Some people’s didn’t have any signs of bed bug bites on the skin, others develop severe rashes or blisters. Even when they are sharing the same bed, their skin can be affected differently.
Usually, when bed bugs bite, you won’t feel the pain. If you are living with a significant infestation, your sleep will be disturbed, and your skin will become more sensitive. You could experience notable blood loss and anemia.
As the bug numbers rapidly increase, the problems usually become much worse. Health problems grow, and the added social stigma affects victims of bed bugs significantly.
The duration of a bite will depend mainly on your body’s ability to heal itself. If you scratch a bite, then it becomes a wound, open to secondary infections. When left unscratched, the bite will usually heal without scarring.
How to be sure that the bite on your arm is from a bedbug, not from a mosquito or a gnat?
Unfortunately, it’s not a straightforward answer. Bedbug bites appear in different ways depending on the physical body condition, the severity of infestation or your age. People over 60 hardly react on bedbug bites at all.
Approximately 50 to 70% of people develop an allergic reaction to the saliva injected by the bed bugs. This usually results in small, flat or raised bumps, red, swollen, and itchy skin. The bed bug bite areas can become infected when scratched.
The effect of bed bug bites varies, and everybody’s reactions are different. Bed bugs require blood to feed and reproduce. Their bites usually cause itchy red welts.
When we receive repeated bedbug bites, our body experiences a range of skin reactions.
Have a look at this report from Australia.(Source) It demonstrates that bed bugs can cause a potentially dangerous, and possibly even deadly reaction when individuals are repeatedly bitten:
Both patients had previously fed bed bugs on themselves without any serious complication, however, upon feeding a new batch of the insects, they subsequently developed systemic urticarial reactions. Both were admitted to an emergency department for treatment and subsequently made a full recovery.
Patient 1 fed 40 to 50 bed bugs on himself and after eight minutes, he developed itch, swelling of the face, lethargy, profuse sweating and widespread wheals on the torso and limbs. The reaction disappeared in five hours after treatment with systemic prednisone and antihistamines. Patient 2 developed a similar reaction after feeding five to six bed bugs on himself. In this case, the patient also developed chest tightness and breathing difficulties. Following a similar treatment, symptoms disappeared in four hours.
This report demonstrates how bed bugs can be a serious threat to the health of the community. If people are constantly exposed to bed bug bite, then the effects can be extremely harmful to the individual.
The report also reveals that the scientist didn’t know enough about the bedbugs as a health hazard.
There are a few things we can say about signs of bed bug bites on the skin, and they’re just guidelines.
Bed bug bites tend to show up in straight lines or clusters. You’ll notice it if you have them and you do see something similar to the images.
The reason why that happens is that the bed bugs come to you at night to feed and walks up, standing on the edge of the comforter.
For a bug to get a full blood meal takes typically about five to ten minutes. If you twitch a little bit or the blood vessel is not the best one, the bug will stop feeding. Then bedbug goes up or down, looking for a better place on your exposed skin and starts sucking blood again.
The piercing from the single bedbug could take place three or four times. The next morning, if your skin reacts to bites at all, you could notice a row or a cluster of three or four stings.
When you sleep in bed at night your arms, neck, face, the top of your shoulder or on your back are exposed. That’s where bedbugs are typically going to bite.
If you every few days notice a couple of different clusters of bites on your exposed skin and that tends to be in the morning, start searching for alive bedbug hiding around the bed.
If you sleep deep under the covers every night and then once every couple of days, you’re getting one bite to your waistline, most likely you are stung by some other insect.
Not everybody reacts the same to bedbugs. The study from the UK observes reaction from the participants:
– A large group of them initially did not react to any of the bedbug bites.
– Only half of the group notice skin rash in the first seven to eleven days.
– Unfortunately, the rest of the group never reacted at all.
It’s a wild variety of responses, but over time as you’re exposed to more and more bites, that delayed effect tends to get diminished. Then the sores start to show up every day. Only then you will understand that you have a severe infestation in your home.
In conclusion: Don’t rely on rashes or blisters on your skin. You could be one of the people who didn’t react on bedbug bites for a very long time. Better set a few traps under your bed and check them regularly for bedbugs.
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