Archive for the bed bug bites pictures Category

Bed bug bites can happen in as little as 5 minutes for full feeding allowing one to multiply into thousands in a months time. If only a portion of that colony were to feed on you while youre sleeping, you could wake up to a body covered in bites!

Attacked by bed bugsThese blood suckers lock on to the carbon dioxide (CO2) release when sleeping. Once they have you, they head toward a warm part of your body and begin to bite. Two tubes are inserted into your body; one is used to inject a mixture of anticoagulant and anesthetic while the other is used to suck up your blood. You never notice the bites until you wake up and realize you were the main course!

Unfortunately, some victims dont realize they have been bitten for up to two weeks while others may react right away. Two weeks is a long time, and if you slept in multiple locations, it might be impossible to figure out which place had the infestation.

Below is an excellent example of how most bites turn out a clear pattern.

Notice the pattern on the hand? These bites are another great example of how bed bugs move on your skin when feeding.

These seven bites are all line up on the back of the arm(3) and also fed on the back of the leg near the vein. Visitor Concerned 80 said that the bites became swollen from scratching while half asleep.bed bugs bites on arm showing pattern of feeding

Just because you where bit seven times does not mean you have seven bedbugs these bugs will move in a pattern looking for the perfect feeding spot, so its possible that only one could have caused all that irritation!

These bloodsuckers love exposed areas of flesh such as closest to their nest such as the face, forehead, arms and known to attack babies.. Those repeatedly bitten over time are more likely to become sensitive. You may even find the person sleeping next to you does not show any signs of bed bug bites while you do. In fact, the person next to you may not have been bitten at all a good sign that the infestation is closest to you.

Julio didnt react well not to these bites, and they took a long time to heal!Julios arm was badly bitten and he didnt react well not to mention how long it took him to heal!

If you are unlucky, you may have a severe reaction like that shown below, which is unusual but may happen when attacked repeatedly.

Vanessa took her young son to the doctor and had confirmed these bites were from bed bugs. Look at the damage they did to his face! Its important not to scratch the area or scabbing may leave a scar. Vanessa explains what happened:

Vanessa: I am so glad I found your website. My family and I just returned from vacation two days ago, and my youngest children are covered with bed bug bites. At first, we did not know what they were. The bites started after the first night of staying there. They got increased in number and became worse over the week. We had no clue. Bed bugs never crossed our minds. I took them to the doctor as soon as we got home and we got the news. BED BUGS!

I was totally disgusted and freaking out! I still am! I cant sleep at night. I worry that we brought them home and feel my childrens pain, they are pitiful! The bites do not seem to be clearing up and itch like crazy. My husband and I only have a few each. I will never go on vacation again!

Another visitor, Ava, had her neck badly bitten by bed bugs. For many months, her baby boy had bite marks which doctors initially suggested might be scabies or fleas.

A few months later when Avas older son complained of his skin crawling in the middle of the night, she checked on the baby and found his bed frame and mattress covered with bed bugs with many in the process of feeding!

This poor child was helpless to do anything while being fed upon by bed bugs. If you ever see something like this, its an indication of an infestation close by, and it should be easy to locate the nest.

This is what can happen to you when you stay at an infested hotel. Here, Richard crashed out in his hotel room and was viciously attacked while sleeping can you imagine yourself waking up to this?

Below is Richards arm covered with more than 50 bites!

His thigh with multiple bites:

His calf was bitten as well!

Both his legs were covered with bites!

50 bites per arm! (ouch!) Many on his back including both the front and back of his legs. The itching was so bad that Richard ended up at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Urgent Care. The doctors prescribed Antibiotic and Anti-Itching medicine. He ended up missing two days of work on top of it all.

With that many bites, Id say that this was a massive infestation and would guess the room improperly treated or not treated at all. If this ever happens to you, document everything and if possible, capture the bugs and confront the hotel there are multi-million dollar lawsuits over bites from bed bugs, and your attorney will love you for it!

The number of bites on Adams stomach helps emphasize how fast an infestation can grow in as little as 30 days! He is from Canoga Park California, and its clear just how red and swollen these bites can become.

The grouping of bites are circled in black.

After a lot of searching and almost giving up, Adam found, and collected the bed bugs and placed them in a plastic baggie. Needless to say, they were full of his blood.

The new problem is that he cant sleep now because hes afraid of being bitten again. He has used multiple bug bombs (which typically dont work and not the ideal solution) and also sprays which drove them into the walls.

