Bed Bugs Bite How Long Does It Last

Bed Bugs FAQs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Do bed bugs spread disease?

Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

What health risks do bed bugs pose?

A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation?

One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:

  • the bed bugs’ exoskeletons after molting,
  • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,
  • rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and
  • a sweet musty odor.

How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?

It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites.

Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.

How did I get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are experts at hiding. Their slim flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel.

Who is at risk for getting bed bugs?

Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs when visiting an infected area. However, anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has a higher risk of being bitten and or spreading a bed bug infestation.

How are bed bugs treated and prevented?

Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat. The best way to treat a bite is to avoid scratching the area and apply antiseptic creams or lotions and take an antihistamine. Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying. If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?

Ever wondered how long bed bug bites last? Bed bug bites look like small red welts and can last up to two weeks or more. Learn more about bed bug bites.

For most people, the idea of a bed bug feeding on them while they sleep is enough to make their skin crawl. Here are some facts about bed bug bites and what to expect if you think you’ve been bitten.

Q: How long do bed bug bites last?

A: Most bites will heal withinone to two weeks of appearingand not cause any long-term problems. Those with stronger sensitivities to insect bites may take up to three weeks or longer to heal.

Q: When do bites first appear?

A: According to theCenters for Disease Control,it can take up to 14 days for a bite to appear. Some people may not notice bites at all, while others may see signs of a bite within hours.

Q: What does a bed bug bite look like?

A: Bed bug bites are often mistaken for mosquito or flea bites. All three insects can cause small red bumps or welts in those they’ve bitten. However, bites from a bed bug are usually clustered or form a line in a zigzag pattern, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Q: Could it be another insect bite?

A: Many other skin reactions can look very similar to bed bug bites. If the bed bug was not actually caught in the act, bites and reactions to bites should be combined with other evidence such as blood spots, fecal staining, shed skins and bed bug eggs. This will help you correctly identify the culprit for proper elimination.

Q: How are bed bug bites treated?

A: There are ways to treat bed bug bites, including over-the-counter solutions. For specific details on how to treat a bed bug bite, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Don’t worry about questions like "how long do bed bug bites last?" Make this bite the last one, and call Terminix today for a free bed bug inspection.

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.

What are Earwigs?

Most people have probably heard of earwigs at some point or another. These creepy-looking insects are associated with some urban myths. Learn the truth about earwigs, including what attracts them and how to help get rid of them.

ARE TICKS DANGEROUS?

The majority of ticks will deliver painless bites without any noticeable symptoms. However, some ticks can carry a variety of bacteria and pathogens for disease. Although not all ticks are dangerous, you don’t want to risk coming into contact with these blood-sucking insects.

ARE TICKS DANGEROUS?

The majority of ticks will deliver painless bites without any noticeable symptoms. However, some ticks can carry a variety of bacteria and pathogens for disease. Although not all ticks are dangerous, you don’t want to risk coming into contact with these blood-sucking insects.

Are Bed Bugs Contagious?

Bed bugs are not too picky about where and when they catch a ride and don’t necessarily have a preferred mode of transportation, so it’s no surprise how many people wonder, are bed bugs contagious?

Related Articles

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

Cluster Flies In Your Home

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve dealt with annoying flies ruining your summer barbecues and outdoor dinner parties. You may have even become accustomed to whipping out the flypaper and heavy-duty bug zappers the minute you hear the familiar buzz of a fly. These annoying pests are likely house flies, which can pose significant health risks to you and your family. But have you ever seen large, sluggish flies loitering inside your home in the autumn and winter? They may be cluster flies.

Tips to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Your House

Now that it’s fall, it’s officially indoor stink bug season. Before it becomes winter, brown marmorated stink bugs are looking for comfortable overwintering sites to spend the cold months—and that can often mean that they may find a way to sneak into your house. While the odor that a stink bug releases is not dangerous, they are definitely a nuisance. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get rid of stink bugs in your house—without having to deal with the unpleasant smell.

What are Sand Fleas?

