How To Get Rid Of Bed Bug Bites Fast
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Restless nights are a common occurrence in bedbug infested homes due to bed bug bites that cause itchy welts. These pesky little pests generally feed on your blood at night, the peak time being about 1 hour before sunrise.
Their bites resemble other insect bites and usually appear in rows or clusters of three to five bites.They are more common on exposed areas like the face, neck, arms and hands.
While some people may not even realize they were bitten, others may develop symptoms like red itchy bumps and rashes.
Some people may develop an allergic reaction with painful swelling and burning at the bite site, engorged bite marks and, in very rare cases, an anaphylactic response. Bed bug bites do not usually transmit diseases, but excessive itching and scratching may cause a skin infection.
The first thing that you need to do when dealing with bed bug bites is towash the affected area with a mild antiseptic soap and water. This will reduce itching and prevent a skin infection. If not scratched, they tend to resolve within a week or so.
However, see a dermatologist if you develop a skin infection, blisters or an allergic skin reaction.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of bed bug bites.
1. Ice Pack
The cold temperature from ice can help numb the nerve endings, thus relieving the itching sensation caused by bed bug bites. It will also help calm the swelling.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel.
- Place it on the affected area.
- Remove it after 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, helps neutralize acidic chemicals that could be causing the itching from a bed bug bite. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it also helps reduce swelling and redness.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of water.
- Apply the mixture generously on the affected area.
- Leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
- If the discomfort persists, apply again after 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Lemon Juice
Being a natural astringent, lemon juice helps dry out rashes caused by bed bug bites and keeps itching at bay. Plus, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help reduce redness and swelling as well as prevent infection.
- Dip a cotton ball in lemon juice.
- Dab it on the bed bug bites.
- Let it air dry, then rinse the affected area.
- Do this a few times a day.
Note:Lemon juice may make your skin susceptible to sunburn. Do not go out in the sun for a few hours after using this remedy.
4. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a liquid astringent that you can get from a drug store. Mostly used as a facial cleanser, it can also help calm itching caused by bed bug bites because it contains tannins that have a mild anesthetic effect.
- Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel.
- Place it on the affected area.
- Remove the cotton ball after 10 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
5. Aloe Vera Gel
Succulent aloe vera gel is soothing for your skin. Its active compounds and amino acids help ease itching and burning caused by bed bug and other insect bites. It also aids healing the skin by keeping it moisturized.
- Rinse an aloe vera leaf and slit it open.
- Scoop out the gel and apply it on your bed bug bites.
- Store the remaining gel in the refrigerator. Apply it a few times a day for a couple of days.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy for bed bug bites as it helps relieve itching and burning, thanks to its acetic acid content with anti-inflammatory properties. If you do not have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar.
- Apply raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry, then rinse your skin.
- If the symptoms persist, reapply after a few hours.
Due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal is an excellent solution to reduce skin irritation and itching caused by bed bug and other insect bites as well as skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.
- Mix some water in a few teaspoons of oatmeal to make a paste. Apply it on the affected area, and leave it on for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Repeat a few times for a couple of days.
- You can also prepare an oatmeal bath by mixing ½ cup of colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oatmeal) in warm bathwater. You can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, too. Soak in this bath for 15 minutes. Do this for a couple of days.
Toothpaste is another effective remedy for bed bug bites. It contains cooling menthol that helps reduce the itching and burning sensations. Make sure you use white toothpaste, not a gel version, for this purpose.
- Dab a little white toothpaste on the affected area.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
- Repeat as needed.
9. Tea Bags
Moist tea bags can also help combat the itching and swelling caused by bed bug and other insect bites. They contain tannins with astringent and mild anesthetic properties.
- Cool a moist, used tea bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Place it on the affected area for about 15 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
Cucumber peels and slices can also provide relief from itching and swelling caused by bed bug bites as they contain vitamin C and caffeic acid that offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Simply place a piece of cucumber peel or slice on the affected area and leave it on for at least 10 to 15 minutes. For a more soothing effect, cool the pieces in the refrigerator first.
- Repeat as needed.
- Avoid bed bug bites by getting rid of the infestation.
- Resist the urge to scratch the bites as it may lead to a skin infection.
- Apply essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree or basil oil mixed in carrier oil to reduce redness and itching. The strong smell of essential oil also helps repel bed bugs.
- Applying a mixture of equal parts of cold milk and water can also help relieve itching.
maybe this will help
Alcohol on bottom of your feet will cool your body down.
