Do you know that bed bugs can cause skin problems? These creatures are tiny insects that feed on human blood. They hide in dark places close to where humans sleep and usually crawl out to feed while people are fast asleep. They can be a problem in the cleanest of homes.
Bed bugs need only human blood to survive and it is easy to bring them to your home. They can crawl into luggage, clothing, even furniture, unnoticed. Once inside the home, they will find a hiding place in mattresses, couch and tiny cracks or crevices in the wall. Having bed bugs in the home can cause a great deal of anxiety and restless nights.
They feed on the host when he or she is fast asleep, generally just before dawn. The parasites are attracted to warmth, which is why they bite when sleeping. They will usually not be seen during the daylight hours unless the infestation is severe. Bed bugs will secure themselves into the hosts skin by piercing the skin, injecting saliva that contains anaesthetics and anti-coagulants into the host, which often makes their bites painless initially.
After feeding on the host’s blood for several minutes, bed bugs will crawl back to their hiding place. The saliva is what causes the itching sensation on the human skin.
Having bite marks on the body is the most common sign of bed bugs. Most people are bitten while they are asleep and do not know that they have been bitten until the next morning. This is because bed bug bite is painless compared to mosquito bite which is painful. Sometimes people develop itchy swellings within a few days of the first bite, but it can take as 14 days before the bites itch.
Most people tend to become increasingly sensitive to bed bug bites. If one has a bed bug infestation and the bugs bite repeatedly, it may develop itchy swelling within seconds. These creatures are very tiny and might not be noticed on the body until after their mission has been accomplished.
It is possible to develop a serious, even life threatening reaction to bed bug bites. These reactions include breathing difficulty, irregular or forceful heartbeat, swollen tongue, blisters, especially large blisters, fever, nausea and skin infection from scratching. Serious reactions require immediate medical care. Some individuals may develop insomnia and anxiety from serious or repeated bed bug infections.
Treatment of Bed Bug Infestation
Medical treatment is usually aimed at relieving the symptoms and discomfort caused by the bites and these are some of the treatments you’ll find useful.
1. Wash affected area with soap and water.
2. Consider a steroidal anti-inflammatory cream or calamine lotion.
3. Take an oral antihistamine or pain relief medication if needed.
4. See your doctor if the bites become infected or do not clear up within one or two weeks.
Affected individuals may feel and see the consequences of the bed bug bite afterwards, although many individuals may not develop any physical signs. Bed bugs do not transmit or spreading malaria or any severe human disease.
Prevention of Bed Bug Infestation
1. Place the legs of bed frames into containers containing paraffin oil or water to prevent bed bugs from gaining access to the bed, and tuck in sheets and blankets so they do not contact the floor.
2. Wear pyjamas that cover as much skin as possible to limit bed bug bites. Vacuum, heat and steam exposure to intense sunlight of furniture and beddings may be effective against infestations.
3. Place infested bedding or garments in clothes dryer for 10-20 minutes, using medium to high heat and items can be laundered using hot water measuring at least 120F.
4. Encase mattress and box spring in special impermeable mattress cover. Sometimes, it may be necessary to discard infested mattress and furniture.