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Far from a figment of your childhood nightmares, bed bugs are as real as they come.
Their bite - which leaves behind red, itchy rashes - isn't for the faint hearted so it's best to acquaint yourself with warning signs.
Bedroom furniture expert at Online Bedrooms, Nic Shacklock, explained that prevention is better than cure, and it's best to get ahead of the problem.
From 'strange' smells to small white spots on your bedding, here are five signs you could have bed bugs in your home or hotel room.
Bed bugs are tiny brown insects that feed on blood, usually at night.
The troublesome critters are known to hide in places like bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture and even behind pictures.
A key indicator of an infestation is a musty odour whenever they are around in large numbers,Nic told the Sun..
Although hotel rooms and homes have a distinct smell, Nic advises you put your nose to the test.
He explained: 'If the bedroom area has a strong, musty and unpleasant odour this could possibly come from a bed bug's scent glands'.
If the area doesn't smell right, investigate and take action right away. You can also check the room for other signs on the list.
One sure sign you have a bed bug invasion, is the sight of clusters of tiny white spots.
Look out for the bed bug eggs which are small in size and white in colour, and can be smooth and pearly to the touch.
Although bed bug eggs can be found as single eggs, they are most often in clusters.
They are similar in size to a grain of salt and are shaped like a barrel, so when scattered across a white mattress they can be exceptionally difficult to spot.
Consider keeping your room cool as the lower the temperature, the longer it may take for an egg to hatch.
Bed bug eggs normally hatch within 10 days, so get rid of them before they hatch.
Specks of blood around your bed is one of the earliest signs your room has been invaded by bed bugs.
They are unlikely to pester you in the day time, and usually only come out when you're asleep at night.
Blood spots may appear when you inadvertently squash a bed bug by rolling around in your bed, as when this happens they release a lot of blood.
However,if the bug hasn't recently fed, you might see a yellowish-brown smear of bed bug organs instead.
Check your comforters, bedsheets and pillows for small dots or stains which are reddish-brown in colour.
Bed bug bites can be stressful and extremely itchy, but they are not known to transmit diseases.
If you fail to spot the critters lurking nearby, red marks or rashes on your body could be an indicator that they are indeed present, warns expert Nic.
He added: 'The bites will often form a straight line across a part of your body, this is a hallmark bed bug trait'.
Wash your sheets every week
Wash sheets separate to clothes and towel, spot cleaning and marks before washing. Use hot water and a hot dryer if there are mites
Duvets, comforters and throw blankets that have less contact with your skin can be washed every month or two
Pillows and doonas should be cleaned every six months and replaced every two years
Getting rid of bed bugs: As their eggs are difficult to see, and have a long incubation period it can be tricky ridding your home of a bed bug infestation
A combination of non-chemical and chemical treatments may be needed
Bed bugs can bite anywhere on the body where there is skin, especially areas exposed during sleep such as the neck, face, hands, hands and arms.
The bites can bleed for some time after the bug has finished feeding, leaving residue on your sheets.
The NHSstates that bed bug bites usually clear up on their own within a week, but to alleviate irritation try placing something cool like a clean damp cloth on the bite.
Mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream or antihistamines can also ease itching.
Bed bug droppings are one of the number one signs the insects are in your home.
They are usually dark brown or black in colour like black ink, and easily smear when wiped away.
Their droppings remain the same size, shape, and colour and are mostly made up of dried blood.
Check your bedsheets, mattresses, headboard and even the edge of the carpet for their droppings.
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I'm an expert and these are five signs you have bed bugs in your home or hotel room - Daily Mail
Dont let the bed bugs bite is a common phrase that people say before going to bed. Unfortunately, if you have bed bugs, good wishes arent enough to get rid of these little biting critters for good. Bed bug bites can cause itchy red clusters of bumps on your skin which are also called bed bug rashes. This severe itching creates a strong urge to scratch and is very frustrating. You may even lose sleep scratching through the night and worrying about the bugs in your bed.