Ross says this happened in a cabin while staying at Yellowstone National Park and his head wasnt the only part of his body they fed on; unfortunately, bed bugs bites covered his entire body!

Most disturbing is that Ross never felt a thing! These little blood suckers waited until he fell into a deep sleep, injected a form of anesthetic into his skin, and feed until they were full! Ross was clearly the main course!

Easily swipe through our many pictures of bed bug bites but be warned Some may cause you to have nightmares!

Afraid, a name used by one of the mothers visiting our website, shares the bites on her arm and what happens when you scratch them.

These appear all over her body, but this is the top part of the arm near the elbow.

Scratching will cause bleeding and can lead to infection.

Her whole body is covered in bites and gives you an idea of how much damage these bugs can really do.

WARNING! Do NOT scratch your bites, it can leave permanent scars!

HOME REMEDY: Baking Soda paste is the #1 home treatment for bites. Mix water with baking soda to make a paste that you then place on the area and let dry. Here are more details:

Other natural remedies for treating bed bug bites include:

OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION:

MEDICATIONS PRESCRIBED BY A DOCTOR:

In Richards case, his doctor prescribed Calamine Topical Suspension USP, Cephalexin and Hydroxyzine HCL for the bed bugs bites.

The dermatologist did a biopsy: Below is Robs story of being repeatedly bitten by bugs and after a lot of research found out that indeed he had bed bugs thanks for sharing Rob!

I just discovered the cause of my skin reaction this morning. Been spending a lot of time at a friends place and started to get red spots that were intense and itch. It just got worse and worse. The dermatologist did a biopsy and found no bacteria or virus. Skin scrapping found no fungus. It was a matter of finding out what was causing my skin to become so swollen I couldnt see some of the bite marks. It only affected my legs, feet, arms, upper back, chest, neck, and shoulders. No midsection bites.

On Tuesday my arm became worse after spending the night at my friends place. At home, when I got out of the shower a bug near my jeans and killed it. I called my doctor to treat my arm and mentioned the bug. He saw me that day and put me on prednisone. Last night I took the antihistamine he prescribed, and it knocked me right out. I fell asleep on my friends shaggy carpet for about an hour and a half. As I awoke, I saw another bug run across my shorts.

I have a phobia about bugs, and so my friend helped me capture it so that I could show the doctor as he requested; the doctor put it under the microscope and pointed out the telltale signs.

In short, I was bitten by bed bugs from visiting my friends apartment. Ive sent in some pictures of the symptoms on my arms. Its such a relief to know what is causing my skin problems rather than thinking I had some disease.

Ive found that the locoid lipocream he gave me to be the most effective. He also gave a sample of foaming medication in a small can which didnt seem to work. The swollen areas were much worse that you would imagine, I experienced flat out pain by nighttime. I treated my arm 3x that day with the lipocream and by morning it was 100x better with significantly reduced redness and swelling.

Good luck to those dealing with similar issues, I feel your pain!

Rachel had a doctor prescribe her betamethasone valerate to relieve the itching. She says it works but doesnt get rid of the bites.

Bridgets Dr. prescribed a topical cortisone cream to stop the itching and told that diphenhydramine (Benadryl) would halt the itching too.

Julies Doctor suggested using teatree oil as a repellent and fucidin H on the spots. He suggested that I should spray everything with the green baygon even the mattresses.

More Photos? This is what bed bug bites look like on people eaten alive!

There are 10 pages of discussions about Bed Bug Bites, P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P9, P10


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1. Apply wet soap to the bite and allow it to dry.2. Try a home remedy, such as baking soda and water or lemon juice.3. Consider a steroidal anti-itch cream or calamine lotion.4. Take an oral antihistamine or pain relief medication if needed.5. See your doctor if the bites become infected or do not clear up within 1 to 2 weeks.


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Childhood Skin Problems

Photo courtesy of Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin

The first sign of bedbugs may be red, itchy bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites, unlike some other insects that leave bites here and there.

Bedbugs do not seem to spread disease to people. But itching from the bites can be so bad that some people will scratch enough to cause breaks in the skin that get infected easily. The bites can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. Read more about bedbug bites - symptoms, treatments and prevention.

