Bed bugs are annoying insects that cause painful and irritating blisters on the skin when they bite. Unfortunately, it can be hard sometimes to tell if your wounds are the result of their presence because they are similar in appearance to many kinds of insect bites. Most people just end up with welts, but bed bug blisters are common in serious reactions. About 40% – 50% of the population reacts to their bites, leading to swelling and reddening of the skin.
The level of bite reaction varies from one person to another, so the severity of the wounds is usually different. Learning about how to identify bites, the common symptoms, and possible remedies will get you ready for when the situation arises. Additionally, it helps to know when a bug bite requires medical care and when you can leave it to heal on its own.
The threat of bed bug bites is not new, and everyone faces it regardless of how clean you keep your place. Some people even come across the bugs in luxurious hotels while traveling. The bed bug is from the Hemiptera family with sharp mouthparts that help it to feed.
About 92 species exist with some being specific to certain climates like the tropical regions. Bed bugs move by crawling; they don’t hop or fly. They disappear into dark corners and come out for food.
These insects can crawl into closets and hide in clothes, mattress, or purses, meaning it possible to transfer them to another location. Bites from the insects may not carry disease, but they can be annoying.
It’s difficult to rest comfortably when you itch all over after a bug bed bite. The insect is typically oval or round and flat with six legs and two mouthparts. These bugs can be brown, mahogany, or a dull shade of red, which makes them hard to spot, especially in those nooks and crannies.
Why Bed Bugs Bite
A bed bug needs blood at least once at every stage of its life to mature into the next one and females rely on nutrients from blood for their reproduction. What happens is that the bug finds a healthy vessel and sucks out blood by puncturing the skin.
Blistered bites from insects (see also article: Blister Beetle Bite Treatment) can occur in any part of the body. It may take the insect more than one try to get the right blood vessel, meaning a person may end up with several welts overnight.
Any movement causes the insects to withdraw and start the search afresh. For this reason, an individual may think that there is full-blown infestation due to the number of blisters, but it may only be one or two insects running around the place.
Symptoms of Bed Bug Blisters
When a bed bug bites skin, it releases a chemical that is responsible for the allergic reaction that occurs in most people. This compound can numb the region, which makes it difficult to feel the biting and it also hinders the blood clotting process. Persons who are not allergic to the chemical don’t show any symptoms. Signs of infections include welts that range in size from 2mm to 8mm. Bug bites will begin to itch and may swell after a short while.
Blistered wounds appear in instances of extreme allergic reactions to bed bugs biting. The infected area may form a group of pus-filled bumps, especially if more than one bug has been feeding on the region.
Rashes are other signs that you are dealing with bed bug blisters. The time it takes for symptoms to manifest differs broadly. In some people, bumps may begin to appear after a few minutes of bed bugs biting while in others, it may take several days or even a week.
The itchiness and swelling of a bed bite from a bug can get extreme if you have sensitive skin. Some people even require medical treatment for bed bug blisters.
Itchy hives can present themselves in a case of complex bite reaction. The manifestation of these reactions can evolve with time, leading to painful bullous bumps.
Scratching the affected area can cause the skin to break and leave the wound open to infections. Persons with weak immune systems are prone to such complications. For this reason, keeping the bite region clean is critical for the recovery process.
Without the right remedies, the reaction bites may aggravate considerably. An individual who gets bitten more than once may start experiencing different symptoms due to the changing immunological responses to the chemical released by the insects.
Systemic reactions such as anaphylaxis and asthma are rare in bug bed biting incidents, but they can happen. If a bug bites skin and results in breathing problems or shock, immediate medical attention is recommended.
Treating Bed Bug Blisters
- Finding quick ways to dry the bed bug blisters and reduce inflammation will minimize complications. For home remedies, calamine lotion does a great job of alleviating itchiness and inflammation.
- The antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic traits of aloe vera will come in handy when treating any kind of bug bites. Use the gel from the plant to clean the infected area and leave it for a few minutes to dry the blisters.
- An ice pack is useful when you want to bring down the swelling and reduce irritation.
- Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and basil leaves are other home remedies you can try.
Besides natural treatments, over-the-counter drugs for allergies will stop the blisters from spreading further or developing into something else.
Seek medical attention for bug bed bites that are too severe. Antibiotics are necessary in cases of infected reaction bites to prevent any further medical complications.
Children or elderly individuals who may not be able to heal quickly from bug welts should also get professional care.
Preventing Bed Bug Blisters
These insects may be extremely difficult but not impossible to spot. In fact, they become easier to pinpoint as the infestation grows. Begin by choking the dark corners of the home.
The crevices in the mattresses and the hems of the carpets are good places to start. When you suspect an infestation, remove everything from its usual place from the furniture to the sleeping area to the curtains.
Vacuum properly after clearing out everything. Bed bugs can’t survive at temperatures above 60°C so running a steam cleaner around common hiding areas will kill the adults and their eggs.
Washing bedding is advisable as well. For a home with pets, ensure all animals receive thorough cleaning and grooming to rid the fur of bug bed.
A few green solutions that are readily available can help you kill the bug and prevent bed bites.
Tea tree oil is one natural insecticide that can kill the bug. Mix the oil with water and spray generously. The strong fragrance of lavender oil makes it another effective homemade insecticide.
Witch hazel, baking soda, and boric acid are viable alternatives when you want to avoid bed bug blisters in your home without resorting to harmful chemicals.