Bed Bug Bites How Quickly
How Long do Bed Bug Bites Last – When Will They Heal
People who have suffered from bed bug bites know how painful and itchy these can be. Naturally, the question foremost on their minds is how to heal the bed bug bites faster? In this guide, we shall study a few methods of preventing, treating and healing bed bug bites quickly. We will also study a few efficient ways of getting rid of the bed bugs to prevent further bites.
How long do bed bug bites last and what are the symptoms?
Bed bug bites typically heal within a week to 10 days, depending on how sensitive one is to them. In fact; some lucky people may have been bitten by these pests, but they do not experience any symptoms at all! Those that are hypersensitive to most insect bites may experience following symptoms:
- Itchy skin, red welts or bumps
- Rash in the form of clusters
- Bite marks that are straight or grouped together typically under the edge of tight fitting clothing on arms and legs or also on the neck, back or other exposed parts of the body.
An indication of bed bug infestation is the presence of their discarded exoskeletons and fecal matter in the form of rust colored stains on bedding and mattresses. An offensive almond like smell may also be present in some cases.
Preventing bed bugs
Everyone deserves a good night’s rest in order to function properly the next morning. Hence, the last thing you’d want is to awaken from bed bug bites. Preventing bed bugs is the best solution for this problem. This can be done as follows:
- Vacuuming the carpets regularly
- Never picking up second hand furniture, bedding or discarded mattresses from the curbside.
- Inspecting rooms thoroughly for signs of bed bugs when staying in hotels. As stated above, you will notice red stains and discarded skin on beds and mattresses, especially around the corners of the bedding.
If you suspect an infestation at home, you must promptly call a professional pest control company to handle it immediately. For very large infestations too, it is best to enlist the services of professionals in order to make sure that the eggs, larvae and adult bed bugs are completely eliminated. Failure to do so will lead to re-infestation. It is also important to discard infested items carefully by sealing them in bags which have been pretreated with flea powders or other bed bug repellents.
Treating bed bug bites
Bed bug bites must not be ignored. Scratching the site of bite can even lead to secondary skin infections which are harder to treat.
- See a doctor to identify if the rash is from bed bug bites. There are many skin conditions or allergic reactions to products which can sometimes produce similar rashes.
- To prevent infections, apply benzoly peroxide or rubbing alcohol on the rash.
- An effective home remedy for soothing the pain and itchiness from bed bug bites is applying a mixture of baking soda and water directly on the rash. (Leave the paste on the rash for at least half an hour and then wash it off.)
- Many natural soothing lotions and creams containing Calendula, aloe vera etc can also give relief from pain, swelling and itching.
It is important to get rid of bed bugs from home. To do this effectively:
- Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth powder (food grade) liberally at the feet of the beds and under the bedroom furniture etc. The diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs by shredding their insides and dehydrating them.
- Wash the bedding and linen in very hot water to kill eggs and larvae.
These precautions will help prevent further bed bug bites. If in case you are not able to deal with the infestation, you must call a professional pest control agency to do the same.
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In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.
Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.
Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.
Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.
Where Bed Bugs Hide
Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.
Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.
Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.
When Bedbugs Bite
Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.
Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.
People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.
Signs of Infestation
If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:
- Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
- Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
- Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
- An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands
If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.
Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.
If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.
Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:
- Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
- Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
- Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
- Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
- Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
- Get rid of clutter around the bed.
If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.
While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.
Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."
Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."
The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like (And How To Get Rid of Them Faster)
It can be difficult to identify bed bug bites because the red itchy bumps caused by bed bug bites look like flea bites or mosquito bites. Bed bugs usually come out at night and feed on the blood of humans. The tiny nasty pests can leave a cluster of bite marks on your face, arms, stomach, and legs. Some people only have a mild reaction to the bed bug bites and may only have a few small red dots. However, others have more severe reactions and are plagued by large red bite marks and an irresistible urge to scratch them.
Pictures of bed bug bites show groups of red bite marks on the body. Very often, the bite marks left by bed bugs are in straight lines or in a zig-zag and very rarely is there just one solitary red bite mark.
