Natural Treatments For Bed Bug Bites

When it’s too late and you wake up covered in bed bug bites, what can you do? You’ve already been bitten and a trip to the ER will most likely net you many hours of sitting around with genuinely sick people. The easy answer is to use some easy home remedies to handle your situation or pick up something at a nearby store to help beat the bed bug bite blues.

What you use really depends on your preferences and how you feel about certain products. Some people won’t use product x because it contains ingredient y for example. Here’s some tried and true ways to get rid of inflammation, itching and overall discomfort.

Aloe Vera

Aloe has long been one of the most popular “cure all” plants of all time. It can be used on burns, bites, sunburns and any kind of skin condition. It’s even sold in drinkable form not just in special hippie shops but even at your local Wal-Mart. This versatile plant can be bought in a gel or kept whole in your home. You can break off pieces as needed and rub the inside on the affected area.

Oatmeal

It sound weird but applying oatmeal to bug bites of all kinds seems to be very effective and has been used for centuries. This can function similar to aloe vera in that you can put oatmeal on any skin ailment to help speed the healing process. Honey is often added and it can be wrapped with cloth or just spread on the entire area.

Ice

The old standby to help get swelling down has been and always will be ice or an ice pack. Don’t have an icepack? Try a bag of frozen veggies. This almost always helps with itching as well.

OTC Medicines

Even if you prefer all natural remedies, some over the counter stuff can be life saving. Calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream and campho phenique are some very popular items that aren’t chemical heavy and really, really help when used as directed. If you live anywhere that has biting insects, you should have one or all of these in your cabinet anyway.

Prevention

The best way of all is to simply NOT be bitten in the first place. Take time to inspect your mattress and bedding if staying in a hotel or at a friend’s house. They might not know they have bed bugs in the first place and a quick check could let them know there’s an issue. It can be embarrassing with friends and family but a hotel owner will need to know right now.

If picking up used items, make sure you know what you’re getting and learn how to check them out before loading them up and taking them into your home.

Overall, there’s worse things to be bitten or stung by but bed bug bites if accumulated over time can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort and on rare occasions can even lead to hospitalization.

Bed Bug Bites and Pictures: How Can You Tell A Bed Bug Has Bitten You

It seems that that bed bug bites have become even more common in recent months than news reports last year predicted. There’s no doubt that these little menaces are taking over entire regions, especially in large cities but the question is why. Bed bug bites have been unheard of at most doctor’s offices and clinics since the 1950s for the most part unless you live in a developing country. Why the sudden boom?

Bed Bug Bites

The basic reason is simply the fact that we’ve overlooked them and they became a cute little thing we said to our children at night. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite”. We’ve all heard this and for the most part it was harmless. Today, it’s actually something to worry about and it’s time to start getting rid of bed bugs everywhere.

A large factor in their return is actually a combination between overlooking them for years, a decline in the economy and booming tourism in many cities. People may come visit from places that do have bedbugs and all it takes is a couple stowaways in a piece of luggage and one room in a hotel becomes infested. From there, they creep around the whole building, and then new visitors take them to other areas and so on.

Identifying Bed Bugs

What’s that little bite on your arm? Flea? Mosquito? It could very well be a bed bug bite and you might not even know it, especially if you’ve done a bit of traveling lately. Unless you specifically look for signs of these little creatures, you’ll probably just write that bump off. Bed bugs are basically oval shaped and can be a shade of yellow, red, brown or a mix of them. They almost look like baby cockroaches. They are mostly active at night so it’s easy to miss them.

A good way to find out whether or not you have them isn’t to look for live ones but instead focus CSI style on evidence. Run a flashlight over your sheet when your ready to change your bedding and look for tiny brown specks (feces), translucent exoskeletons from growing, tiny blood spots, and maybe you’ll see a little critter or two tucked in a fold. Getting down to eye level with your bed can help spot anything uneven as well. Once you know you have them, you can start to take action.

Identifying Bed Bug Bites

Extreme Example Of Bed Bug Bites

This is actually extremely hard to do so using the technique above to search your bed (or couch, futon, etc..) is the best way to confirm it’s bed bugs. The bites will look very similar to a random spider or mosquito bite. It will be a small raised red bump, a red blotchy area or small rash in most cases. This is why it’s often overlooked. Many of us wake up with a tiny unknown “bug bite” here and there and think nothing of it. Bed bugs often bite in a line pattern. Here are some pictures of various bites to help you out.

