Bed bugs are small insects that live by sucking blood. These animals usually hide around the bed and come out at night to bite and suck blood while a person is sleeping. Those insects are flat, brownish-shaped insects and are attracted to body heat and carbon dioxide gas released by humans.
Bed bugs can be eliminated by washing your bedclothes and sheets in hot water, or by covering the mattress with tight wraps for at least one year. However, for more effective results, it is advisable to use professional insecticide services.
Bed Bugs Symptoms and Signs
The existence of bed bugs is sometimes not realized because these insects only come out to suck blood at night. After sucking blood for a few minutes, bed bugs will return to their hiding place.
A sign of bed bug bites is the appearance of a red rash on the skin that feels itchy or burns. In people who are bitten for the first time by bed bugs, the itching will not be felt immediately. Sometimes it even takes days for the itching to appear. The itching sensation will be felt more quickly the more often these animals are bitten.
The presence of bed bugs can also be detected in the bed, namely:
- Blood marks on the bed.
- Black stains from bed bug excrement.
- A distinctive odor (musty smell) appears where fleas are hiding.
Causes of Bed Bugs
These insect bites occur when someone accidentally brings bed bugs onto the bed. This can occur because bed bugs are able to crawl through clothing or other objects and then hide around the mattress.
Bed bugs come out at night to suck blood and hide during the day. Apart from around the bed, bed bugs often hide in several places, such as:
- Boarding house.
- Student dormitory.
- Objects around the mattress.
- The room behind the light switch.
- Cracks or cracks in furniture.
Bed bugs are more common in places where people have large numbers of people, such as:
- Evacuation place.
- Student dormitory.
- Means of transportation.
Diagnosis of Bed Bugs
If you suspect you have been bitten by bed bugs, immediately inspect your bed and house for the presence of these insects. Checks may need to be done at night when bed bugs are active. Blood spots or small black stains from bed bug excrement may be found on the mattress.
If you are unsure whether the red rash on the skin is a bed bug bite or not, consult a doctor immediately. Through a physical exam, your doctor can determine whether the red streak is caused by bed bug bites or another condition, such as hives or chickenpox.
Do Bed Bug Bites Spread If You Scratch Them?
Do bed bug bites spread when scratched? Well, of course not. The bed bug bites do not spread because they are non-contagious. Unlike scabies mite bites, bed bugs bite doesn’t spread.
However, check with your doctor if you have a serious reaction to a bed bug bite, such as severe itching, swelling, and redness, or blisters on the tick bite area.
Bed bug bites can injure the skin, especially if the area is scratched. The injured skin can be penetrated by bacteria, which can lead to skin infections such as cellulitis. Immediately see a doctor if the following symptoms appear:
- Pain radiating from the wound bed bug bite.
- Swelling and redness at the bite mark.
- Skin that feels warm to the touch.
- Fever and chills.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Discharge or pus from the bite mark.
Bed Bugs Treatment
Bed bug bites usually go away on their own within two weeks. Do not scratch the bite, even if it is itchy, as this can irritate the skin and cause infection. If infection occurs immediately to the doctor, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics.
If the itching is unbearable, consult a doctor. The doctor can give hydrocortisone cream to be applied to the bitten area of the skin or an oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine.
How to get rid of bed bugs
Once symptoms are treated, bed bugs should be eliminated immediately. Here’s how to get rid of bed bugs that can be done independently:
- Wash clothes, curtains, pillowcases, and sheets in hot water, and dry in hot temperatures. For items that can’t be washed, dry in hot for 30 minutes.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove fleas from the mattress and other hiding places. If there are lots of nits on the bed, dry the mattress in a hot place or replace it with a new mattress.
- Wrap the mattress tightly to prevent fleas from getting out of the mattress. Bed bugs can live up to a year without eating, so don’t remove them for at least a year.
- Repair gaps or cracks in walls, floors, and furniture, so they don’t become hiding places for bed bugs.
- If there are enough bed bugs, eradication should use insecticides.
- It is advisable to use an exterminator that is used to using hazardous chemicals. Make sure to keep yourself, your children, and your pets away during the cleaning process.
Bed Bugs Complications
Bed bug bites can cause an allergic reaction, with symptoms of painful swelling and intense itching around the bite mark. In some cases, bed bug bites can trigger anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.
The habit of scratching the bite marks of bed bugs can also cause serious infections. Emergency treatment should be given if the following symptoms appear after being bitten by bed bugs:
- Hard to breathe
Bed Bugs Prevention
There are several ways you can protect yourself from bed bug bites, namely by spraying insect repellent, attaching insect repellent coated with permethrin pesticide, or wearing clothing that covers the skin.
You can also take the following steps to anticipate the appearance of bed bugs in your home:
- Check the bedding and sofas in hotel rooms, and place your bag or suitcase on the table so you don’t get bed bugs.
- Clean bird or bat nests at home, because bed bugs can hitch a ride on the bodies of birds or bats to move from one place to another.
- Check carefully if you buy a used mattress, chair, or sofa before bringing it into the house.