There are many effective natural home remedies to quickly get rid of the signs of bed bug bites. You can make your own natural treatments for insect bites with ingredients like witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera. The natural anti-inflammatory ingredients in those home remedies help to quickly relieve itching and promote healing.
In this article, you will learn how to identify bed bug bites and find out how to get rid of them quickly. You will also see images of bed bug bites to help you to spot the tell-tale signs that you have been bitten.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
The Latin name for bed bugs isCimex lectularius, or common bed bug. If you’ve ever seen a close-up picture of a bed bug you will see that they look quite scary. However, in reality, bed bugs are tiny pests that lurk in corners and crevices of beds, mattresses, and furniture. They are about the size of a small apple seed and many can be seen crawling around if you have an infestation.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that bed bugs have flat, brown, oval bodies. They don’t have wings but can quickly scurry over floors, ceilings, and walls. The parasitic insects live in groups and love to hide in dark places. If you have a bed bug problem in your home, you should check for signs of bed bugs in corners of your bed frame, along the seams of mattresses, along baseboards, and behind pictures. In fact, they will live in any crevice that is large enough to slide a credit card into. 1
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that bed bug eggs look like tiny white pinheads. As they go through their nymph stages they shed skins and these yellowish shells are a common sign to look for when checking for an infestation of bugs. 2
Pictures of bed bugs
How to Identify Bed Bug Bites
On most people, bed bug bites look like itchy red bumps on their body. However, it can be difficult to know if the bite marks have been caused by bed bugs or not.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of bed bug bites may not appear for a few days. Also, each person reacts differently to being bitten by these irritating pests. Some people show no signs of being bitten whereas other people have a severe reaction to the bite, and large bumps appear on the skin that itch severely. 3
However, Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that the only way to know for sure if the red bite marks have been caused by bed bugs is to look for signs of a bug infestation. That will confirm if the red spots that look like bed bug bites are in fact the result of bed bugs.
Bed Bug Bites – Signs and Symptoms
Images of bed bug bites generally show clusters of itchy red bumps on a person’s arms, neck, face, legs, and other areas of their body. Depending on the number of bed bugs that have infested your sleeping area and your reaction to them, bed bug bites also have other signs.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that more often than not, bed bug bites will be in either a rough line or in a cluster of red marks. If they cause a severe skin reaction, the itching can be very intense. In rare cases, a person who has many bites and a severe allergic reaction should visit a doctor. 4
Doctors from the National Health Service say that, in some cases, the itchy red bumps on the skin can cause a rash or start to blister and fill with fluid. 5
However, it can be difficult to tell if the bites have been caused by bed bugs or another insect. Therefore, it’s important to know how to identify the difference between bed bug bites, flea bites and mosquito bites.
Bed bug bite vs flea bite
Flea bites and bed bug bites look very similar and cause itchy red marks on the skin. Even in pictures, it is hard to tell bed bug bites and flea bites apart. However, there are some differences.
The symptoms of flea bites generally appear on the ankles, feet and around the abdomen. As with bed bug bites, flea bite symptoms can also appear in small clusters. Dr. Carol DerSarkissian says that if you look closely at a bed bug bite you won’t see a small red dot in the middle as is characteristic of flea bites. 1
Bed bug bite vs mosquito bite
Both mosquito bites and bed bug bites can leave itchy welts on the skin. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the symptoms of mosquito bites show up very soon after the bite; in fact, in only a few minutes, a puffy red bump usually appears. 6
Unlike bed bug bites that are painless, you may feel the mosquito bite and it might start to itch immediately. It is also more likely that the mosquito bite will blister and ooze a small amount of fluid.
Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites – Complications
Bed bug bite marks usually heal within 2 weeks and won’t leave any permanent mark on the skin. In some cases, there are complications associated with bed bug bites.
Of course, for many people, the appearance of red itchy welts on visible areas of skin like their face or arms is an unwanted complication of bed bug bites.