Many people love going to the beach to spend time in the sun, sand, and water. But they might not love some of the nuisances that live at the beach or in the ocean, such as gnats or jellyfish. But, what about the sand flea, a small critter that can be found in moist areas such as under rocks or debris. Keep reading to learn exactly what sand fleas are and if you need to worry about them.

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.

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:

  1. Place a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and allow to cool.
  2. Hold the tea bag to the itchy bed bug bite for 10-15 minutes.
  3. 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.

Witch hazel

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:

  1. Dip a cotton pad in pure witch hazel and hold to the affected skin area to reduce irritation.
  2. Hold for around 10 minutes to allow the astringents to go to work and bring down inflammation.
  3. 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:

  1. Dilute equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water.
  2. Apply the solution to the itchy patches of skin where you have been bitten.
  3. Leave to dry and then rinse off with warm water.
  4. 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

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:

  1. Gently massage aloe vera gel into the areas of skin where you have bed bug bites to relieve itchiness and irritation.
  2. Allow the gel to dry (you don’t have to rinse it off).
  3. 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.

Baking soda

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.

  1. Take a tablespoon of baking soda and mix with some water to create a thick paste.
  2. Apply the healing paste to welts, bumps, and blisters where you have been bitten.
  3. Leave for 15 minutes to reduce itching and inflammation and rinse off with warm water.
  4. 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.

Oatmeal

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:

  1. Take a cup of ground oatmeal and mix it with enough plain yogurt to create a paste.
  2. Apply the oatmeal paste to part of your body where you have bed bug bites.
  3. Leave for 20 minutes to soothe the itchy bug bites and bring down inflammation.
  4. 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.

Honey

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.

  1. Take a little honey and dab it onto your itchy bed bug bite marks.
  2. Gently massage the honey to help relieve itching and soothe inflammation.
  3. Use as necessary throughout the day whenever you get the urge to scratch the bed bug bites.

Cucumbers

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:

  1. Take a cucumber from the refrigerator and cut it into slices
  2. Place the sliced cucumber on the bed bug bites to quickly get rid of your itchy symptoms.
  3. 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:

  1. Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil to create a healing ointment.
  2. Apply a small amount of the tea tree oil remedy to the red rashes and clusters of bed bug bites.
  3. Use the ointment 2-3 times a day to promote healing and help get rid of your bed bug bites quicker.
  4. 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:

Article Sources

  1. NHS. Bedbugs.
  2. CDC. Bed bugs FAQ.
  3. eMedicineHealth. The symptoms of bed bug bites.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Bedbugs. Symptoms.
  5. EPA. How to find bed bugs.
  6. DermNetNZ. Flea bites.
  7. WebMD. How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?
  8. eMedicineHealth. Insect bites.
  9. Phytojournal. Tannins are astringent.
  10. OWM. 2011;57(5):28-36.
  11. J Inflamm (Lond). 2011; 8: 27.
  12. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jul; 11(10): 1673–1682.
  13. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2008;21(2):106-10
  14. WebMD. Baking soda: what can it do for you?
  15. NCBI. Colloidal oatmeal powder.
  16. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jan;14(1):43-8.
  17. MayoClinic. Honey.
  18. Fitoterapia. 2013 Jan;84:227-36
  19. Br J Dermatol. 2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.
  20. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2015 Aug;87(2 Suppl):1397-408.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last (Updated for 2019)?

Bed bugs are the nastiest and most stubborn type of household parasites that you can find. Not only are these insects very adept at hiding but they have now become immune to certain chemicals that once were very effective at killing them.

Bed bugs also tend to bite a lot. Although they are not known to carry any dangerous diseases, their bites can result in relatively large welts that can be very itchy and irritating for many days.

In this guide, we shall study the effect of bed bug bites and how to treat them. To do that, however, we first need to find out how bed bugs feed and how long does it take for a bed bug infestation to manifest.

Table of Contents

How Do Bed Bugs Feed

Bed bugs are parasites and feed on blood. Although they can feed on any animal, human blood is their most favored diet. Bed bugs feed on humans by piercing their skin with their sharp and long beak-like proboscis to draw blood from their victim. In order to not make their prey aware of them, bed bugs excrete saliva at the same time. The saliva contains anesthesia that numbs the wound and an anticoagulant that keeps the blood from clotting. This allows the bed bugs to drink from the host as long as they want without waking us up.

