Bed bugs are extremely annoying pests. They are hard to locate and even harder to eliminate. They sneak into your furniture, your bed, and your carpet – you can find many other hideouts as well. They hide there until you sit or sleep and that is when they bite you. It does not pain a lot when they bite you, and you usually notice they have done their job when you wake up in the morning with red, itchy spots all over your body. To avoid getting bitten, you need to take steps to get rid of these small, oval-shaped, wingless insects, which can be up to 7mm in size. That can be a lot of work actually, as you have to clean your infested clothes and check all their hideouts to avoid a re-infestation. A professional can help you in this regard.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Even if you have decided to call in a professional to take care of things, you will have to take some measures to deal with bed bug bites on your own. It is possible that you have bed bugs in your home but you do not know of them mainly because your body does not react to a bed bug bite. If you experience a reaction, you may notice the following symptoms:
- You may have a bite red in color and a dark red center.
- You may notice swelling around the affected area.
- You may notice bites grouped together or in a line
- You may develop hives or blisters at the bite site.
You can get these bites anywhere on your body, but they are usually on the exposed areas of your body, such as the arms, face, hands, and legs. As bed bugs are quite small, it takes some effort to see them with naked eye. That is the reason why many people do not consider bed bugs as a possible cause of those bite marks all over their bodies. Some people think these are mosquito bites, but you need to bear in mind that mosquito bites are usually more sporadic and bed bug bites may appear in small groupings. Bed bug bites are also a bit different from fleabites, which are usually small and located on your ankles or legs.
Treating Your Bed Bug Bites (Getting Rid of the Marks on Your Body)
As mentioned already, bed bug bites are not dangerous but they can be quite annoying. The symptoms you experience usually go away in a couple of weeks. You can accelerate healing by using an anti-itch cream – it also reduces itching and prevents skin infections. You may also consider taking an antihistamine to control the allergic reaction. An antiseptic lotion or cream may prove effective in case you develop an infection.
It is also possible to control your symptoms and treat bites by using some natural home remedies. For starters, you should wash the affect area using water and some mild antiseptic soap. This really helps prevent a skin infection. To control itching and treat bed bug bites, try the following remedies:
Use an Ice Pack
Applying ice to your affected area help numb the nerve endings, which in turn helps relieve the itching sensation. Using an ice pack is also a good way to control the swelling. Simply wrap a few ice cubes in a cloth and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes or so. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
Try Baking Soda
Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda proves effective because it neutralizes acidic chemicals that are responsible for causing an itching reaction. It also reduces swelling mainly because it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Combine 3 teaspoons of water and a teaspoon of baking soda and make a paste. Apply it directly on your affected area and rinse it off after 10 minutes or so. You can apply it again after an hour or so if the discomfort persists.
Use Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural astringent, which is the reason why it works amazingly well to dry out rashes. Not only does it help treat rashes, it also controls your itching quite effectively. Take some lemon juice, dip a cotton ball in it, and apply it on the bed bug bites. You can rinse the affected area after some time. Repeat several times a day for relief.
Utilize Witch Hazel
You can get this liquid astringent from any drug store. It works great as a facial cleanser but is equally effective against itching. The presence of tannins helps witch hazel create an anesthetic effect on your skin. Simply soak a cotton ball in this liquid astringent and apply it on the affected area. Remove it after 10 minutes or so. You can repeat it again for a soothing effect.
Apply Aloe Vera Gel
Using aloe Vera gel is yet another way to deal with bed bug bites. It creates a soothing sensation, mainly because of the presence of amino acids and other active compounds. It also keeps your skin moisturized and prevents itching caused by bed bug as well as other insect bites. Take an aloe Vera leaf and scoop out its gel. Apply it directly on your bed bug bites. Repeat several times a day for relief.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is an effective remedy mainly because of its acetic acid content. It has anti-inflammatory properties and works fine to reduce redness and swelling caused by bed bug bites. Take raw, unfiltered ACV and apply it directly on the affected area. Leave it there for some time and then rinse your skin. Repeat several times a day for relief.
Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and works quite effectively to reduce skin irritation. It also reduces any swelling caused by bed bug bites. Add a few teaspoons of oatmeal in some water and make a paste. Apply it on the bites and rinse it off after15 minutes or so. Repeat several times for good effects.