One of the most common, and potentially serious, complications that is seen with bed bug bite is a secondary skin infection. Dr. Stephanie S. Gardner on WebMD says that itching from bed bug bites can be so severe that constant scratching breaks the skin and germs get it. This can cause a bacterial infection in the bite mark. 7
Dr. Steven Doerr on eMedicnineHealth warns that some people experience severe allergic reactions to bed bug bites. Some of the signs of a serious allergic reaction include itching all over the body, tightness in the throat, chest pain, red bed bug rash that spreads from the bite area. 8
At least the good news with bed bug bites is that they don’t spread disease. The CDC states that bed bugs don’t spread disease and the most serious health threat is a lack of sleep from scratching and secondary skin infections. 3
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
If you suspect that clusters of itchy red spots on your body are the result of pesky bed bugs, you should check for signs of an infestation.
First, you don’t have to worry that having bed bugs is a sign of uncleanliness or dirtiness. The CDC says that bed bugs only feed on blood and aren’t attracted to dirt. Bed bugs have been found in the cleanest of 5-star hotels. 3
To check for signs of bed bugs, you should look in areas where they tend to live. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that tell-tale signs of bed bug activity are tiny rusty-colored stains on bed linen from bug feces or dried blood. You may also notice tiny yellow shed skins around your bed and sleeping area. 9
The next step to confirm if itchy red marks on your skin are from bed bugs is to find where the critters are hiding. You should check all joints and screw holes in your bed frame, around mattresses and box springs, and around the headboard. Other places where you might find evidence of a bed bug infestation are in the folds of drapes, in drawer joints, behind loose wallpaper, and at baseboards.
If you find feces, dead bed bugs, or bed bugs crawling around, it is time to take drastic action to get rid of the bed bugs quickly. This is the only way to prevent getting more bed bug bites in the future. Some effective ways to kill off infestation of irritating insects include using bed bug powders that destroy populations of bed bugs as well as bed bug sprays.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Fast
Fortunately, there are many great home remedies to get rid of bed bug bites quickly. Here are a few of the best ways of treating bed bug bites at home.
To quickly get rid of an intense itch in a swollen bump caused by a bed bug bite, you can use a cold compress. One excellent way to make a compress is by using a cold tea bag. Cold helps to relieve irritation from your skin by calming nerve endings, and tea helps to relieve itching and promotes healing.
A study from 2012 into the healing effects of tea found that compounds in black and green tea have an astringent effect. This helps to reduce itching in irritated, inflamed skin. 9 However, you don’t just have to use black or green tea bags. Research has also found that chamomile has soothing properties and is just as effective as hydrocortisone creams (often prescribed by doctors to reduce itching in insect bites). 10
How to use:
To quickly get rid of the irritation that bed bug bites cause using a cold tea compress, this is what you should do:
- Put a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes. Remove the bag and cool it in the refrigerator.
- Place the tea bag on the red itchy bumps to relieve discomfort and irritation.
- Apply the cold compress 2-3 times a day for fast relief from bed bug bites and bed bug rash.
Aloe vera also has properties that reduce itching and help to speed up the healing time of a bed bug bite. Aloe vera contains many properties to nourish your skin and relieve inflammation and irritation.
One study into the healing properties of aloe vera found that it has a soothing effect on irritated skin. It was found that aloe vera was just as effective as hydrocortisone creams in reducing itching and inflammatory responses in the skin. 11
How to use:
Aloe vera gel is great for helping bed bug bites to heal faster. This is what you should do:
- Use aloe vera gel with as few added ingredients as possible and liberally apply some gel to the bite marks.
- Massage the gel into the area around the bed bug bites to soothe the skin and stop itching.
- Apply the natural remedy 2-3 times a day to help your skin heal quicker and get welcome relief from the constant itching.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil will help to treat the itch in bed bug bites and help prevent secondary infections making the skin worse. Tea tree oil contains powerful antimicrobial compounds as well as properties that help to reduce inflammation and itching.