The bed bug saliva is the reason why a large majority of bed bug bites become red and inflamed.

When Do Bed Bug Bite?

Like most blood-feeding animals, bed bugs are nocturnal and usually come out during the night. While it is still possible to see an errant bug crawling on your bed sheet in early mornings, during the day, bed bugs prefer to hide inside cracks, crevices, nooks and crannies, cracks in the walls, the seams and inside of your mattress, your pillows, and your box springs. One of their most favorite places is hiding inside mattresses and cracks in the bed as it allows them easy access to their victims.

When people go to sleep at night, these bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide that humans breathe out. They follow their lure and bite their victims. If a bed bug is especially hungry, it may even venture out in the day time and bite any humans reclining on the bed. Under these circumstances, it may also feed on any animal that is occupying the bed.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bed bug bites can easily be mistaken for other small insect bites like mosquitoes and fleas. All of these insects can cause small round bumps on human skin. However, bed bug bites have a few characteristics that can help tell them apart.

The first step in identifying a bed bug bite is to make sure that you are looking at a bite and not just a scratch or a puncture wound from some object. Bed bug bites appear in the form of inflamed and red welts, which are circular with irregularly shaped boundaries. It usually has a darker spot in the center, which marks the site where the bed bug’s proboscis entered your skin. The outer circle is a lighter red compared to the middle.

Bed bug bites are usually clustered together in straight or zigzag lines along the exposed surface of your arms, legs, and face but these insects can also crawl beneath your clothes and bite your back and abdomen.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

Almost all bed bug bite results in severe itchiness and a slight burning sensation. People who are allergic to insect bites may have more severe reactions. The bites may look more enlarged and inflamed. They may also experience hives and blisters around the affected areas.

In some cases, if the rash is severe enough, it can develop into popular eruptions or pustules which are filled with fluid. There have been a tiny number of reports of people suffering from breathing problems, slight fever, flu-like symptoms, swollen mouth and tongue, and irregular heartbeats. Fortunately, these kinds of reactions are extremely rare.

People may also find dead bed bugs flattened by their bodies when they turn over during the night or small spots of blood on their clothing form the bite. There may also be reddish brown spots on the bedding that may indicate bed bug droppings.

How Long Does it Take For Bed Bug Bites to Appear?

Interestingly, unlike many other bites, many people may not feel the effects of a bed bug bite for several days. Some people may not notice they have been bitten at all, while others may notice a burning sensation within a few hours of the bite. A bed bug bite can take up to 14 days to appear, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That makes it even more difficult to diagnose as there is no way of knowing if, when, or where you were bitten.

As mentioned above, many people do not feel the bite at all, while some people who are hypersensitive may develop severe reactions. But the vast majority of the population experiences the relatively mild reaction of the welt with a slight burning sensation and itchiness. In this case, the symptoms usually occur a few hours after the bite and can progress over the next few days.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bite Last?

The time it takes for a bed bug bite to go away varies from person to person. Usually, a bed bug bite may take one or two weeks to heal and will not cause any serious, long term issues. With some home remedies or over-the-counter drugs, you can easily speed up the healing process. However, for some people, a bed bug bite can last for around a month.

Since bed bug bites are extremely itchy, people often tend to scratch them. Although this may give them temporary relief, scratching can damage the affected area and may cause bleeding. If the wound opens, bacteria may spread, posing risk for secondary infections. It will also make it longer for the bed bug bite to heal.

Similarly, people who have an allergic reaction may find that a bed bug bite takes longer to go away since it is larger and more inflamed.

In short, there are many things that you can do to make the bite heal quicker (explained in detail below). On the other hand, other things, like scratching, can make the bed bug bite worse!

Can Bed Bug Bites Result in Scar?

One good thing about bed bug bites is that they do not leave any scar if not aggravated. Usually, bed bug bites heal within a couple of weeks, even without the use of medication or home remedies. Scarring is extremely rare.

How to Alleviate Symptoms and Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Quickly?

