Do you have bed bugs in your house and you don’t know what to do with the bites of these insects? Do you want to find out whether they are a danger to your health? Don’t know how to properly treat these bites? In fact, the situation with these insects is not as dire as it could be. Let’s deal with this problem together. We have already written about how to get bedbugs out of the house. It is not difficult if you find an insect nest. Today we will consider how bed bugs bite, how their bites differ from other insects. In the course of the article, we will find out whether these bites are dangerous for humans, what risks they carry and what to do if an allergic reaction is detected. We will also explain how bed bugs can get into your home.
How parasites bite
It is not difficult to understand how bed bugs bite. These parasites feed using a mosquito-like proboscis. They find a capillary on the human body, focusing on the pulsation of the blood, make a puncture with their proboscis on the thinnest part of the skin and suck up to 1.5 ml of blood. Since this amount of human blood is not enough for the nutrition of an adult, the pest moves a few centimeters up the skin and bites the person repeatedly, so several times until complete saturation.
Important : it should be noted that at the time of a bite, a bug injects a special enzyme under the skin of a person, which acts as an anesthetic. It makes the puncture of the skin almost imperceptible. A person pays attention to the traces of this parasite only in the morning, when they begin to itch.
However, not all representatives of these insects will have painless bites. Yes, the larvae of this species lack a channel through which pain-relieving enzymes enter, so their attacks are sensitive to humans. Their appearance indicates that the pest colony has reached quite large sizes.
What bites are left by pests
These pests leave circular bites, very similar to mosquito marks. Their size depends on the body’s reaction to the insect’s enzyme. If a person tolerates it well, bites will be small, fewer than mosquito bites. Often these are just small red spots that may not even bother the victim with itching or other unpleasant sensations.
In children, as well as in people who are allergic to the substance injected by this pest as an anesthetic, the bites will swell up very much. In such cases, it is extremely difficult to distinguish them from traces left by other insects. What do insect marks look like on such people? These are usually large, round, red swellings.
Do such bites itch? In most cases, yes – this is the body’s reaction to poison injected under the skin. The intensity of itching varies from person to person.
When they bite most often
As a rule, fresh bites of house bugs on the human body appear from 3 to 7 o’clock at night. At other times of the day, bed bugs are less likely to attack a person. If the house is heavily infested with these parasites, the bites will not stop even during the day. This fact indicates the need for professional disinfestation in the apartment.
How often do these parasites bite? The activity of these insects depends little on the level of illumination of the room. These parasites are repelled by light, but rather weakly. If in the first days the light reduces the activity of insects, then after a few days they get used to the new conditions and practically do not react to it.
Important : it should be noted that the frequency of bites of these parasites usually increases when larvae appear in their colonies. Why does this happen? The fact is that the larvae themselves are forced to feed on human blood every day (usually an adult does this once every few days). Accordingly, the number of wounds on the body during their appearance will increase significantly.
The most vulnerable places
Traces of insect bites appear on the body of children and adults usually unevenly. The most prone to them are usually the legs (especially the feet), stomach, back, hands, as well as the face and neck of a person. The thinner the skin in a certain place, the higher the probability that parasites will choose this particular area for attack.
In most cases, the sores are localized precisely on open parts of the body, since it is difficult for parasites to bite through the tissue. Less often, bed bugs sneak under a person’s clothes, for example, under a shirt or pants. If the apartment in which the victim lives is heavily infested, traces of such insects will appear regularly on almost all parts of the victim’s body.
How to distinguish a bedbug bite from the bites of other insects
How to understand that during sleep you are bitten by bedbugs, and not some other household parasites, including mosquitoes? The attacks of these insects are distinguished by the following characteristics:
- The appearance of new traces only at night. Bed bugs are usually inactive during the day.
- The appearance of a specific sweet smell, similar to the smell of almonds. It is one of the signs of infection of the apartment with bed bugs.
- Blood stains on bed linen. Where do they come from? The fact is that a fed bug becomes a rather clumsy insect, and a person can easily crush it.
- The appearance of small black skins on the bed. These are traces of the vital activity of bedbugs, which are formed in places where they accumulate. If you find them, you can be sure that there is a rather large colony of pests in the apartment, which has already had time to give birth to larvae.
- Mass nature of bites. This type of pest lives in disorganized colonies, so a person is usually attacked by several individuals at once.
- The appearance of so-called “tracks” – several bites located very close to each other on the body. This is the main feature that is important to pay attention to those who want to know how to distinguish mosquito bites from bed bugs. Usually, such a “track” is a series of 3 to 6 bites.
Important : other symptoms of a bug attack on a person depend on the individual reaction of the human body to the insect enzyme. If the body perceives it normally, there will be no additional symptoms. Otherwise, a person may experience symptoms of intoxication.
Is it dangerous?
How dangerous is the bite of this insect? In some cases, it can provoke a strong allergic reaction in a person, up to anaphylactic shock. However, it will manifest itself only in those people who are allergic to the enzymes that this insect injects during a bite. Otherwise, the marks left by the bug on the skin are safer than mosquito bites.
A few words should also be said about the psychological consequences that an attack of these parasites can have on a person. It can cause fear of sleep, deterioration of general well-being, reduced work capacity, lethargy, and increased fatigue. These symptoms are especially often observed in women affected by these pests.
Important : unlike other insects, bedbugs do not carry any dangerous diseases. In this regard, their bites are practically safe.
It should be noted that in some cases, the bites of this insect after some time may begin to fester and secrete pus. Why do such consequences appear? The fact is that some people comb the bites too much, as a result of which the infection gets into the wounds. It is she who provokes the appearance of abscesses at the site of bedbug bites.
