Bedbugs are oval, tiny, brown insects the size and shape of an apple seed with six legs. These insects feed on blood of humans and animals, leaving itchy bites. They have flat bodies which get swollen when they feed, as they color turns into a more reddish one.
Although bedbugs are visible to human eye (both male and female specimens can grow to around .2 inches), they move fast, hide well and are active by night which makes it difficult for people to spot them. However, there are some signs that help you know that there’s bedbug infestation in your home. Dark spots on your sheets and mattress, blood strains, bedbug shed skins, fecal spot or egg shells and musty odor are certain signs of bedbugs. IF you woke up with itchy areas on your skin – that could be one more uncomfortable evidence of bedbugs in your bed! But it is not always easy to determine and recognize bedbug bites…
How to recognize bedbug bite marks
As bedbugs are active during night, the chances are you got bitten while asleep. Although “feeding on human or animal blood” sounds scary, bedbug bites are usually painless so you wouldn’t be aware you got bitten if there wasn’t for itching that starts next day and could last for a couple of weeks.
Bedbugs are not so easy to identify because they resemble other insect bites, e.g. mosquito bites. Most of bitten people will have welts, red bumps or sometimes blisters. However there are three things you should look for to determine if you were bitten by bedbugs:
1) Unique pattern: Bedbug bites can rarely appear alone, but usually they appear in a row of three to five bites, ina a zig-zag formation or in a cluster
2) Exposed areas: In the most cases, beadbugs bites will occur on exposed areas of your body (e.g. face and neck, arms or feet). Bedbugs rarely appear on the back of your knees or in the folds of the skin, which are usual places for mosquito bites.
3) Timing: You should consider when the bites occur. As bedbugs are active by night, if you wake up with bites and itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to bed, the chances are high that you might have bedbugs. However, each person is unique and we react differently – sometimes the reaction can appear up to a week after the bite.
Although the bite itself is painless, and it can usually resolve itself within a week or two, remember that bedbug bites can leave you with scars so it is important to treat them properly!
How to treat bedbug bites
The first thing you should do is washing the area with mild soap and water. When you soap over the bites, you should leave the soap dry instead of rinsing immediately. Propper washing can relieve problems with itchiness, as well as prevent skin infections. You can always try some home remedies: baking soda and water, lemon juice, calamine lotion or aloe plant gel.
You should consult your physician in any case, but especially if you have blisters, signs of allergic reaction or skin infection. They can prescribe you stronger ointments and medicine that will help!
Remember that you should hire the bedbug exterminator to get rid of the bedbugs – even if you treat the bites, you can get bitten again, and just leaving your home for a week or two will not help – bedbugs can live up to a year without eating.