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Bug bites are an unfortunate little annoyance in life, and the odds are prettttttyyyy high that youve been bitten by some creepy-crawly (er, or a variety of creepy-crawlies) in your lifetime. And while you probably just want to scratch the darn spot and move on, its wise to try and figure out what actually bit you.
Why? Some bug bites are relatively harmless, but others have the potential to bring on more serious health issues if you don't treat them appropriately, and fast. Here are several fairly common insect bites you may experience, and how to know whether or not a bite warrants a trip to your doctor's office.
While the thought of bed bug bites may skeeve you out, theyre more annoying to deal with than an actual threat to your health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bed bug bites are primarily just super itchy and can keep you up at night. The bigger issue with these pesky bugs is that they can spread really fast and lead to an infestation, and it can be an inconvenient and expensive process to get rid of one. (Also, the idea of little bugs feeding on your blood while you sleep isnt exactly a comforting thought.)
People can have a range of reactions to bed bug bites, says Nancy Troyano, PhD, a board-certified entomologist with Ehrlich Pest Control. Some people have no reaction at all when bitten, but most people will notice an itchy, red, welt-like mark that looks similar to a mosquito bite, Troyano says. Bites may appear in a linear fashion if there are multiple bugs feeding, and bites can occur anywhere, but they are often found in areas where skin is readily exposed, she notes.
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Contrary to popular belief, attracting bed bugs has nothing to do with bad hygiene or a dirty apartment. Bed bugs get around by hitchhiking onto your things, so prevention can be tough, says Angela Tucker, PhD, manager of technical services for Terminix. Knowing this, the best prevention for bed bugs is being watchful during your travels and regular home cleaning, she says.
You can also keep an eye out for the critters, which are about the size, shape, and color of an apple seed when fully grown. Another sign that bed bugs may be around your space is their byproduct, meaning you might see reddish-brown blood spots on sheets or mattresses, Tucker says.
If you do happen to get bed bug bites, spot-treat them with hydrocortisone cream to try to soothe itch, says David Cutler, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Then, get rid of the infestationwith the help of a professional. Its important to see where the bed bugs came from, Dr. Cutler says. Then, call in a professional exterminator so you dont get any more bed bug bites.
Youll usually know it when you get stung by a bee or wasp, because it hurts like hell. At first, you may not even see anything on the skin," Troyano says. "However, within a few minutes of being stung, there may be localized swelling and redness around the sting site. The area might also feel warm, and you might see a small white mark near the center of the swelling (thats where the stinger went into your skin), she describes.
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If you know you have an allergy to bee or wasp stings, follow instructions from your doctor and seek medical care immediately. But if youre not allergic, youll still want to take action. Bees lose their stinger after stinging, Troyano says, and you should try to remove it if its still stuck in you. Then, apply ice to reduce swelling, says David Gatz, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. You also may want to take an antihistamine like Benadryl, he says.
The only real way to totally avoid getting stung is to not interact with bees and wasps...obviously. (But that's not a feasible lifestyle if you ever want to enjoy the outdoors!) So when you're outside, don't swat at bees and waspsjust let them be. In general, if you leave bees and wasps alone, they will leave you alone, says Tucker.
If you want to be especially cautious, she also recommends skipping flowery perfumes or fragrances and covering any food and drink around you.
Scabies is a parasite infestation caused by microscopic mites, according to the CDC. When you have scabies, the female burrows into your epidermis to lay her eggs.
Scabies usually shows up as a rash with small, raised pustules or blisters, and is intensely itchy, Troyano says. If youve never had scabies before, you might not see the rash for several weeks after youve been exposed. But, if youve had scabies before, you might see a rash within one to four days of being exposed, she says.
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Scabies is transmitted through prolonged direct skin contact and is highly contagious, Tucker says. You need to see a doctor to get properly diagnosed and treated, but its generally treated with permethrin anti-parasitic cream, Dr. Gatz says.
Okay, yes, mosquito bites are usually NBD. Theyre itchy and annoying, but nothing major to worry about. You probably already know what a mosquito bite looks like, but (just in case), theyre usually red, create a bump on your skin, and can itch, per Troyano. For some people, a bug bite may appear filled with fluid, with a small water blister in the center.
