How To Treat Bed Bug Bites While Pregnant

How to Safely Remove Bedbugs When Pregnant

Many people want to know whether they can safely remove bed bugs when there is a pregnant woman living in the infested home. Commercially available bed bug sprays are usually toxic and could harm the pregnant woman and her unborn child. So, today, we will discuss some top natural remedies to safely remove bed bugs when one is pregnant and also discuss some effective natural remedies to treat bed bug bites on pregnant women.

Is commercial bedbug spray okay to be used around pregnant women?

“My wife is in her first trimester. We are dealing with a severe bedbug infestation. Is your pest control technique safe for her? Should she leave the house for a few hours during and after you have treated it?”

This is a common question that pest control companies get asked and it is indeed a great question. If you have kids or have an expecting or even nursing woman in the house, you must ensure that the commercial pest controllers modify their treatment around her as well as around young kids, elderly people or pets. Thankfully, some simple precautions can also be carried out to ensure that the pest control is safe around these vulnerable home occupants. The company should use safe formulations based on the extent of the infestation. In general, steaming, vacuuming, heat treating and other natural bed bug removal techniques can be carried out safely. If they plan on using insecticides, the pregnant woman should ideally leave the premises for the duration of the treatment (along with clear instructions regarding the time to stay away from the treated areas).

Fortunately, most pest control products used today are odorless and if you seek services from reliable pest controllers, you should get EPA approved products only. Also, these insecticides are typically applied only in cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide and never outside on accessible surfaces. Once you let the pest control Company know about the pregnancy, the professionals will ideally customize the entire treatment to be safe for the woman and her unborn child.

Steps to safely remove bedbugs around pregnant women

  1. Start by thoroughly vacuuming the infested rooms using HEPA based filters. This will physically remove bed bugs and their eggs and larvae. You could also tie a nylon stocking to the hose of the vacuum and secure it at the crevice end to act as a pre-filter.
  2. Box springs in mattresses are the most common harborage areas. So do consider encasing the mattresses and the box springs. This will trap all bed bugs inside these areas so they cannot come out to bite you.
  3. Use bed-bug interceptors around the legs of the bedding so that they cannot climb up the beds. This will further help you isolate your bed from the bugs hiding in other areas of the room.
  4. Hire a qualified pest control operator who is knowledgeable in treating bed bugs naturally so that there is absolutely no harm to a pregnant woman in the house. While the professionals are removing bed bugs, leave the house for the duration and enter after a few hours .Make sure to ventilate the areas well. Wear shoes indoors and avoid touching treated surfaces. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating.
  5. K9 detection teams are also known to safely identify bed bugs and minimize harborage areas.
  6. While you are using natural remedies for bed bug removal when pregnant, you might have to store away your belongings, clothes etc elsewhere. The best way to do this is use plastic bags. Seal these and have them heat treated before bringing them back. Alternatively, you could place the items in freezers where the extreme cold can kill the bed bugs and their eggs.

10 remedies to treat bedbug bites naturally when pregnant

If you have been bitten by bedbugs whilst pregnant, make use of following natural remedies and solutions to stop the itchiness and relieve pain.

  1. Apply witch hazel all over the bites. This will reduce swelling, itchiness etc.
  2. Use soothing gel obtained directly by cutting open Aloe Vera leaves. This gel is known to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and will reduce one’s risk of developing skin infections.
  3. A paste of baking soda with peppermint oil is another highly effective remedy to help stop severe itching.
  4. If you have bedbug bites on your back and torso, take a tub bath to which some peppermint oil has been added. This will soothe the itch.
  5. Apply some hydrocortisone or other topical cortisone based cream to relieve extreme itchiness.
  6. Apply some Petroleum Jelly to each bite.
  7. Apply and rub in some meat tenderizer salt to stop pain and itching of bed bug bites.
  8. If itching is severe, ask your doctor if antihistamine may be right for it. Benadryl is a generally safe remedy to counter itchiness.
  9. Calamine is another safe lotion known for relieving itching and swelling associated with bug bites.
  10. Apply some shaving cream on the welts and blisters. This is known to have antibacterial properties and can prevent infection.

