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Bed bugs are no longer a specific problem of a country. They have developed into a global phenomenon and affected the lives of millions of people. There were times when human beings thought that they could combat bed bugs, but the truth is that they always come back. And being bitten by bed bugs is nothing comfortable.
Let’s learn more about how to get rid of bed bug bites so that you can avoid all risks of this tiny, but dangerous creature!
What Are Bed Bug Bites?
Getting bitten by bugs, especially bed bugs is a very common thing that can happen to anyone . Even if your house is the most immaculate, it still has bugs if you bring them home in luggage or clothes.
Bed bugs can sneak into anywhere: your bed, your carpet, your furniture, etc. They will bite you, and you don’t even know when.
Some people assume that only developing countries struggle with bed bugs, but the truth is that they have been worldwide. Even in luxurious resorts, you can still find some bed bugs which might be a danger to you and your family.
Who Has A High Risk?
Bed bugs attack everyone, which means that no single group of people can avoid this problem for good. Nevertheless, it seems that people traveling regularly are more likely to experience bed bug bites.
Besides, if you share your living environments with many other people, the possibility of bed bug infestation is higher as well.
Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
The bites from bed bug can look similar to the bites from other insects which commonly appear in either clusters or rows of 3 – 5 bites. The most popular sites for bed bug bites are the hands and arms as well as neck and even the face.
Depending on the person, they might not even notice the bites, or they might have symptoms such as rashes or bumps which are itchy and red .
Also, they can have allergic reaction together with burning sensation and painful swelling at the area surrounding the bites. The bites can become engorged or in the worst case develop anaphylactic response .
Some bites can disappear after a few days, but some can become infected. Bed bugs don’t transmit diseases, but they can cause a skin infection because of the scratch.
What Is Dangerous About Bed Bug Bites?
In general, bed bug bites are harmless and do not have adverse effects on our health. It is essential to remember that bed bugs do not spread diseases. They only cause some annoying signs on the skin. So, why do you have to bother how to get rid of bed bug bites?
Apparently, you should never undervalue a bite of bed bugs. They can put our well-being at risk in various ways, especially if you do not take good care of the bites.
As we mentioned above, the signs caused by bed bug bites can be various. Some do not see anything unusual, but others might have allergic reactions after them. And the allergic reactions vary from one to one as well.
Mild signs include itchiness, redness, and irritation on your skin. Meanwhile, in severe cases, you have to count on some antihistamines and corticosteroids to address these symptoms.
Infection does not come directly from bed bug bites, in fact. It only happens when you scratch the bites. As a consequence of scratching, your skin might have some breaks or opening wounds, which allow the bacteria to penetrate into your skin and grow significantly.
It is a primary reason for all cases of infection. To cope with it, you might ask your doctor to give you some prescribed creams which can control the growth of bacteria and infection.
Anemia is a problem which occurs because of the lack of iron. Even though there is no study to indicate the association between anemia and bed bugs, there were few cases in which experts found bed bug infestation in patients with anemia.
Thus, it is a better idea if you avoid bed bug bites which can increase the possibility of anemia.
Bed bugs can be a threat to those who have already experienced respiratory problems. When bed bugs grow up, their outer skins might fall off and float in the air. They have negative impacts on people with some respiratory ailments, especially when they inhale it with the air.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
There are many different methods to help you answer how to get rid of bed bug bites. One of them is to use natural ingredients. Overall, this approach is safe and suitable for everyone because of its low cost.
Here are top 20 most active remedies for how to get rid of bed bug bites which you can easily apply to get rid of bed bugs bites and prevent future incidents that might disturb your rest.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural astringent for how to get rid of bed bug bites. It can keep itching at bay and dry out rashes that are caused by bed bug bites. Moreover, lemon juice can reduce swelling, redness and prevent infection because of the anti-inflammatory content in it .
- Take a cotton ball and dip it in lemon juice.
- Dab it on the bed bugs bites.
- Wait for several minutes then wash these areas.
- Follow this solution for several times a day
Note: Don’t go out in the sun for a couple of hours after taking this tip because lemon juice can make your skin vulnerable to sunburn. You can find out more about the applications of lemon juice at Home Remedies for Sore Throat and Dry and Rough Hands.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Using apple cider vinegar is a natural solution for how to get rid of bed bug bites. The acetic acid and anti-inflammatory properties content in apple cider vinegar can reduce the itch and burn .
- Use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to apply on the bed bug bites.
- Wait for a few minutes then wash it off.
- If the symptoms don’t reduce, reapply apple cider vinegar after several hours
It is another easy way for how to get rid of bed bug bites. Toothpaste can reduce the burn and itching sensations thanks to its cooling menthol .
- Dab a little white toothpaste on the bed bug bites.
- Wait for 10 minutes before washing it off.
- If you don’t see the result, repeat this solution.
