Bed bugs draw blood from their hosts by piercing the skin with a small beak-like apparatus. The saliva of the bed bug may be introduced to the human body during the bed bug’s feeding and may cause some redness or swelling, most bed bug bites are harmless. Since bed bugs are not generally known to carry disease, they are not generally considered to be health risks. There have been some reports of allergic reactions occurring after being bitten by bed bugs, and anaphylaxis is always a concern with any type of allergic reaction.
Bed bugs usually attack their hosts at night while the host is asleep. Often times humans awake with very little or no knowledge at all of the bites for hours. Later, as the bed bug bite starts to itch or swell, it may be attributed to fleas or mosquitoes. This makes it very difficult to diagnose an infestation, until the infestation reaches considerable size.
If there is any good news, there are no confirmed cases of disease being spread by bedbugs in the same manner as mosquitoes and ticks (also common blood meal enthusiasts who can spread West Nile, Malaria and Lime Disease).
There are some individuals who are highly allergic to the bite of bed bugs and may experience anaphylaxis which is a highly allergic reaction that can lead to anaphylactic shock (much like a bee sting might in certain individuals).
Bites and Treatments
In the mean time, bed bug bites can cause welts to rise on your skin along with a patch of redness around the bite itself. There may also be scabs from where you were bit, especially if you have been scratching the bites (you might also be scratching in your sleep). If you have small, itchy red bumps, particularly ones that tend to cluster or form lines of several bites, you may have bedbugs.
If you have bites that itch, treat them with a topical anti—itch cream like cortisone, and apply antiseptic ointment to any breaks in the skin to prevent infections from your scratching. If you are experiencing any severe reactions, talk to your doctor to see if you might need further treatment. You may need to take antihistamines to relieve mild to moderate allergic reactions until the infestation can be cleared up
Bed bugs can be a very creepy problem, but the bites are easily treated at home in most cases, and while the infestations can be hard to cure, a professional exterminator can help you to identify and treat your bed bug problem and get you back to sleeping tight.
Bed bugs aren’t usually known to spread any blood-borne pathogens. However their bites can be itchy and stressful.
Suggestions to treat bed bug bites:
* Resist the urge to scratch the bites.
* Use calamine lotion or creams to treat the bed bug bites.
* Apply an ice-pack to the affected area to help relieve swelling.
* Thoroughly disinfect the bites with anti-septic soap to reduce any risk of infection.
*** See a doctor if the area develops an infection.