Getting rid of bed bug bites can be very effective with home remedies. Many home remedies help to treat the itchy bites that these nasty bugs cause and also help to reduce skin irritation, reduce redness and swelling as well as prevent infection. Some natural remedies for treating bed bug bites like apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and oatmeal reduce itching and swelling around the affected skin area. Other remedies include coconut oil, tea tree oil, or aloe vera to soothe the itchy skin and the inflammation around the bed bug rash.
Before learning about the best home remedies for treating bed bug bites, lets look at the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites.
Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that range in size from 1mm to 7mm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these little pests feed on the blood of humans and animals.1 The bite from a bed bug can cause a bed bug rash which is an allergic reaction that makes the surrounding area inflamed, red, and itchy. Sometimes bed bug bites are confused with flea bites. Flea bites on humans occur at any time you are around the house, bed bugs are mostly active when its dark, so you will be bitten while you are asleep.
Dr. Varnada Karriem-Norwood on WebMD says that the red, itchy bites usually occur on the arms or shoulders, but they can also be on the face and be a reason for itchy hands. The red bumps on the skin tend to be in straight rows, although they can be in clusters. Although bed bugs dont carry disease, scratching the skin irritation can lead to secondary skin infections.2
Bed bug rash or bite marks may appear several hours or even several days after the bite has occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that it may even take up to 2 weeks for bed bug rash and bite marks to become itchy, inflamed spots, depending upon the persons allergic reaction to the bites.
Usually bed bug rash or bites last several days and then slowly fade, but in some cases they can last longer if the bitten person is more sensitive to the bites. Some people may not have any reaction at all, while others who are more sensitive can develop bite marks or rashes that cause severe itching.
You can spot bed bug signs by carefully examining your bed linen. Some of the telltale signs of bed bugs are exoskeletons left behind after molting, tiny blood spots on your mattress or bed sheets, and a sweet musty odor.1
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend checking in the cracks and crevices of beds, headboards, bed frames, and in the seams of mattresses.3 Generally, bed bugs live within 8 feet of sleeping areas.
To eliminate bed bug infestation, please read my article about the top 10 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally. Youll discover effective bed bug treatments and detailed instructions how to use them.
To get rid of bed bug bites, its important to reduce the itching and inflammation. This will prevent you from scratching the itchy bumps and rashes that the bed bug bites cause.
The simplest way to stop bed bug bites itching fast is to apply a cold compress to soothe the red bed bug rash. The effect of cold helps to calm the nerve endings and take the itch out of the bite.
Many doctors recommend a cold compress to reduce pain and redness of a bed bug bite. Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on eMedicineHealth says to first of all wash the affected skin area. Then place a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel on the affected skin area.4 Leave on for around 10 minutes. Use the cold compress as needed to relieve the itchy skin and reduce redness causes by bed bug bites.
Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great natural remedy to make bed bug bite go away because its acidic properties relieve itching and redness. ACV contains acetic acid which is a natural anti-inflammatory and also acts as an antiseptic. Applying apple cider vinegar to bug bites can also help to prevent any secondary skin infection.
Scientists have found that topical applications that have a low pH level (acidic) help to relieve pruritus (skin itching).5 Apple cider vinegar has the effect of balancing the skins pH level which is higher when inflamed.
The journal PLoS One also found that acetic acid protects the skin from bacterial infections and speeds up the healing process.6
To use apple cider vinegar to relieve the irritation caused by bed bug bites, please do the following:
Washing your face with apple cider vinegar is another reason to use ACV to quickly cure bed bug bites around your nose and cheeks.
Another great and easy home remedy to alleviate the discomfort caused by bed bug bites is to apply lemon juice. Because of its citric acid content, lemon juice has medicinal properties that work similar to apple cider vinegar in relieving itchy skin.
To get fast relief from bed bug bites, dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply to the itchy bed bug rash. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times a day to stop the bites itching.