Slideshow: Slideshow: Bug Bites Pictures Slideshow: Identifying Bugs and Bug BitesSlideshow: Bedbugs Pictures Slideshow: Photos and Images of Bedbugs

Article: Don't Lose Sleep Over Bed BugsArticle: Bedbugs - Overview

Video: Tips to Stop the Bedbugs from Biting

Sources:

Image: Photo courtesy of Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin

Text: "Bedbugs - Overview", WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise


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Scabies Rash

Many of us hesitate at the sight of bugs, insects, and spiders. Once you've been bitten or stung, your reaction may range from ouch and minor itching to infection or allergic reaction concerns and even emergency medical care. Learning to identify what a bite or sting looks like and how it feels can help you and your family determine whether home treatment or professional medical help is needed. This article will take a look at scabies, bed bugs, bees, tick, spiders, mosquitoes, lice, more and even some sea creatures that bite and sting.

Scabies is an infection caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites burrow under the skin causing red, itchy bumps. Closer examination of the skin with a magnifying glass reveals lines under the skin, which are produced by the mites burrowing. Scabicide medications are used to treat the infestation.

Scabies infection appears as a red, bumpy, itchy rash on the skin. It is caused by infection by the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites burrow deep into the skin leaving tell-tale red lines (burrows) that are visible with a magnifying glass. The mites may favor the skin on the fingers and arms and any area covered by jewelry or clothing. Scabies infection is treated with scabicide medications.

The picture shows red, raised nodules characteristic of scabies infection in a young child. Other skin features that occur with scabies include burrows, pustules, papules, and vesicles. Patches of crusty skin areas may be evident.

This figure illustrates burrows that are diagnostic of scabies. Burrows are represented by slightly raised white to light-brown linear lesions. The superficial part of the burrow has a scaly appearance, and at the distal end there may be a tiny black dot representing the mite, eggs, and/or fecal material (scybala) in a small vesicle.

Bed bugs are insects that cause itchy bites and hard-to-treat infestations of bedding, furniture, clothing, and other household objects. Bed bugs range from translucent to reddish-brown in color. They are oval-shaped and one-quarter of an inch long as adults. Bed bugs are small and flat, so they can invade a variety of spaces. They may hide in cracks, joints, and small spaces of furniture, wall hangings, and electrical appliances. Bed bugs may also like to take up residence under cushions or wallpaper.

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, brown insects that feed off the blood of animals and people. Bed bugs leave red, itchy bites -- usually in rows -- on their victims. Bed bug bites may resemble bites from other insects like chiggers or mosquitos. The rash may resemble other conditions such as hives or eczema. Bed bug infestations can be hard to identify. Bed bugs may leave reddish stains, dark spots, or pale yellow eggs on bedding and infested materials. Bed bug infestations are on the rise as people unknowingly transfer the bugs in and on luggage, boxes, clothing, and furniture.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Ticks harboring the bacteria are found most often on deer, raccoons, weasels, moles, squirrels, horses, field mice, opossums, skunks, and shrews. Most cases of Lyme disease are reported in the northeastern United States in Connecticut, New York, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

Initial symptoms of Lyme disease may include a red, expanding bulls-eye rash, fatigue, fever, chills, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Muscle and joint pain may also be present. Later stages of Lyme disease may manifest with neuropathy, nerve problems, and arthritis. Knee pain may be a symptom of advanced Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the spirochete bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Hard-bodied Ixodes ticks transmit the infection. Lyme disease is endemic in many parts of the United States. Some people infected with Lyme disease develop a characteristic bulls-eye rash called erythema migrans. The tick bite is the central area from which the rash migrates outward. The rash may be evident on other parts of the body as well. Other symptoms that may occur along with the rash include burning or itching at the bite location, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and malaise. Early Lyme disease often responds well to antibiotic treatment.

In later stages, Lyme disease may cause more serious, systemic illness. Symptoms in this stage may include neurological dysfunction, joint pain, and cardiac conduction problems. Current testing for Lyme disease is often insufficient for many reasons. Many cases of Lyme disease go undiagnosed and inadequately treated.

This picture shows an inflamed lump (papulonodular lesion) that has developed on the scalp after a tick bite. The lesion is itchy and scaly. Scratching may result in a secondary bacterial infection. Corticosteroids may be applied topically or injected into the area to decrease itching, pain, and inflammation. A lump like this may persist for several months after a tick bite. Biopsy may be necessary to properly diagnose and treat the lesion.

Rickettsialpox (tche noire) is a crusty, scab-like lesion with a red halo that occurs at the site of a mite bite. The lesion is caused by the Rickettsia akari bacteria that is harbored by mites that are associated with rodents. Fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, rash, muscle pain, headache, and sweating may be associated with the condition.

