Having bed bugs is no fun. They bite you while you are sleeping. The bites are itchy. The more you itch the bites the itchier, redder, and more tender that they get. So how does one treat the bites to keep them from itching and to keep them from getting infected.
You are not alone if you fear for your families' safety once bed bugs have been identified or you are looking at all the bed bug bites that everyone has. While there is nothing nice about having bed bugs and it can and does cause stress their bites are not dangerous.
- Unlike mosquito and other biting bugs you can not get illnesses from being bit by bed bugs.
- Bed bugs can not pass HIV or AIDs .
- There are no definitive studies that show that bed bugs can pass any diseases.
- There are a few scientists that suggest that if one person in the same bed has Hepatitis B and the other person does not that the Hepatitis B could be passed from one person to the other. However, this isn't likely because the bed bug would have to bite one person and then the other without a break for digestion. This doesn't usually happen because bed bugs prefer to eat their entire meal from the first victim they come in contact with.
Not All People Are Equal.
The bump left behind by the bed bug is caused from an allergic reaction to the juices the bed bug inserts into its victim. When the bed bug begins to bite, he inserts an agent that makes it so that you don't feel him biting you (while this may seem like courteous it is more likely that he doesn't want you to wake up and slap him something fierce.) Then he inserts an agent that makes it hard for the blood in the area to clot and start forming a scab. This lets him continue the feeding with ease. Most people have some sort of allergic reaction to these fluids, but not all people are created equal and some people have no reaction at all while others have a very sever reaction! Bed bug bites can be itchy and can get infected, but you only need to treat them according to your reaction. If you don't have a sever reaction you don't have to try and hunt down the bites to treat them because they will be just fine.
Many people fear that bed bug bites will become infected. However, they have the chance of becoming infected in the same way that mosquito or spider bites can become infected. Usually this only happens when they are scratched and bacteria is allowed to enter the wound.
You should not search for bed bug bites that don't itch because knowing their presence might make them start itching. So when bed bug bites are itching your first response should be to wash them. This will get rid of any bacteria that you have put on or in them from scratching.
Stopping the Itching.
There are a number of remedies that people use to try and stop the itching. You can try any thing that says that it can stop the itching of bug bites and see if that works for you. Here are some great options.
- Baking soda mixed with water into a paste with a little bit of water. You should then apply this baking soda to any itchy spots.
- Lemon juice is said to stop the bed bug bites from itching however it may sting if the bed bug bite has been scratched open.
- You can use witch hazel in addition to lemon juice. This one is less likely to sting, but there is also this chance.
- Cortisone lotion and hydrocorisone lotion can work to stop the itching. Follow the directions and if there is a limit to how often you apply to your body then you should follow that.
- Calamine lotion is often used with great success for many people.
- Anti-itch cream can be applied to stop the itching as well. This is another one where you should follow all dosing instructions.
- Benadryl can often stop the itching and reduce the swelling.
- Many people also have success with crushing an aspirin and adding a bit of water to make a paste. That paste is then applied to all of the bites that itch.
Remember that each person responds differently to the actual bite. However, they also respond differently to the treatment. You may have to try more than one option before you find one that works.
Another option that is likely to reduce swelling and itching is a hot bath. You can add salt or baking soda. Both will help heal the bed bug bite as well as help get rid of itching. It is often a good idea to skip bubble bath when you are adding salt or baking soda to treat bites. You should also avoid bath salts which often have fragrances, dyes, and even oils that can irritate broken skin.
If you have done a good job at avoiding itching then infection won't be an issue. However, if you scratched yourself open then you should apply triple antibiotic ointment (over the counter) to the open wound before it becomes infected. You can also continue baths in baking soda and or salt to help remove infection and heal the skin. If it gets red, tender, or there is any puss you should see a doctor to make sure you can get rid of the infection.
Bed bugs are not fun to have. Their bites are itchy and can get infected when they have been scratched badly. However, if you work on keeping yourself from scratching then you won't have much to worry about. Just remember to keep trying different things until you find the thing that works for you! If you do scratch yourself open then treat for infection right away and the chances that you will actually get an infection are going to be a lot slimmer. If you get infected (redness, tenderness, and or puss) then you should see a doctor.