Great post to explain the various treatment of bed bug bites like ice packs, lemon juice, aloe vera gel, etc. Bed bug bites are really very painful and cause serve itching which can result in skin infection as well. So, appropriately treating a bed bug bite needs a bit knowledge of pain relieving methods and things.
If you stayed at hotel and traveled home can the bed bugs spread
Yes they will and can
It really helps
I got them from a guest who came over to visit,they stayed in a higher end Hotel ,not a low rent place…Unreal .
We had an exterminator come over and it took 3 treatments . THE BUGS CAME BACK ! So,we went out bought a new house,furniture,clothing etc and 5 years no bugs in new home..Bought 2 new cars (I own 2 collector cars I got detailed and cleaned no bugs in them)….
Now we are shut ins lol and dont allow guests to our home lol..We moved 1 hour away from town and have property now and 1 hour min away from most people we know..We go and visit them..When we return home from shopping/visits etc,we go into the 1st room and change,put our clothing in the laundry machine and check for bugs then put clean home clothing on .
We exterminated our old house,called junk to pick up our furniture (it wasnt lower end items either 8 year old $140,000 furnishings it cost) sold the empty home and hope they had no problem.. We did get the empty house exterminated and told the junk collection we had bugs,I bet they kept our old furnishings as it was beautiful stuff …It made us crazy,those damn bugs…One night 12 bites on my neck,forehead and hands !! I still feel like bugs are crawling on me,I think we need psychiatric care…It took about 1 year to get over the feeling of bugs crawling on us…
Time the country gets ddt back,thats what made bed bugs all die and were not a problem,now everyone within 10 years will have serious infestations of the bugs,DAMN THEM !
How to get rid of bed bug bites fast
Do you want to learn “How to get rid of bed bug bites fast?” ,There are many simple methods that are proven fast and very effective.
Most people can’t ell when bed bugs bite, except by their bite marks. Bed bugs usually release a mild anesthetic when they pierce the skin, Therefore you might not feel any effects until morning. In addition, some people have no physical reactions to bed bugs. Therefore, it is possible to be bitten without finding bite marks. However, if you find a bed bug bite, you must treat them as soon as possible.
Bear in mind that the bite marks may take up to a week or two normally. However, these simple methods can reduce the timeline for healing by a few days or a week.
Calamine lotionis one of the first things people think about when asked, “How to get rid of bed bug bites fast?”, and it is very effective. Calamine lotion can reduce itching and inflammation. It can also dry the rashes and provide a protective covering, so your skin can heal faster.
Topical medicationslike antihistamines and hydro cortisone can help the bed bug bites heal faster. You can purchase their oral forms at the local drug store. However, if you need stronger versions, consult your doctor.
Make a thin paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the skin. Let the paste dry for about 1 hour before washing away. Baking soda can reduce the itching, Also aid in stopping the inflammation and stinging. Make sure you are using one part baking soda to three parts of water. With the absence of inflammation and itching, your skin will heal easily.
Apple cider vinegarhelps with a lot of bug bites and insect stings. It can ease the itching and prevent infection from occurring. Apple cider vinegar can also help with the swelling as well. If you cannot find apple cider vinegar, substitute with white vinegar.
The good old-fashioned bag of peas or anice packcan bring relief to the itching and burning sensation. If the bites swell, it can also relieve as some itching. However, you must never apply the ice on your skin without first wrapping it in a cloth.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA),Oatmealcontains an ingredient that can fight irritation and inflammation. Most people will find using oatmeal very messy. However, if you cannot find other remedies, then this method can be helpful. When worried about how to get rid of bed bug bites fast, these methods can help hasten the process. However, watch out for signs of infection or allergic reactions. In such cases, it is better to consult your medical provider. Allergies from bed bugs bites can be life threatening. In addition, make sure bed bug bites only occur once. Numerous bite marks can make your body develop resistance, which can also cause an allergic reaction. Call in the professional pest exterminators and get rid of the bed bug infestations immediately.
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How to get rid of bed bug bites
Finding a bed bug bite can be unsettling, but you need to treat them immediately. In this article, we talk aboutHow to get rid of bed bug bites. Bed bugs are nonflying parasites and difficult to get out of the home. These tiny insects feed by sucking blood from warm-blooded animals and humans. They can live anywhere in the home, as long as they have access to their hosts. Therefore, they are more commonly found around beds, although they also favor cracks and upholstered furniture.
