Don't believe the stereotype that bedbugs occur in only poor dirty houses and communities. Many affluent communities and households also have bedbug problems.
Don't be fooled by the name “bedbug” either. Bedbugs can be found any place humans rest and lounge. Bedbugs can be found under school desks, restaurant benches, on computers in the library, chairs, inside electronics/appliances, hospital beds and curtains or on a store wall.
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 ten 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.
Signs of Bedbug 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 faecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
An offensive, musty odour from the bugs' scent glands
Prevention and vigilance are key to preventing a bed bug problem. It’s easier to control them if they are found early, when there are only a few of them, as opposed to when they grow to number in the hundreds.
How to treat bedbug bites?
A mild steroid cream or antihistamine can help relieve itchy bites.
You might need antibiotics for worse reactions. See a doctor if you experience pain, redness, swelling or other signs of infection.
Culled from Staywellworld blog post dated February 13, 2018.
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