Are bed bugs a health hazard? How do you protect your house from being infested with bed bugs? Get more information on symptoms and best home remedies to be applied in getting rid of bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Bites Overnight
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is effective remedy for bed bug bites. It contains an acetic acid which an anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to relieve the pain, itching and burning sensation on the skin.
Just apply raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar on the affected area. Allow it to dry then rinse your skin; if the inflammation is still persistent re-apply after some hours.
- Baking Soda.
Is a natural antibacterial agent that can help dry out inflamed skin rashes and help to cure bed bug bites. Baking soda is also anti-inflammatory and will reduce the itchy sensation from the bed bug rash on your skin.
To use baking soda: mix water with a tablespoon of baking soda to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to your bed bug bites and leave it for about ten minutes before rinsing it with warm water. Use this baking soda paste twice a day until the bed bug bites are gone.
Toothpaste contains soothing menthol, that helps reduce the itching and burning sensations. Make sure you use white toothpaste for this purpose and not a gel version.
- Use cucumber
Cucumber peels and Extracts can also provide relief from itching and swelling caused by bed bug bites as they contain vitamin C and Caffeic acid which is an anti-inflammatory agent. To use cucumber: simply place a piece of cucumber peel on the affected area and leave it on for at least fifteen minutes.
- Tea bags
Moist tea bags are very helpful especially when it comes to itching and swelling. Tea bags contain Tannins which have mild anesthetic and soothing properties. To use tea bugs; place a tea bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and then place on the affected area for over ten minutes.
- Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is a liquid astringent that you can get from a chemist. Witch Hazel is mostly used as a facial cleanser; it can also help calm itching caused by bed bugs bites because it contains tannins that have a mild anesthetic effect.
Soak a cotton ball in witch Hazel; place it on the affected area. Remove the cotton ball after ten minutes.
- Lemon juice
Lemon juice is a simple home remedy that can be used to alleviate the itchiness and inflammation that is caused as a result of bed bugs bites. Because of citric acid content, lemon juice has medicinal properties that work similar to apple cider vinegar in relieving skin rashes.
To get a faster cure from bed bug bites, dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply to the itchy bed bug bite rash. Repeat the application of lemon juice three times a day until the bite rash fades away.
- Benzoly peroxide
Apply benzoly peroxide on the bed bug rash. Benzoly peroxide helps to prevent further infections that can arise on the skin due to bed bug bites.
- Apply lotion
There are many natural soothing and anti-itching lotions containing calendula or peppermint that can be used to give a relief from pain, swelling and itching.
- Ice cubes
The cold temperatures from ice cubes can help to numb the nerve endings, thus relieving the itching sensation caused by bed bug bites. It also helps to prevent swelling. To use ice cube: Just wrap a few ice cubes in a Small plastic bag then place it on the affected area for ten minutes.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation
There are several ways to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home; here are some of the tips:
- After returning from vacation, thoroughly vacuum your luggage.
- When staying in a hotel room, inspect the bed frames and mattress to ensure you do not get home with bed bugs
- Before bringing home a second hand furniture or mattress, thoroughly examine the items to make sure there are no bugs hiding in corners, joints and seams.
- If you notice or see any sign of bed bug infestation in your home don’t take chances, spray the house using an effective bed bug sprays.
How long do Bed Bug Bites Last
Having red bite marks on your legs, face, arms or back is sometimes embarrassing especially if the bites have become infected. In this situation you might start to ponder and try to know how long the bed bug bites will last.
Symptoms of bed bugs are usually mild and most of the time difficult to notice. Signs and symptoms may happen days after the bite or immediately depending with an individual’s body hormonal reaction to bite.
However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have through research found out that, a skin rush and bumps caused by bed bug bites may take a short time (less than 12 days) to fade away. In case you experience repeated bed bug bites symptom may be more pronounce and hence scratching your skin may not be the best thing to do. But you can just apply essential oils if the itching is so intense.