Fortunately, there are many ways to lessen the symptoms of bed bug bites and help your skin heal faster. Naturally, you cannot expect the bite mark to fade within a day but these home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help accelerate the healing process.

Clean the Area

As with all bites, make sure you wash the affected area with antibacterial soap and some warm water. Just keeping the bite clean may hasten the recovery process and make your bite mark fade quickly.

Icing

Even if you experience intense itching, refrain from scratching! Instead, put a cold compress on it. You can make a cold compress by taking some ice cubes, wrapping them up in a thin towel and applying it to the site of the bite. Keep the pressure on the bite for periods of 30 seconds. The cold will numb the area, making it less inflamed. Whenever you get the urge to itch, apply ice to the bite instead.

Lemon Juice and Honey

Lemon juice is a natural astringent and has anti-inflammatory properties. Mix some lemon juice in honey and apply the paste to the bite. It can limit itching and promote healing. Do not apply lemon juice to open sores as it can worsen the situation.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and anti-itching properties, which can help lessen the irritation. Pour some apple cider vinegar onto a ball of cotton wool and apply it to the affected area to promote healing.

Oatmeal

When it comes to insect bites, one wouldn’t think oatmeal would make the list of things that can help treat bed bug bites. However, oatmeal is actually a wonderful remedy to treat the itchy, inflamed, and irritating bed bug bites. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, oatmeal is an effective skin protectant as it contains a high amount of phenols that are responsible for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Add a few drops of water to oatmeal and make it into a smooth mixture. Apply the paste to the bed bug bite for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off with cool water.

Toothpaste

Since toothpaste contains menthols, a cooling agent, it is quite effective for soothing inflamed and itchy bites. Apply some toothpaste to the bite and wash it off after 10 minutes.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel contains a high percentage of pectic acids and glucomannans as well as essential vitamins and amino acids, which make it one of the best remedies to soothe a bed bug bite. Take an aloe vera leaf, cut off the spines on its sides and split it into upper and lower halves. Take out the aloe vera gel with the help of a knife and apply it to the bed bug bite. Once you apply the gel, it will sting on the application; however, it will soon provide relief.

Herbal Tea

Tea contains polyphenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can help you reduce inflammation and pain. Once you have made a tea, keep the used tea bags in the fridge. If you get bitten by a bed bug, apply the cool tea bags to the affected area for 15 minutes a few times a day.

Corticosteroids

You can buy corticosteroid ointments and creams which can help reduce itching and irritation from bed bug bites. These creams can prevent the urge to scratch at bites. This will help decrease the time it takes the bite to heal. For severe cases, a doctor may prescribe you a stronger dose of corticosteroid or inject you with the hormone.

Antihistamine

For people who are especially sensitive to bed bug bites, use of antihistamine is a good option. You can buy antihistamine creams and pills easily from any drug store or pharmacy to help alleviate the symptoms of a bed bug bite. For those with severe adverse reactions, a doctor can prescribe a stronger dose.

How Long Does It Take for a Bed Bug Infestation to Manifest?

If you have a long-term infestation in your house, it is very difficult to determine when the bed bugs first came to your house. Usually, a large outbreak means the insects have been living in your home for several months or even years without you noticing. However, if you have a small infestation, it is fairly easy to gauge when it manifested.

In case of small infestations at warm room temperatures (72° F), with lots of bloodmeals nearby, it takes bed bugs about a week to grow out of each phase of their nymph stage with molting. With every molting, the nymph will shed their exoskeleton also known as exuviae or bed bug casings. These casings can be used to determine the approximate time of a bed bug infestation. For example, if a nymph in its fourth stage is found inside a mattress with excuviae of three different sizes, it is reasonable to assume that it has been using your bed as a home for about three weeks.

In similar circumstances, it takes eggs about 10 days to hatch. Therefore, if you find tiny milky-white eggs attached to your furniture, it means your bed has been infested for that long. Some eggs can also be collected and you can estimate the time of when they were laid, once they hatch.

A big indicator of when a bed bug infestation manifested is the number of adult biting insects in the bed. Generally, it takes about seven weeks for a bed bug to complete its lifecycle and turn from an egg into a fully-grown adult, so there shouldn’t be any new adults from eggs during that period. This is assumed under the circumstances that the outbreak started from a few adults and no new bed bugs were introduced to your home during that time.

