How to get rid of bed bugs
If there are bed bugs in a home, it is unlikely that the residents will see one unless they look for them. Bed bugs hide in the crevices of box springs, mattresses, couches, headboards, and other places, only coming out to feed.
A person is unlikely to notice when a bed bug is feeding on them. Most individuals are sleeping when they get bitten. Besides, before a bed bug draws blood, it injects the target with a substance that prevents them from feeling the bite. Upon waking up, the person may notice welts.
A careful search is usually necessary to find bed bugs. An adult bed bug that is full of blood can be the size of an apple seed. Hungry and younger bed bugs are around the size of a poppy seed.
The Treatment of Bed Bug Bites
A person experiencing the following should consult a dermatologist:
- Multiple bites
- Skin infection (bites feel tender or ooze discharge such as pus)
- An allergic skin response (skin red and inflamed or hives)
For the dermatology treatment of bed bug bites, the doctor may prescribe the following:
Allergic Response: Certain people may need an injection of corticosteroid, antihistamine, or epinephrine (adrenaline) for a severe allergic response.
Infection: An infection may require antibiotics. In case it is a mild infection, the dermatologist may recommend an antiseptic med that the patient can purchase without a prescription. The dermatologist will tell the patient which to use as well as recommend an antiseptic to prevent a skin infection.
Itch: A prescription antihistamine liquid or pill can also be applied to the bites. The dermatologist will recommend what is most suitable for the patient.
If the patient does not have any signs of an infection or a serious response, they can usually treat the bites at home.
To address bed bug bites:
Wash the bites with soap and water as this will prevent the development of skin infection and reduce itchiness.
Apply a corticosteroid cream to the bites if they itch. The patient can get a mild form of this medication without a prescription at their local drugstore, but stronger corticosteroids require a prescription.
Bed bug bites often heal and subsides within one to two weeks.
Preventing Bringing Bed Bugs into the Home after Traveling
If a person is concerned that they may have picked up bed bugs, they should inspect every item that they bring home (purse, luggage, and other belongings) for the presence of bed bugs. They should check for blackish pecks, blood drops, and shell-like remains.
In case there are signs of bed bugs or a person strongly suspects that they might have brought these insects home, they should promptly:
- Wash all clothing that they brought home in a washing machine
- Dry the clothes after washing them in a clothes dryer on the hot setting.
- Utilize a hand steamer to clean their luggage. The National Pest Management Association reports that a garment steamer will kill bed bugs as well as their eggs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of Texas.