Other safe remedies to counter bed bug bites itchiness when pregnant are Tuck® hemorrhoids ointment as well as Clearsil® Acne treatment cream. These can be applied over the bites to stop pain and itching. We hope these steps and remedies help you safely remove bed bugs when pregnant.

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Bedbugs

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In this Article

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Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

Continued

Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

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Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

Sources

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

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Insect Bites When Pregnant

Insect bites during pregnancy may be harmless, but they may also endanger you and your unborn child.Diseases from insects can transfer from mother to child and cause pregnancy complications. Additionally, what seems like a bug bite could be a more-serious condition, such as papular dermatitis. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Risks

Insect bites come from various sources including fleas, ticks, lice, bed bugs and mosquitoes. Different diseases pose greater risks depending on where you live. For example, mosquitoes pose a greater danger of West Nile Virus in New York City, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, but dengue virus is more of a risk from mosquitoes in parts of California.The risk of transferring a virus you contracted from an insect to your unborn child varies depending on the disease.

Prevention

Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or your local health department, to determine elevated risks from insect bites in your area 2. Call or search for information on insect-contracted diseases that pose pregnancy risks. Some diseases may not transfer directly to the fetus, but if they affect you, they can also influence the course of your pregnancy.Discuss any travel plans with your doctor, who may recommend preventative measures for bug bites in foreign countries.

Insect Repellant

Pregnant women should protect themselves from mosquito bites, and insect repellant can help when used properly. Apply insect repellants only as directed by the label instructions. If you want to avoid using insect repellant, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin and stay away from mosquito habitats. If you are nursing and using insect repellant, wash your hands and breasts with soap and water before breastfeeding.

Papular Dermatitis

A skin condition called papular dermatitis may look like bug bites, writes Dr. Jyoti Ramani for Net Doctor 1.Symptoms include an itchy rash and raised red spots that may develop scabs and do not appear in groups.According to Ramani, the rash can appear anytime during pregnancy on any part of your body, but it clears up after birth. Papular dermatitis requires medical treatment and may cause fetal death.Ramani also notes that insect bites may look unusual due to pregnancy hormones, so it’s best to discuss any skin changes with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis 1.

Insect bites during pregnancy may be harmless, but they may also endanger you and your unborn child. Insect bites come from various sources including fleas, ticks, lice, bed bugs and mosquitoes. If you are nursing and using insect repellant, wash your hands and breasts with soap and water before breastfeeding. Papular dermatitis requires medical treatment and may cause fetal death.

How to Identify Bed Bug Bites—and How to Treat Them

Wake up with reddish welts or itchy skin? The culprit may be a bed bug hiding under your bed. These are the signs a dermatologist and entomologist look for.

Changlu Wang/Courtesy Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station

Unfortunately, a bed bug bite has no telltale sign, according to a review published in theAmerican Society for Microbiology. The reaction to bites varies tremendously from one person to the next. Some people will have no reaction or just minor itching and mosquito-like bumps in one area; others will get dramatic red raised welts all over. “It depends on the number of feeding bugs on the body, how long the person has been suffering bites, and also where the bites are located,” says Jody Green, PhD, an urban entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Five stages of post-bed bug bites

If you have evidence of bed bug bites on your skin, it’s due to your body’s allergic response, according to the U.S. Armed Forces’ 2019 Pest Management Board: Technical Guide #44. That response can take a few different forms: little to no reaction; an immediate reaction—often a red spot with minor discomfort; a delayed reaction in which red weals turn up within 14 days that trigger intense itching that can last two to five days; or, unfairly, a combination of immediate and delayed reactions. This makes it tough to know what’s gnawing on you without the help of an entomologist or dermatologist. Although this guide to bug bites may help.