There are many different types of insects that can bite or sting. The stings of members of the Hymenoptera family -- bees (honey bees, Africanized killer bees, bumble bees), ants, and wasps (hornets, yellow jackets, paper wasps) -- are most likely to cause potentially serious medical problems or even death. These insects live in colonies. If you are stung by one, others may not be far behind and repeated stings are possible.

The black widow is a venomous spider with a potentially dangerous bite. The bite may or may not be visible as one or two puncture wounds on the skin. A bite may initially go unnoticed and produce no symptoms. Some people feel pain soon after a black widow spider bite. Black widow spider venom affects the nervous system, and common symptoms include abdominal pain, muscle cramps, weakness, and tremors. Profuse sweating, fever, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing may occur in severe cases.

Symptoms and symptom severity after a black widow spider bite vary considerably. Those with underlying health problems, the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems may suffer more severe consequences due to a black widow spider bite.

A brown recluse spider is a venomous spider that has a violin-shaped marking on its head. The spiders are most common in the Midwest and the South. Brown recluse spider bites are often painless, which can lead to a delay in treatment. Within hours of a bite, redness and a 'bull's-eye" rash may appear. In the ensuing ensuing hours, the tissue at the center of the bite may begin to sink, form an ulcer, and die. This so-called necrotized tissue has a blue-black appearance. The majority of brown recluse spider bites do not cause significant tissue damage.

The brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is a venomous spider with a potentially painful bite. About 10% of bites from these spiders cause necrosis (tissue death). The area of the bite can be ulcerated. The toxins in the bite produce fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, itching, and pain at the site of the bite.

Carpet beetles are not common insects in homes and buildings where good hygiene predominates. Rarely, sensitized individuals may develop dermatitis due to the insects crawling over the skin. The hairy legs of carpet beetles may puncture the skin, leading to an intensely itchy rash with papulovesicular lesions (raised bumps or blisters). The lesions may blister as shown in the picture.

Fire ant stings cause intensely itchy red lesions that resemble hives. The areas affected by bites can develop blisters that later may become filled with pus. Fire ant stings may cause uncomfortable burning that can be relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers. Antihistamines and cold packs can also provide relief. Some people may have life-threatening reactions to fire ant stings causing anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic reactions require emergency medical treatment.

Fire ant stings are apparent on this child 24 hours after the injury. Redness, pain, and swelling occur at the sites of the stings. The stings look like flat red lesions (macules) and solid raised bumps (papules), some of which may contain pus (pustules).

Flea bites can cause uncomfortable reactions in people who are sensitive to them. It is important to avoid scratching flea bites to reduce the risk of wounds and infections. Vacuuming daily, treating pets with insecticide, and keeping pets out of the bedroom can reduce the risk of flea bites.

Head lice are parasites known as Pediculus humanus capitis. Eggs and young lice are called nits. They live on the hair shafts on the scalps of people who are infested. Sometimes, head lice occur on other hairs of the body, such as eyebrows or eyelashes. Head lice can easily infect other hosts by jumping on to new victims who are in close proximity. Lice can also be transferred to others on clothing or objects. School-aged children and their families are often affected by head lice. Symptoms may include itching, tingling, irritability, and sores. Lice are very small but they are visible.

Head lice are treated with a combination of over-the-counter medicated shampoo and lotions and by physically removing all lice from the head with a special comb. Lice may be found throughout the scalp, but favorite spots may be the hair behind the ears and around the nape of the neck. Clothing, bedding, and stuffed toys should be washed in very hot water and dried on the hottest dryer setting to kill lice and their eggs.

Nits are the eggs of body lice. They may reside on clothing of someone who is infested with these parasites. They favor seams of clothing and areas including under the armpits and around the waistline. Nits hatch within 1 to 2 weeks.

The picture depicts itchy, painful papules on the leg of a victim who has suffered a jellyfish sting. The papules follow a linear arrangement due to the long stingers of the jellyfish.

Sea urchins are echinoids that have spines that can be up to several inches long. Stepping on, falling on, or brushing against sea urchins can cause spines to fall off and embed into the skin. The sting is painful and unless the spines are removed, an infection will result. The process is tedious, but every spine out of the dozens that may be embedded must be removed in order to relieve the symptoms and prevent infection.