In essence, there is no surefire way you can estimate when a bed bug infestation started, but you can prescribe some limits and use them to determine an estimate. This type of task is best left to professional exterminators who can determine the age of the infestation by studying bed bug fecal matter, the number of eggs and excuviae, and adult biting insects.

Dealing with bed bugs can be a complete headache. Unfortunately, bed bug infestations have grown quite common and no one really knows why. Although bed bugs bites are quite irritating and unsightly, most people will heal from them in a couple of weeks at most. People who are extra-sensitive to bed bug bites should consider the home remedies mentioned above as well as visit a doctor if their symptoms worsen.

The tips given above can help you deal with bed bug bites without any long-term side effects. Meanwhile, you can hire the services of a professional exterminator or try some bed bug powders and sprays to get rid of these pests from your house.

How to Treat a Bed Bug Rash

How Does an Individual Get a Bed Bug Bite Rash?

Bed bugs commonly infest summer cabins, especially at camps, hiking trail shelters and parks. Many times, when they are found in an urban home they can be traced back to a visit to one of these facilities.

These parasites are attracted to warmth, which is why they bite us as we sleep. They are also attracted to carbon dioxide, which is what is exhaled by oxygen breathing species.

They reside in dark areas and crevices near the host. Their only food is the blood they obtain from the host. Hosts for this bug are many different species of vertebrates including canaries, poultry, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, mice, bats and unfortunately, man.

How They Feed

These bugs feed on the host while the host sleeps, generally just before dawn. They will usually not be seen during the daylight hours unless the infestation is severe.

This bug will secure itself to the host’s skin using its claws and then inserts it ‘beak’ into the skin of the host. The ‘beak’ consists of two tubes (stylets); one sucks up the host’s blood while the other injects saliva (venom) in the wound.

This saliva assists in preventing the host’s blood from coagulating to keep it flowing. It also has an anesthetic to numb the feeding area on the host. This saliva is what causes the itching sensation on the host’s skin.

Have Bed Bug Problems?

Feeding Based on Age

Nymphs (adolescents) feed for approximately three minutes while an adult may continue to feed on the blood of the host for ten to fifteen minutes.

Amazingly, they can survive 18 months without any oxygen and as much as a year without any blood. The bites cause burning, itching and swelling. The degree of symptoms depends upon the host’s susceptibility.

How Common are These Rashes?

The National Pest Management Association has stated that prior to the year 2000, as few as 25% of the pest control companies in the United States had encountered an infestation of these nasty bugs. Currently that number has risen to 95%.

At this point in time 76% of the United States pest control professionals think that this bug is the most difficult pest to eradicate.

Companies that previously received one or two calls per year are now reporting that they receive one or two calls weekly.

Why has the Infestation Returned?

There are various factors that are contributing to the resurgence in the United States. Citizens are frequently traveling to foreign areas that are infested.

Second-hand furniture and furnishings have become extremely popular. Populations have increased their resistance to the various pesticides. Control has been neglected by the pest control industry since the ‘40s.

What Does a Typical Bite Rash Look Like?

When these bugs bite an individual, they can develop a rash. These rashes have the ability to cause an extremely irritating itching sensation. The actual rash is not considered to be detrimental to one’s health.

Many times a rash is mistaken for bites that are caused by insects commonly found in a household. These insects include fleas, lice, ants and mosquitoes. The truth is that the majority of individuals are not aware they have been fed on by these parasites. Many times, they assume the rash is just a skin allergy.

However, once you are aware of what to look for, it is very easily recognizable.

One of the first signs is numerous tiny or raised skin bumps. These bumps will always be in a row or cl ustered pattern. This is because they generally feed more than one time at the same location.

Other Signs to Watch Out For

The next sign is that the bites will occur nightly while sleeping and the rashes will increase daily. These rashes will usually be located on the legs, arms, neck, face and back, which are the most common areas. The reason these places are the most common sites is because these areas are usually exposed during the night. Exposed areas of the host are what they prefer.