Use the natural astringent properties of witch hazel to dry out bed bug rashes quickly and reduce the urge to scratch. Witch hazel contains tannins which not only help get rid of itching caused by bed bug bites but also have antibacterial properties that prevent infections. Witch hazel is also one of the best home remedies to get rid of flea bites.
Doctors on WebMD say that witch hazel is applied directly to the skin to reduce itching, pain, and swelling caused by insect bites as well as mite bites.7 Studies into the anti-inflammatory effects of witch hazel found that the astringent properties help to reduce skin inflammation and improve its appearance.8
To soothe an itchy bed bug bite, you can apply witch hazel directly to the affected skin area. This is what you should do:
Baking soda is a natural antibacterial agent that can help dry out inflamed skin rashes and help to cure bed bug bites. Baking soda is also anti-inflammatory and will reduce the itchy sensation from the bed bug rash on your skin.
Doctors recommend using baking soda to soothe the redness, itching, and stinging that are caused by a mild reaction to an insect bite such as bed bug bite.9 A study into the antibacterial activities of baking soda found that it is also effective against a number of strains of bacteria.10
Make a home remedy for getting rid of bed bug bites by combining some water with baking soda. Here is how to make your anti-itch paste:
The baking soda treatment will help to protect the bed bug rash on your skin from becoming infected with germs. When combined with other ingredients, baking soda can help you get gorgeous, healthy-looking skin.
Pure aloe vera gel will help to get rid of the itch from an insect or bed bug bite. Aloe vera is rich in soothing properties that reduce inflammation and nourish your skin. To relieve skin itching, you can use aloe vera in its pure form straight from the plant leaf or you can buy pure aloe vera gel.
Aloe vera is known for its healing effect on the skin. In a study published in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology on the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera, it was found to be more effective at reducing skin irritation than 1% hydrocortisone gel.11 Hydrocortisone creams are often prescribed for insect bites.
It is very easy to use pure aloe vera gel to heal bed bug bites. All you have to do is apply the aloe vera gel liberally to the affected skin area a few times a day. The soothing effect of aloe vera on the skin will quickly get rid of itching and help to protect your skin.
Oatmeal is a natural remedy for skin inflammation and will soothe bed bug bites and other insect bites. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cleansing effect of oatmeal quickly reduces irritation, itching, redness, and swelling associated with painful bites.
A study published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology found that applying a topical treatment of colloidal oatmeal (ground oatmeal) helped reduce itching, skin rashes, burns, and eczema.12 In fact, colloidal oatmeal is registered at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to provide temporary relief of itching and irritation caused by insect bites.13
To get rid of bed bug bites with oatmeal, here is an effective home remedy:
You can also add some honey to the oatmeal anti-itch remedy to help boost its antibacterial potential.
Oatmeal is so effective at getting rid of any kind of skin irritation, you can use it in a warm bath as a home remedy to stop itching all over your body.
Honey, especially Manuka honey, contains powerful medicinal properties that can soothe an itch and heal bacterial skin infections. A dab of raw honey on the bed bug bite may be all you need to soothe the irritation. Honey should also be applied to insect bites to help prevent secondary skin infections developing.
The Mayo Clinic reports that there is some evidence that honey can be used as a topical itch treatment and it can help form a protective barrier on the skin.14 Studies have shown that honey can help reduce scalp itching and prevent infections.15
All you have to do to relieve itching from a bed bug bite and speed up the healing process is apply a little honey to the itchy spot. You can repeat as necessary throughout the day whenever you feel the urge to scratch the bed bug rash.
Another natural remedy to cure bed bug bites and soothe the discomfort they cause is to put some slices of cucumber on the itch. Cucumber is especially soothing on the bed bug rash if you take it straight out the refrigerator before applying it.
A medical study found that cucumbers have anti-inflammatory activities and help to inhibit inflammatory enzymes like COX-2. Cucumbers are also rich in vitamin C, E, and A all of which are essential for keeping skin healthy.16
Place slices of cooled cucumber directly on the bed bug rash to ease pain, reduce inflammation, and quickly stop the itch. Use as necessary every time the insect bite starts itching.
