactions or you develop blisters where the bites occurred, its a good idea to make an appointment with a dermatologist.
To treat an allergic reaction, the doctor may prescribe an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or epinephrine injection. If the area is infected, he or she might prescribe an antibiotic or recommend an over-the-counter antiseptic. Finally, if its severe itchiness that youre dealing with, applying corticosteroid or taking an antihistamine in pill or liquid form may be able to help.
In most cases, the only way to say for sure whether it was a bedbug that bit you is to search for evidence of bedbugs living in your home. “Once you start to notice the itchy bites, the second giveaway is the presence of small blood spots on your sheets or mattress, usually resembling patches of rust, Durham says. Those spots are left behind after a bedbug has been smashed.
The Psychological Effects Of Bed Bug Infestations
Certain people who have experienced multiple bed bug infestations, will joke that they have bed bug PTSD. Theres a special kind of anxiety that bed bugs incite, which in fact, is not a joke. Research is starting to show that bed bug infestations cause more severe mental and emotional damage
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How Common Are Bed Bug Bites
The National Pest Management Association wrote that in the 20th century, only 25% of pest control professionals had encountered bed bugs.
This is due to the fact that insecticides like DDT, which came out in the 1950s, had almost fully eradicated these creatures from the United States.
Since then the EPA has regulated which pesticides can be used in homes, due to the harmful effects to humans of using DDT in bedrooms.
This is one of the reasons bed bugs have made a comeback.
Since the year 2000, 95% of pest control professionals have dealt with bed bugs.
With an average of 76% saying that bed bugs are some of the hardest pests to treat.
Companies are now receiving multiple calls weekly about bed bugs, with reported cases in every state in America.
How Is Pruritus Treated
Finding the cause of the itching and treating any underlying skin disease is the first step in solving pruritus.
The best way to prevent pruritus is to take care of your skin. To protect skin:
- Use skin creams and lotions that moisturize your skin and prevent dryness.
- Use sunscreens regularly to prevent sunburns and skin damage.
- Use mild bath soap that won’t irritate your skin.
- Take a bath or shower in warm — not hot — water.
- Avoid certain fabrics, such as wool and synthetics, that can make skin itch. Switch to cotton clothing and bed sheets.
- Since warm, dry air can make skin dry, keep the thermostat in your house down and use a humidifier.
- To relieve itching, place a cool washcloth or some ice over the area that itches, rather than scratching.
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What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like
The key bed bug bite symptom to look for is a red, raised bump, says Gibb, similar in appearance to a spider or mosquito bite. But what sets bed bugs apart from other insects is that oftentimes, their bites will present in a line or cluster on one part or side of your body. This is the result of whats called probing.
Bed bug bites show up in a line, most often in a cluster of 3 to 4 bites.
They probe the skin in several different places, I think probably to find best access to draw blood, says Gibb. In fact, if you have screens on your windowsthereby keeping out other insects that might bitebut are still waking up with a line of 3 or 4 bites on your arm, its safe to suspect that bed bugs might be to blame, says Edwin Rajotte, Ph.D., a professor of entomology at Penn State University.
Are Bed Bug Bites Itchy Do They Hurt
Although some people will say a bed bug bite hurts somewhatthough not as intensely as the sting of a bee, for examplemost complaints are due to the itching the bites cause, says Gibb. And that itching is due to the chemicals the bed bug inserts into your body during the bite, adds Rajotte.
Theyve become what I consider the perfect parasite, because their mouthparts are kind of interesting, says Gibb. They will inject an anesthetic prior to biting, so people wont feel it. And then they inject an anticoagulant that allows the blood to run easier for them to suck that up. So while that system works great for the bugs, those left-over chemicals will usually lead to some uncomfortable itching on your end.
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How To Treat Bedbug Bites
If your little one has bedbug bites, itâll take time for the bites to heal on their own. Thereâs no magic solution to these bites, but there are some ways to cope with the itching, which is usually the most uncomfortable part. If youâre searching for home remedies for bedbug bites, there are two tactics you can try:
Wash the bites. When you notice any bedbug bites on your baby, toddler, or older kidâs body, gently wash the bites with warm, soapy water.
Apply cream or lotion. Talk to your childâs healthcare provider about using an anti-itch cream or lotion. Scratching the bites could lead to an infection, so providing some relief for the itching could be helpful.
You might to keep any anti-itch creams or lotions that your childâs healthcare provider approves in your baby first-aid kit or medicine cabinet for any future bug bites!
How to treat bedbug bites on a child doesnât get much more complicated than that! You donât need to do much, but the best bedbug bite strategy is stopping an infestation from happening in the first place.
Bed Bug Bites Vs Rash
Bites from bed bugs will look different than your generic skin rash.
A rash from bed bugs will consist of itchy bumps with a dark center and a lighter swollen surrounding area.
