Bed bug bites – all you need to know

Cleaning to get rid of bed bug bites

Bed bug bites in most cases are harmless, although painful and itchy. Very rarely they can cause moderate to severe health ailments. Before we jump into the list of health issues caused by bed bug bites, let’s first dig deeper into the nature of these tiny creatures and how to tackle them.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small parasites which love to feed on human and animal blood. They are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active during the night. As the name suggests these are mainly found in beds, mattresses, and even furniture.

Bed bug infestations can be hard to eliminate using DIY methods because these tiny creatures are expert at hiding in cracks and crevices which makes it difficult to detect them. Use a professional exterminator or pest control company to get rid of bed bugs.

How do bed bugs enter our homes, you may ask?

A friend of mine, and his family, moved into his newly built house few months back. The construction of this house had been managed by this friend himself. He ensured no shortcuts were taken and all material used was of premium quality. But after a few months of moving in, they realized that bed bugs had taken over their home! The whole family was deeply shaken, more so, because it was their first experience with the annoying creature. They couldn’t understand how these tiny beasts had entered their house after all.

While it is difficult to give the exact strategy these bed bugs may have employed to enter my friend’s property, here are a few ways they usually get inside:

  • Used Furniture: New furniture will rarely have any infestations but if you are buying second hand furniture, beware of bed bugs! These bugs are hard to spot, hence, one should be very careful when picking up used furniture as these might be hiding these tiny pests inside them.
  • Travel: All of us travel. Some go to shops, other cities, schools or use public transport! Bed bugs love to latch on to things. They may move from your friends clothing items or purse to your cloths. The hotel you stayed in might have bed bugs, which you may easily bring home unknowingly.
  • Visitors: People who come to visit you may bring in these pests with them. People coming in to your home or office may have bed bugs in their homes or places of work and unconsciously may become carriers of these bugs.
  • Second-hand Clothing or used other items: Second hand clothes may also be a source of bed bugs. If you are buying used clothing, even if they have been washed, they may still be carrying bed bugs from places of storage post washing. Bed bugs may be present in used books, electronics, furniture, cardboard boxes, paintings, etc. So, if you are buying and bringing any of these or other infested items into your home, you sure know by now what to expect later!
  • Neighborhood transmissions: Sometimes, bed bugs can reach from neighboring buildings, villas or travel between neighboring apartments too. These transmissions are so subtle, there’s no way to prevent them.
  • Laundromats: Bed bug infestations can be spread from public laundry facilities as well. If infested laundry items from other users come in contact with your clothes or bedsheets then your clean items can become infested too.

These are just a few ways out of the many ways that bed bugs may be transmitted from one place to another. In order to curb the spread of these bugs and stay away from bed bug bites, it is very important to keep your place of residence and your surroundings clean. This may not prevent bed bugs from entering your property but it will definitely slow down the spread.

Bed bugs

Health Implications of Bed bug bites

If your home has become infested by bed bugs, you might suffer different kinds of health implications because of their bite. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Physical Symptoms:
    • Appearance: Bed bug bites have a unique appearance. Red and swollen areas with dark spots at the centre are typical bed bug marks.
    • Itching: Bed bug bites are itchy and excessive scratching may lead to blisters and sometimes even bleeding or infection.
    • Location: Bed bugs target exposed areas like face, arms, necks and hands mainly. Loose clothing may allow them to bite along the clothing line as well.
  2. Allergic Reactions:
    • Allergic reactions can be triggered due to bed bug bites. Asthma and hives have been associated with bed bug bites in some case. In very rare cases, anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition, has also been linked to bed bug bites.
    • Excessing scratching of these areas can cause other health complications like impetigocellulitis or folliculitis.
  3. Psychological Effects:
    • People dealing with bug infestations are usually sleep deprived which in some cases can lead to fatigue, irritability, depression and insomnia.
    • Also, being bitten every night can cause anxiety which may in turn lead to mental stress.

Treatment and Prevention:

In most cases, bed bug bites improve on their own. But if you are not able to take the itching and pain, you can surely find steroids creams over -the-counter as well as prescription based that can help with these bites. Most of these creams can significantly reduce the itching and inflammation immediately. Besides that, anti-allergic tablets can also be used to relieve the burning sensation. Some people opt for pain relievers to bring down the pain and swelling. While medicines are important to relieve the symptoms, it is important to keep the bite areas clean. Washing with soap and water will bring down the risk of infection. Do consult a healthcare professional if OTC options do not work.

Since bed bugs multiply very fast, it may not be possible to eliminate them by sprays and powders using ideas off the internet. Bed bugs require professional handling. It is a good idea to consult a professional pest control service provider as soon as you detect the presence of bed bugs in your home or office.

Read related topic: Will pest control treatment help eliminate bed bugs?

Bed bug bites prevention with pest control
Woman with magnifying glass detecting bed bug in bedroom

How to get rid of bed bugs?

Controlling bed bugs can be challenging as these little creatures are experts at hiding in the deepest cracks and crevices. But if you wish to avoid being bitten by them and also not have to go through a bed bug bite treatment then its better to act quickly. To effectively get rid of bed bugs here’s an outline of the steps that are necessary to be taken:

  • Identifying the infestation: Bed bug bites are the most obvious signs of an infestation. Other than that, you can look for their physical presence in beds, mattresses or furniture. Presence of faecal matters or shed skin also indicates bed bug presence.
  • Professional Pest Control Services: Since bed bug infestations rarely go by using DIY techniques, it is always a good idea to hire professional pest control service providers for this job. After all, they have the experience plus the technical know-how to deal with the situation.
  • Heat Treatment: Bed bugs cannot tolerate high temperatures. Professional heat treatments involve using high temperature to eradicate these bugs.
  • Chemical Treatments: Chemical treatments require professional handling. It is important to make sure the insecticide or pesticide being used is lethal to the bugs but safe for humans. This is therefore the job of licensed exterminators.
  • Vacuuming and Cleaning: It is important to keep every nook and corner of the house clean. Regular vacuuming will ensure that these bugs don’t multiply easily. It is important that all the clutter and garbage is disposed of in secured bags so that the bugs, if any, are trapped inside them and do not get a chance to come back
  • Isolating Items: Clothing and beddings need to be sealed and put away till they can be cleaned thoroughly. With this the chances of bed bugs hiding away in these infested items and resurfacing later can be eliminated.
  • Laundering and Dry Cleaning: Cleaning cloths and bedsheets at high temperatures and then drying them on high heat also helps in eradicating bed bugs.
  • Mattress and Box Spring Covers: If your mattresses were infested with bed bugs, after cleaning them thoroughly, make sure you cover up your mattresses with encasements. This will ensure the remaining bed bugs die of starvation.
  • Monitoring and Follow-Up: In some case, it is a good idea to carry out follow up inspections. Ask the team you hire for this work, if follow ups are needed. They may be able to advise you better on this.

Bed bugs although a nuisance can very well be treated effectively by engaging a licensed pest control company in UAE. If you are trying to stay away from bed bug bites, do keep an eye out for these tiny pests always!

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