Signs to identify bed bug bites
- Bites might look like a rash in some people but usually have small, flat, or raised bumps with circles around them.
- Bites may appear in clusters or straight rows
- Bed bug bites can also cause intense itching.
- Bites might be angrily red and may even swell
- Bed bug bites usually occur around exposed skin in the neck, hands, arms, and face
- Look for rust-colored dark spots, shed skins, egg cases, or fecal stains in cracks or crevices around the bed and other areas in the home.
“Should I worry about the bites?”
The first source of worry would be whether these bites are life-threatening. However, bed bug bites are not exactly life-threatening. Bed bugs are not carriers of diseases, although there are claims that they might carry the Chagas disease.
Nevertheless, some people might have allergic reactions to bed bug bites. On its own, the bites might heal in a few weeks, but some people have also been known to develop a secondary infection from the bug bite.
How to get rid of bed bug bites
The safest route when you find a bed bug bite is to treat them as soon as possible. Here are a few medications and remedies you can use:
- Apply a generous amount oftoothpastearound the bite marks to relieve itching. However, if you have sensitive skin, do not use toothpaste on your skin because it can also make the bites worse
- Make a paste withbaking sodaand water and apply it to the marks. Leave on for about 1 hour before washing the surface. Make sure the paste dries off before you wash off.
- You can also relieve itching by using applyWitch Hazelaround the bite marks. If you do not have any, substitute with lemon juice or Aloe Vera.
- You can also usesteroidsororal antihistaminesto soothe the skin especially when itching is severe.
Bed bugs do not spread diseases, but it is important to get rid of the bug bites as soon as possible. Avoid scratching the bites to prevent breaks in the skin that might be infected easily. Look out for signs of an allergic reaction. Lastly, contact the professionals to deal with the bed bug infestations. Repeated events of bed bug bites can ultimately lead to an allergic reaction, which is life threatening. Calling professionals is the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs from the home.
For more tips and remedies for getting rid of bed bug bites…..Click Here
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites: The Most Effective Home Remedies
“Don’t let the bed bugs bite” is a common phrase that people say before going to bed. Unfortunately, if you have bed bugs, good wishes aren’t enough to get rid of these little biting critters for good. Bed bug bites can cause itchy red clusters of bumps on your skin which are also called bed bug rashes. This severe itching creates a strong urge to scratch and is very frustrating. You may even lose sleep scratching through the night and worrying about the bugs in your bed.
Getting rid of bed bug bites can be very effective with home remedies. Many home remedies help to treat the itchy bites that these nasty bugs cause and also help to reduce skin irritation, reduce redness and swelling as well as prevent infection. Some natural remedies for treating bed bug bites like apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and oatmeal reduce itching and swelling around the affected skin area. Other remedies include coconut oil, tea tree oil, or aloe vera to soothe the itchy skin and the inflammation around the bed bug rash.
Before learning about the best home remedies for treating bed bug bites, let’s look at the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites.
Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that range in size from 1mm to 7mm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these little pests feed on the blood of humans and animals. 1 The bite from a bed bug can cause a bed bug rash which is an allergic reaction that makes the surrounding area inflamed, red, and itchy. Sometimes bed bug bites are confused with flea bites. Flea bites on humans occur at any time you are around the house, bed bugs are mostly active when it’s dark, so you will be bitten while you are asleep.
Dr. Varnada Karriem-Norwood on WebMD says that the red, itchy bites usually occur on the arms or shoulders, but they can also be on the face and be a reason for itchy hands. The red bumps on the skin tend to be in straight rows, although they can be in clusters. Although bed bugs don’t carry disease, scratching the skin irritation can lead to secondary skin infections. 2
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?
Bed bug rash or bite marks may appear several hours or even several days after the bite has occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that it may even take up to 2 weeks for bed bug rash and bite marks to become itchy, inflamed spots, depending upon the person’s allergic reaction to the bites.
Usually bed bug rash or bites last several days and then slowly fade, but in some cases they can last longer if the bitten person is more sensitive to the bites. Some people may not have any reaction at all, while others who are more sensitive can develop bite marks or rashes that cause severe itching.
What are the Signs of Bed Bugs?
You can spot bed bug signs by carefully examining your bed linen. Some of the telltale signs of bed bugs are exoskeletons left behind after molting, tiny blood spots on your mattress or bed sheets, and a sweet musty odor. 1
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend checking in the cracks and crevices of beds, headboards, bed frames, and in the seams of mattresses. 3 Generally, bed bugs live within 8 feet of sleeping areas.
