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Bed Bug Control
When it comes time for people start making plans to travel for their spring break trips and summer getaways, one of the things travelers are cautious about these days is picking up bed bug bites in hotel rooms and while traveling to other countries.
While the idea of bed bugs crawling around on you while sleeping is enough of an emotional blow, what are the risks when talking about bed bug bites? Are there any health risks? We’ll answer all the questions you may have about being bitten by bed bugs.
If you have any problems with bed bugs around your home, be sure to contact your local bed bug specialist at Western Exterminator today.
First, off bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, brownish-red, flat insects of the cimicidae family that really do live in beds. They also hide in crevices and creases on sofas, chairs, in carpeting, behind picture frames, within electrical sockets and just about anywhere else once they get a foothold in your home. They are small, looking sort of like bits of ground pepper when they are young and not that much bigger when they become adults. That means they are very hard to find.
Bed bugs are blood-feeding insects. They can last a few days between feedings, but they live off of the blood of mammals, and they are particularly fond of humans. Most of them feed in the early morning hours when their intended victims are fast asleep.
Bed bugs have a needle-like mouth part that tucks into a special slot built into their under-side. The needle hides there until the bed bug is ready to feed and then comes out to pierce the skin right down to the blood vessels beneath. They inject saliva that numbs the area, so the bite is not felt, and release an anticoagulant so that the blood flows freely.
Bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon monoxide that humans give off when they breathe. Their senses allow them to find just the right spot where the blood vessels are closest to the surface. Although their ability to feed is not quite as fast or economical as a mosquito, they manage to feed pretty quickly to get back to their hiding places. If a person wakes up mid-feeding, they are likely to scuttle back and hide, only to return right where they left off.
Bed bug bites are generally pretty small. They can be raised welts, sort of like mosquito bites, but they can also be flat and appear more like a rash. The saliva that bed bugs inject usually causes itching, which can make them more red and irritated.
Bites sometimes appear in a line as the bugs feed in the same general area over and over again. However, they can also be widely scattered across arms, necks, backs, shoulders, legs and other body parts.
The short answer is no. If you are talking about actual physical risks, bed bug bites have minimal risk for adverse health effects. Unlike mosquitoes, whose bites are known vectors of many diseases, nothing has been proven or shown to be transmitted by bed bug.
Having said that, let’s consider some other alternatives.
First, the emotional toll of waking up to find that you have bite marks all over your arms, shoulders, legs or anywhere on your body can have a serious psychological effect. No one wants to think they are being fed upon by anything during the night as they sleep. There have been cases of people losing sleep because of an infestation of bed bugs, which is never a good thing.
Second, although the bites themselves are not known to carry any kind of infection, the same cannot be said of your hands, fingers or fingernails. One of the major symptoms of bed bugs bites is that they itch and scratching them could potentially allow an infecting agent to enter your bloodstream through the bites themselves. This is unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility.
Generally speaking bed bug bites will disappear on their own. We don’t recommend any one particular treatment, but if itching is severe there are remedies on the market to treat rashes and itching. Generally washing the bites with soap and water will help with the bites and they should disappear in time.
If you find that you have had a particularly bad reaction to bed bug bites, seek medical treatment from your doctor immediately.
The best way to deal with bed bug bites is not to be bitten. Since bed bugs are sneaky and missing just two of them can re-infest a home, it’s best to leave the finding and removal of bed bugs to the professionals. Western Exterminator technicians, have the latest tools and techniques to rid homes and properties of bed bugs. This includes the use of bed bug dogs whose sensitive noses can find even the most elusive hiding spot for the creepy-crawlies.
If you are experiencing strange bites in the night or have found signs of bed bugs anywhere, contact Western Exterminator and we’ll find the solution for you.
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