How Long Bed Bug Bites Go Away

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:

  1. Itchy skin, red welts or bumps
  2. Rash in the form of clusters
  3. 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:

  1. Vacuuming the carpets regularly
  2. Never picking up second hand furniture, bedding or discarded mattresses from the curbside.
  3. 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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How Do I Make My Bed Bugs Go Away and How Will I Know for Sure They Are Gone?

B ed bugs are, if anything, resilient little parasites that virtually never give up. If you are wondering, “Do bed bugs go away if I just wait long enough?, ” then the answer is, “Not likely.”

You have to understand the mentality of a bed bug. They are not going to leave as long as they have a perfectly good host sleeping nearby from whom they can get an occasional blood-meal. That just wouldn’t make any sense to them.

The fact is, bed bugs’ very lives depend on making your life miserable. They feed almost exclusively on human blood, though they also will feed on animals. That means, therefore, that bed bugs are not likely to “pack up and leave” unless you do.

Table of Contents

I Have Bed Bugs: Do They Go Away On Their Own?

Again, the short answer is, “No, bed bugs don’t just go away.” But, it is of course, possible that they might sometimes leave if they no longer are getting any blood meals. But that might take quite a long time, and you can’t afford to let yourself be feasted upon and profusely bug-bitten in the mean time. “Waiting them out” is not a viable option.

What, then, should you do? The answer is that you have to take concerted, consistent action to actively kill all the bed bugs in your house. If even a single impregnated female bed bug survives, the nightmare of bed bug infestation could start all over again!

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live In An Empty House?

How long can a bedbug, or a whole bed bug population, survive in an empty house? Now, that’s a difficult question, and even scientists who devote a lot of time, thought, and energy to studying bed bugs aren’t quite agreed.

But here are some bed bug facts that will give you an idea:

  • A bed bugs’ life span can be anywhere from a few months to a full year.
  • Most bed bugs don’t feed every day. Once a week is about average.
  • A bed bug can live 6 to 12 months without a blood meal, depending on the climate and other factors.
  • Bedbugs need blood-meals to reproduce and molt. And a young bed bug can’t reach maturity unless it passes through 5 molts.

What this all adds up to is that a bed bug infestation would eventually die out on its own if there were no people or animals around to feed on, for long enough. But, that process could easily take a year.

Thus, there are buildings that have been suffering from bed bug infestations for as long as 10 years straight, maybe sometimes even longer. And a house or apartment being empty between residents really doesn’t help much unless it was a very, very long interval.

Do Bed Bugs Go Away After Treatment?

You may be wondering about how to treat a bedbug infestation. Will fumigation for bed bugs be effective? If there are a few survivors, will they figure, “This place is no good to live in anymore: let’s get out of here!”

The answer is that bedbugs have nerves of steel. They do not flinch in the face of danger. They just hang around waiting to get revenge on you for your extermination efforts next time you fall asleep.

Sure, you want to persistently keep at them and use every kind of extermination method you can find, whether store-bought bed bug killers, household products put to a new use, or all-natural bed bug remedies.

But you have to kill all of them because survivors will not be scared away by the carnage all around them. As long as a warm-blooded mammal sleeps in the room, they just won’t get the message.

How Will I Know If A Treatment Has Been Successful?

After you have applied all of your anti bedbug wisdom to its fullest extend, and possibly, have called in the pros for assistance, how do you even know if they’re really gone?

5 Signs
That You May Have Bed Bugs

5 Signs of a successful bout with the bedbugs include:

  1. Dead bedbugs lying around your home here and there.
  2. You go for days or weeks without seeing any bed bugs, bedbug eggs, or tell-tale signs like bed bug feces or molt sheddings.
  3. You aren’t getting any new bites, that you notice anyway. And you don’t itch horribly like before.
  4. You set up one or more CO2 bed bug traps and are not catching any bugs in them.
  5. When you do a quick check in “the usual places” like under the mattress, in the mattress seams, in the box springs, along the base boards, and the like, you can’t spot a one of them.

However, none of this actually proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bed bugs are gone. It only shows you that you killed most of them and their population must surely be very low. Only time will tell if Operation Bed Bug has truly been a success or not.

However, there is one exception to this rule: if a professional exterminator, using specialized equipment, heats your home’s interior to 118°F or higher for even an hour or so straight, you can be sure all bedbugs (and their eggs) died. They simply aren’t built to withstand that level of heat for that long.

But even a heat treatment that kills every last bug can’t prevent a reinfestation, so you need to take steps to learn how to prevent bed bugs from getting back into your house after the war is over.

And that means you have to get your prevention measures in order before you even finalize the eradication. Otherwise, you could have new bed bugs getting into your house almost immediately after just killing off the old ones, which would be (of course) an exercise in futility.

The conclusion of it all is this:

  • Bedbugs are one of the most stubborn and obnoxious species of insects on the planet.
  • They don’t go away easily.
  • You can’t count on starving them out or waiting them out. All you can do is patiently work on killing them all and then doing everything you can to make sure they never get into your house again!

But don’t give up, on the other hand, because there are many bed bug killing success stories out there. And there’s not reason why your bed bug story can’t end the same way!