To eliminate bed bug infestation, please read my article about the top 10 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally. You’ll discover effective bed bug treatments and detailed instructions how to use them.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
To get rid of bed bug bites, it’s important to reduce the itching and inflammation. This will prevent you from scratching the itchy bumps and rashes that the bed bug bites cause.
The simplest way to stop bed bug bites itching fast is to apply a cold compress to soothe the red bed bug rash. The effect of cold helps to calm the nerve endings and take the itch out of the bite.
Many doctors recommend a cold compress to reduce pain and redness of a bed bug bite. Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on eMedicineHealth says to first of all wash the affected skin area. Then place a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel on the affected skin area. 4 Leave on for around 10 minutes. Use the cold compress as needed to relieve the itchy skin and reduce redness causes by bed bug bites.
Apple cider vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great natural remedy to make bed bug bite go away because its acidic properties relieve itching and redness. ACV contains acetic acid which is a natural anti-inflammatory and also acts as an antiseptic. Applying apple cider vinegar to bug bites can also help to prevent any secondary skin infection.
Scientists have found that topical applications that have a low pH level (acidic) help to relieve pruritus (skin itching). 5 Apple cider vinegar has the effect of balancing the skin’s pH level which is higher when inflamed.
The journalPLoS Onealso found that acetic acid protects the skin from bacterial infections and speeds up the healing process. 6
To use apple cider vinegar to relieve the irritation caused by bed bug bites, please do the following:
- Dilute raw ACV with equal parts of water.
- Using a cotton ball, apply the vinegar remedy to the itchy bed bug bites.
- Leave to dry before rinsing off with warm water.
- Apply 2-3 times a day for quick relief from itchiness and to reduce redness.
Washing your face with apple cider vinegar is another reason to use ACV to quickly cure bed bug bites around your nose and cheeks.
Another great and easy home remedy to alleviate the discomfort caused by bed bug bites is to apply lemon juice. Because of its citric acid content, lemon juice has medicinal properties that work similar to apple cider vinegar in relieving itchy skin.
To get fast relief from bed bug bites, dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply to the itchy bed bug rash. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times a day to stop the bites itching.
Use the natural astringent properties of witch hazel to dry out bed bug rashes quickly and reduce the urge to scratch. Witch hazel contains tannins which not only help get rid of itching caused by bed bug bites but also have antibacterial properties that prevent infections. Witch hazel is also one of the best home remedies to get rid of flea bites.
Doctors on WebMD say that witch hazel is applied directly to the skin to reduce itching, pain, and swelling caused by insect bites as well as mite bites. 7 Studies into the anti-inflammatory effects of witch hazel found that the astringent properties help to reduce skin inflammation and improve its appearance. 8
To soothe an itchy bed bug bite, you can apply witch hazel directly to the affected skin area. This is what you should do:
- Dip a cotton ball in witch hazel and place on the itchy skin bump.
- Hold the witch hazel compress for around 10 minutes to relieve the discomfort and reduce swelling.
- If you have a cluster of bed bug bites, then you can apply witch hazel by gently rubbing the mixture over the bed bug rash.
- Repeat a couple of times each day to get relief from itching and burning and to help the healing process of the bed bug bite.
Baking soda is a natural antibacterial agent that can help dry out inflamed skin rashes and help to cure bed bug bites. Baking soda is also anti-inflammatory and will reduce the itchy sensation from the bed bug rash on your skin.
Doctors recommend using baking soda to soothe the redness, itching, and stinging that are caused by a mild reaction to an insect bite such as bed bug bite. 9 A study into the antibacterial activities of baking soda found that it is also effective against a number of strains of bacteria. 10
Make a home remedy for getting rid of bed bug bites by combining some water with baking soda. Here is how to make your anti-itch paste:
- Mix a little water with a tablespoon of baking soda to form a thick paste.
- Apply the remedy to your bed bug bites and leave for 15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- Use twice a day until the symptoms of bed bug bites have gone for good.
The baking soda treatment will help to protect the bed bug rash on your skin from becoming infected with germs. When combined with other ingredients, baking soda can help you get gorgeous, healthy-looking skin.
Pure aloe vera gel will help to get rid of the itch from an insect or bed bug bite. Aloe vera is rich in soothing properties that reduce inflammation and nourish your skin. To relieve skin itching, you can use aloe vera in its pure form straight from the plant leaf or you can buy pure aloe vera gel.
