Bed Bugs and your Health

 

Bed bugs feed on human, and other warm-blooded hosts, in order to survive and reproduce. They find a host by detecting carbon dioxide emitted from warm-blooded people or animals and respond to warmth/moisture. In order to feed, they penetrate the skin of the host and inject a salivary fluid that contains an anticoagulant to help them obtain blood.

Depending on the stage of the bed bug, they may feed for as little as 3 minutes or as long as 10-15 minutes. They prefer to feed at night on exposed areas such as: the hands, neck, arms and face. Bed bug bites affect people differently depending on the person and frequency of the feeding. Bites will eventually produce itchy red bumps and welts on the surface of the skin. Bacterial skin infections may occur due to skin breakage from excessive scratching.

Bed Bugs: How to Avoid Bed Bugs at College

Bed Bugs are commonly in college dorms, hotels and other frequently visited areas.

Some people have been known to respond to bed bug infestations with insomnia, fear, stress, anxiety and even paranoia. Sometimes become too distressed to sleep due to the fear of being bitten, and the lack of sleep can sometimes trigger depression. Heavy rates of feeding have been known to cause significant blood loss and eventually lead to anemia and other complications; children are most susceptible to these further problems.

Although more than 20 types of disease have been found in bed bugs, including, bacteria, viruses and worms, they are NOT known to transmit disease.

If you experience bed bug bites you can use a few over the counter products for relief:

1. Apply a steroidal anti-itch cream that contains hydrocortisone or cortisone

2. Use calamine lotion to dry out the rash

3. Take oral antihistamine allergy tablets to control the swelling and rash caused by the bites

4. Buy a topical anesthetic that contains pramoxine for pain relief and diphendrydramine for itch control

5. Taking pain relievers that contain ibuprofen or naproxen as needed

Bed Bugs and your Health

Bed Bugs and Your Health

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