How to Stop Bed Bug Bites from Itching

Originally posted on June 1, 2023 @ 12:05 am

Bed bugs are a nuisance, and their bites can cause itching that can be persistent and frustrating. It’s important to find ways to alleviate the itching so you can get back to your daily routine comfortably. In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks that can help you stop bed bug bites from itching.

Understanding Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are notoriously difficult to get rid of and can cause significant discomfort and emotional distress. Bed bugs are found in many parts of the world and can infest any type of dwelling, from apartments to hotels to single-family homes.

How Bed Bugs Bite

Bed bugs bite by piercing the skin with their elongated beak and injecting a saliva that contains an anticoagulant and anesthetic. The anesthetic prevents the host from feeling the bite, while the anticoagulant ensures that the blood flows freely. Bed bugs typically feed for 3-10 minutes before retreating back to their hiding places.

Identifying Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites typically appear as small, red, itchy welts on the skin. They are often grouped together in a line or cluster and can be mistaken for other types of insect bites or rashes. It is important to note that not everyone reacts to bed bug bites in the same way, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all.

Treating Bed Bug Bites

While bed bug bites are generally not harmful, they can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. Here are some ways to stop bed bug bites from itching:

Key takeaway: Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on human blood, and their bites can be itchy and uncomfortable. To treat bed bug bites, clean the affected area with soap and water, apply a cold compress, use over-the-counter creams and lotions, take an antihistamine, and seek medical attention if necessary. To prevent bed bug bites, inspect your mattress and bedding regularly, seal cracks and crevices in walls and furniture, use Bed bug proof covers, keep your home clean and clutter-free, and be cautious when traveling.

While bed bug bites are generally not harmful, they can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. Here are some ways to stop bed bug bites from itching:

1. Clean the Bite Area

Cleaning the bite area with soap and water can help reduce itching and prevent infection. Use a mild soap and warm water to gently wash the affected area, then pat it dry with a clean towel.

2. Apply a Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to the bite area can help reduce swelling and itching. Simply wrap a few ice cubes in a clean towel and hold it against the bite area for 10-15 minutes at a time.

3. Use Over-the-Counter Creams and Lotions

Over-the-counter creams and lotions containing hydrocortisone or calamine can help reduce itching and inflammation. These products should be applied directly to the bite area and used as directed on the packaging.

4. Take an Antihistamine

Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine can help reduce itching and swelling. Antihistamines work by blocking the release of histamine, a chemical that is produced by the body in response to an allergen.

5. Seek Medical Attention

In rare cases, bed bug bites can cause severe allergic reactions or infections. If you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or a fever, seek medical attention immediately.

Preventing Bed Bug Bites

The best way to prevent bed bug bites is to avoid exposure to bed bugs in the first place. Here are some tips:

1. Inspect Your Mattress and Bedding

Bed bugs are often found in mattresses, box springs, and bedding. Inspect these items regularly for signs of bed bugs, such as dark spots or stains, shed skins, or live bugs.

2. Seal Cracks and Crevices

Bed bugs can hide in cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and furniture. Seal these areas with caulk or another appropriate material to prevent bed bugs from entering your home.

3. Use Bed bug proof covers

Bed bug proof covers can be used to encase mattresses and box springs, making it difficult for bed bugs to infest these items.

4. Keep Your Home Clean and Clutter-Free

A clean, clutter-free home is less attractive to bed bugs. Vacuum regularly, launder bedding and clothing frequently, and keep clutter to a minimum.

5. Be Cautious When Traveling

Bed bugs can be found in hotels and other lodging facilities. When traveling, inspect your room for signs of bed bugs, keep your luggage off the floor, and store your clothing in sealed plastic bags.

FAQs for what will make bed bug bites stop itching

What causes bed bug bites to itch?

Bed bug bites can cause itching due to an allergic reaction or irritation from the bug’s saliva. The saliva contains an anticoagulant that prevents the blood from clotting, making it easier for the bed bug to feed. However, the body’s immune system may see the saliva as a foreign substance and release histamines to fight it off, causing skin irritation and itching.

How can I stop bed bug bites from itching?

To stop bed bug bites from itching, you can use topical creams, such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion, to reduce inflammation and soothe the itch. Taking antihistamines, like Benadryl, may also help relieve symptoms. Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area for 10-15 minutes can provide temporary relief as well. Avoid scratching the bites as it can lead to further irritation, infection, and scarring.

Are there any home remedies for bed bug bites?

Yes, several home remedies can help with bed bug bites. A mixture of baking soda and water can be applied to the bites to reduce itching and inflammation. A paste made of oatmeal and water can also be used to soothe the skin. Applying a diluted apple cider vinegar solution to the bites can help with swelling and itching. Essential oils, such as tea tree, lavender, and peppermint, have also been known to provide relief from itchiness.

When should I see a doctor for bed bug bites?

If the bed bug bites are severe or become infected, it’s best to seek medical attention. Signs of infection include warmth, redness, swelling, and pus-filled blisters. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics or a stronger topical cream to help with healing. If you develop severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, seek immediate medical attention.

Can bed bug bites spread disease?

Bed bug bites are generally not known to spread diseases. However, scratching the bites can lead to a secondary infection. It’s important to keep the bites clean and avoid scratching them to prevent infections. If you are experiencing multiple bites or a severe allergic reaction, contact a pest control professional to help eliminate the bed bugs in your home.