Familiar signs of bed bug bites

While there is no exact way to tell what bug bit you, dermatologist A. Yasmine Kirkorian, MD, an assistant professor of Dermatology & Pediatrics, Children’s National Health System, says there are some patterns doctors look for: “Bed bugs typically bite several times in a row so people may notice several red itchy bumps grouped closely together, a pattern sometimes called ‘breakfast, lunch, and dinner,’” she explains. “They can occur anywhere on the body; bed bug bites on the face may cause intense swelling including of the eyelid.” A small study found that 72 percent of people who were bitten by bed bugs had itchy red welts, 50 percent had redness or discoloration, and 28 percent had itching with no welts. Call your doc or dermatologist and look for these signs of bed bugs in your house.

It can’t be bed bug bites

Let’s say you are sleeping in the same bed as your partner and your partner wakes up with bites but you don’t. Must not be bed bugs, right? Sadly, it still could be. “The most challenging thing about bed bug bites is that there is are people who do not react to bed bug bites, so they have no adverse skin responses and have no idea that they are being fed upon while they are sleeping,” says Green. One survey found that nearly one in three people had no reaction to bed bug bites. When the researchers broke out reactions by age, they found that 42 percent of people over 65 had no reaction. Bites or no bites, this is how bed bugs could get in your bedroom.

Bed bug bite treatment

People who do react to bed bugs often have intense itching. “Once a patient has been bitten, it is difficult to eradicate the itching. Over-the-counter anti-itch creams that contain one percent pramoxine can help,” says Dr. Kirkorian. Try Aveeno with pramoxine and calamine. Oral antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Benadryl may be effective too, says Dr. Kirkorian. But if your itching persists, your dermatologist or doctor might prescribe topical steroids such as triamcinolone and fluocinonide.

Just thinking about bed bugs can wreck your sleep, as well. Talk to your doctor if you start suffering from insomnia. “A sedating antihistamine such as Benadryl could be safe to use,” says Dr. Kirkorian.

Home remedies for bed bug bites

Before you commit to natural bed bug treatment, remember to practice good hygiene and caution, advises Larry Bishop, MD, a dermatologist with Health First Medical Group: Be sure to wash the area with soap and water first to reduce the risk of infection; if the area appears irritated or develops a rash, stop using the treatment and see a doctor. For remedies, Dr. Bishop suggests trying peppermint oil: “It works by two mechanisms—the peppermint oil is a vasoconstrictor (blood vessel constrictor), which lessens the pain and irritation from bed bug bites. Additionally, the peppermint works as a soothing agent by gently stimulating the nerves around the bite.” Try adding a few drops to a warm bath; if you want to apply it to the bites, dilute it first with an oil such as coconut, jojoba or olive.

Lemon balm is another favorite for bug bites. Crush or roll the leaves with your fingers to release the juice, apply it to the bites, and wrap with a bandage. “It works by having soothing properties and antibacterial properties,” Dr. Bishop says. Finally, there’s household ammonia—research suggests that it can help with itchy bites. It may not smell great, says Dr. Bishop, but if you put a little on a cotton ball and dab it on the area right away, it can help. “It works by neutralizing the proteins that are in the saliva of the bed bugs.” The saliva is what produces the allergic reaction in some people, and the quicker you neutralize it, the better.

When to see the doctor

Your bed bug bites will generally clear up on their own, but if you itch them the scratching can lead to secondary infections. “The initial bite may be a portal for bacteria to enter the skin. If a patient develops a worsening red bump, pus drainage, a fever, or other signs of systemic illness, they should seek urgent medical attention,” advises Dr. Kirkorian. Then, find out how to get rid of bed bugs.

How To Treat Insect Bite During Pregnancy

In most of the cases an insect bite while pregnant does not harm the mother-to-be or the yet to be born. But, there are cases where a simple mosquito bite had put the life of both the mother and infant in danger due to the onset of unexpected complications. Hence, it is advisable to take necessary precaution to avoid undesirable events.

Before we give you some natural solutions to manage insect bites during pregnancy, let us take a look at the most common symptoms of an insect bite.