If you were bitten, more often than not, you will see itchy red bumps on your skin, but you may not always get a rash.
To help diagnose bed bugs from your generic rash you should do your research.
for the complete guide on what bed bug bites look like.
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Where Bed Bugs Hide
Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.
Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.
Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.
Recognising A Bedbug Infestation
The first indication of a bedbug infestation may be the presence of bites on family members. A thorough inspection of your premises, especially the common hiding spots, may also reveal:
- the bedbugs themselves however, due to their size, they are often hard to see
- small bloodstains from crushed bugs on sheets or mattresses
- rusty or dark spots of bug excrement on mattresses, bedding or walls
- an offensive, sweet, musty odour from their scent glands, which may be detected when infestations are severe.
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What Are Scabies Mites
Bed bugs are insects, but scabies are actually arachnids. And while they feed on human blood, they don’t do it by crawling around and biting the surface of your skin. Instead, they burrow into the outer layer of skin where they then lay and hatch their eggs.
Unlike bed bugs, scabies mites are invisible to the naked eye. They’re microscopic parasites that you won’t see even if they’re crawling around on the surface of your skin. And since they’re not insects in the traditional sense, you’re going to need more than just pest control specialists to help treat them. Rather, you’ll need to consult with your doctor or dermatologist to find the right treatment method.
How Difficult Is It To Find Them
It may be very difficult to find them at first. Dont be fooled though. You can see themeventually. As the population multiplies they are easier to find. These nasty little bloodsuckers dont like coming out during the day, just like vampires.
As the infestation grows it is not only easier to see them during the day, they begin leaving their mark on everything. You may notice a dark line, particularly in the crevices of your mattress. If you have light-colored furniture you can also see the dark lines they leave behind during their travels.
If you think you have an infestation you can test your suspicions by sleeping on a white sheet. In the morning, check the sheet for little dots of blood. This is not any blood its your blood. These parasites actually inject a secretion into your skin before feeding and this can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
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What Is The Difference Between Bed Bug Bites And Other Bug Bites
While the symptoms for many bug bites include itching, the bite pattern and location help separate each bug to better treat the bite.
- Bed bug bites: Bed bug bites form raised bumps that can show up in a zigzag pattern on skin that makes contact with your bed, including your arms, legs and back.
- Flea bites: Flea bites are most similar to bed bug bites, which are small raised bumps that form in a zigzag pattern on your skin, most often targeting your legs and waist.
- Mosquito bites: A mosquito will leave a single bite, which is a small, raised bump, on an area of your body not covered by clothing, including your arms and legs.
- Scabies: Scabies are mites that burrow into your skin, causing small red bumps to appear often in folds or narrow cracks of your skin, like between fingers and toes.
- Spider bites: Most spider bites aren’t a problem, but some may leave a single bite that turns into a wound and causes muscle pain, headaches and trouble breathing. Spider bites should be immediately treated by your healthcare provider.
- Tick bites: Ticks most commonly bite on the back of your neck, scalp and legs. Ticks burrow their head in your skin, which causes a rash or small red, elevated spots on your skin.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Bed Bugs Dont Inject An Anesthetic Into Your Skin Before They Bite You
Bed bugs dont inject an anesthetic into your skin before they bite you. This is important to know because it means that if you are bitten by a bed bug, the pain of the bite will be immediate. Bed bugs also dont inject any other substance into your skin when they bite you.
Theyre just hungry little creatures that want to feed on human blood!
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like
Bed bugs are big enough to be seen with the naked eye, says Tanya Nino, MD, a dermatologist with Providence St Joseph Hospital in Orange County, California. They’re about the size of a tick , oval-shaped, flat, and have a reddish-brown color.
Although they’re large enough to see, bed bugs can be extremely difficult to find. They’re active at night, rather than during the day. When you’re away, they’re hiding away in the cracks and seams of bedding or upholstered furniture. They’re pretty good about staying out of the way when you’re looking for them.
Because of that, it’s rare to actually spot a bed bug. Instead, it’s more likely that you’ll notice bed bug bites.
If You Have Bed Bug Bites That Are Itchy But Dont Cause Any Other Symptoms You Probably Dont Require Medical Attention
Bed bug bites are not a serious health risk. They do not cause infections and do not transmit disease. If you have bed bug bites that are itchy but dont cause any other symptoms, you probably dont require medical attention. However, if youre concerned about bed bugs or suspect youve been bitten by one, call a pest control professional to inspect your home for signs of infestationand if you see evidence of an infestation , call an exterminator immediately to take care of the problem before it gets worse!
If your skin is severely irritated by the bites themselves , we recommend that you wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible after being bitten to help reduce swelling and itching. The longer after being bitten that this is done, however, the more likely it will be effective in reducing irritation therefore we would still strongly encourage doing so within 24 hours after noticing irritation developing from any new bite.
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