Home and business owners might notice they have itchy, swollen, small, red lumps on their skin. These bumps could be reoccurring and there might be many of them grouped near one another or in lines across their bodies. These marks could be an indication of a pest infestation. More specifically, each mark could be a bed bug bite. A bed bug needs to bite a person or animal in order to access their favorite food: blood. Each bed bug is parasitic and will leave its home at night in search of a new source of blood. For people, this means that any bed bugs lurking on a property will find them, usually while they are sleeping. When they bite, they irritate the skin and leave distinctive red lumps where they pierced flesh.
But how can someone tell a bed bug bite from the bites of other pests like mosquitoes or fleas? Although they might look similar to an amateur, there are a couple of differences between the three bite marks. First, bed bugs do not need to eat every day, which means the bite marks might disappear and then reappear when the bed bug decides it needs to eat again. Mosquito and flea bites will fade on their own and are not as likely to vanish and then return. Next, a bed bug will bite areas on people that are exposed while the human is sleeping. Arms, hands, legs, and feet are common targets, while people who sleep shirtless with find bites on their chest and back. Bed bugs also tend to bite in groups. This means that the bite marks will be clumped together or even form lines across the bodies. Fleas usually only bite people’s arms and legs, and mosquitoes will not create patterns with their bites like a bed bug and its buddies would.
While the bites are annoying, the bright side is that they typically do not require hospitalization or professional treatment. They can irritate the skin and cause itchiness, but people can usually resolve this issue by applying an antiseptic cream or lotion to lessen the irritation. People should avoid scratching too much because excessive damage can cause a skin infection, which would require antibiotics. In some cases, people may have an allergic reaction to the bed bug bite. If this is the case, the afflicted person should take an antihistamine and contact a doctor immediately if the reaction is severe. Some symptoms of a severe reaction could be the development of a nasty rash or trouble breathing.
Once someone notices a bed bug bite, they should contact a pest control professional to help eliminate the population. A bed bug bite one of the first indications for many people that they have an infestation in their home or business. Because of their small size and ability to live in diverse locations, bed bugs are adept at hiding and can roost in unusual places like electrical panels, cracks in the walls, or furniture throughout a room. Professionals can help any home and business owner curb the population and remove them before the infestation spirals out of control.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!