There has been a resurgence of bed bugs in the last couple of decades. These vampires of the night are becoming a real nuisance in many cities, and unfortunately, if you are not careful, you could bring them home with you. Because most bed bugs are most active at night, one of the first ways most people know they have bed bugs is when they find themselves with unexplained red, itchy bites. For most people these bites are just a nuisance, but for others who may be allergic to them, they may pose a real medical problem. Fortunately, treating these bites is a lot easier than getting the bugs out of your home.
How To Identify A Bed Bug Bite
If you only have one or two bed bug bites, they are often easy to confuse with other types of parasitic blood feeders such fleas, mosquitoes and lice. Unlike other bites, bed bug bites often show up as round, raised, red clusters or rows of bumps on your skin first thing in the morning. This is because as you slept, these nocturnal creatures used you as their meal. Their bites often show up as a pattern due to the fact that bed bugs feed in close proximity to the same location more than once.
Also, unlike other parasitic feeders, you usually do not feel the bed bug when they are biting. This is because they have the ability to inject a numbing agent into your body at the site of their feeding. Once this numbing agent wears off, they are long gone, and you are left with an itchy rash.
How To Treat These Annoying Bites
If you leave the location in which you are being bitten, and do not take the bed bug with you, your bites will typically go away on their own within a week to ten days. If you are highly sensitive, or allergic to the bites, it can take much longer. Bed bug bites have been known to leave scarring on some people with extremely sensitive skin.
One of the most important things to do if you discover you have bed bug bites is to keep them from getting infected. This often happens with repeated scratching. Luckily, there are numerous ways to relieve the itch and make you more comfortable as time takes care of the bite.
Aloe Vera - If you are lucky enough to have one of these succulent plants in your home, all you have to do is break off the tip of a leaf and apply the juice of the plant directly to your bites. It not only serves as an antipruritic relieving the itch, but it will also act as an analgesic relieving any associated pain. It will also help to hydrate and moisturize the area on which it is applied.
Baking Soda Paste - If you have no aloe available, you can make a quick paste of baking soda and water. Apply this paste to the area for approximately 30 minutes prior to washing it off. The high alkalinity of the baking soda will help to neutralize the acid found within the bite.
Aspirin Paste - Make a paste of several plain adult strength aspirin and a little water. Apply to the bites as you would the baking soda paste.
Oatmeal Bath - If you are covered in bites, or your bites are located in areas such as the back of your thighs or on your lower back and buttocks, you may be able to find some relief with an oatmeal bath. If you have any type of oatmeal in your home, there is no need to run out and buy a commercial product. All you have to do is to run your uncooked oatmeal through your blender or coffee grinder until it is the consistency of a fine powder. Add a cup of this into your tub of running water and mix well with your hand to distribute it. Relax and soak in your tub for the next 15–20 minutes. When you exit you will find your itch has gone away.
Lemon Juice Or Vinegar - If you are looking for a quick grab-and-go, try applying a little lemon juice or vinegar directly to your bites. The alkalinity in these products will also neutralize the acid of the bite.
These are just a few of the many products you probably have around your home that will help to relieve the itch of the bite. After treating your bite, you need to ensure you take the necessary steps to eliminate their initial cause. If you think you have a bed bug infestation, call a professional exterminator. They will be able to make an assessment of your environment, as well as help you create the best plan of treatment. Click here for more info about bed bugs and getting them out of your home.