For a lot of individuals these tiny red bumps will generally manifest hours or even days after the bite. These bumps will then begin to itch. If these bumps are scratched, the area may become inflamed because of a severe infection.

The bites or welts are misdiagnosed by many dermatologists as bites from fleas or even scabies. Only around half of the populace notices the very first bite and makes the correlation to these bloodsucking bugs.

Many reactions to bites are delayed for approximately ten days. People over the age of 65 either react less or are not usually bitten. In one survey, 42% of individuals over 65 years reported no bites or reactions even though there was an ongoing presence.

Personality

These bugs are very shy and cautious. During the night, they are attracted to the odors and warmth of the closest human being. Believe it or not, they are able to feed for ten minutes or longer non-stop!

One will consume as much as six times its body weight in blood. However, usually the individual is unaware that they are being bitten. Once they have completed feeding, they look extremely bloated and have even been characterized as animated blood drops.

Not only can bites create a rash or welts, they also have the ability to spread disease organisms that bring on digestive and nervous disorders. Allergic reactions, particularly in more sensitive individuals can occur. The have been known to carry contributory agents for plague, anthrax, tularemia, typhus, relapsing fever and yellow fever.

They have been known to CARRY these diseases; at this point in time, there is NO PROOF that they actually TRANSMIT them. Children residing in homes that are extremely bug-ridden tend to become pale and listless.

How Long Does a Bite Rash Last?

Usually, the rash will appear several hours after the actual bite has occurred. In some cases, however, the rash may not appear for days. The appearance of the rash is dependent upon the individual’s allergic reaction to the bites. For the most part, the rash will last just a few days and then begins to fade slowly.

Unfortunately, the bite rash does have the ability to last a lot longer if the individual has a more intense allergic reaction to the bites. Some individuals will not have any reaction whatsoever, while others who have more sensitivity to allergies may develop rashes that cause extreme itching as they are continuously bitten nightly.

Many times medical attention will be necessary for these individuals to eliminate the rash completely.

How Can a Bite Rash be Treated?

The swelling and redness that is associated with a bite rash does not clear very easily. However, the itching and discomfort can easily be treated with several remedies including natural remedies and medications.

Oral antihistamines and steroid creams can be used in treatment regime. These medications will help to ease the itching that is associated with the rash.

It is important to remember not to scratch the bites. Scratching the bites ONLY MAKES THEM ITCH MORE and does have the ability to cause a secondary skin infection.

Names of Medications Used for the Treatment

Cortaid

There are topical steroid creams that are applied directly to the affected area to eliminate the itching sensation. One of these creams is hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone is available with or without a prescription. The lower strength creams may be purchased over-the-counter.

However, if the low dose cream does not work, you may need to obtain a prescription from your physician to purchase a stronger dose.

Creams Containing Dephendrydramine & Pramoxine

The optimal creams contain a mixture of pramoxine to assist with the tenderness and pain and diphendrydramine to eliminate the itching associated with the rash.

Creams & Lotions Containing Benzyl Alcohol

Lotions and creams containing benzyl alcohol may also be used to treat both the symptoms of itching and pain. These lotions and creams can be extremely effective in eliminating the itch to resolve the bite rash rather quickly.

Calamine Lotion

The use of Calamine Lotion will assist in protecting the skin while it heals. It also speeds the drying of the rash, which facilitates a quicker healing process.

Alka-Seltzer

If the individual is NOT allergic to aspirin, a cotton ball can be dipped into an Alka-Seltzer solution and then rubbed onto the bite rash to assist in clearing it up quicker.

Prednisone

Oral steroids are also useful in treating the itching. One of these steroids is called Prednisone and a prescription must be obtained from a physician to purchase this product. It is not an over-the counter medication.

Benadryl

Oral antihistamines can be very effective in relieving the itching sensation. One of these antihistamines is called Benadryl; however, these medications tend to cause drowsiness.

Therefore, this kind of medication is better used prior to retiring. It is not necessary to obtain a prescription from a doctor to purchase this medication. It is an over-the-counter product available at your local pharmacy.

Zyrtec & Claritin

There are some oral antihistamines that may be taken during the daytime and are not prone to cause drowsiness. A couple of these medications are Claritin and Zyrtec. It is not necessary to obtain a prescription for these medications either. Both are available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.