Relieving the discomfort of bed bug bites is one great way to use your old tea bags. There are various types of tea that you can use to soothe a painful itchy bite.
Black tea contains tannins which act as an astringent on the skin to reduce itching. The Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry says that the tannins are released when the black tea is put in hot water. The journal reports that tannins can be used to heal the skin and form a protective layer over tissue.17
Chamomile tea has a soothing effect on the skin as well as the mind. Studies into the anti-inflammatory and protective properties of chamomile show that its a great herb to relieve itching and inflammation and speed up the healing process of skin infections. Chamomile tea has been shown to be more effective than 1% hydrocortisone creams and is safe for long-term use.18
To use black tea bags or chamomile tea bags, you should place one teabag in a cup of hot water. Leave to infuse for a few minutes. Place the tea bag in the refrigerator to cool is down. Use as a cold compress on the itchy bed bug bite to get rid of the irritation and to get a quick itch relief.
You can also use the essential oil of chamomile to relieve itching. The University of Maryland recommends putting 5 to 10 drops of chamomile oil in a warm bath to soothe bed bug bites.19
There are many other essential oils for skincare that are excellent home remedies to reduce swelling and redness and prevent itching caused by bed bug bites.
Apart from tea tree oil and lavender oil, which can be applied directly as a spot treatment, essential oils should always be diluted before using on the skin. Coconut oil is a great carrier oil to use to reduce itching and prevent skin infections.
Coconut oil has many beneficial medicinal properties. The journal Pharmaceutical Biology reported that coconut oil reduces inflammation and eases pain.20 Read more about the 10 secret ways to use coconut oil on your skin.
When using essential oils with coconut oil on your skin, you should add 2-3 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
The journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews reported on studies showing that tea tree oil shows anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities. It can be added to coconut oil to help heal bed bug bites speedily and kill off any germs that may cause infection.21
If you have just one or two itchy bed bug bites, you can put a drop of tea tree oil directly on the spot to get instant itch relief. If however you have a sensitive skin or need to apply it on a larger skin area, mix a few drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the bed bug bites to reduce skin irritation and inflammation.
Using tea tree oil is also good for treating spider bites and cockroaches bites.
Tea tree oil is also one of the ingredients in my effective bed bug spray.
A study from 2015 found that lavender essential oil contains antioxidant, pain relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender oil was just as effective as dexamethasone, a pharmaceutical drug that is sometimes prescribed to relieve allergic reactions and reduce swelling.22
Another study found that lavender oil helped to reduce allergic skin reactions when used topically.23
Like tea tree oil, you can dab a drop of lavender oil directly onto a small itchy bed bug bite. For larger bed bug rash area, you should mix lavender oil with coconut oil to make a topical anti-itch cream.
The University of Maryland reports that calendula oil is an effective treatment for itchy skin inflammation.24 You can use a few drops of calendula oil mixed with coconut oil. Or you can buy a calendula cream to relieve itchiness from bed bug bites.
Usually, home remedies quickly and effectively heal bed bug bites and all your symptoms should be gone within a week.
However, doctors from the Mayo Clinic25 advise that you should see a doctor if you have a severe allergic reaction to the bed bugs or if the rashes caused by the bites start to blister.
Read my other related articles:1. The Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally2. The Best Bed Bug Sprays to Kill Bed Bugs Fast 3. Mite Bites: Warning Signs and Natural Treatments4. Itching All Over the Body Causes and Natural Treatments5. What Do Flea Bites on Humans Look Like?6. How to Effectively Kill Bed Bugs Using Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Read more from the original source:
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites: The Most Effective Home Remedies
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.
Read Also: HIV Transmission: Can Mosquitoes Transmit the AIDS Virus to Humans?
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.
Read Also: People Previously Infected With Dengue Are Less Likely to Suffer From Zika Complications
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."