Using cucumber is a natural tip on how to get rid of bed bug bites. Cucumber (slices and peels) contains vitamin C as well as the caffeic acid that provide anti-inflammatory benefits that can relieve the itch and burn .
- Take a piece of cucumber slice or peel and place it on the bed bug bites.
- Wait for 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you aren’t satisfied with the results, repeat this tip.
Note: You should cool the pieces in the refrigerator before placing it on the affected area for the best effects.
5. Ice Pack
Ice is an easy but effective way to ease the itch from bed bug bites. Ice can reduce the itching sensations thanks to its cold temperature . Also, it can calm the swelling.
- Put some ice cubes in a thin towel then wrap them.
- Place it on the bed bug bites.
- Wait for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it.
- Repeat this again if you don’t see the result
Oatmeal is an effective tip for how to get rid of bed bug bites because of its anti-inflammatory properties and soothing. Furthermore, it can reduce skin irritation caused by skin issues like psoriasis and eczema .
How to apply:
- Add a couple of teaspoons of oatmeal to water then mix them together to make a paste.
- Apply this mixture to the bed bug bites.
- Wait for at least 15 minutes before cleaning it off.
- Follow this solution a couple of times for several days.
- Another option is preparing an oatmeal bath.
- Add colloidal oatmeal (1/2 cup) in warm bathwater. You can add some drops of peppermint essential oil as well.
- Soak in this bath for 15 minutes.
- Repeat this for a few days
7. Witch Hazel
Even though witch hazel is mostly used as a facial cleanser, you still can use it to ease the itch caused by bed bug bites because of the tannins that have a mild anesthetic effect .
- Use a cotton ball to soak in witch hazel.
- Place this cotton ball on the bed bug bites.
- Wait for 10 minutes before removing the cotton ball.
- Repeat this tip if you don’t see the result.
8. Tea Bag
Moist tea bags can be useful to reduce the swelling and itching caused by insect bites, especially bed bug bites because of its mild anesthetic property and tannins with astringent. Thus, it is an affordable tip on how to get rid of bed bug bites.
- Place a moist, used tea bag in the refrigerator to cool it for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the tea bag on the bed bug bites for 15 minutes.
- Repeat this solution if you aren’t satisfied with the result.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another efficient ingredient for how to get rid of bed bug bites because it can neutralize acidic chemicals that are the causes of itching. It can reduce redness and swelling thanks to its anti-inflammatory property.
- Mix water (3 teaspoons) and baking soda (1 teaspoon) together.
- Apply this on the bed bug bites.
- Wait for 10 minutes then wash it off.
- Apply this mixture again after 30 to 45 minutes if you don’t see the result.
10. Aloe Vera
The gel of Aloe Vera is very good for your skin and particularly beneficial ingredient for how to get rid of bed bug bites. It can reduce the burning and itching caused by insect bites and bed bugs thanks to its amino acid and active compounds. Also, it can keep the skin moisturized to heal the skin].
- Clean an Aloe Vera leaf thoroughly and cut it open.
- Scoop out the gel then apply it onto the affected skin.
- Put the remaining gel in the refrigerator.
- Follow this solution a couple of times a day for several days.
11. Banana Peel
Another tip on how to get rid of bed bug bites is banana peel, which we usually do not what to do with. It is clear that banana is one of the most incredible fruits with excellent amounts of nutrients. We have appreciated its health benefits since ancient times. However, few people actually know the advantages of banana peel.
Scientists have figured out that banana peel contains some bioactive compounds, for example, carotenoids and polyphenols. They are strongly therapeutic and play an important role in the fight against itchy feeling and infections. Therefore, you can use the peel as beg bug cream to rub your skin 2-3 times every day.
Infected bed bug bite can be treated easily with the support of onion, one of the best tips on how to get rid of bed bug bites. Onion provides a lot of sulfur and this substance has actively therapeutic properties. Even though some people dislike onion because of its nasty smell, it is undeniable that it is handy for bed bug bites treatment, not to mention its fantastic anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
If you feel uncomfortable with its smell, you can always overcome it with simple natural home remedies for Onion Breath.
13. Tea Tree Oil
The use of tea tree oil for coping with skin issues has been practiced all around the world, especially in Australia. This fact results from its antifungal and antiseptic properties. As long as you dilute it, tea tree oil can work as a wonderful bed bug bite relief. The suggestion is to mix it with water because raw oil could worsen bed bug bite rash.
Nonetheless, pregnant women or those who are feeding their baby with breast milk had better not use tea tree oil.
It is not the sweet candy that we see at the supermarket! Marshmallow as a tip on how to get rid of bed bug bites is a herb and people have used it for ages. It plays the central role in handling skin inflammation, which is very important for bed bug bites on face. The application of marshmallow poultice on your skin will be a great addition to the efforts to get rid of bed bug bites quickly.