Oral Antibiotic or an Antibiotic Ointment

If a bacterial infection occurs on the skin, a health-care provider/physician may prescribe an oral antibiotic or antibiotic ointment to treat the skin infection.

Corticosteroids, Antihistamines or Epinephrine Injections

Should an individual be suffering with a systemic allergic reaction, a physician can administer antihistamines, corticosteroids or epinephrine to the individual. *It is important to note that this condition is extremely rare.

Natural Remedies to Consider

Apply lukewarm water above 120°F or 50°C to the area that has been bitten as soon as possible. This has been known to relieve some of the symptoms.

Just by washing the rash regularly with the use of antibacterial soap helps to keep the bacteria from growing on the rash and causing an infection.

Applying a mixture of baking soda and salt to the affected areas will help to relieve inflammation.

Soaking in a lukewarm bath after adding powdered oatmeal will provide some relief from the itching sensation and reduce inflammation. A paste can be made out of the powdered oatmeal and applied to the areas affected.

A paste can be made from water and baking soda. Rub this paste on the area infected with the rash. Let the paste dry and then peel it off. This should help relieve some of the itching.

Lemon juice or Witch Hazel may be applied directly on the bites.

Home Treatment Suggestion Regimen

Wash the affected area with hot water and soap. Apply anesthetic lotion or cream liberally. To avoid welting and swelling apply ice to the affected areas.

Repeat the regimen every 6 to 8 hours until the symptoms subside.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If unsure what is actually causing the skin lesions, call a health-care provider or a physician.

If any signs that indicate a secondary infection are present, it is time to call the doctor. *Many times this secondary infection is caused by scratching of the bites/rash.

It is rare, but there have been cases of systemic allergic reactions, meaning affecting the body throughout. It is necessary to seek medical attention if this condition occurs.

Following-up with the health-care provider or physician could be necessary following a systemic allergic reaction. The health-care provider or physician may want to monitor your progress especially if a secondary skin infection had developed.

Preparing to See the Health-Care Provider/Physician

Prepare a List

Write down a very detailed description of all your symptoms.

Provide history related to any recent travel, especially international travel. Include information concerning any recent motel or hotel stays.

All the supplements and drugs you have taken including the dosage, frequency and when the last time was that you took these medications or supplements.

The health-care provider or physician will examine the areas that have been bitten.

The Life Cycle

Each female will lay from one to five eggs every day. That means that each female can lay anywhere from 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime. These eggs are yellow/white and elongated. They are approximately 1/25” in length and just slightly curved.

Each batch of eggs is fastened on rough surfaces with cement after being laid in clusters. This process occurs several times daily in protected places such as the ceiling, floor crevices and furniture cracks. These are just a few places they deposit their eggs.

Nearly several hundred could be deposited in a period of just two months. A female will not continue to lay eggs after 11 days if she does not feed.

When Do the Eggs Hatch?

The eggs will hatch sometime between one to three weeks. The length of time prior to the hatching of the eggs will depend on the temperature where the eggs were deposited. In the warmer weather, the incubation time will be shortened. Once the eggs hatch, it is now considered to be a nymph.

Nymphs are tiny and have no color upon hatching. They have five stages. The nymph has to molt or instar five times and feed on a full meal of blood prior to proceeding to the next stage of its metamorphosis. The amount of the host’s blood that is taken at each of these 5 meals is from 2 ½ to 6 times the nymph’s original weight.

This period can continue for several weeks when the conditions are favorable or up to an entire year when there are no hosts to feed on and the temperatures are low. The nymph looks similar to an adult, only smaller and pale yellow, straw colored or white prior to feeding.

Color Changes

Once the nymph has fed, it will turn purple or red. A nymph can survive for nearly 2 months without feeding on a host. A nymph is approximately the size of the letter ‘R’ in the word ‘liberty’ that is on a penny.

The nymph will undergo a gradual and simple metamorphosis and eventually become an adult. Once they reach adulthood it will be shiny and brown.