You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

About Inga Cryton

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I found 8 bed bugs in my bed in the morning is that a lot usually to find in one sitting?
And what’s the action to take?

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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, Take to Appear, Go Away & Heal

A bite from a bed bug can be quite irritating and no one would enjoy its effect for even a micro-second. Find how long it takes to appear and the duration it lasts before it goes away or heals.

How Long do they Last on Human Skin?

As soon as you identify that the bites on your skin are bed bug bites, the next question will be how long the bites will last. Having bug bites on open areas of your body such as the face and arms can be both irritating and embarrassing.

National Health Service doctors state that bed bug bites last for a few days. This however varies from one person to another. As explained by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms that come as a result of bug bites may last for about14 days or 2 weeks.

The factors that will determine the duration

Sensitivity of the skin

If you have a very sensitive skin, you may have the bed bug bites last longer on your skin. Bed bug bites on a sensitive skin heal after approximately ten days.

To determine whether your skin is hypersensitive, you should look out for certain symptoms after the bite. They include; extreme itchiness, red bumps, clustered rashes, and bite marks.

If your skin is very sensitive to insect bites, you will most likely get an allergic reaction. In such a case, your period of healing will be way longer.

Your skin takes a while to overcome the reaction. The more sensitive your skin is, the longer you will take to heal and the more likely you develop complications.

Presence of infection

According to the Center for Disease Control and prevention, when bed bug bites become infected, they last longer on the skin.

You are likely to get infections if you scratch the bed bug bites with dirty fingernails or if you expose the bites to a dirty environment.

CDC further confirms that too much scratching causes bacteria to get into the red bump leading to an infection.

Immune system

If you have a weak immune system, your body finds it hard to fight something as minor as a bed bug bite. People with a strong immune system were found to heal from the bites sooner than those with a weaker system.

History of exposure to bed bugs

If you have been bitten by bed bugs severally in the past, you may not even realize it when they bite you. Some people become resistant to bed bug bites.

It is however not the case if the bed bugs bite you for the first time. When bitten for the first time, the bed bug bites are likely to last for long.

Treatment option

If you try available remedies for bed bug bites as soon as you notice the first symptoms, you shorten the length of time the bites take to heal.

Aloe vera and green tea bags are some of the available home remedies. If you choose to let the bites go away on their own, they may last a little longer.

How long do they do take to appear or show up?

How long it takes for bed bug bites to appear varies from one person to another.

For some people, the bites may appear the morning following the night they are bitten.

For others, however, it may take up to two weeks before the bed bug bites appear.

If the bites by the bed bugs were severe, you are likely to as well have the bites show up sooner than expected.

Moreover, people who have been bitten by bed bugs to the level of not reacting to them may not show any signs at all. If your skin is very sensitive, the bites may show up very soon on your skin.

Tips to make the Bites Go Away and Heal Faster

Since bed bug bites can be very irritating, you may need to find ways of getting rid of them as soon as possible. Below are tips that will help you to eliminate bed bug bites faster;

Cold Compress

Applycold compress. On eMedicalHealth, Dr. Patrick Davis explains that cold compress is very helpful when applied on an insect bite. Bug bites are not an exception. It helps reduce not only the swelling but it also gives you a relief from any itching and pain.

Tea Bugs & Chamomile

You can alsouse tea bagsto treat the bug bites. TheJournal of Pharmacognosy and phytochemistryadvises that green and black tea bags are the best since they have tannins which act as astringents. This is the property responsible for reducing itching and inflammation which comes with bug bites.

Research further shows thatchamomilehas anti-inflammatory effects which make it similar to hydrocortisone creams.

Honey

Honeyis yet another remedy that has been found to reduce how long the bed bugs last. Honey is a natural antibiotic and is very helpful in case your bed bug bites become infected.

Since you may not realize when your bites are becoming infected, it is best if you apply honey even before you can note any infection.

Aloe vera

Apply Aloe veraon the skin with bed bug bites as soon as you see them. Aloe vera nourishes the skin and as such promotes healing.

Avoid Scratching

You are advised toavoid scratching your skin. Even if the bites cause a lot of itchiness on the skin, do not respond. Scratching the bites exposes the skin to bacterial infection.

As discussed earlier, when the bed bug bite marks are infected, it takes a very long time before the bites heal. You can try home remedies that relief itchiness.

Seek Treatment from a Doctor

If your bed bug bites areinfected, you are advised to see the doctor for treatment. Remember, infected bed bugs take longer to heal than those not infected. This explains why you need to seek necessary medical attention so as to avoid such possible delays in healing.

Keep the area with the bed bug bites veryneat. Ensuring no dirt comes into contact with it whatsoever. This is meant to reduce the chances of infections.

To ensure effectiveness of any of the above home remedies, apply them as soon as you realize the first signs that you were bitten by bed bugs.

Clean up your room and find an appropriate treatment for the bed bugs. If the bed bugs bite you yet another time, they worsen the current condition of the first bites.

Do not allow the bed bugs to bite you again, find a way to eliminate them. More and more bites mean you will take a longer time to heal.

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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