Sea urchin dermatitis results when sea urchin spines pierce the skin. The condition is pictured here on the bottom of the foot of someone who stepped on a sea urchin.

Swimmer's itch, or cercarial dermatitis, is a type of acute dermatitis that occurs as the result of skin infestation by parasitic larvae acquired from swimming in fresh or salt water. The parasites are harbored by certain birds, mammals, and snails. While the larvae can infect humans, leading to skin irritation, humans are not suitable hosts for the adult parasites. The rash resulting from swimmer's itch can be extremely itchy. Treatment may consist of topical agents to decrease itching and antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection occurs due to skin breakage from scratching.

Seabather's itch, or seabather's eruption, is a very itchy rash that develops after contact with Cnidaria. These organisms include coral, jellyfish, and sea anemones. The jellyfish are found off the Florida coast and in the Caribbean, whereas the sea anemone are found off the northeastern coast of the United States.

Seabather's itch causes raised bumps or blisters to appear. Other symptoms of seabather's itch may include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fatigue.

The Portuguese man-of-war is a brilliant blue-purple hydrozoan that has long tentacles capable of stinging victims with a whiplash-like pattern. The stings typically cause wheals that occur in stripes. The characteristic sting is not caused by whips from the tentacles but from irritants that the tentacles deposit on the skin of the victims.

West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that can cause encephalitis. It is transmitted by mosquitoes. West Nile virus is similar to other viruses in the family, including yellow fever, dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis viruses. WNV is a positive-strand RNA virus, and the genome encodes for three structural proteins and seven nonstructural proteins. The functions of the nonstructural proteins include weakening the host response and regulating viral transcription and replication.

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Detroit Terminix released its 2017 ranking of the top 20cities infested by bedbugs just in time for late-summer vacations and students returning to campuses. Based on service data, Detroit ranked thirdon the list followingCleveland (#1) and Cincinnati (#2).

Terminix, a majorprovider of termite and pest control services in the United States based in Memphis, Tennesee, compiled the list from data at 300 Terminix branches across the country. The list ranks from their services between Jan. 1 to June 30.

The list announced on Thursday includes the top 20 cities. For the full list, check online.

"The bedbug experts at Terminix say that bed bug infestations have significantly increased since the late 1990s, and while researchers are unsure of the exact causes, factors such as increased international travel and insecticide resistance likely bear some responsibility," according to a written release by Business Wire.

There are also tips from Terminix on their websitefor customers on how to check for bedbugs at home and when traveling. Here are three Detroiters should know:

Traveling

First, check travel reviews before visiting a hotel, and be careful of those with multiple reports of bedbugs. When you check into a hotel, check the mattress, headboard, bed frame and pictures for any signs of bed bugs.

Rather than storing luggage on the bed or floor, keep your luggage on the luggage rack.Avoid storing clothes in dressers and hang clothes that can be hung.

Be aware

There is apotential risk of bedbugs on bedroom furniture and fixtures, know potential bed bug hiding places in public spaces like movie theaters and taxis and always check for hitchhiking bed bugs on your suitcase.

Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate, Paul Curtis, director, technical services at Terminix said in a release. They can travel to new locations very easilyhitching a ride on clothing, handbags, suitcases and taxis, which can create substantial infestations in no time.

Warning signs

Accordingto Terminix, bedbugs are attracted to body warmth and exhaled breath of carbon dioxide which leads them to target sleeping hosts.

Look for shedding, exoskeletons or shells of bed bugs, fecal stains onmattress and bedding, blood stains on sheets and pajamas

Bedbug bites on the skin look similar to those caused by fleas and mosquitoes. Telling which insect caused a bite might not be possible, according to Terminix.

Some symptoms of a bedbug bites are raised, red welts, burning and itching,a rash and straight lines of multiple bites.

Bedbugs can live up to 12 months.

srahal@detroitnews.com

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Budget airline Scoot has come under fire again, this time from an angry passenger who claimed to have been bitten by bed bugs on her seat during a round trip from Singapore to Hong Kong on Aug 8. Just last month, a complaint was lodged by two handicapped passengers who were allegedly discriminated against and not allowed to board the plane onits Gold Coast-Singapore flight.

A passenger by the name of Jiamin Han claimed she noticed a cluster of bed bug bites following a Scoot flight she took to and from Singapore and Hong Kong, declaringthat the bites could not have come from anywhere else than the planes seat.

