Bed bugs are terribly unwelcome pests. They love to bite humans, which leave red marks on our skin. Here, we briefly describe what bed bugs are and how to avoid them, and then we examine three excellent remedies for bed bug bites.
Dealing with Bed Bugs
Bed bugs, a species scientifically known as cimex lectularius, are small, reddish-brown bugs which feed on the blood of humans, as well as animals. They live on and around bedding areas, and are most likely to bite humans at night while they’re asleep. Bed bugs are roughly the size of ticks, and can become larger when engorged with blood after feeding; However, bed bugs do not carry disease the way ticks do, but their bites do leave skin red and itchy.
There are steps you can take to prevent a bed bug infestation. Getting rid of one is much more involved, and usually necessitates the use of heat and chemicals, often performed by a home pest-removal professional. To prevent bed bugs, you can:
- After traveling, inspect all of your clothes and luggage before bringing them into the home. Bed bugs often enter a place by attaching themselves to a person’s clothes or luggage and getting in that way. When checking into a hotel, motel, airbnb, etc., it’s always worth investing a few moments to check your bed for bed bugs – makes sense, right? Bed . . . bugs. Get it?
- If buying used furniture, carefully inspect it with a flashlight and clean each piecebefore bringing it inside.
- Vacuum all floors and your mattresses often, and wash all clothes in hot water regularly. These measures reduce the chances of bed bugs settling and reproducing in the home once they gain entry.
Products to Repel and/or Treat Bed Bug Bites
If you do experience a bed bug infestation and are bitten, you will want to remedy bed bug bites because they do cause discoloration and itchiness on the skin (even though they don’t spread disease). A minority of people are allergic to bed bugs and experience severe symptoms such as hives or blisters. In these cases, seek medical attention. For those who choose to remedy typical bed bug bites, we strongly recommend the following three remedies:
Witch hazel is an herbal, liquid astringent which treats the skin in a unique way. When applied to skin that has been affected by bed bug bites, hazel exerts an anesthetic effect.
This will help reduce the itching that comes with these bites. The best way to apply witch hazel is to dip a clean cotton ball in witch hazel and rub this onto the affected area. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, wash it off, and then repeat, as necessary. This could effectively relieve the itching which results from bed bug bites.
Vitamin E applied topically to the skin can help relieve the scarring associated with bed bug bites. A vitamin E skin cream reduces scarring from bed bugs by moisturizing the skin, and supporting tissue regeneration in the affected area. Another method is to take liquid vitamin E capsules made for oral consumption, puncture them with a sterile needle or blade, and apply the liquid to the bitten area. This can be done daily until the marks and scarring improve.
Turmeric is an herb with antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Turmeric capsules, like vitamin E capsules, can be split and used in raw form to treat bed bug bites. The method is to mix a few grams of turmeric with a bit of water to form a paste. Apply this paste to the skin for a few minutes, and then wash it off. This can reduce the redness of bed bug bites, lessen the chance of infection, and speed up the healing process.
Bed bugs are an albatross, and should be actively avoided. If you have bed bugs and you or one of your family members have been bitten, consider using these topical remedies to improve healing. As always, it’s recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider before trying a new product.