One of the benefits of using tea tree oil to quickly treat bed bug bites is that it helps soothe allergic skin reactions. For example, theBritish Journal of Dermatologyreported on a study into the antihistamine effect of tea tree oil. Histamine is released by the body as a response to allergens. It was found that applying tea tree oil to skin inflammation helped to soothe the allergic response fast. 12
How to use:
You can use tea tree oil as a spot treatment on one or two bed bug bites or you can mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil to apply to clusters of bed bug bites. This is what you should do:
- Put a drop of tea tree oil on the end of a cotton bud and apply to the itchy bed bug bite.
- Apply 2 times a day to help stop itching in the bite marks and prevent bacterial infections affecting the skin area.
For large clusters of bed bug bites, you can get relief by adding 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply 2-3 times a day to help your skin heal and treat any bed bug bite blisters that have formed.
You can also use tea tree oil to make a natural spray for bed bug eradication.
Other ways to get rid of bed bug bites quickly
There are many other natural ways to get rid of the visible signs of bed bug bites. Here are some more ways.
Witch hazelis a natural astringent that quickly soothes itchy skin and reduces redness. Witch hazel is perfect for treating bed bug bites and can be applied whenever your bite marks start itching.
Apple cider vinegar, when it is diluted with water in equal proportions, helps to reduce itching and kill germs in bed bug bites. Just apply diluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area to stop itching fast.
Cucumbershave an amazing soothing effect on the skin and will give you instant relief from itching and irritation. All you have to do is apply slices of cool cucumber to your bite marks.
For more information on these natural bed bug bite remedies and to find out some more effective ways to treat bed bug bite signs at home, please read my article on natural ways to make bed bug bites heal faster.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites
Of course, preventing an infestation of bed bugs is much easier than having to deal with the discomfort bed bug bites cause.
The CDC says that one of the best ways to prevent bed bug bites is to regularly check your bed, mattress, and bed linen for signs of bed bug activity. This can help you get rid of bed bugs before they become a major problem. 3
Also, you should be careful of buying second-hand furniture. The National Health Services warns to avoid buying second-hand mattresses and if you do buy used furniture, carefully inspect it for bed bugs. 5 Remember, that in the right conditions, bed bugs can live for many months without feeding!
Read my other related articles:
- WebMD. Bedbugs.
- EPA. Bed bug appearance and life cycle.
- CDC. Bed bugs FAQs
- MayoClinic. Bedbug symptoms.
- NHS. Bedbugs.
- MayoClinic. Mosquito bites.
- WebMD. Pictures of bed bug bites.
- eMedicineHealth. Bedbugs.
- EPA. How to find bed bugs.
- Phytojournal. Tannins are astringent.
- OWM. 2011;57(5):28-36.
- Skin Pharmacol Physiol.2008;21(2):106-10.
- Br J Dermatol.2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last and How to Heal them Faster
Bed bugs can leave a nasty cluster of bites on your skin that can last for a few days. For some people, however, bed bug bites can cause allergic reaction and symptoms that last much longer. Bed bug bites can cause a red bump to appear on the skin that becomes very itchy and irritating. Although scratching the itchy bump may give some temporary relief, it can cause the bed bug bites to last even longer.
Thankfully, there are many home remedies that can help to recover faster from bed bug bites. Ingredients like tea tree oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and witch hazel help to reduce the time bed bug bites last. Even just a cold compress is sometimes enough to quickly stop the itching and reduce the swelling that is left after a bed bug bite.
Of course, bed bug bites will last as long as you have a bug infestation in your bedroom. Therefore, as well as treating bed bug bites, you should take steps to get rid of bed bugs from your home. The faster you can remove a population of bed bugs, the quicker you can stop the pesky bugs biting you during the night.
In this article, you will learn how long bed bug bites last and what you can do to speed up the healing process. You will also find how to treat bed bug bites with natural remedies to ensure that the bed bug bite symptoms don’t last long.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?
