Bedbugs or Cimex lectularius are small-sized, wingless insects that nourish on the blood of warm-blooded creatures. Humans are considered as one of their ideal hosts. These pests are becoming a growing concern in various forms of dwellings including dormitories, cruise ships, shelters and private homes.
How to spot bedbugs
The distinctive sign that bedbugs are present in the house is complaining of bites that occurred while asleep. Once this occurs, the bedrooms should be checked for bedbugs and indications of their activity.
Carefully inspect the creases in the bed linen, seams and tufts of mattresses and the box springs for bedbugs and their eggs. The eggs look like small, pale poppy seeds.
Indications of bedbug activity can be present beneath loose regions of wallpaper close to the bed, corners of desks and dressers, laundry as well as in the drawers.
Additionally, check for spots that are dark brown or reddish in color. If an area has a large population of bedbugs, they produce a coriander-like scent.
What happens if I am bitten?
When bitten by one, it might take several days to become visible. Bedbugs tend to bite in rows, usually 2 or 3 bites in every row.
In almost half of cases, there are no symptoms at all and not even aware of being bit. This makes it difficult to prevent or identify potential infestations. Some might become sick and nauseous. It is also possible to develop skin infections as well as scars from scratching on the bites.
In rare cases, an individual might end up with an anaphylactic reaction to the bedbug bites. It is likely to end up with an asthmatic reaction to the bites, but the cases are rare.
Most bites of bedbugs resolve within 1-2 weeks. The treatment is aimed on alleviating the symptoms such as:
- Topically-applied creams such as cortisone to alleviate the itchiness
- Avoid scratching the area since this increases the risk for infection
- In case infection develops, an oral antibiotic might be prescribed.
- For a severe allergic reaction, the doctor might prescribe oral corticosteroids.
- Antihistamines can be given to alleviate an allergic reaction.