Aloe vera is known for its healing effect on the skin. In a study published in the journalSkin Pharmacology and Physiologyon the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera, it was found to be more effective at reducing skin irritation than 1% hydrocortisone gel. 11 Hydrocortisone creams are often prescribed for insect bites.
It is very easy to use pure aloe vera gel to heal bed bug bites. All you have to do is apply the aloe vera gel liberally to the affected skin area a few times a day. The soothing effect of aloe vera on the skin will quickly get rid of itching and help to protect your skin.
Oatmeal is a natural remedy for skin inflammation and will soothe bed bug bites and other insect bites. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cleansing effect of oatmeal quickly reduces irritation, itching, redness, and swelling associated with painful bites.
A study published in theJournal of Drugs and Dermatologyfound that applying a topical treatment of colloidal oatmeal (ground oatmeal) helped reduce itching, skin rashes, burns, and eczema. 12 In fact, colloidal oatmeal is registered at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “provide temporary relief of itching and irritation caused by insect bites.” 13
To get rid of bed bug bites with oatmeal, here is an effective home remedy:
- Grind a cup of oatmeal into a fine powder.
- Add enough plain yogurt to create a smooth paste.
- Apply the oatmeal remedy to the itchy bed bug rash on your skin for fast relief.
- Leave for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times a day until all itchiness and redness have gone from your skin.
You can also add some honey to the oatmeal anti-itch remedy to help boost its antibacterial potential.
Oatmeal is so effective at getting rid of any kind of skin irritation, you can use it in a warm bath as a home remedy to stop itching all over your body.
Honey, especially Manuka honey, contains powerful medicinal properties that can soothe an itch and heal bacterial skin infections. A dab of raw honey on the bed bug bite may be all you need to soothe the irritation. Honey should also be applied to insect bites to help prevent secondary skin infections developing.
The Mayo Clinic reports that there is some evidence that honey can be used as a topical itch treatment and it can help form a protective barrier on the skin. 14 Studies have shown that honey can help reduce scalp itching and prevent infections. 15
All you have to do to relieve itching from a bed bug bite and speed up the healing process is apply a little honey to the itchy spot. You can repeat as necessary throughout the day whenever you feel the urge to scratch the bed bug rash.
Another natural remedy to cure bed bug bites and soothe the discomfort they cause is to put some slices of cucumber on the itch. Cucumber is especially soothing on the bed bug rash if you take it straight out the refrigerator before applying it.
A medical study found that cucumbers have anti-inflammatory activities and help to inhibit inflammatory enzymes like COX-2. Cucumbers are also rich in vitamin C, E, and A – all of which are essential for keeping skin healthy. 16
Place slices of cooled cucumber directly on the bed bug rash to ease pain, reduce inflammation, and quickly stop the itch. Use as necessary every time the insect bite starts itching.
Cool tea bag
Relieving the discomfort of bed bug bites is one great way to use your old tea bags. There are various types of tea that you can use to soothe a painful itchy bite.
Black teacontains tannins which act as an astringent on the skin to reduce itching. TheJournal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistrysays that the tannins are released when the black tea is put in hot water. The journal reports that tannins can be used to heal the skin and form a protective layer over tissue. 17
Chamomile teahas a soothing effect on the skin as well as the mind. Studies into the anti-inflammatory and protective properties of chamomile show that it’s a great herb to relieve itching and inflammation and speed up the healing process of skin infections. Chamomile tea has been shown to be more effective than 1% hydrocortisone creams and is safe for long-term use. 18
To use black tea bags or chamomile tea bags, you should place one teabag in a cup of hot water. Leave to infuse for a few minutes. Place the tea bag in the refrigerator to cool is down. Use as a cold compress on the itchy bed bug bite to get rid of the irritation and to get a quick itch relief.
You can also use the essential oil of chamomile to relieve itching. The University of Maryland recommends putting 5 to 10 drops of chamomile oil in a warm bath to soothe bed bug bites. 19
Essential Oils to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
There are many other essential oils for skincare that are excellent home remedies to reduce swelling and redness and prevent itching caused by bed bug bites.
Apart from tea tree oil and lavender oil, which can be applied directly as a spot treatment, essential oils should always be diluted before using on the skin. Coconut oil is a great carrier oil to use to reduce itching and prevent skin infections.
