Many people wake up each morning covered in small bites not knowing how they got them and not suspecting that they are in fact sharing the bed with unwanted companions bed bugs.
Bed bugs are insects of the Cimicidae family. Cimicidae are ectoparasites that feed on blood of humans and animals, and bed bugs seem to prefer human blood. They are very small and their color is reddish brown. Females are somewhat larger than males as it often happens in the animal world, and they lay their eggs in cracks around human homes preferring beds.
Each year the number of people affected by bed bugs increases, probably due to the fact that the bed bugs are becoming immune to the common insecticides used against them for example pyrethroid widely used in the United States.
Bed bug bites can often be mistaken for a skin condition or bites from another insects. People who have an allergic reaction to the anesthetic that bed bugs inject into the skin have small red bumps on the skin or flat welts. Those bites are very itchy and cause discomfort.
But there are also people who have no reaction to bed bugs and do not even know their homes are infested with these insects. For them it is very difficult to determine and eradicate the infestation.
Reaction to bed bug bites vary from person to person and depend on the type of skin on the environment and on the specific kind of bed bugs. Very rarely its an allergic reaction to bed bugs can cause serious damage to the health.
The most common complication of this infestation is stress and anxiety over the fact that there are small insects living in the bed and attacking during the night. For some people this notion can cause insomnia and consequently a certain level of exhaustion.
The usual treatment for bed bug bites includes systemic or topical corticosteroids and antihistamines. This treatment aims to relieve itching and burning sensation and reduce allergic reaction.
An effective method for treating a bed bug bite is heat. It can be applied with a blow dryer or a hot compress, or in the form of a hot bath. Hot baths, however, may cause damage to the skin and even scalding.
It is always best to prevent than to cure. This means that a person who is suffering bed bug bites should first eliminate these annoying insects from their home. They can be expelled by vacuuming and steam vacuuming thoroughly the bed and the surrounding area, and by applying a non toxic bed bug spray.