Bed bugs are literally a threat to people dwelling in a house. These bugs are parasites which can be a huge source of irritation, itch and inflammation to people who come in their presence these bugs multiply themselves very rapidly. These parasites are minute and may measure approximately 0.6 cm in length.
The worst thing about bed bugs is that they feed on human blood. Such arthropod assault to humans can cause several manifestation or symptoms. These manifestations can be histological, immunological as well as clinical. Hemiptera is said to be one of the species of bugs that has mouthpart with piercing and sucking abilities. The hemiptera species also contains a class of bugs known as Cimicidea which is what we know as bed bugs; hence, bed bugs feed on human blood they suck which we call bed bug bite.
As evident, the Cimex species organisms (bed bugs) are usually reddish brown parasites. Cimex lectularius is generally 5 to 6 mm in size and usually females are slightly larger as compared to male organisms. Cimex hemipterus organisms are approx 25 percent longer as compared to Cimex lectularius or C lectularius. Females hatch their eggs in places such as crevices or small cracks. It takes around 4 to 5 days for the eggs to get hatched completely and babies to be born; this is how they multiply themselves.
What do bed bugs look like?
Size of bed bugs is as mentioned above but variation is common. They may be very tiny as they are born and may grow to 0.6 cm long. They appear to be flat in dimension and oval in shape. The color of bed bugs is reddish brown and sometimes dark born, which sometimes look as black after feeding on human blood.
What does a bed bug bite look like?
The bed bug bite by itself may look similar to a mosquito bite in the beginning, in the form of elevated bumps on the skin, which may turn reddish as well. But the one thing that distinguishes mosquito bites from the bed bug bites is the pattern of these bites. There is a particular pattern in a linear form, where three or four bites are clustered together on in a line. This is known as the ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner’ pattern of bed bug bite. Look at bed bug bite pictures below to see how they really look.
Common places for bed bugs in house:
These parasitic arthropods are usually found in places such as furniture like chairs, sofas, beds, tables, TV case etc. These bed bugs are also found in places such as floorboards and peeling paints. In general, as mentioned above cracks and crevices in house makes the best dwelling place for such arthropods. To your information these bugs hunt for their food usually during night. Factors such as body heat, vibration, body sweat, body odor and carbon dioxide helps these parasites to find their prey.
Insecticides resistance and increased rate of bed bugs
There are increasing complaints about bed bug bites throughout the world. It is believed that the increase in parasitic issues is due to insecticide resistance. According to reports, in United States pyrethroid insecticides is already widespread. Generally arthropods occur when conditions are favorable but they disperse when the condition turns unfavorable. Active female bed bug dispersal can possibly lead to failure in control action; hence, this factor should be remembered while adopting any control technique. There are special tactics that can be adopted to overcome this escalating health issue.
Control measures to avoid bed bugs bite:
There are various techniques that can be used to eradicate such parasites from your house or office. During 1950s in United States, such parasites were cast- off through extensively sprayed pesticides such as DDT. However, due to concerns related to the environment, these DDT were banned from 1960s; this made the bugs return. Now these bugs are found almost every corner of the world and transmission is possible through travelers and commuters.
Effects of Bed bug bite:
Life span of a bed bug is approximately one year supported by a regular diet of human blood. A bed bug has the potential to penetrate its sting through human skin and suck the blood for approx 10 minutes. It is believed that the sting of a bed bug weighs twice the weight of its body. The bite of a bed bug seems mild but it itches for few seconds or a minutes. You may usually notice a small hump on the bed bug bite spot. It is believed that sometimes people with sensitive skin may also develop blisters around the penetrated skin region. Sometimes rashes as well as mild swelling may also be experience in case when arthropod bites. In more severe cases the rashes may resemble hives as well as may also contain pus.
When bed bugs are prevalent in the house then one may not be able to sleep well as bed bugs come out at night to feed on human blood. During this the penetrating sting causes intolerable itching sensation which usually wakes them from sleep. Since, these bed bugs come again and again to feed on your blood it is likely that you will not be able to have a sound sleep. Inappropriate sleep will eventually lead to stress. Hence, though most people would believe that bed bug bite mild and not very harmful, but it obviously has adverse effects. Therefore bed bugs should be controlled.
Bed bug bite treatment
• It is believed that the conventional technique of applying poultices either cold or hot is effective in alleviating arthropod bitten skin region. You can adopt either of both depending on which is more beneficial for you.
• Generally itching does not last longer, but in case you want relief from itching, then it is believed that anti- histamine drugs may be beneficial. There are anti- histamine drugs such as Claritin as well as zytec. Remember that these medicines do not cause sleepiness but one should consult a doctor before taking these medicines. Tagamet and Zantac are also other anti- histamine medications.
• It is said that Benadryl is also helpful but it causes sleepiness, hence it is best when taken at night.
• When a bed bug bites, it transfers its saliva which aggravates pain and itchy sensation. These issues can be lessened through steroids such as hydrocortisones.
After bed bug bites it is better to refrain from scratching as you may aggravate the pain or itchiness through scratching or scrubbing. It is always a better option to prevent the condition before it arises. Hence, one should adopt control techniques. There are specialized pest control services which may help not only in eradicating bed bugs but also other parasites which are dwelling in corners and cracks in the house. You may have to take a package of two control operations which means after a course of time there will be additional pest control operation. This will ensure that the arthropods are completely eliminated and you may no more be a victim of bed bug bites.
Bed bug bite pictures
Here are pictures of bed bug bites that show the characteristic feature of these bites, also called ‘the breakfast, lunch, dinner’ pattern