If you notice red bite marks on your legs, face, arms, or back, your first thought will be to know how long the bed bug bites will last. Having bites on your face or arms is not only irritating but can also be very embarrassing. Bed bug bites can cause large bumps or welts that look unsightly and may even become infected.
According to doctors at the National Health Service (NHS), bed bug bites generally last for a few days. The bites are painless, but irritating symptoms can quickly appear. For some people, they wake up in the morning with bite marks from being bitten that night. 1
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the symptoms of bug bites may appear up to 2 weeks after the actual bite. Therefore, it’s important to distinguish if the bites are from bed bugs or from another pest like a flea. 2
If you suffer from an allergic reaction to the bed bug bite, the red itchy bumps may last longer than on other people. The NHS says that, in some severe cases, bed bug bites can cause an itchy rash that blisters and fills with fluid. 1 According to Dr. Steven Doerr on eMedicineHealth, these kinds of bed bug bites will usually last for up to 2 weeks. 3
Unfortunately, bed bug bites will last longer if they become infected. The CDC says that excessive scratching of the bite marks can lead to bacteria getting into the red bump and so the bump becomes infected. 2
How to identify bed bug bites
If you notice that red marks have developed on your skin and they become itchy and swollen, it’s important to know if the red lumps are from a bed bug or another parasite.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the symptoms of bed bug bites are a red mark or lump with a darker spot in the middle, itching around the infected area, and bite marks that are in a line or cluster. If you notice these kinds of bite marks on your skin, then you should check your sleeping area for signs of bed bugs. 4
To help identify if the bite marks have been left by bed bugs, you should now check all joints and crevices on your bed frame, box springs, furniture, and mattress seams for tell-tale signs of a bed bug infestation.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that physical signs of bed bugs are dark spots on bed linen that can be blood spots or bed bug feces, pale yellow shed skins, and tiny bed bug eggs. You may even notice the tiny biting pests crawling around corners of mattresses and bed frames. You can spot them because they are about the size of an apple seed and will generally hide in dark places. 5
If you find evidence of bed bugs living in your home, then it’s time to take action to remove the critters completely. For this, you may need to use a combination of the best bed bug powders along with effective bed bug sprays.
If you can’t find signs of a bed bug infestation, then your bite marks could have been caused by a flea.
Bed bug bites vs flea bites
Flea bites also cause itchy red bumps to appear on the skin and can last as long as bed bug bites. However, fleas will bite at any time of the day, whereas bed bugs tend to only come out at night to feed on blood. Because bed bug bites can appear up to 2 weeks after the initial bite, they can be difficult to tell apart.
One way to tell the difference between a flea bite and bed bug bite is their location on your body. According to dermatologists on DermNetNZ, flea bites tend to be on the ankles or around your waist. 6 However, bed bugs will bite any part of the body, and bite marks are common on the face, arms and upper legs, whereas flea bites are not.
According to doctors from WebMD, the best way to tell bed bug bites apart from flea bite is to look for physical signs of bed bug activity. 7
Lasting effects of bed bug bites
Bed bug bites have no lasting effect on humans. According to the CDC, bed bugs don’t spread disease and their bite marks will only last about 2 weeks or so. 2
One of the reasons, however, to treat bed bug bites as fast as possible is to reduce the itching and irritation that they cause. Doctors from the NHS warn that excessive scratching of a bed bug bite can cause skin infections, and if this leads to scarring, the bed bug bite scars will last for a long time. 1
How to Recover Faster from Bed Bug Bites
Recovering quickly from bed bug bites is important to reduce the irresistible urge to scratch the bite marks. Usually, doctors recommend hydrocortisone ointments to reduce swelling, inflammation, and itching. Here are some great ways you can make your own bed bug bite ointments. By applying these natural remedies, you can shorten the duration that bed bug bites last.
Cold tea bag compress for bed bug bites
A very simple way to relieve swelling and irritation caused by a bed bug biting is to apply a cold tea bag to the affected skin area. This has a two-fold effect on relieving itching. First, the cold helps to calm nerve endings that are irritated. Secondly, tea contains astringents that help to reduce swelling and itching.