Outraged that the budget airlinehad yet to respondto her Facebook messages (despite its continued posts and promos), she went ahead andwrote a public post on Scoots page. She even uploaded pictures of the alleged bed bug bites on her arm as proof.

Whats even more appalling is your careless attitude to what appears to be a serious issue which concerns the health of passengers onboard your planes, she wrote. Clearly, shes pretty riled up by the whole thing.

The Straits Times reported that Scoot has since responded on her Facebook comment threadwith an apology.The spokesman saidthat a previously reported case had been investigated and nobed bugs were found on the plane. Regardless, we take this seriously and are currently investigating after having gotten in touch with the guest for more details, the spokesman added.

A few other netizens also stepped up to claim they were bitten by bed bugs on Scoot flights apparently, these claimshad been swept under the ruguntil Hans viral complaint.


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AURORA, Colo. Bed bugs are creating an ongoing nuisance for tenants at a northwest Aurora apartment building as landlords across the country find it difficult to properly exterminate the pests. Studies from this year indicate bed bugs are becoming more resistant to pesticides.

When I moved here, my son and I enjoyed it, Stapleton Apartments tenant Max Vaughns said. We [were] having fun.

But over the last three months, Vaughns said he has spent some nights in his truck to get away from bed bugs. Pictures provided to FOX31 show what Vaughns claims is evidence of bed bug bites and his young sons allergic reaction.

Written notice of entry into Vaughns apartment at 2201 Dayton Street explains pest control crews treated the apartment on more than one occasion. Each time, Vaughns said, nothing was resolved.

Exterminators told FOX31 killing the bugs is a difficult job. Roughly 3,500 homes are treated for bed bugs in the Denver area every year, according to exterminators.

Tenants at Stapleton Apartments said management has admitted that Vaughns is not alone.

Vaughns, upset the issue hasnt been resolved, said he has stopped paying rent and is now facing eviction. He plans to be out of his unit within one week. Meanwhile, hes hoping this story will serve as a warning for anyone searching for an apartment.

I just want to make sure that others are aware of whats going on, Vaughns explained.

FOX31 called apartment management on Sunday and is still waiting for comment.


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Most people who are bitten by bed bugs experience symptoms that include irritation, sores, or itchiness. But how should bed bug bites be treated and can they be prevented?

There are several ways of reducing the chances of getting bites, while the treatment options include good hygiene and antihistamines.

This article explores bed bug bite treatment and prevention methods in detail.

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood.

While they are a public health concern, bed bugs are not known to transmit disease through their bites.

Bed bugs use a small tube-like structure called a proboscis to pierce the skin and drink a person's blood. The pests are most active when humans are asleep, during the night and early morning.

An estimated one in five Americans have personally dealt with a bed bug infestation or knows someone who has encountered the pests.

Bed bugs can bite anywhere on the body where there is skin. Typically, bites tend to occur on areas exposed during sleeping, such as:

Many people do not feel the bite itself or develop clear symptoms other than the dots where the bug bit and some minor, surrounding inflammation and irritation. Others are considered hypersensitive to bites and develop more severe symptoms.

In most cases symptoms occur more or less immediately after the bite, but they can develop or progress over the following days as well. Without further irritation, symptoms typically resolve after a week or so.

Almost all bed bug bites will produce some degree of discomfort, typically itchiness and inflammation. Other signs and symptoms of bed bug bites include:

Individual characteristics of the bug's bite and the person who is bitten also influence the resulting sore.

While fairly rare, some people have or develop severe reactions and symptoms from bed bug bites. Serious symptoms that require medical attention include:

Living with bed bugs can cause additional health complications:

There are relatively few treatments options when it comes to uncomplicated bed bug bites.

The first recommended line of treatment involves cleaning the wound, ideally with soap and water.

For itchy bites, the following may relieve minor symptoms:

Most wounds heal on their own within a week, sometimes two.

If severe swelling, inflammation, or itchiness occurs or persists, a person should seek medical attention.

A dramatic immune response may be a sign of an allergic reaction. If this is the case, one of the following may need to be administered:

If infection occurs, antibiotics may be prescribed.

Severe itchiness may result in further complications, such as infection or scarring. If severe itching is experienced, people may be prescribed corticosteroid creams and antihistamine pills or liquid.

One way to help prevent exposure and potential infestations by bed bugs is to be able to recognize bed bugs and distinguish them from other pests.

In a 2017 study, some 35 percent of polled American business travellers and 28 percent of leisure travellers were unable to tell a bed bug apart from other household pests.

