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September 26, 2014

Bed Bug Bites: Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention


Bed bugs are one of the most common pests in homes. Although bed bug bites do not cause diseases in humans, it can get infected. At the very least, it is often irritating and is a skin eye-sore. If bitten, don't panic because there are home remedies you can apply to treat the bites. If your problem is recurring, however, it's better to call a pest control expert for a long term solution.

Bed bugs: A closer look

Bed bugs are blood-sucking parasites that feed on mammals and birds. It does not fly and can live anywhere inside your house. They are commonly found in cracks in furniture and in any type of textile. Often, you find them in their preferred habitat, your beds (hence the name). They are also most active at night, biting on your exposed skin while you are sleeping.

Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, flat, oval-shaped. Immature bed bugs may be translucent or light tan in color. They are attracted to warmth and feed every 5-10 days. When they bite, they pierce your skin and inject their saliva which contains anaesthetics and anticoagulants which makes it painless. After they've fed, they will retreat to their hiding place, but still keep within range of their warm-blooded host.

What bed bug bites look like

Bed bug bites are often mistaken for a rash. The most common signs are small, flat or raised bumps on the skin. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and itching. These itchy welts usually appear in a zigzag pattern or in clusters. These signs and symptoms often appear from minutes to days after the initial bite. Your face, neck, arms, and hands are the areas commonly affected.

Bed bug bite treatment

Typically, these skin lesions will go after a week or two. Treatment may not be required for bed bug bites, but if itching is severe, steroid cream or oral antihistamines may be used. There are, however, individuals who experience repeated bites over time and may have more pronounced symptoms. Scarring or skin infection from extreme scratching of the skin may also occur. Rarely, a severe and systemic allergic reaction may also develop. There are also some people who develop insomnia and anxiety from repeated bed bug infestations.

At-home treatments

If you have bed bug bites, there are home remedies that you can apply. These include:

  1. Washing the bites with soap and water as this will help prevent any infection and reduce itchiness.
  2. If the bite continues to itch, apply a corticosteroid cream to reduce itchiness and to prevent further complications.

Checking for bed bugs

Bed bug bites often cause a great deal of anxiety, so it is important that you prevent the bugs from invading your bedroom. Here are some signs that there are bed bugs in your room:

  • Bed bugs’ eggs are very small and a full grown adult bed bug is just the size of an apple seed. These are difficult to find so if you feel like your room has bed bugs, contact a professional exterminator or pest control operator right away.
  • Bed bugs’ poop are blackish; so if you see something like this on your bed, headboard or beneath your cushions, it could be a sign.
  • Bed bugs have an outer shell that they leave behind. If you see shell-like remains on your beddings, it might be them.
  • If you find specks of blood, especially on the seams of your mattress pads, sheets, etc., there could be a bed bug infestation.
  • A sweet, musty odor if you notice a sweet, musty odor in your room, bed bugs might be present. The chemical scent is their way of communicating.
  • Bed bugs are microscopic so if symptoms persist, you must contact a professional pest control company because no matter how much you clean your bed, they'd still be there.

If symptoms persist, contact a doctor. And to prevent this from happening again, contact a pest control company right away because zapping your beds with over-the-counter insecticides won't be enough. PIXA Company is one pest control company based in the Philippines that does a combination of chemicals and meticulous Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods such as power-vacuuming or steam treatments. Repeat treatments are also usually necessary which a professional pest exterminator can program based on the conditions in your home.

PIXA's ALLER-X service is a two-stage filtration combination vacuum system that will trap bed bugs and dust mites in water. In combination with the PIXA INSECT-X service, any left-over bug is killed.

The PIXA ALLER-X service will also purify and sanitize the air in your house for your protection, ensuring that you won't be faced with the same problem again.

Safeguard the people you love and the property you value NOW.

Contact a PIXA expert to schedule a professional assessment and treatment today!