Do you see small red spots lined up in a row on your skin when you wake up in the morning? Do you want to scratch them badly? Wondering if these are mosquito bites? Well, the good news is that these are not mosquito bites but you do have a pest problem. These are most certainly bed bug bites.
A peculiarity of bed bug bites is that you may see several bites in a sequence or lined up. According to infectious disease specialists, this depicts bed bug sequential feeding. Here’s what it looks like:
These blood sucking creepy crawlies are considered to be problematic pests across the US. In fact 1 out of 5 Americans have bed bug infestation in their homes or know someone who has encountered bed bugs.
About Bed Bugs and Signs of infestation
Bed bugs are flat brown colored small insects about the size of an apple seed. They feed on human and animal blood. These bugs swell and turn reddish brown after enjoying a blood meal. Though they are not known as disease carriers or pose any serious medical risks but these stubborn parasites do leave itchy and unsightly bites on human skin.
Once these unwanted house guests take up residence in your home, it can be a daunting task to get rid of as they are nocturnal so it’s not easy to spot them frolicking in the daytime and secondly, they reproduce by a gruesome strategy sometimes called traumatic insemination. A female bed bug can lay more than 100 eggs over a lifetime and can deposit 5 eggs a day.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of solutions to control and prevent bed bug infestation from your home. In fact you can also hire a professional bed bug exterminator for the job.
Even if you can’t see them, here’s how you can figure out if you are playing host to these blood suckers:
- You see blood stains on your pillowcase and sheets
- Red rashes on your skin due to bed bug bites
- Bed bug excrement on your mattress, clothes and walls
Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
Most people mistake bed bug bites for flea or mosquito bites until they discover all the signs of bed bug infestation and become an eye witness of this blood thirsty pest. However, to ensure you don’t have to wait long enough to seek the right treatment for bed bug bites and take timely bed bug extermination actions, here are some common signs and symptoms to identify bed bug bites:
1. Bites on Your Face, Hands, Neck and Arms
As they feed on human blood, they look for areas of the skin that are exposed. It is easier for them to insert their sharp proboscis in the uncovered skin and suck on blood.
Therefore you will usually find bed bug bites either on your face, hands, neck and arms because these areas are normally not covered by any kind of clothing.
2. Bites are in Line or Clusters
As we discussed earlier, another sign of bed bug bites is that these creepy crawlies bite in a unique style, either in a row or in clusters. If you find small spots on your hand or your face in such patterns, then you can definitely be sure that you have are playing host to these pesky little blood suckers.
3. Bed Bug bites are Painless but Itchy
A bed bug bite is not painful but it is definitely itchy. If the area is scratched continuously, it can become infected. It can also lead to swelling and bleeding.
4. Bed Bug Bites May Cause Small, Flat and Raised Red Bumps on Your Skin
Another sign of a bed bug bite is that you may find small, flat and raised red bumps on the bitten area. You may not see these bumps right away after you are bitten. Such symptoms may begin to show after a few days.
Treatments for Bed Bug Bites
Though the symptoms of the bed bug bites may disappear in a couple of weeks even if you don’t take any medication but if the itch is severe and you feel a burning sensation, then it is advisable to sort out a treatment so that it does not develop into a serious allergic reaction.
You can use an anti-itch cream or a topical steroid cream or a calamine lotion to keep yourself from scratching the bite. Topical steroid creams are easily available over the counter. These contain pramoxine for pain relief and diphendrydramine that controls itching.
If you experience skin rashes and swelling due to bed bug bites, then it’s best to take oral antihistamine allergy tablets.