Bed Bug Bites can Trigger Allergic Reactions
Bed bugs are one of the oldest known pests that have plagued mankind for centuries. Recently, bed bug infestations have begun to make headlines as they continue to spread throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, these tiny parasites reproduce quickly once they have set up residence, and their nocturnal bites can leave painful welts that trigger allergic reactions. For those who are struggling with bed bug allergies, here is what everyone should know about dealing with the symptoms and removing an infestation.
Bed Bug Allergy Symptoms
Bed bugs usually bite at night when a person is sleeping. This can often lead to pain and confusion regarding the source of allergic reactions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, bite marks from a bed bug may take up to 14 days to appear on a person’s skin, and the allergic symptoms can range from a mild itch to a severe rash that requires medical care. While the bite marks may resemble those of a mosquito, bed bug bites can sometimes be distinguished from other types of insects by their appearing in a straight line. Over time, the itching and pain of bed bug bites can lead to anxiety, insomnia and skin infections caused by scratching. Severe allergic reactions can also lead to anaphylaxis, which will require emergency care.
Signs of an Infestation
Bed bug infestations can be hard to identify due to their being no larger than an apple seed even as adults. However, these parasitic insects can be found by carefully examining mattress seams, nearby bedroom trim and other potential hiding places carefully with a flashlight. Often, it is the markings left behind by bed bugs that can lead to a positive identification. Their eggs, droppings and the resulting blood stains from bites can leave black and reddish-brown specks along a person’s mattress and baseboards. It is also important to note, however, that bed bugs can live in other home furnishings that are in close proximity to people. Couches, wallpaper and clothing should always be inspected when an infestation is suspected.
Preventing Bed Bugs
Those who are prone to insect-related allergic reactions should take special precautions to avoid having an infestation. These include not bringing used items into the home that are known places where bed bugs reside. In instances where used home furnishings are purchased, they should always be thoroughly inspected and cleaned before use. Those who travel should also take additional preventative measures such as storing their suitcase off the ground, and it is important to check clothing and other items before returning them to the home.
Effective Removal Strategies
Once an allergic reaction has been attributed to a bed bug problem, it is important to act quickly to have them removed. According to the New York City Department of Health, the most effective way to remove bed bugs is by working with a professional pest removal company that specializes in eliminating infestations. Typically, professional bed bug removal services may take several visits and may require follow-up care to ensure the bed bugs are completely gone. Property owners can help throughout the process by sealing cracks around their home and remaining alert for signs of a re-infestation.
When bed bugs bite, the marks left behind can trigger allergic reactions in many people that may range from mild to severe. However, it is important for everyone to understand that these infestations will not go away when they are left alone. By making a positive identification of a bed bug problem, these infestations can be eliminated so that allergy-sufferers can find long-term relief from their symptoms.