Very soon, after becoming an adult, they mate and the cycle will begin again. The adults are about as big as Lincoln’s head on the penny. An adult prefer humans as their host.

Where to Look

It is important to remember that they have a very flat body that allows it to hide almost anywhere. During the initial onset of the infestation, they are only visible around the tufts and seams of the mattress. As the infestation grows, these bugs spread out and inhabit larger and larger areas. Generally they prefer rough surfaces like wood or paper for their harborages.

These parasites can be found in a multitude of places throughout the home. However, they will not usually stray very far from their host; therefore, the bedroom would be a good place to start the search. It is usually the center of the infestation.

Favorite Hiding Spots

Some of the places they reside include dark and tight cracks in the home, in mattress seams, under buttons, in holes, inside walls, upholstered furniture ticking and seams, in or on bedside furniture, dressers, electrical outlets, wall boards, window and door frames, behind baseboards and pictures.

They can also hide out in where slats join beds, under wallpaper or borders that are loose, under wall-to-wall carpeting, under tack boards, in bed clothes, hollow bed frames and any place that is dark and isolated is a place that they would call home. Inspecting the home at night with only a red light will assist in locating the infestation.

Smell the suspicious areas; if there is a sweet smell resembling rotting raspberries you may have an infestation. This is the smell of the liquid excreted by the bug when it is afraid.

Brown or black spots of dried excrement on the bed linens also indicate their presence.

Tips on How to Eliminate Within the Home

These bugs are extremely sensitive to heat in every stage of their life. Thermal death point of a common bed bug is just 111°F to 113°F. Many times even temperatures that are lower than this, 97°F to 99° F can kill multitudes. If the temperature is raised to 140° F for about an hour or to 120°F for several hours most infestations will be eradicated.

If a steam cleaner is used to steam or hair dryer is used to heat the crevices and cracks of the mattress every week, this will assist in keeping them at bay. The mattress can be placed inside a sauna at 170°F weekly to help eliminate any bugs.

Low temperatures also kill these pests, including the eggs. These temperatures range from 32°F to 48°F and must be maintained for up to 50 days to ensure the eggs have died. The nymphs and adults will die within a few hours. An infested bedroom can be closed off and unheated during the cold weather and the bugs will be eradicated.

Vacuuming and Changing Lines

Vacuum all the areas where they routinely reside. By vacuuming all the hiding places daily, the bugs and their eggs will be removed along with their shelter-the dirt. ALWAYS be sure to place the vacuum bag into a sealed garbage bag outside.

Do this OUTSIDE of the home and immediately after vacuuming. EVEN IF THE BAG IS NOT FULL-this needs to be done EVERY time the home is vacuumed until the bugs have been TOTALLY eliminated from the home.

Change bed linens daily, or in the least weekly. Wash the bedding and the bed with Borax. The bedding should be laundered at the minimum of 120°F. Dry the bedding on high heat as well. Place the pillows and any other non-washable items in the dryer on high heat at least once weekly. Do not allow the bedding to touch the floor at any time.

Other Home Maintenance Tips

Since this bug cannot fly and only has the ability to crawl, moving the bed away from the wall would be helpful. To further protect the bed, sprinkle the bed with talcum powder. A vinyl cover placed over the mattress and the box springs will help to eliminate these bloodsuckers. Leave the vinyl covers on for at least a year.

Dust all the cracks, drawers and electrical outlets with talcum powder. Be sure to tighten, caulk and then screen all possible entry routes. Then, lightly dust these areas with Comet® or talcum powder.

Steam clean, vacuum the mattresses, or clean with Borax to remove bugs and any debris remaining. Caulk all the crevices and any cracks and re-glue any wallpaper or borders that are loose or falling down.

Vacuum all drawers and cabinets, this will also deter rodents from nesting in these areas. Consider hiring a pest control company to assist in the elimination process. These creatures are a very annoying and pernicious vermin and with an experienced professional helping, the time necessary to eradicate these pests will be shortened.

Eliminating and Preventing Outside the Home

Keep all vegetation away from the home’s foundation. This includes shrubs as well as weeds.

Move all woodpiles and debris away from the home.

Eliminate all the rodent pests and garbage outside the home.

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