According to the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Research, If you experience allergic reaction due to bed bug bites, red itchy bumps may last longer than people who do not experience. These kinds of bed bug bites will usually last for up to 21 days.
Bed bug bites can cause bacterial infection to the skin especially to people who experience consistent bites; there is a high possibility of severe allergic reaction and inflammation to the skin, this causes psychological trauma to some people due to insomnia and anxiety caused by the biting.
Bed Bug Bites Pictures
How to Find Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are flat and can hide in any crevice or space. They can hide in the creases in your mattress and within the mattress covers, however, Other than the bed; there are other hiding places where they rest in between, these include:
Electrical appliances-remove the appliances, and check behind them.
Behind door or picture frames-these are the best places where bed bugs hide, so to find them; check anything that is hanging on the wall, especially above the bed, above the bed, above the chair or sofas.
Sofas and chair-this is the most favorite hiding places for bed bugs. If you spend some time on the sofa you may see them in large numbers, while some will start to crawl on you. To find them easily just look beneath the cushions and around the cushions.
Piles of clothes-anywhere that can provide protection and shelter are the best hiding places for bed bugs. A dirty house doesn’t mean that you will get bed bugs but a house that is so much congested may hide bed bugs more easily.
Dress drawer- Check all of the nooks and crevices inside dresser drawers.
Luggage- if you move your luggage from one to place to another, or if incase of movement, you placed it on a bed in a hotel room, or on a taxi seat, there are chances that bed bugs may end up at your home.
Headboards-bed bugs can hide behind headboards on the wall and if the headboard is wood there can be cracks where they squeeze in. Eggs, fecal matter, nymphs, and shed skins can also be found.
Signs of Bed Bugs
When bed bugs infest, there will often be blood stains on sheets, pillowcases, and areas of infestation. Bed bug feces have blood in them, and the spots that are made of feces can have a dark brown or red discoloration around them.
Blood stains on sheets may also be made by bed bug bites that have been scratched. This is a hard sign to go by because stains like this could be made by any bug bite that has been scratched or some other type of wound on the skin, but when blood stains are accompanied by black feces, it is no longer a mystery what made those stains.
Bed bugs release a pheromone scent hence in a building that is heavily infested by bed bugs; there will be a telltale scent. Although bed bug dogs can detect a small number of them, a heavy infestation leaves a scent many describe as a locker room or dirty wet towel smell.
Although this bed bug eggs are very small and hard to see, but if you are keen you can see the small whitish eggs. They can be found in mattress creases and other places where the insects can be found.
These bugs leave their jet black feces everywhere, and in large quantities, for their tiny size. When these bugs are infesting a mattress, black patches of feces can be found on the corners or along the seams. If they have infested a piece of furniture, black residue can be found on stitching and in the creases or folds.
Identifying bed bug bites either on your house mate or on your body may be definitely a good sign that bed bugs are infesting.
- Shed skin
Bed bugs will shed their skin after every new cycle or life stage. Often you can find this shaded skins lying around areas of infestation such as in creases, in the mattress, around the edges, and in the crevices that serve as hiding places.
- Live adult insects
Although they prefer to be active at night when you are a sleep, but they can seen if you decide to look for them. You can search for them in the mattress or on edges of your bed.
How do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
- Finding the bed bug infestation
Among the first steps to be taken to completely eliminate all traces bed bugs from your home, is to find the infested areas. They are usually found in the bedroom but they can inhibit any room in the home where people and pets sleep. Examine the spaces between cushions, your mattress and a bed frame and any other possible hiding place in your room.
- Tea tree oil bed bug spray
The insecticidal properties of tea tree oil such as strong pungent smell make it a great natural treatment to get rid of bed bugs.
- Lavender oil
Lavender oil is natural and very effective bed bug repellant. The smell and taste of the herb keep away the bed bugs. To apply it most effectively, put dried lavender between two cloth pieces and sew them around your bed. Alternatively you can rub the lavender oil on the floor of your bedroom overnight before going to sleep. This will help to keep bed bugs away from attacking you.