Who are more often attacked by parasites
According to statistics, women are more often victims of these insects. If we talk about which blood group bedbugs prefer, statistics show that carriers of the first and second groups suffer the most from these parasites, while the size of the bite does not change. People with the fourth or third blood group are allegedly attacked by pests less often.
Why are not all people bitten? The answer is actually quite simple. In fact, bed bugs react equally to people with any blood group, but the first and second occur more often than the third and fourth, so there are more cases of complaints about parasites from such people. The same is the case with attacks on men and women: in fact, insects drink the blood of representatives of both sexes, but women more often notice bites almost immediately and turn to specialists.
Important : it should be noted that the number of traces on a person’s body directly depends only on the level of infestation of the home by pests. If it is low enough, several dozen fresh spots will appear on the body overnight. If, on the contrary, it is high, a person will find up to 500 fresh bites in different places on his body every morning.
Does it need to be treated?
If the bites disappear by themselves in 2-3 days, they are not treated. Patients with such marks on the skin are advised not to touch them, not to comb them, so as not to introduce an infection into the blood.
If there is a strong allergic reaction to the enzyme of this pest, the person will be prescribed antihistamines. They should be taken if the victim has the following general symptoms:
- the appearance of bumps and blisters in places of skin damage;
- strong itching and painful sensations;
- edema of the mucous membrane;
- the appearance of hives, a rash all over the body;
- severe headaches.
Important : when such symptoms appear, which appear quite intensively, a person should consult a doctor. Hospitalization and drug treatment may be required.
If such symptoms are weak, they can treat bedbug bites at home on their own. Fortunately, in most cases it is enough to use ordinary home remedies.
How to treat traces?
How to treat traces of parasites, if they bring discomfort to a person? If the wounds from bedbugs are very itchy, you can use one of the following remedies to treat them:
- Alcoholic preparations or tinctures. They can be applied directly to the bites. They remove itching and disinfect the skin.
- Soothing ointments. It is recommended to apply them to the damaged areas of the skin several times a day to obtain the desired effect.
- Pieces of ice. They should be used to wipe damaged areas with slight itching. They also soothe the skin well.
- Natural oils. These products help remove unpleasant sensations and soften the skin. The most effective in this case are tea tree oil, as well as sea buckthorn and fir oil.
- Soapy water. This remedy can also be used on the skin after bites to relieve some of the itching. It is best to use this tool when the marks have just appeared.
- Specialized means for skin restoration. They should be taken in cases where there are quite a lot of bites, or insects attack small children. The most effective drugs of this type can be considered Fenistil, Bepanten, as well as a golden star, which removes unpleasant sensations from bedbug bites. If you are thinking about what to apply to bites so that they go away faster, you should stop at these products.
Important: if your wounds are very inflamed, it is better to take Suprastin or another antihistamine. It is quite possible that you have an allergy to the enzyme of the bed bug, due to which its bites cause a lot of trouble.
If a few days after the appearance of the bites, they still do not go away, it makes sense to see a doctor and undergo a full examination. Based on this, the doctor will decide how to treat the skin in your case and how to minimize the risks of new bites in the future.
How to avoid an attack
So, we figured out how these insects bite. Now it’s worth talking about how to avoid their attacks. If for some reason you had to stay in a house infected with these parasites, you should proceed as follows:
- To begin with, you should very carefully examine the bed on which you are going to sleep (especially important to do this in the event that you decide to spend the night in a hotel where there may be parasites). If you do not find adult animals or larvae on the bed, you can consider such a place quite suitable for sleeping. Otherwise, refrain from such an overnight stay.
- If there are suspicions that there are still pests in the apartment or hotel, if possible, you should place the bed with its legs in basins or large mugs of water. They will create an insurmountable obstacle for this group of pests.
- Also, before going to bed, you need to treat your own bed well with deodorant. The sharp smell of this product will scare off pests. The same should be done with your things, especially with clothes, as insects can penetrate them and thus move into your home.
Important : remember that such measures will be really effective only in the first couple of days. After three days, the hungry insects will adapt to the new conditions and will be able to reach you.
How to get rid of such pests? At home, you can get rid of bedbugs only if the house is slightly contaminated. In this case, it is recommended to treat plinths and all corners of the room with insecticides, and to treat soft sofas, chairs and mattresses with steam – it kills pests. As for sheets, pillows and blankets, they can be exposed to the cold for several days or steamed.
It should be remembered that all these measures are temporary. In order to forever forget about how household bed bugs bite, it is necessary to carry out a complete disinfestation of the home, preferably with the help of SES. Only such a step will allow you to get rid of pests quickly and effectively.
How to prevent the appearance of pests in the house
If you do not want to treat bedbug bites on yourself or your loved ones, you must do everything possible to prevent these pests from entering your home. To do this, follow simple rules:
- Always wash your things in warm water after traveling somewhere. Even if pests manage to penetrate them, they will simply die with this treatment.
- Wash bedclothes in hot water from time to time. It is especially important to do this if you recently had guests.
- Pay proper attention to the hygiene of pets. Remember that pests can enter your home in their fur.
- Monitor the sanitary condition of your own home. Make repairs in a timely manner.
- Always pay attention to the appearance of a suspicious rash on your skin. Remember that dealing with these pests when they first appear in your home is much easier than removing a large colony. If you find a rash that looks like a bed bug bite, it’s time to take action.
- Use essential oils and sprigs of fragrant plants to repel pests. If you suspect that insects can crawl to you from a neighboring apartment (which is quite possible), spread such twigs around the house and treat the crevices with essential oils. Pests do not tolerate the smell of certain substances very well and are unlikely to move to you.
Remember also that these pests rarely get on other people’s clothes during the day. During this period, they usually hide well. You risk moving them to your home only if you spend the night in an infected house. It is in such cases that the risk of carrying pests on your own clothes is particularly high.