The first thing to know about bed bug bites is that not all people will show signs of bites. For example, two people can be sleeping in the same infested bed, person A has bites all over and person B has no bites. Why is this? This is not because one person is not getting bitten and the other is, rather one person just simply does not react to bites. That being said, having bites is the least reliable way of determining that you have an active bed bug infestation. Just as in the example, the two people could both have signs of bites but react in completely different ways, making it that much more difficult to diagnose if a bed bug was the culprit or not.
Bed bug bites can be itchy, irritating, and often inflamed. In most cases, these bites will heal within a week or two. Of course by then, those suffering from a bed bug infestation will likely have new bites they will have to contend with. For these, there are some home remedies available.
The first course of treatment people often try is an anti-itch cream, such as After Bite. This is a stick that has treatment within it and can simply be rolled over the bite. There is also a gel available, which has less of the alcohol content but more cooling components than the stick. Calamine lotion can also provide the same anti-itch relief.
Bed bug bites can become extremely itchy and sometimes, there is also a burning sensation. An oral antihistamine, such as those taken for allergies, can help reduce these symptoms and make the bites a bit more comfortable. When bed bug bites are particularly swollen and painful, an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil, can help.
Although they are incredibly itchy, scratching bed bug bites can lead to cellulitis, which is a fairly serious infection. To prevent this, it’s important to wash all bites with warm soap and water and try to not scratch them or irritate them further.
The most serious reactions from bed bug bites come from those that are allergic to them. When this is the case, the only way to treat them is to call 911 immediately for urgent care.