For example, Dr. Patrick Davis on eMedicineHealth says that applying a cold compress to insect bites can help to reduce swelling and calm the affected area. 8
You can use either black tea bag, green tea bags, or chamomile tea for your compress. TheJournal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistrysays that black and green teas contain tannins which act as astringents. 9 Astringents help to reduce inflammation and itching. Also, studies into the healing effect of chamomile have shown that it has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin similar to hydrocortisone creams. 10
How to use:
To use a cold compress to shorten the duration a bed bug bite lasts, you should do the following:
- Place a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and allow to cool.
- Hold the tea bag to the itchy bed bug bite for 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day to relieve the symptoms of a bed bug bite and help it heal faster.
If you have many bites, you can prepare a few tea bags and keep them in the refrigerator. This way you can get instant relief from an itchy bite whenever you need to.
Another natural astringent that you can use to quickly take the itch out of a bed bug bite lump is witch hazel. Also rich in tannins, witch hazel helps to relieve itchiness and inflammation fast from any kind of insect bite.
Witch hazel will also help to prevent any secondary bacterial infection that could hinder recovery from the bed bug bite. TheJournal of Inflammationreports that witch hazel has antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Witch hazel is also frequently used to reduce inflammation from irritated skin. 11
How to use:
It couldn’t be easier to use pure witch hazel to reduce the length of time a bed bug bite lasts. This is what you should do:
- Dip a cotton pad in pure witch hazel and hold to the affected skin area to reduce irritation.
- Hold for around 10 minutes to allow the astringents to go to work and bring down inflammation.
- Use the witch hazel remedy 2-3 times a day to speed up the healing process of bed bug bites and kill the urge to scratch.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
To help bed bug bites to heal quicker, you can apply diluted raw apple cider vinegar to the cluster of bites. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to kill off germs and bacteria from the skin as well as being a great anti-itch remedy. In fact, apple cider vinegar makes a great facial wash to keep your skin healthy and vibrant.
For example, the journalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapypublished information on how to relieve pruritus (itching) naturally. It was found that skin applications that are acidic help to lower pH levels and thus help stop itching. 12
How to use:
To help treat the symptoms of bed bug bites and prevent secondary bacterial skin infections, you should use raw apple cider vinegar that is unprocessed. This is what you should do:
- Dilute equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water.
- Apply the solution to the itchy patches of skin where you have been bitten.
- Leave to dry and then rinse off with warm water.
- Use the apple cider vinegar remedy 2-3 times a day for instant relief for itching caused by bed bug bites.
Alternatively, you can use undiluted lemon juice in place of the ACV bed bug remedy. Lemon juice is also acidic by nature and will help to relieve itchy bumps and patches of red skin. Apply the lemon juice to itchy welts on your skin 2-3 times a day to stop the incessant itching.
Aloe vera is a well-researched medicinal plant that has a wonderful effect on healing irritated skin naturally. A little aloe vera on your bed bug bite marks will help to promote healing and nourish your skin at the same time. Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties to stop skin itching.
Research into aloe vera has found that it can be used to heal itchy bug bites. For example, theSkin Pharmacology and Physiologyjournal reported that aloe vera was more effective than 1% hydrocortisone gel in alleviating skin irritation. 13
How to use:
Aloe vera will help your skin recover faster from bed bug bites and heal any rashes that have developed. You can use gel squeezed from an aloe vera plant or you can buy aloe vera gel that has as few added ingredients as possible. This is how to use aloe vera on bed bug bites:
- Gently massage aloe vera gel into the areas of skin where you have bed bug bites to relieve itchiness and irritation.
- Allow the gel to dry (you don’t have to rinse it off).
- Apply aloe vera gel a few times during the day to help your skin heal and stop itching in the inflamed bumps.
If you have had an unusually acute reaction to bed bug bites, aloe vera will help to reduce the immune response on your skin.
