If you go to sleep perfectly healthy and fine but find yourself waking up with tiny, red and swollen bites or patches of skin covered with angry red spots, your mattress may be infested with bedbugs.
Bed bugs are tiny parasites that often infest mattresses. They feed exclusively on blood and are most active at night when they emerge to feed on their hosts.
Apart from the bed, these pests can be found in cracks and crevices in your house; in your sheets; and behind furniture, headboards, picture frames and electrical outlet plates.
There has been a return in the number of bed bug infestations globally over the recent years with increased numbers of infestations reported for America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. (1)
Bed bugs are notoriously fast breeders, with the females laying up to five eggs per day. As the juvenile bugs grow into adults, they shed their skin, which is a highly visible sign indicating a bed bug infestation. Fully grown adult bed bugs are roughly the size of apple seeds.
Their bites often cause the skin to become red and inflamed. They can also be quite painful and itch like crazy. Resist the urge to scratch and irritate these sites, as doing so can lead to secondary bacterial infections.
The other health impacts of bed bug infections include cost and safety. Hospitals have closed down due to infestations which lead to lack of provision of healthcare services. Also, people may end up using hazardous ways out of desperation to get rid of bed bugs. Other health impacts may include social and mental health issues resulting from having bed bug infestations.
Here are 10 incredibly easy methods and home remedies to treat bed bug bites at home.
Applying an ice pack is one of the simplest and most effective ways to manage bed bug bites. Ice helps numb the site, providing relief from pain. It is also highly effective at reducing inflammation and soothing the red, swollen skin to prevent itching.
You can reapply the ice pack throughout the day as needed to relieve pain and itching.
Cinnamon has potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that make it a highly effective remedy for treating insect bites, especially bed bug bites.
The ground spice can be made into a paste that acts as a highly effective Band-Aid, sealing the bitten areas, preventing infection and helping to heal the inflamed skin.
At the end of the day, the bed bug bites will be drastically reduced. If needed, you can apply the cinnamon paste again the next day to completely heal the bites.
Calamine lotion is another incredibly effective remedy to treat bed bug bites. It acts as a skin protector; reduces pain, redness, and inflammation; and has a cooling or soothing effect on the inflamed skin.
Another major advantage of calamine lotion is that it also prevents itching. In fact, calamine is prescribed to chicken pox patients to help them control the urge to scratch their sores.
Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in calamine lotion and is also used in several antiseptic ointments to both heal and treat rashes. You can also use calamine lotion to get rid of mosquito bites.
Reapply the lotion throughout the day as needed to control the pain, swelling, and irritation.
Baking soda is alkaline in nature and can be used to neutralize the acidic chemicals contained in insect bites. It’s also good for bed bug and chigger bites, due to its anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the redness and swelling.
If you do not get the desired results, you can reapply the baking soda paste after 45 minutes.
Isopropyl rubbing alcohol can be used successfully to repel bed bugs and avoid getting new bites.
Repeat as needed to get rid of bed bugs and avoid getting bitten by these parasitic pests.
Aloe vera gel has natural antiseptic, soothing and healing properties that make it an excellent remedy for bed bug bites. You can learn how to extract and make your own aloe vera gel here.
Keep reapplying the gel throughout the day as needed to soothe the irritated skin.
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a wonder remedy capable of treating a wide variety of diseases and conditions.
You can apply it on the insect bites to get rid of the redness and inflammation. It also helps prevent bites from becoming infected and promotes faster healing.
If you do not find complete relief, you can apply the apple cider vinegar again after 5 to 7 hours.
White toothpaste is the best when it comes to treating bed bug bites. It acts as an astringent and has a cooling effect on your skin. You can also use toothpaste to treat minor burns.
Preferably use a peppermint flavored toothpaste as its menthol component acts as an anesthetic, numbing the pain from the bug bites while also reducing the swelling and itchiness.
You can also leave the toothpaste on the affected areas until it dries completely. Doing so will provide longer relief from the swelling and itching.
Another effective way to reduce the swelling from bed bug bites is by applying a warm compress to reduce the sting, redness, and inflammation.
One simple trick to prepare a warm compress is to heat it with hot water instead of directly over a cooking flame. This not only reduces the chances of accidental burns but also makes it much easier to reheat for repeated application.
You can repeat the process several times a day until you find relief.
Witch hazel acts as a natural astringent and also has anti-inflammatory properties that work to soothe irritated skin, especially insect bites. You can also apply witch hazel to get rid of varicose veins without surgery.
You can apply witch hazel extract topically on your skin to get relief from irritation caused by bed bug bites. You can also make a DIY repellent spray with it.
Repeat application as needed until you get relief.
Things you’ll need:
You can also spray the prepared solution all over your bedspread to ward off bed bugs and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
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