Mosquitos can carry diseases like Zika virus and West Nile virus, which can cause fever-like symptoms, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, the CDC says. So if youve been bitten by a mosquito and start to feel off afterward and have symptoms like these, call your doctor ASAP.
In order to let mosquito bites heal, do your best not to scratch; that raises the risk that the bite will get infected, Dr. Cutler says. Hydrocortisone cream should help alleviate some of the itch, he says.
While you can only do so much to prevent mosquito bites, Tucker recommends removing standing water around your home or yard (mosquitoes can lay their eggs in these areas). And, if youre planning to spend a lot of time outside, using a good mosquito repellent is key, she says.
Spider bites are actually pretty rare, Troyano says, but they happen. They can look like typical bug bites, so it can be hard to tell right away if you were bitten by a spider unless you see it scuttling away.
If you do notice a bite and spot the little guy, Dr. Cutler recommends washing the area with soap and water and leaving it alone. Toxins from [certain spiders] can destroy the skin, he saysso it never hurts to wash the spot with soap and water to cleanse the skin (even if you're not 100 percent sure it's a spider bite).
But if the wound area seems to be growing, is unusually red, is hot to the touch, is ulcerated, or you have a fever and/or joint pain, call your doctor ASAP, Troyano says.
Cleaning out cobwebs inside and outside of your house can lessen your chances of spider run-ins. Also, wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and a hat to protect your skin when youre working outside or in areas where things are stored and not used often, and try to keep your grass and bushes maintained, Tucker says.
It's not always obvious when a tick bites you, because it won't *always* leave a mark (more on that in a minute). But sometimes the tick will still be attached when you discover a bite, so the first thing youll want to do is remove it. Troyano recommends taking the following steps to do this:
Once the tick is removed, wash the area with soap and water, Dr. Gatz says.
If you notice a bullseye-shaped rash appear on your body, a pink rash on your wrists, arms, and ankles, or an ulcerated area around a bite, call your doctor, Troyano says. These symptoms may be signs that a tick did bite you, and you've been infected with a tick-borne illness like Lyme disease. If you experience a fever, chills, aches, and muscle fatigue, those are also cues you need to make a visit to your doctor.
But remember, not every tick carries a tick-borne illness, so even if one bit you at some point, that doesn't guarantee you contracted something more serious.
How can you protect yourself from tick bites? Tucker recommends showering quickly when you come in from being outside (you might be able to wash off ticks before they have a chance to bite you). Its also a smart idea to wear long pants and sleeves when you go into tick-infested areas, like the woods, and to wear bug repellent that contains DEET. Also ask a family member or friend to help you do a body scan for ticks after being out in the woods.
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Bug Bite Pictures - Insect Bites You Should Show Your Doctor
EVEN looking at a bed bug can make your skin crawl - so the last thing you want is for your bed to actually be riddled with them.
The infestations can be nasty and if you're bitten by the critters it can be painful.
But what can you do to tackle an infestation, how does it occur and how can you treat bites? Here's all you need to know...
Bed bugs are small, blood-sucking insects that can be found in the joints of your mattress - adults are about 5mm long.
They crawl out at night and feed on human blood after biting through exposed skin.
Typically they are brown, dark yellow or red in colour, are flat and oval-shaped and are the size of an apple seed.
Although they arent dangerous, they can cause extreme discomfort and stress to those who are bitten by them.
They cant jump or fly, but can crawl long distances, so can quickly spread throughout a building.
Baby bed bugs - called nymphs - shed their skin five times before reaching adulthood and need a blood meal before each shedding.
There are quite obvious signs that you have been infected with bed bugs, the first indication shows up on your skin...
Bed bug bites are painless and often clear up on their own, but some people can have a reaction to the red, itchy bumps on the skin.
In some cases people can experience a rash or fluid-filled blisters and they can get infected with bacteria if scratched.
You can put something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling.
Keep the infected area clean and prevent infection by not scratching the bite.
You should see your GP if you have any signs of skin infection such as swelling, redness and pain as you may need antibiotics.
The NHS also says you should see a GP if a redness around the bite is spreading.
If they are very itchy you can use antihistaminetablets to relieve the itch and apply a mildsteroid cream(such as hydrocortisone).
You should also clean your bedsheets.