Coconut oil has many beneficial medicinal properties. The journalPharmaceutical Biologyreported that coconut oil reduces inflammation and eases pain. 20 Read more about the 10 secret ways to use coconut oil on your skin.
When using essential oils with coconut oil on your skin, you should add 2-3 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Tea tree oil for bed bug bites
The journalClinical Microbiology Reviewsreported on studies showing that tea tree oil shows anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities. It can be added to coconut oil to help heal bed bug bites speedily and kill off any germs that may cause infection. 21
If you have just one or two itchy bed bug bites, you can put a drop of tea tree oil directly on the spot to get instant itch relief. If however you have a sensitive skin or need to apply it on a larger skin area, mix a few drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the bed bug bites to reduce skin irritation and inflammation.
Using tea tree oil is also good for treating spider bites and cockroaches bites.
Tea tree oil is also one of the ingredients in my effective bed bug spray.
Lavender oil for bed bug bites
A study from 2015 found that lavender essential oil contains antioxidant, pain relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender oil was just as effective as dexamethasone, a pharmaceutical drug that is sometimes prescribed to relieve allergic reactions and reduce swelling. 22
Another study found that lavender oil helped to reduce allergic skin reactions when used topically. 23
Like tea tree oil, you can dab a drop of lavender oil directly onto a small itchy bed bug bite. For larger bed bug rash area, you should mix lavender oil with coconut oil to make a topical anti-itch cream.
Calendula oil for bed bug bites
The University of Maryland reports that calendula oil is an effective treatment for itchy skin inflammation. 24 You can use a few drops of calendula oil mixed with coconut oil. Or you can buy a calendula cream to relieve itchiness from bed bug bites.
Bed Bug Bites – When to See a Doctor
Usually, home remedies quickly and effectively heal bed bug bites and all your symptoms should be gone within a week.
However, doctors from the Mayo Clinic 25 advise that you should see a doctor if you have a severe allergic reaction to the bed bugs or if the rashes caused by the bites start to blister.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like (And How To Get Rid of Them Faster)
It can be difficult to identify bed bug bites because the red itchy bumps caused by bed bug bites look like flea bites or mosquito bites. Bed bugs usually come out at night and feed on the blood of humans. The tiny nasty pests can leave a cluster of bite marks on your face, arms, stomach, and legs. Some people only have a mild reaction to the bed bug bites and may only have a few small red dots. However, others have more severe reactions and are plagued by large red bite marks and an irresistible urge to scratch them.
Pictures of bed bug bites show groups of red bite marks on the body. Very often, the bite marks left by bed bugs are in straight lines or in a zig-zag and very rarely is there just one solitary red bite mark.
There are many effective natural home remedies to quickly get rid of the signs of bed bug bites. You can make your own natural treatments for insect bites with ingredients like witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera. The natural anti-inflammatory ingredients in those home remedies help to quickly relieve itching and promote healing.
In this article, you will learn how to identify bed bug bites and find out how to get rid of them quickly. You will also see images of bed bug bites to help you to spot the tell-tale signs that you have been bitten.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
The Latin name for bed bugs isCimex lectularius, or common bed bug. If you’ve ever seen a close-up picture of a bed bug you will see that they look quite scary. However, in reality, bed bugs are tiny pests that lurk in corners and crevices of beds, mattresses, and furniture. They are about the size of a small apple seed and many can be seen crawling around if you have an infestation.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that bed bugs have flat, brown, oval bodies. They don’t have wings but can quickly scurry over floors, ceilings, and walls. The parasitic insects live in groups and love to hide in dark places. If you have a bed bug problem in your home, you should check for signs of bed bugs in corners of your bed frame, along the seams of mattresses, along baseboards, and behind pictures. In fact, they will live in any crevice that is large enough to slide a credit card into. 1
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that bed bug eggs look like tiny white pinheads. As they go through their nymph stages they shed skins and these yellowish shells are a common sign to look for when checking for an infestation of bugs. 2
Pictures of bed bugs
How to Identify Bed Bug Bites
On most people, bed bug bites look like itchy red bumps on their body. However, it can be difficult to know if the bite marks have been caused by bed bugs or not.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of bed bug bites may not appear for a few days. Also, each person reacts differently to being bitten by these irritating pests. Some people show no signs of being bitten whereas other people have a severe reaction to the bite, and large bumps appear on the skin that itch severely. 3
However, Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that the only way to know for sure if the red bite marks have been caused by bed bugs is to look for signs of a bug infestation. That will confirm if the red spots that look like bed bug bites are in fact the result of bed bugs.