Symptoms of Insect Bites

The severity of the symptoms due to the bite from an insect during pregnancy could vary from mild to complicated ones. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Appearance of rashes or bumps on the skin, leaving the skin reddish
  • Swelling on one area or throughout the body
  • Itching
  • Numbness of the affected area
  • Elevated temperature on the affected area
  • Fever
  • Muscular spasm
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Palpitations
  • Loss of consciousness

14 Natural Remedies for Insect Bites During Pregnancy

1. Activated Charcoal

Topical application of a paste of activated charcoal helps in easing the swelling, itching, and inflammation by extracting the toxins injected due to the bite. Prepare a paste by emptying the contents of three charcoal tables with fresh water. Apply on the bitten region and wipe off using a clean and soft damp cotton cloth after half an hour.

2. Cold Compress

A cold compress immediately eases the itching and inflammation induced due a bite. It also eases pain and swelling also. Just fill a plastic cover with some crushed ice, wrap it in a clean towel, and apply topically on the affected area. Alternatively, you can use bags of frozen veggies or fruits also.

3. Vinegar

Any vinegar would do the job. Pour about 2 tsp vinegar on the affected area to immediately ward off the pain and stinging sensation. Alternatively, you can mix baking soda and vinegar to make a paste and apply on the insect bite to ease swelling and ward off infections.

4. Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a wonderful and safe antidote for insect bite during pregnancy. Apply lemon juice alone or mix it with honey and baking soda to prepare a powerful anti-bite solution. Put the paste on the bite and wipe off using a wet cloth after it dries up.

5. Garlic

Topical application of allicin-rich garlic juice could help in easing the sting and pain sensation. The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic alleviates the swelling and inflammation while its antibiotic properties prevent the site from developing any infections. You could roast and crush garlic and mix it with a little powdered rock salt for application on the affected area for better results.

6. Honey

This stick golden liquid is replete with fabulous anti-inflammatory properties that could help in easing the itching. It also soothes the skin and promotes faster healing. Mix honey with a little milk and apply it on the area to ensure faster recovery.

7. EssentialOils

The essential oils of lavender and tea tree contains natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, these oils are well-known for their antibacterial properties also. Hence, topical application of these oils could put an end to incessant scratching of the affected zone, thereby preventing infections. However, it is advisable to use essential oils after dilution as they could prove to be a little strong as your skin turns extremely sensitive during pregnancy.

8. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a good source of various fatty acids. Plus, it contains gamma tocopherol or vitamin E that helps in eliminating the itching and easing the inflammation. Being a natural moisturizing agent, it helps in soothing the skin and preventing itching. Just apply a little pure coconut oil on the affected area and leave on.

9. Milk

Milk contains lactic acid that helps in calming the insect bite. It also contains various essential fats that could help in easing the inflammation. Apply cold milk on the affected area and leave on.

10. Orange Juice

Orange juice is a powerhouse of antibacterial properties. Just dilute it with a little water and a little honey to freshly squeezed orange juice. Apply it and wipe off, if required. But do not step out in the sun after applying orange juice as it could invite sunburn.

11. Mint

You can use the leaves of mint to soothe the irritating itching sensation. Wash a handful of freshly plucked mint leaves and crush it thoroughly. Apply the crushed leaves on the affected area to ease the swelling and prevent itching. You could also apply a mixture of mint juice and olive oil for faster healing.

12. Basil

Basil leaves are rich sources of camphor that helps in bestowing a cooling sensation to the affected area. Crush a handful of freshly plucked and cleansed leaves on the bite bumps to ward off itching and ease swelling.

13. Sandalwood

Sandalwood powder has been used since time unknown in India to heal a wide array of skin issues, including rashes and redness. Prepare a paste by mixing a little sandalwood powder with honey and turmeric powder to eliminate itching, swelling, and inflammation.

14. Neem

Neem is a rich anti-bacterial herb that works efficiently in preventing infection and easing swelling. Wash a handful of cleaned neem leaves and boil it in one cup of water. Allow the water to cool down and use this to cleanse the bite to eliminate the itching.

All the above mentioned natural remedies are safe and are only topical applications. However, as with other natural remedies, it is always advisable to take the opinion of your doctor before experimenting with anything. Pregnancy is a very delicate situation that needs to be handled with extra care. So, be careful!

Do you know any home remedy? Share with us in the comments!

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