If you have ever been bitten by Bed Bugs, you are probably aware of how annoying Bed Bug Bites can be to a human being.
They can leave anything from a small red bump to a serious, itchy weeping rash. With the resurgence of Bed Bug infestations in recent years, people are starting to wonder if Bed Bug bites are merely a temporary annoyance or if they are dangerous to the health of those who are bitten.
Bed Bugs drink human blood and they are nocturnal feeders.
They crawl onto their chosen victim and like mosquitoes, they inject a small amount of their saliva into the bite wound, This serves as an anti-coagulant to keep the blood flowing and also as an anesthetic to prevent the victim from noticing that they are being bitten. This is why it is only after the victim wakes up that the symptoms start to become apparent and the victim knows they have been bitten.
The first signs of Bed Bug bites are small flat or raised welts that usually appear in rows of three bite marks.
Bed Bugs feed in what scientists call a “breakfast, lunch and dinner pattern” because Bed Bugs will bite the same area multiple times. The bites will start out as small welts and may swell up and start to itch. Scratching the bites can lead to blistering, infection and scaring. It is strongly advised to use an anti-itch lotion or cream and avoid scratching Bed Bug bites.
The determining factor that will decide if the bites are coming from Bed Bugs is, of course, if the bites occur while you are sleeping and start to flare up later in the familiar 3 bite pattern. Bed bugs bites will usually appear on areas of the body that are exposed while you sleep such as arms and lower legs. If one sleeps in the nude, the bites may appear all over the body with particular attention to the side of the body that is turned away from contact with the mattress while the Bed Bugs are feeding.
The good news in this story is that the latest scientific research has found no link between Bed Bug bites and any serious disease or illness.
Bed Bug bites are generally mild and will disappear quickly once the Bed Bug infestation has been eliminated. On rare occasions, a bite victim may have an allergic reaction to the bites and may need some medical attention to treat any irritation or rash that may flare up.
It should be mentioned that when children are bitten by Bed Bugs, they are more likely to scratch the bites than adults. Special attention should be paid to children who have been bitten by Bed Bugs. They should be made aware that it is important not to scratch the bites and a child safe anti-itch lotion or cream should be used if necessary.
Concern has been raised about how Bed Bug bites might affect pregnant women and the unborn.
Research has also shown that there is no risk of the transfer of infectious agents, illness or disease from Bed Bugs to pregnant women or their unborn offspring. Of course, a pregnant woman should also avoid scratching any bites and running the risk of getting an infection in the bite wounds. Care should be taken by pregnant women in their choice of any anti-itch creams or lotions. It is advised that pregnant women consult with their doctor or pharmacist in the choice of these products.
All in all Bed Bug bites are more of a nuisance than a danger to human beings but if they occur, immediate steps should be taken to remove the infestation and prevent any chance of a re-occurrence.
The choice of whether to deal with a Bed Bug problem on your own or hire a professional exterminator is up to you but it should be said that once Bed Bugs become firmly established, they are extremely hard remove. The real key is to be aware of the fact that Bed Bugs have made an amazing comeback in recent years and to educate yourself in advance. Become knowledgeable about how Bed Bugs establish their colonies and take steps to prevent this from occurring and you may well avoid waking up covered with Bed Bug Bites.