Bed bugs can be carried into a home, office or hotel via luggage or furniture. A bed bug infestation is dreaded because the critters are a nuisance and difficult to exterminate. This article will discuss some of the health risks posed by bed bugs. It will also provide suggestions for what you can do if and when you are bitten by the bugs.
Though some people may be unaware, bed bugs don’t often create serious health hazards for humans. In rare cases, a person might experience an allergic reaction to bed bug bites. In such cases, immediate medical help is necessary.
In most cases, however, bed bugs simply cause the skin to itch. Aside from the itching and perhaps some swelling, bed bug bites don’t typically produce other symptoms.
Aside from suffering from itching and swelling, people with bed bugs can often feel embarrassed, especially if guests detect them in a home. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not a sign of a filthy home. Rather, they feed on human blood, not filth.
How to Prevent an Infestation
Bed bugs are often carried into a home via furniture, clothing or luggage. The bugs are small and flat, which allows them to slip into the crevices and corners of a home. Bed bugs are nocturnal. They come out at night to feed on humans by sucking blood from the human. After sucking for 5-10 minutes, the bug grows fat and generally crawls away to hide.
There are some basic things a person can do to prevent an infestation and also to exterminate bed bugs. To prevent bed bug infestations, Jordan Larson from Custom Bed Bug advises that you don’t use second-hand mattresses or other padded furniture. Second-hand furniture pieces could have bed bugs or eggs in them, which you would then carry into your home. Buy only new mattresses and padded furniture.
If your house is infested, encase your box spring and mattress in a tight, zipper cover. This will trap the bed bugs in your mattress and prevent any new ones from entering. Leave the covering on the mattress and box springs for at least a year. Do this because bed bugs are known to survive for up to twelve months without feeding. Encasing them in your covering can trap them and prevent them from feeding.
Other steps you could take to halt a bed bug infestation are as follows:
- Get a chemical treatment from a pest extermination company. The chemicals can be difficult to apply, especially because not all chemicals are safe to use inside a home. A professional exterminator will know what works best for your situation.
- Vacuum your mattress and on the floor surrounding the mattress. Do not forget to place the vacuum bag inside of a plastic bag and tie it up. Take out the garbage immediately, as keeping it inside could allow bed bugs to escape the vacuum bag.
- Wash clothing, bedding, and other cloth items in hot water. Dry them in a dryer on a high dryer setting for at least thirty minutes.
- Bed bugs often hide in crevices and cluttered spaces. Do not keep clutter around your home.
- Buy a mattress brush to scrub around the sides of your mattress, sofa and other furniture. Be sure to do this before vacuuming. This brush will allow you to remove the bugs, and then you can vacuum the bugs and eggs with the vacuum cleaner.
- Seal cracks in your home and be sure to use adhesive on any wallpaper in your home. This helps destroy some of the spaces where bed bugs frequently hide.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
There are several rules of thumb to follow if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs. For starters, try not to scratch the bitten area. Scratching can cause bites to bleed and create scabs. Instead of scratching, apply some cortisone cream to the skin.
An antiseptic spray or antiseptic cream should also be used to lower your risk of developing an infection. If you experience swelling, place a cold ice pack against your skin. Basic first aid is necessary in order to prevent any major infection and give you enough time to seek a doctor.
In most cases, a bed bug bite will not require you to see a doctor. However, some people may have an allergic reaction. If a person experiences symptoms beyond itchy skin and mild swelling, he or she should contact a doctor immediately.
Overall, in most cases, bed bug bites don’t require emergency care. Remember to treat bed bug bites with ice packs, antiseptic spray, and cortisone cream. See a doctor immediately if you experience symptoms other than itching and minor swelling. To prevent infestations and get rid of existing bugs, don’t buy second hand furniture, eliminate clutter and consider calling a professional exterminator.