- Cayenne pepper powder
Cayenne pepper has anti-microbial properties that kill the bed bugs. To use cayenne: Just take a tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder, grated ginger and oregano in a bowl. Add some water to the mixture, then pour this mixture into a spray bottle then shake well. Spray this solution at all the places that are infested with bed bugs. The smell of this mixture will drive the bed bugs away.
- Wash all your fabrics
You need to wash thoroughly all house hold fabrics that are likely to have been infested by the bed bugs this include linens, shirts, bed sheets, carpets and duster.
- Use vacuum cleaners
After you have washed all your fabric properly, try to vacuum out these bed bugs from your computers, tables, wardrobes, cot, box spring, bed frames and mattresses. Bed bugs like hiding in the cracks or corners which are generally inaccessible and need to be sucked out with the application of vacuum cleaner.
- Mint leaves
Once you have checked and identify the infested areas you can use mint leaves to get rid of these bed bugs. Just crush a few mint leaves and spread them in the infested areas.
- Black walnut tea
This is one of the safest herb and remedies to get rid of bed bugs. Black walnut tea is believed to be natural insecticide and repellent. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that destroy bed bugs. Sprinkle some dried leaves black walnut tea on the infested areas such as corners of bedroom and below your bed. Alternatively, mix lavender, with black walnut, thyme, sweet flag and mint leaves in a bowl. Then, pour this mixture into a sachet and place this sachet below your bed or areas heavily infested with bed bugs. The strong smell from this mixture is unpleasant to the bed bugs. This smell will suffocate the bed bugs
- Use of silica gel to starved bed bugs
Grind some silica gel and smear all over your bedroom, put some below your mattress, along the wall and around the bed. The silica gel will get stuck on the bed bud, hence dehydrating it and causing it to die. Repeat this exercise once every week for five weeks.
- Sprinkling diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is made up soil whose content are tiny fossils of algae. The sharp edges of this soil, cut the bed bugs and they succumb to death due bleeding. Therefore you can sprinkle the diatomaceous earth around your bed and protect bed bugs from biting you.
The diatomaceous Earth are very tiny particles, which you also need to spread in small amounts around your house including areas such as where the wall meets the floor, behind light switch face plates, where the carpet meets the walls, behind picture frames and into all cracks and crevices.
- Encase your mattresses and pillows
After you have cleaned your mattresses and pillows with hot water, you can now take encasement as the last option. With proper encasement of mattresses, bed bugs may not be able to find escape routes easily. You might as well encase the pillows to prevent bites on your face and neck.
- Spraying your house with isopropyl alcohol
Rubbing alcohols are generally used as a disinfectant. When you spray alcohol on bed bug infested areas, alcohol helps to clean the infected areas and has a dehydrating effect on eggs and bed bugs. This factor helps alcohol to kill both the eggs and the bed bugs. However, effect of sprinkling alcohol will remain only for a shorter time. A solution of 70-90% concentration of isopropyl is required to kill bed bugs. To use alcohol: pour alcohol in a spray bottle to use it on the bed bugs
The clove has a pungent smell and acidity. This acidic condition disturbs the survival of the bed bugs. Hence assisting to get rid of bed bugs. You can destroy the bugs easily by exposing your pillow, mattresses and other infested area to clove oil.
Lemongrass can be used effectively to kill the bed bugs and their eggs because it increases the acid condition for bed bugs to survive. Also lemongrass has a very strong odor that is unpleasant to bed bugs, this ultimately helps you to get rid of the bed bugs.
- Steam treatment
If bed bugs have become persistent, you can get your mattress, cushions and carpet steamed to get rid of these bed bugs. Bed bugs can’t survive in high temperatures. Steam permeates through these materials and destroys the bed bugs and their eggs.
- Hair dryer
Bed bugs cannot in their nature tolerate high temperature; in this regard you can set the dryer at the highest temperature mode then turn it on, positioning it around the mattress and affected places. This one hour treatment will kill all bed bugs and their eggs.