How to Treat Bed Bug Bites Effectively

Close up of a bed bug

Bed bug infestations have been increasingly common in the U.S. these past years. The most infuriating thing about bed bugs is that they do their best work—bite and feed on you—at night while you’re sleeping.

But waking up with a bite doesn’t necessarily mean that you have bed bugs because their bites actually look very similar to mosquito bites. Get some tips below on identifying bed bug bites so you could treat them promptly, call an exterminator in Attleboro, MA to check out your home, and get rid of the infestation.

How Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Although bed bugs can feed on the blood of other animals, usually rats and mice, they prefer the blood of humans. Their bites could be seen on any body part that’s exposed while sleeping including the arms, legs, shoulders and neck.

In general, the bites will appear a couple of hours after being bitten and look like itchy bumps. They resemble mosquito bites but might be more swollen and redder. There’s also the possibility that you won’t experience a reaction for several hours after being bitten for the first time because the body sometimes needs some time to react.

Once your body reacts, however, you’ll see zigzags or clusters of flat bites because they’ll look like they blended together. Bed bugs also bite multiple times so the severity of the infestation could have a significant impact on how severe your reaction would be.

How Do You Treat Bed Bug Bites?

Bed bug bites rarely require medical attention, but you do need to take certain precautions when treating them at home. Begin by washing the affected areas with water and mild soap to ease the itchiness and reduce your risk of developing an infection. If they’re very itchy, you can apply ice to the bites to numb them and then apply a thin coat of corticosteroid cream.

Some people might have an allergic reaction to the bites and experience fever, swollen tongue and ears, hives, or breathing issues. Others might develop an infection. If you see blisters that ooze pus where your bites are or an allergic reaction, go to a doctor to check your symptoms as soon as possible. Your doctor might prescribe an epinephrine injection, stronger corticosteroid creams, and/or an antihistamine depending on the severity of your reaction. To treat an infection, your doctor might recommend an OTC antiseptic or prescribe antibiotics.

Can You Contract a Disease From Bed Bug Bites?

Woman scratching skin

Yes, bed bug bites are a pain and knowing that you have an infestation in your abode could be very distressing. Fortunately, bed bug bites won’t really negatively affect your overall health. This is the main difference between mosquitoes and bed bugs.

While bed bugs feed on your blood and bite you as mosquitoes do, they don’t carry and transmit diseases like mosquitoes do. In any case, a bed bug infestation is no joke, so the minute you suspect that you might have bedbugs in your home—even before they’ve gotten a chance to feed on you—call a local exterminator as soon as possible.