The adage: ”Don’t let the bed bugs bite” holds true today more than ever. While bed bugs have been associated with humans since centuries they have actually evolved along with the pre historic man. Today, 1 out of every 5 Americans has been the victim of a bed bug infestation or at least knows someone who has. Bed bugs are capable of traveling up to 5 to 20 ft to find their host. They generally emerge from their hiding places at night and are capable of engorging on their host’s blood for 3 to 10 minutes per feeding.
Bed bug bites on humans do not cause any diseases but can be extremely annoying. Not only do they translate to lack of sleep, they can also cause intense itching. Scratching the site of a bed bug bite can lead to various skin infections, some of which may require antibiotics or steroidal ointments for healing.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites on humans
As mentioned before, bed bug bites on humans generally occur at night, though hungry bugs might not hesitate to bite even during the day, if they find a sleeping host at that time. The bed bug bites on humans themselves are painless due to which the individual often does not realize s/he is being bitten. The bugs do not remain on their victim after the feeding is over; rather they move away to their chosen hiding places to digest the meal. Symptoms of bed bug bites on humans vary from person to person.
- People with sensitive skin might develop angry red welts a few days after being bitten.
- Some victims may not have any symptoms at all. In a few cases, there may even be a delay of a few weeks for the signs of bed bug bites on humans to appear.
- Scientific studies conducted on bed bug bites on humans in apartments have shown that some victims of bed bug bites do not have any reaction despite being bitten repeatedly.
- Elderly victims are also more likely to not have any signs and symptoms of bed bug bites on humans.
The main difference between flea bites and bed bug bites on humans is that the former mainly appear on the hands, legs, ankles and other exposed parts of the body. On the other hand, bed bug bites on humans are seen several parts of the body including face, neck, back, arms, and legs. Often these signs and symptoms are mistaken to be mosquito bites or other causes. This the main reason why bed bug infestations often go unnoticed for long periods of time.
Home remedies for bed bug bites on humans
If you suspect you have bed bug bites, make sure you refrain from scratching the bitten area. To speed up healing, the following home remedies for bed bug bites on humans can help:
- Taking an oral anti-histamine.
- Applying soothing creams containing hydrocortisone.
- Natural creams containing calendula, or creams and gels containing Aloe Vera extracts can help relieve inflammation and pain.
As mentioned before, the bed bug bites on humans do not cause any diseases but they are known to cause anxiety and other nervous disorders in their victims. Hence, it is important to get rid of bed bugs by opting for professional extermination treatments along with pesticides and organic/non-chemical solutions.