Bed Bug Bites – Signs and Symptoms
Images of bed bug bites generally show clusters of itchy red bumps on a person’s arms, neck, face, legs, and other areas of their body. Depending on the number of bed bugs that have infested your sleeping area and your reaction to them, bed bug bites also have other signs.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that more often than not, bed bug bites will be in either a rough line or in a cluster of red marks. If they cause a severe skin reaction, the itching can be very intense. In rare cases, a person who has many bites and a severe allergic reaction should visit a doctor. 4
Doctors from the National Health Service say that, in some cases, the itchy red bumps on the skin can cause a rash or start to blister and fill with fluid. 5
However, it can be difficult to tell if the bites have been caused by bed bugs or another insect. Therefore, it’s important to know how to identify the difference between bed bug bites, flea bites and mosquito bites.
Bed bug bite vs flea bite
Flea bites and bed bug bites look very similar and cause itchy red marks on the skin. Even in pictures, it is hard to tell bed bug bites and flea bites apart. However, there are some differences.
The symptoms of flea bites generally appear on the ankles, feet and around the abdomen. As with bed bug bites, flea bite symptoms can also appear in small clusters. Dr. Carol DerSarkissian says that if you look closely at a bed bug bite you won’t see a small red dot in the middle as is characteristic of flea bites. 1
Bed bug bite vs mosquito bite
Both mosquito bites and bed bug bites can leave itchy welts on the skin. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the symptoms of mosquito bites show up very soon after the bite; in fact, in only a few minutes, a puffy red bump usually appears. 6
Unlike bed bug bites that are painless, you may feel the mosquito bite and it might start to itch immediately. It is also more likely that the mosquito bite will blister and ooze a small amount of fluid.
Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites – Complications
Bed bug bite marks usually heal within 2 weeks and won’t leave any permanent mark on the skin. In some cases, there are complications associated with bed bug bites.
Of course, for many people, the appearance of red itchy welts on visible areas of skin like their face or arms is an unwanted complication of bed bug bites.
One of the most common, and potentially serious, complications that is seen with bed bug bite is a secondary skin infection. Dr. Stephanie S. Gardner on WebMD says that itching from bed bug bites can be so severe that constant scratching breaks the skin and germs get it. This can cause a bacterial infection in the bite mark. 7
Dr. Steven Doerr on eMedicnineHealth warns that some people experience severe allergic reactions to bed bug bites. Some of the signs of a serious allergic reaction include itching all over the body, tightness in the throat, chest pain, red bed bug rash that spreads from the bite area. 8
At least the good news with bed bug bites is that they don’t spread disease. The CDC states that bed bugs don’t spread disease and the most serious health threat is a lack of sleep from scratching and secondary skin infections. 3
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
If you suspect that clusters of itchy red spots on your body are the result of pesky bed bugs, you should check for signs of an infestation.
First, you don’t have to worry that having bed bugs is a sign of uncleanliness or dirtiness. The CDC says that bed bugs only feed on blood and aren’t attracted to dirt. Bed bugs have been found in the cleanest of 5-star hotels. 3
To check for signs of bed bugs, you should look in areas where they tend to live. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that tell-tale signs of bed bug activity are tiny rusty-colored stains on bed linen from bug feces or dried blood. You may also notice tiny yellow shed skins around your bed and sleeping area. 9
The next step to confirm if itchy red marks on your skin are from bed bugs is to find where the critters are hiding. You should check all joints and screw holes in your bed frame, around mattresses and box springs, and around the headboard. Other places where you might find evidence of a bed bug infestation are in the folds of drapes, in drawer joints, behind loose wallpaper, and at baseboards.
If you find feces, dead bed bugs, or bed bugs crawling around, it is time to take drastic action to get rid of the bed bugs quickly. This is the only way to prevent getting more bed bug bites in the future. Some effective ways to kill off infestation of irritating insects include using bed bug powders that destroy populations of bed bugs as well as bed bug sprays.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Fast
Fortunately, there are many great home remedies to get rid of bed bug bites quickly. Here are a few of the best ways of treating bed bug bites at home.
To quickly get rid of an intense itch in a swollen bump caused by a bed bug bite, you can use a cold compress. One excellent way to make a compress is by using a cold tea bag. Cold helps to relieve irritation from your skin by calming nerve endings, and tea helps to relieve itching and promotes healing.