To stop the annoying itching that bed bug bites cause, you can use the soothing power of baking soda. Baking soda helps to reduce the size to bumps and lessen redness where you have been bitten.
According to Dr. David Derrer on WebMD, baking soda is a natural home remedy for bed bug bites. The anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda help to soothe itching, redness, and swelling that bug bites cause. 14
How to use:
It is very easy to make a healing baking soda paste to treat a bed bug bite naturally. All you need to make the home remedy is some baking soda and water.
- Take a tablespoon of baking soda and mix with some water to create a thick paste.
- Apply the healing paste to welts, bumps, and blisters where you have been bitten.
- Leave for 15 minutes to reduce itching and inflammation and rinse off with warm water.
- Apply the remedy in the morning and evening to help cut the length of time bed bug bites last.
Baking soda can also be combined with other ingredients to help keep your skin looking healthy.
If you are unfortunate enough to have large areas of bed bug bites on your skin, oatmeal may be the best home remedy for you. Oatmeal contains healing properties that relieve skin itching, irritation, and inflammation fast. Oatmeal can be made into a paste to be used as an anti-inflammatory treatment for your bed bug bites, or you can add it to a bath if you have lots of bed bug bites on your skin.
Scientific research into its healing properties has revealed that colloidal oatmeal (ground oatmeal) is safe to use to provide natural relief from itching and irritation. In fact, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration lists colloidal oatmeal as a remedy for insect bites. 15 One study in 2015 found that oatmeal has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. It helps to reduce mild to moderate itching when applied to itchy rashes. 16
How to use:
To make a topical application to soothe bed bug bites that are itchy and red, you can add some yogurt to ground oatmeal. Here are the steps to make the bed bug remedy yourself:
- Take a cup of ground oatmeal and mix it with enough plain yogurt to create a paste.
- Apply the oatmeal paste to part of your body where you have bed bug bites.
- Leave for 20 minutes to soothe the itchy bug bites and bring down inflammation.
- Repeat 2 times a day for long-lasting relief from your bed bug bites.
If you have large areas of bed bug bites or they are in hard to reach places, you can add a cup of ground oatmeal to your bath. Bathing in oatmeal is also a great way to stop all-over body itching. A bath with oatmeal will not only stop your itching but the bath will help to relieve the stress from dealing with the bed bug problem.
You can use honey as a spot treatment to heal bed bug bites quicker and reduce the time they last. Honey is a powerful natural antibiotic that can be used if your bed bug bites show signs of a bacterial skin infection. The soothing effect of raw honey will also assist in calming itchiness and prevent scratching.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic report that there are some studies which suggest that honey can be used as a topical anti-itch treatment. 17 Natural honey also adds a protective barrier on the skin which can help prevent the bed bug bites getting worse.
How to use:
The best kind of honey to use is Manuka honey for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. However, you can use any honey as long as it is raw and unprocessed.
- Take a little honey and dab it onto your itchy bed bug bite marks.
- Gently massage the honey to help relieve itching and soothe inflammation.
- Use as necessary throughout the day whenever you get the urge to scratch the bed bug bites.
One great and cheap way to reduce the time itchy bed bug bites last is to apply sliced cucumber. Cucumbers are full of vitamins and minerals that help to keep your skin healthy and gorgeous.
Cucumber has a cooling effect on the skin and will calm and help stop a never-ending bed bug bite itch. For example, the journalFitoterapiareported that cucumber seeds have a cooling effect on the skin. Cucumbers also have enzymes that help to alleviate skin irritation and reduce swelling. 18
How to use:
For instant relief from the irritating effects of bed bug bites, this is how you can use cucumbers:
- Take a cucumber from the refrigerator and cut it into slices
- Place the sliced cucumber on the bed bug bites to quickly get rid of your itchy symptoms.
- Apply every time you get the urge to scratch the itchy swollen bite marks.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an amazing essential oil that can help reduce inflammation and itching from a bed bug bite. Tea tree oil has many uses in skin care and helping to prevent skin infections and scratching itchy patches of skin is just one of them. Tea tree oil can also be added to coconut oil to provide even more relief to itchy skin.