Common characteristics of nymphs (young bed bugs) include:

The nymphs are easier to see if they have just feed when the blood fills their abdomen, giving it a reddish brown color.

Adult bed bugs are typically far easier to spot than nymphs. Identifiable characteristics of most adult bed bugs include:

Controlling bed bugs needs the identification and complete removal or destruction of the pest's eggs.

On average, one female can produce at least 345 eggs over her lifetime. Egg-laying females often increase the volume and frequency of feeding to support their brood.

Common characteristics and signs of bed bug eggs include:

The key to preventing bed bug bites is to stop the insects entering, feeding, and breeding in human environments.

In the daytime, bed bugs often seek refuge in the cracks and crevices of furniture, flooring, walls, and mattresses.

The seams and folds of upholstered furniture can also offer an ideal hiding place. Bed bugs have been known to persist in vacuum canisters or units.

The insects tend to pick hiding spots near human sleeping quarters, including bedrooms. Bed bugs found in other rooms are usually a sign of a severe infestation.

Areas where bed bug infestations commonly occur include:

Items commonly responsible for spreading bed bugs include:

Bed bugs do not have a preference between sanitary, messy, or unsanitary conditions.

They can, however, be found at higher rates in places, such as hotels, if infestations are not properly cleared.

Home tips for preventing, controlling, and clearing bed bug infestations include:

In severe or persistent cases, furniture or infected items may need to be destroyed, ideally by burning.

Written by Jennifer Huizen


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The last two weeks I have had two separate calls on problems with bed bugs. While bed bugs may sound like a death threat if you have them, they can be controlled with the correct measures. These little insects are found worldwide in all living situations. The following article was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency:

1. Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas, ticks or other insects.

You can compare your insect to the pictures on our Identifying bed bugs web page or show it to your local Extension agent. (Extension agents are trained in pest control issues and know your local area.)

2. Dont panic!

It can be difficult to eliminate bed bugs, but its not impossible. Dont throw out all of your things, because most of them can be treated and saved. Throwing stuff out is expensive, may spread the bed bugs to other peoples homes and could cause more stress.

3. Think through your treatment options Dont immediately reach for the spray can.

Be comprehensive in your approach. Try other things first. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques may reduce the number of bed bugs and limit your contact with pesticides. If pesticides are needed, always follow label directions or hire a professional. There is help available to learn about treatment options.

4. Reduce the number of hiding places clean up the clutter.

A cluttered home provides more places for bed bugs to hide and makes locating and treating them harder. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using special bed bug covers (encasements) on your mattress and box springs makes it harder for bed bugs to get to you while you sleep. Leave the encasements on for a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.

5. Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and any clothing that touches the floor.

This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers Remember to clean them when you do the laundry.

6. Do-it-yourself freezing may not be a reliable method for bed bug control.

While freezing can kill bed bugs, temperatures must remain very low for a long time. Home freezers may not be cold enough to kill bed bugs; always use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Putting things outside in freezing temperatures could kill bed bugs, but there are many factors that can affect the success of this method.

7. Kill bed bugs with heat, but be very careful.

Raising the indoor temperature with the thermostat or space heaters wont do the job. Special equipment and very high temperatures are necessary for successful heat treatment. Black plastic bags in the sun might work to kill bed bugs in luggage or small items, if the contents become hot enough. Bed bugs die when their body temperatures reach 45C (113F). To kill bed bugs with heat, the room or container must be even hotter to ensure sustained heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are hiding

8. Dont pass your bed bugs on to others.

Bed bugs are good hitchhikers. If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it and gets bed bugs.

9. Reduce the number of bed bugs to reduce bites.

Thorough vacuuming can get rid of some of your bed bugs. Carefully vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around bed legs, and all cracks and crevices around the room. Change the bag after each use so the bed bugs cant escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag and in an outside garbage bin.

10. Turn to the professionals, if needed.

Hiring an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase your chance of success in getting rid of bed bugs. If you hire an expert, be sure its a company with a good reputation and request that it use an IPM approach. Contact your state pesticide agency for guidance about hiring professional pest control companies. Also, EPAs Citizens Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety provides information about IPM approaches, how to choose a pest control company, safe handling of pesticides, and emergency information.

If you would like more information, you can visit the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs.

Elysia RODGERS is the

agriculture and natural resources director for the Purdue University Cooperative ExtensionService in DeKalb County.


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