Treating Bed Bug Bites

Like any bite, these can vary greatly depending on how many bites you have and your body’s reaction to them. In severe cases, this can be life-threatening and you will have to go to the ER. For most of us, it will be an irritating bump or rash. To help ease the pain and itchiness, you can use anything from aloe vera to Campo-Phenique to a Benadryl type cream. Whatever you prefer for other itchy bites should work well here. Some Tylenol or anti-inflammatory tablet or cream can also help if you feel you need it. Everyone has a particular remedy so use what you’re familiar with and comfortable with. Some people swear by tooth pain creams in addition to an allergy cream. Treating bites shouldn’t be something you need to do all the time so get rid of these pests quickly.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

As with any little critter that moves into your home, there are some steps you need to take to get rid of them successfully and permanently. Bed bugs are a little challenging as they are resistant to many types of bug spray you can buy on the shelf. That can of super powered roach killer smells and looks like it should wipe out anything with six legs but this isn’t always the case. Those sprays are formulated to work specifically on the insect on the can usually. Spider spray might just make cockroaches angry for instance. To truly tackle this problem your best options are:

Identification – Make sure this is actually the problem and you don’t have a spider nest hiding in your wall or floorboards. The bites can be similar and the method to get rid of them is very different. Triple check to make sure or call in a professional.

Cleaning – Insects don’t like clean areas much. Use a mild bleach mixture to clean your linoleum and tile and vacuum your entire house multiple times using a bug repellant carpet powder if available. Multiple times per day for a week or so is a great idea. Wash all your bedding, drapes, couch cushions and clothes near your floor in hot water. Dry them for an extended time on HOT settings.

Elimination – This is the most important step of course. Get rid of them for good. You might be able to combine this with cleaning if you only have a few but keep in mind, where a couple are, more may be hiding. Large infestations will absolutely need the help of a professional exterminator.

Repellants – Consider an all-natural repellant device or two. These are often very cheap and double as air fresheners. You slide them under your mattress or couch or in areas you think critters may hide. These work for multiple insect types making them very versatile.

What Are The Symptoms of Bed Bugs? How To Tell If You Have Bed Bugs

Life is filled with plenty of bugs, pests and insects. So many in fact, that it can be nearly impossible to tell one big from another. Since bed bug infestations have been in the news a lot lately many people assume a bug bite is a bed bug bite.

Treating nearly any kind of bug infestation can be time consuming and expensive and that is why it is important that you identify bed bug symptoms accurately before implementing a treatment plan. By recognizing the symptoms early on you can create the right treatment plan to get rid of bed bugs completely.

Bed Bug Symptom #1: Waste

One of the most common symptoms that you have bed bugs is bed bug waste. They leave behind their waste after you have been bitten. The spots will be somewhat darker than your mattress color, a light brown or faint yellow hue. Sometimes you will actually see dead bugs or bed bug skin on your mattress.

If you think you may have bed bugs look for symptoms like this. Be sure to inspect your mattress when you remove the sheets. If you wake up with an unknown bug bite, inspect your bedding for bed bug waste.

Symptom #2: Bites

One of first indicators that you may have bed bugs is the ever present bed bug bites. These most commonly occur overnight while you are sleeping either in bed, on a sofa or the floor. So look for bed bug symptoms when you wake up in the morning.

Differentiating bed bug bites from other bites means you need to inspect your bites closely. Look for these signs:

  • The bites make you feel itchy.
  • Red spots that are somewhat darker red in the center.
  • A cluster or line of bug bites.
  • Bites are located on exposed skin so look in placed that are not covered by your sleep attire.

The difficulty with using bed bug bites to determine if you have bed bugs is that not everyone has a reaction to bed bug bites. This is why it is so important to pay attention to the other symptoms as well.

Symptom #3: Blood

Although it is true that there are dozens of household bugs that bite the truth is that there aren’t many that will leave blood stains. A clear symptom that you have bed bugs is waking up to find blood stains on your sheets, pillowcases or other cloth material where you sleep or sit for long periods of time. Bed bugs often strike at night during sleep, however they are drawn to heat so you should also look for symptoms in common areas such as the television room, recreation areas and other gathering areas.

The spots of blood you find will be quite small but easily identifiable as blood. If you notice these stains, particularly after spotting bed bug bites, you probably have bed bugs.

Symptom #4: Odor

Many people don’t realize that even though bed bugs are quite small an easily identifiable bed bug symptom is their odor. The scent gland of bed bugs produces a musty odor that is often described as smelling like coriander. The smell is not pleasant. If you have an infestation of bed bugs you may begin to notice your home smells like moldy shoes or wet moldy clothes.

Since bed bugs are hard to spot their awful odor is one of the most prominent symptoms of an infestation. Smell under the mattress, near the headboard or underneath couches and chairs for rotten raspberries or an overwhelming odor of mold.

If you notice one or more of these bed bug symptoms then you need to inspect for any of the other symptoms. Most people begin to suspect bed bugs once bites have been discovered however it is important to keep an eye (or nose) out for the other symptoms as well.

Don’t ignore a musty older because it may be a wet towel but it may also be a bed bug infestation. Carefully search your bed, carpeting, upholstered furniture and curtains for signs of bed bugs.

Once you are aware of the symptoms you can start to develop a plan to get rid of bed bugs.