Bed bugs are small, flat, oval-shaped insects. They do not have wings and rely on humans to carry them from one place to the next. Bed bugs are a reddish-brown color and can be between 1 and 7 millimeters. They feed on blood from humans or animals, and they’re most active at night, feeding on their victims while they sleep. They also tend to move indoors in the winter.
These bugs feed on their hosts at night, leaving small bite marks that, though rarely dangerous, should be treated right away to prevent unwanted symptoms and potential allergic reactions.
To prevent more bites in the future, you’ll need to get rid of your bed bug infestation completely.
Pay attention to when the bites occur. Consider, for example, if you notice the bites after waking up when previously you hadn’t noticed them. However, this can also be difficult to determine because each person’s reaction time can vary significantly.
Symptoms that result from the bite can manifest at any point from a couple of hours to more than a week after the bite occurred.
Check your home for signs of bedbugs. Start with where you sleep. Bedbugs want to be where people are so they can get the warm blood of humans. A telling sign is red spots on the sheets. These may come from a bedbug that was squashed after feeding, or from the bites left on you when the bug finished feeding on you.
Call an exterminator. This is the surest way to confirm that you have been bitten by a bedbug. An exterminator will search your home and be able to confirm whether or not you have an infestation on your hands.
The first thing you should do once you notice a bed bug bite is wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Combat itchy symptoms whenever necessary by covering the bite with natural solutions like lemon juice and aloe vera gel or professional remedies like 1% hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion. If your skin starts to swell, take oral antihistamines, and use pain relievers like Tylenol to manage any discomfort. Visit your doctor if your bite hasn’t cleared after 2 weeks.