A study from 2012 into the healing effects of tea found that compounds in black and green tea have an astringent effect. This helps to reduce itching in irritated, inflamed skin. 9 However, you don’t just have to use black or green tea bags. Research has also found that chamomile has soothing properties and is just as effective as hydrocortisone creams (often prescribed by doctors to reduce itching in insect bites). 10
How to use:
To quickly get rid of the irritation that bed bug bites cause using a cold tea compress, this is what you should do:
- Put a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes. Remove the bag and cool it in the refrigerator.
- Place the tea bag on the red itchy bumps to relieve discomfort and irritation.
- Apply the cold compress 2-3 times a day for fast relief from bed bug bites and bed bug rash.
Aloe vera also has properties that reduce itching and help to speed up the healing time of a bed bug bite. Aloe vera contains many properties to nourish your skin and relieve inflammation and irritation.
One study into the healing properties of aloe vera found that it has a soothing effect on irritated skin. It was found that aloe vera was just as effective as hydrocortisone creams in reducing itching and inflammatory responses in the skin. 11
How to use:
Aloe vera gel is great for helping bed bug bites to heal faster. This is what you should do:
- Use aloe vera gel with as few added ingredients as possible and liberally apply some gel to the bite marks.
- Massage the gel into the area around the bed bug bites to soothe the skin and stop itching.
- Apply the natural remedy 2-3 times a day to help your skin heal quicker and get welcome relief from the constant itching.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil will help to treat the itch in bed bug bites and help prevent secondary infections making the skin worse. Tea tree oil contains powerful antimicrobial compounds as well as properties that help to reduce inflammation and itching.
One of the benefits of using tea tree oil to quickly treat bed bug bites is that it helps soothe allergic skin reactions. For example, theBritish Journal of Dermatologyreported on a study into the antihistamine effect of tea tree oil. Histamine is released by the body as a response to allergens. It was found that applying tea tree oil to skin inflammation helped to soothe the allergic response fast. 12
How to use:
You can use tea tree oil as a spot treatment on one or two bed bug bites or you can mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil to apply to clusters of bed bug bites. This is what you should do:
- Put a drop of tea tree oil on the end of a cotton bud and apply to the itchy bed bug bite.
- Apply 2 times a day to help stop itching in the bite marks and prevent bacterial infections affecting the skin area.
For large clusters of bed bug bites, you can get relief by adding 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply 2-3 times a day to help your skin heal and treat any bed bug bite blisters that have formed.
You can also use tea tree oil to make a natural spray for bed bug eradication.
Other ways to get rid of bed bug bites quickly
There are many other natural ways to get rid of the visible signs of bed bug bites. Here are some more ways.
Witch hazelis a natural astringent that quickly soothes itchy skin and reduces redness. Witch hazel is perfect for treating bed bug bites and can be applied whenever your bite marks start itching.
Apple cider vinegar, when it is diluted with water in equal proportions, helps to reduce itching and kill germs in bed bug bites. Just apply diluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area to stop itching fast.
Cucumbershave an amazing soothing effect on the skin and will give you instant relief from itching and irritation. All you have to do is apply slices of cool cucumber to your bite marks.
For more information on these natural bed bug bite remedies and to find out some more effective ways to treat bed bug bite signs at home, please read my article on natural ways to make bed bug bites heal faster.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites
Of course, preventing an infestation of bed bugs is much easier than having to deal with the discomfort bed bug bites cause.
The CDC says that one of the best ways to prevent bed bug bites is to regularly check your bed, mattress, and bed linen for signs of bed bug activity. This can help you get rid of bed bugs before they become a major problem. 3
Also, you should be careful of buying second-hand furniture. The National Health Services warns to avoid buying second-hand mattresses and if you do buy used furniture, carefully inspect it for bed bugs. 5 Remember, that in the right conditions, bed bugs can live for many months without feeding!
Read my other related articles:
- WebMD. Bedbugs.
- EPA. Bed bug appearance and life cycle.
- CDC. Bed bugs FAQs
- MayoClinic. Bedbug symptoms.
- NHS. Bedbugs.
- MayoClinic. Mosquito bites.
- WebMD. Pictures of bed bug bites.
- eMedicineHealth. Bedbugs.
- EPA. How to find bed bugs.
- Phytojournal. Tannins are astringent.
- OWM. 2011;57(5):28-36.
- Skin Pharmacol Physiol.2008;21(2):106-10.
- Br J Dermatol.2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.