Some people do not experience an allergic reaction to a bed bug bite at all. Two people, sleeping in the same bed in a home infested with bed bugs, may have different reactions. Those that do are likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- a bite with a red, swollen area and a dark red center
- bites formed in a line or grouped together in a small area
- blisters or hives at the bite site
Remember bites can happen anywhere on the body, but most commonly they occur on areas of skin that are exposed while sleeping, such as the face, arms, legs, and hands.
FEEDING OR BITING?
Despite what our parents told us, bed bugs do not bite. Instead, they pierce your skin with two straw-like feeding tubes after injecting their saliva in the skin to anesthetize the area. An adult can take a full blood meal within 5 to 10 minutes, after which they disappear to secluded places to digest their meal and mate. Bed bugs feed every five to seven days when its host is readily available. When a bed bug is starved, it leaves its harborage and searches for a host. If it successfully feeds, it returns to its harborage. If it does not feed, it continues to search for a host. After searching—regardless of whether or not it has eaten—the bed bug returns to the harborage to aggregate before the photo phase (period of light during a day-night cycle). If the host is readily available during the photo phase of the day, the bed bug will emerge during daylight to feed.
TREATING BED BUG BITES
Bed bug bites do not always need medical treatment. If an infection occurs from scratching the affected areas, you can apply a lotion or antibiotic cream or ointment. Creams with corticosteroids and oral antihistamines may be advised when there are signs of allergic reactions, in these severe cases, you may need to see your doctor.
The symptoms of bed bug bites don’t usually last very long. Most allergic reactions from bed bugs remain a few days to no more than a few weeks. If the reaction is more serious, the bites and itching will likely last longer. In any case, call Beach Pest Control as soon as the bites are confirmed as bed bugs or if an infestation is suspected.
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