Q:

How do you identify bed bug bites?

A:

Quick Answer

Bedbug bites are identified by tiny red bumps on the skin. The bites are typically situated in relatively straight rows, and they are usually found on the arms or shoulders.

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Full Answer

Bedbug bites do not typically require treatment unless a secondary infection develops. Secondary infections are usually caused by scratching the bites or an allergic reaction. Treat infections with antiseptic lotion or an antibiotic cream. Those who suffer from an allergic reaction should use a corticosteroid cream or an oral antihistamine.

Bedbugs inject a numbing agent into the skin that prevents their host from feeling their bite when it occurs. The bugs also inject an anticoagulant into the host's body to enable them to feed freely from the continuous blood flow. Once the bugs become engorged with blood, they automatically fall off of their host. A feeding session lasts approximately three minutes, after which the bugs return to their hiding place to digest the blood. During the day, bedbugs hide in mattress seams, between floor boards, in wood and in paper trash, and they come out at night to feed.

Bedbugs are small, flat insects. Most are only 0.2 inches in length. The bugs turn a rusty red hue after feeding, although before feeding they range in color from off-white to brown.

Luckily, bedbug bites are not considered a serious health hazard; however, they can be quite a nuisance. These small brownish-colored insects have six legs, and they like to feed on the blood of both humans and animals. At one-tenth of an inch in size they are barely visible to the naked eye. They appropriately earned their name because they are most commonly found hiding around bedding and mattresses.

Bedbugs spread fast in buildings such as hotels where people are on the move. They can attach themselves to luggage and other bags and quickly spread from place to place. Bedbugs are nocturnal creatures that can live for weeks without feeding, and they can live up to an age of 10 months. Bedbugs multiply quickly, and if one is spotted there is a high likelihood that many more are hidden and lurking.

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