Nevertheless, some groups are recommended not to use this herb because of possible side effects, including pregnant women and people with diabetes.
Many parents are frightened when seeing their children play with mud. The conception that mud is dirty is actually very common among the population. Nevertheless, it is worth understanding that mud contains natural clay and it has antibacterial quality. Thus, in particular, mud is the next tip on how to get rid of bed bug bites in this list. Many people will also be glad to know that mud has a lot of positive impacts on skin conditions.
How to do:
- Wet mud should be applied directly on the skin
- After it becomes dry, cleanse the skin with water
16. Soap and Water
This is another tip for how to get rid of bed bug bites. The combination of soap and water is what to put on bed bug bites immediately after you notice them.
How to do:
- Wash the affected area with water and mild soap.
- Use enough water and a bar of soap to wet your hands.
- Work the soap into thick, soapy lather in your hands.
- Rub the lather over the bed bug bites until the entire affected area is covered.
- Don’t wash it off. Wait for it to dry and you will feel comfortable immediately.
17. Steroidal Anti-Itch Over-The-Counter Cream
This is the medicinal treatment for how to get rid of bed bug bites.
- Use the cream that contains hydrocortisone or cortisone-like Cortaid because it can reduce itching and inflammation.
- Follow the package’s directions to use the cream correctly.
Note: Consult your doctor for the right cream.
18. Oral Antihistamine
The oral antihistamine can associate the bites and control the allergic reaction. As a result, you can ease the pain and itching. In fact, it is one of the most popular tips on how to get rid of bed bug bites you are likely to have from your doctor.
Follow the package instructions for the correct dosage. You can also try OTC antihistamine cream.
19. Consult the Doctor
If these tips on how to get rid of bed bug bites don’t work for you, you should visit your doctor to treat the bites, especially if you have these conditions:
- Bites become infected
- Multiple bites
- Signs of skin infection
Your doctor can help you get rid of these conditions very easily and safely.
20. Get Pain Relief
If your bites don’t disappear and you feel pain or discomfort, you should take OTC anti-inflammatory analgesic oral medication like naproxen, aspirin or ibuprofen to ease the pain and itching.
You should consult your doctor to know how to get rid of bed bug bites before taking these medications.
When to See A Doctor
With these tips on how to get rid of bed bug bites, you can say goodbye to all disturbing signs quickly. However, there are times when all of them might not be useful for you and you still have to struggle with itching or skin irritation.
Then, you will need medical attention. Typically, bed bug bites ought to disappear within 14 days. If they do not, contact your doctor for more advice and consultation. He or she might provide you with some over-the-counter lotions or creams to address swelling and itchiness efficiently and immediately.
On the other hand, the help of a doctor is necessary if you notice one of these signs:
- The formation of some sores and blisters
How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs are a global phenomenon, and all of us are fighting against them. Nevertheless, there are some tips on how to prevent bed bug bites that you can try applying to see whether they work or not.
Protect your home
The central key to a house without bed bugs is that you have to keep it clean as much as possible. Thus, you might need to vacuum your house or room on a weekly basis. Sometimes, the recommendation is to do it every day whenever you doubt the development of bed bugs inside your house.
There are some practical tips on how to get rid of bed bug bites that you can apply to prevent them in advance. For example, essential oils are handy when it comes to the removal of bed bugs. You had better mix it with water and then, spray the mixture to your house or luggage to combat bed bugs.
The best essential oils you can use are peppermint, lavender, cinnamon, eucalyptus, or lemongrass oil.
Besides, the high temperature will not create favorable conditions for bed bugs. You ought to let furniture be exposed to the sun regularly. Sometimes, when everything gets out of control, it is necessary that you have pest controllers take care of the situation.
For those who want to protect their house from bed bugs, it is an excellent idea to start with the installation of door jams or sweeps. They help to block the gap you find under the door. As a result, bugs find it harder to enter your house.
One of the best tips to avoid bed bugs when you travel is to choose hotels which inevitably change their pillows and mattresses regularly. But you still have to check them on your own before putting your back on them. Search for every sign of bed bugs as you can to make sure that they do not disturb you when you do not see them.
When you wash your clothes, the suggestion is to let them run through the high heat of a dryer as well. The high temperature kills bed bugs. It is also vital to vacuum the luggage regularly.
Stay away from contaminated things
When you buy clothes or furniture, you should get new ones because secondhand items have a high risk of containing bed bugs. If you have to get secondhand ones, you need to inspect them carefully before making your decision.
Then, remember to wash them and let them run through a dryer with high heat to eliminate any possible bed bugs.
It is nearly impossible to avoid bed bugs nowadays no matter where you are. Nevertheless, you can do something to reduce the risk of facing them significantly. Follow our tips on how to get rid of bed bug bites and you can save tons of money and time on the treatment of bed bug bites!
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