Insects of the order Hemiptera to which bedbugs belong have piercing-sucking mouthparts, and inject a straw-like proboscis into our skin through which they suck blood, in contrast to insects with chewing mouthparts that can actually bite. |
These parasites are usually no more than ¼ inch in length in their adult state and can engorge themselves with human blood in less than 15 minutes causing their bodies to fill to as much as three times its usual size. Fully engorged bed bugs bear little resemblance to their original state and are often thought to be a different insect altogether.
When a bed bug bites it injects an anti-blood clotting chemical into the skin. Some people may actually be allergic to bed bugs and the degree of itching is determined by how allergic a person is. If you do not get an infection, the bites are simply an irritating nuisance. It may take a few weeks for the itching to subside and for the welts to disappear. BED BUGS DO NOT CARRY PATHOGENS as mosquitoes or ticks do!
Itching: There are a number of things you can do to stop the itching. 1) Apply a calamine lotion to each bed bug bite of area of bites. 2) Do not scratch the bed bugs bites. Everyone will react differently to bed bug bites. Some people may not even notice them. Others will have a very intense itching sensation. Scratching only makes the itching worse and can actually cause an infection. 3) REMOVE THE BED BUGS! Wash or dispose of all of your bedding materials and call an exterminator. Do not attempt to apply an insecticide yourself. Some chemicals, if not applied properly, can actually cause more problems than the bed bugs do.
There are other types of bed bugs including the bat bug, the chimney swift bug and the swallow bug. All of these relatives survive on blood feeding, however these secondary parasites thrive on either bats or birds as their primary victims.
Bed bugs feed on the blood of human beings but can suck blood from other animals as well. Birds and mice are the most common animals. Bed bugs most often feed at nightime when people are asleep. When they feed, they inject a salivary secretion into the wound to prevent coagulation. The fluid can cause a person's skin to itch and even become swollen. Scratching can cause sores which often become infected. Bed bugs are not known to transmit any human blood-borne pathogens.
An adult bed bug is about 1/5-inch long, oval in shape and flat. They're generally brown except after sucking blood. Their body then becomes swollen and the color changes to a dark red.
Suggestions for home treatment-
Step 1: Wash skin with soap and hot water.
Step 2: Liberally apply an anesthetic cream or lotion
Step 3: Apply ice to avoid swelling/welting
Repeat every 6-8 hours until symptoms subside.
Good sanitation and hygiene habits will help prevent the infestation of bed bugs . The entire room or house should be searched and inspected frequently for indications of bed bugs infestation. This will aid in preventing a severe bed bug infestation. Be sure to use a pro-quality bed bug spray for frequent treatment in any hotels, motels, personal dwellings and anywhere bed bugs are a potential problem.
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