What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are oval shaped parasites without wings that have 6 legs and are about 1/5 inch long. They vary in color from white to brown, but may have a dark red after feeding. Bedbugs feed on blood at night and hide during the day. Prefer to feed on human blood, but also feed on other mammals such as dogs or cats.
Bed bugs can be a terrible nuisance, but has not been shown to spread disease.
Where do bed bugs thrive?
Bed bugs live in cracks dry and dark, as in the seams of mattresses. Because bed bugs feed at night, the mattresses are an ideal place for them to live. However, not only bugs live in mattresses. They can also live in cracks in furniture, walls or floors, and go to bed at night.
Places like hotels, apartments, dormitories and shelters are more likely to be infested with bedbugs. This is probably because more people traveling in these parts circulating in the single-family homes. Bed bugs can travel from place to place on clothing and luggage, in the second-hand furniture and bedding used.
Bed bugs are a growing problem in the United States. This could be partly because more people are traveling internationally and bringing bed bugs in luggage or clothing. In addition, pesticides that eliminated the bugs in the past have been replaced by less potent chemicals that do not harm the bugs. This has allowed the population of bed bugs in the U.S. grows.
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
The best time to find bugs alive is in the middle of the night when they come to feed. Other signs of having bugs include:
- Small blood stains on the sheets.
- Dark particles of feces of bedbugs in the areas where bed bugs could live.
- A sweet smell indicating the presence of a large number of bugs.
How do I know if I've been bitten by a bug?
Bed bug bites appear as small red bumps and swollen which could have a bite mark in the center or not. These bites are very itchy. It is common to have multiple bites at a time, often in a straight row on the skin.
How can I treat a bug bite?
Bug bites should disappear within 2 weeks. Meanwhile, you can try a cream or lotion (hydrocortisone) on the affected skin to relieve itching and swelling. A pill or antihistamine cream called diphenhydramine may also relieve itching caused by bug bites.
It is important to avoid scratching bites as much as possible. Scratching can damage the skin, making you more likely to become infected.