How can you prevent a bed bug infestation?
Inspect your mattress and bed regularly for signs of an infestation.
Avoid buying second-hand mattresses and carefully inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home.
Keep your bedroom tidy and remove clutter.
Bedbugs aren't attracted to dirt, so they're not a sign of an unclean home, but clearing up any clutter will reduce the number of places they can hide.
If you live in an apartment, you could be more prone to infestation, as bed bugs can move between flats.
It can be extremely difficult to get rid of an infestation, so your best bet may be to get professional help.
Once in your home,bedbugscan quickly spread from room to room.
Wait too long before you identify the problem, and they could completely contaminate yourhome.
The NHS advises contacting your local council or a pest control firm that's a member of the British Pest Control Association or National Pest Technicians Association.
Heres what you should do to get rid of an infestation:
Here is the original post:
The five signs you have a bed bug infestation and how you can treat bites... - The Sun
Well known before the Second World War, bed bugs stopped roaming around at night in the 1950s. With the improvement of hygienic conditions and the advent of powerful insecticides, it was possible to eradicate them in developed countries.
It was too good to last Since the late 1990s, bed bugs have reappeared with a vengeance. Resistance to approved insecticides may explain this reemergence. The increasing flow of travelers has allowed these bugs to migrate to new places most of the time carried unknowingly in luggage. They are now found in many places around the world, such as hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. According to many specialists, if you have been bitten while sleeping during a risky stay, it is advisable to wash your clothes immediately after taking them out of your suitcase.
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Bed bugs are parasitic insects that crave human blood. They have a mouth designed to bite and suck blood from under the skin. Using a syringe, they pierce the skin and inject a small amount of saliva that contains an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that thins the blood. And off to the party The bed bug then leaves an unpleasant memory, small red pimples that itch. A dermatologist can prescribe a skin cream to relieve the itch.
Bed bugs can suck blood contaminated with infectious agents. To date, however, there is no evidence that bed bugs are capable of reproducing the pathogens and then reinjecting them into another person. In other words, bed bugs do not spread disease from one person to another.
Any home can be colonized, regardless of its level of hygiene. When this happens, you need to follow a five- or six-step process to eradicate them.
The first step is to determine the type of insect, Thats because bites dont always mean bed bugs. In fact, other insects feed on us: mosquitoes, fleas, lice, etc.
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Secondly, it is essential to know the extent of the invasion. The extermination process will vary depending on the number of bugs present. To do this, it is necessary to examine the risk areas (beds, mattresses, and curtains).
When it is confirmed that the house is infested with these terrible insects mechanical control, without the use of insecticides, is therefore highly recommended to reduce the number of bugs as much as possible. However, care must be taken not to scatter them by knocking over or moving furniture. There are several possible solutions: Vacuuming (then cleaning the vacuum cleaner), machine washing at more than 60 C, drying in a tumble dryer, steam cleaning, or freezing at -20 C or less.
For the few remaining bed bugs, pest control companies can provide chemical control. It is imperative that these specialists come at least twice with an interval between the visits of 15 days. This will help eliminate insecticide-resistant eggs that may have hatched between the two interventions.
Read Also: Zika Virus Latest Facts: Causes, Transmission, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatment
After the mechanical and chemical control has been carried out, it is advisable to check its effectiveness by watching for the appearance of new bites for a month.
Enfin, pour viter une future infestation, les hbergements collectifs peuvent tre restaurs en bouchant les fissures avec de la silicone par exemple.
As you must have understood, the fight against bed bugs must be waged ruthlessly, and regular monitoring of the places where they live must be established. Research teams are working on the development of new means of disinfection.
Read Also: A Fungus Could Reduce the Transmission of Malaria by Mosquitoes According to Study
Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to identify because they are about the size of an apple seed and they tend to hide in cracks and crevices. They often make their presence known by biting on the exposed skin of sleeping humans and animals to feed on their blood. While these bites do not usually pose a serious health concern, they can be itchy and red.
In rare instances, you can also have a reaction to a bed bug bite that can cause severe itching, blisters or hives, warns Mayo Clinic.
If you are unsure whether you have been bitten by a bed bug, the time it takes to heal could be a clue.
According to pest control body Terminix, most bites will heal within one to two weeks of appearing and not cause any long-term problems.