TheBritish Journal of Dermatologyreported that tea tree oil can help treat histamine-induce skin inflammation. It was found that tea tree oil successfully soothed and treated skin inflammation and itchiness that is the result of allergic reactions. 19
How to use:
To use tea tree oil to help your skin recover faster from bed bug bites, this is what you should do:
- Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil to create a healing ointment.
- Apply a small amount of the tea tree oil remedy to the red rashes and clusters of bed bug bites.
- Use the ointment 2-3 times a day to promote healing and help get rid of your bed bug bites quicker.
- Repeat until all redness, swelling, and itchiness have gone from the bitten areas.
You can also use tea tree oil on its own as a spot treatment for insect bites. You can dab a drop of tea tree oil onto the red itchy bump to reduce swelling.
Alternatively, you can substitute tea tree oil for lavender oil and apply to your skin. A study in 2015 found that lavender oil contains compounds that are just as effective as some anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs. Lavender essential oil helps to reduce skin inflammation and inflammatory responses. 20
When to See a Doctor
In the rare occasions that home remedies don’t help to get rid of itching and swelling in a bed bug bite and they last for too long, you should visit your doctor or dermatologist. Also, doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend visiting your doctor if many bed bug bites induce a severe allergic reaction or you notice anything unusual around the site of the bed bug bites. 4
Read my other related articles:
- NHS. Bedbugs.
- CDC. Bed bugs FAQ.
- eMedicineHealth. The symptoms of bed bug bites.
- Mayo Clinic. Bedbugs. Symptoms.
- EPA. How to find bed bugs.
- DermNetNZ. Flea bites.
- WebMD. How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?
- eMedicineHealth. Insect bites.
- Phytojournal. Tannins are astringent.
- OWM. 2011;57(5):28-36.
- J Inflamm (Lond). 2011; 8: 27.
- Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jul; 11(10): 1673–1682.
- Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2008;21(2):106-10
- WebMD. Baking soda: what can it do for you?
- NCBI. Colloidal oatmeal powder.
- J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jan;14(1):43-8.
- MayoClinic. Honey.
- Fitoterapia. 2013 Jan;84:227-36
- Br J Dermatol. 2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.
- An Acad Bras Cienc. 2015 Aug;87(2 Suppl):1397-408.
Can bed bugs spread quickly?
You surely have heard that if you don’t get the solution for the bed bugs as quickly as possible, they will spread in your entire house. However, still people think twice before believing in any of them. Here, we will get the solution to your problem and get the real answer to your question, can bed bugs spread quickly? We will also see some of the ways that they can spread easily. Once you know them, you can take some of the measures to remove all of them. In this way, you can get a bug free house.
First things first, let’s see the direct answer to your question. Can bed bugs spread quickly? Yes, sometimes it can spread very quickly but there are many ways you can stop them from spreading.
First of all, know that each bed bugs can lay anywhere between 1 to 12 eggs and talk about their entire lifetime, they can lay anywhere between 200 to 500 eggs in their life. Therefore, it can spread in no amount of time if you don’t take proper care of it. However, there are many catches and you can easily stop them from spreading. There are many ways in which bed bugs can spread. To stop them, you should first know how they spread.
How they spread?
Bed bugs don’t have any wings and hence they will have to take the support of any material or the cloth in order to get to the other room or other places. Bed bugs can easily spread if you move your furniture from one room to another room. They need blood in order to grow and breed. As long as they are getting the source directly from one place, they will not move. However, they can easily move if they are not getting proper food.
In search of food, they can spread to the next room and if they find enough food source over there, they will start to breed over there. Therefore, people recommend that you should get rid of the bed bugs and call pest control as soon as possible.
Also, note that they can go to the neighborhood in search of food. They usually travel when the furniture moves or they travel through some other piece of cloth. For instance, they can get into a jacket and when the person wears the jacket, they will travel along.