"Those with stronger sensitivities to insect bites may take up to three weeks or longer to heal," explains the bug body.
READ MORE:Bed bug bites: The unsettling sign in your mood that could signal youve been bitten
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),it can take up to 14 days for a bite to appear.
Some people may not notice bites at all, while others may see signs of a bite within hours.
The bite marks also provide distinctive visual clues that can help to identify bed bugs.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), when bedbugs bite, you often see clusters of bites.
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"Each cluster usually contains three to five bites that appear in a zigzag pattern," explains the AAD.
Although bed bug bites usually usually clear up on their own in a week or so, there are things you can do to ease symptoms.
The NHS recommends the following:
As the NHS explains, you can also ask a pharmacist about using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bed bug bites.
Children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream, however, warns the health body.
If the bites are very itchy and you're unable to sleep, your pharmacist may also recommend antihistamines, it adds.
Once your symptoms are treated, you must tackle the underlying infestation.
"This can be difficult because bed bugs hide so well and can live several months without eating," says Mayo Clinic.
According to the health body, your best bet may be to hire a professional exterminator, who may use a combination of pesticides and non-chemical treatments.
Non-chemical treatments include:
"Some professional exterminators use portable devices to raise the temperature of a room to a lethal temperature," says Mayo Clinic.
It adds: "In some cases, you may have to throw out heavily infested items such as mattresses or couches."
Joel Carillet/Getty Images Bed bug bites are often found on the abdomen in groups or clusters. Joel Carillet/Getty Images
Bed bug bites are itchy, annoying, and just plain creepy. Although the bites are generally harmless, it's important to get rid of bed bugs, otherwise they will keep biting you.
Meanwhile, there are a few at-home treatment methods you can use to relieve the itchiness from your bed bug bites. If those don't work, you may want to see your doctor for stronger, prescription medication.
Here's how you can recognize bed bug bites and treat them effectively.
Bed bug bites appear as small red marks on light skin, and could appear as small dark spots on skin that is darker shades, says Sharleen St. Surin-Lord, MD, medical director at Visage Dermatology and Aesthetics Center in Washington D.C.
Usually, they'll appear in clusters of 3 to 5 bites in a zig-zag pattern that reflects where the bug has moved on your body. Although bed bugs can bite anywhere, the bites tend to be concentrated on the abdomen and arms, St. Surin-Lord says.
Bed bug bites tend to be a little smaller than mosquito bites, though it may be difficult to tell them apart from flea bites.
"The difference is that you normally can see the fleas jumping around or the mosquitos, after they have bitten you," St. Surin-Lord says. "Bed bugs are a little more clandestine."
This comparison table can help you diagnose your type of bug bite:
The major symptoms of bed bug bites typically include redness and itchiness.
You can treat these symptoms by first washing the bite site with soapy water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, you can try these at-home remedies:
The itching from bed bug bites can last for up to two weeks, St. Surin-Lord says. That's often prolonged if the infestation hasn't been addressed and the person continues to get new bites.
If you're dealing with severe itchiness despite using the remedies above, you can reach out to your doctor for a more powerful prescription anti-itch cream.
In some cases, St. Surin-Lord prescribes oral steroids to people who have severe itching caused by bed bug bites. The oral steroids can reduce inflammation and itchiness in people who don't get relief from topical creams. They can also help prevent further health complications from the overwhelming itchiness.
"Bedbugs become dangerous when a large part of the body is affected, causing intense itching and scratching, leading to open, wounded, bleeding skin," St. Surin-Lord says. "This now creates a portal for bacteria and skin infections."
Though rare, if you develop a fever alongside your bites, you should check in with your doctor, since that could indicate an underlying infection, St. Surin-Lord says.
Although bed bug bites are generally harmless, they can be very uncomfortable. If you're not getting relief from at-home treatments, reach out to your doctor.
In addition, it's important to treat the infestation and get rid of the bed bugs they will likely keep biting people until they are professionally exterminated.
"No matter what you decide to do, you must rid your home of the bed bugs," St. Surin-Lord says. "If you were at a hotel and feel that you were bitten in their bed and were diagnosed with bed bugs, you should contact that hotel so that they have their rooms treated."
How to identify and treat bed bug bites - MSN