When it comes to pest control, bed bugs can be some of the worse pests to deal with. Bed bug bites are usually painless at first and then turn into red, streaky welts that itch. Bed bugs will bite any area of exposed skin while you are sleeping so there can often be many welts across the body. Not everyone will have a reaction to a bed bug bite, but itching is the most common and the most aggravating. It’s hard to resist, but it’s best to not scratch the bite too much, because scratching can cause a secondary skin infection and just make the situation worse.
When a bed bug bites, it secretes an anesthetic and an anticoagulant. The anesthetic is what prevents the bite from itching immediately and the anticoagulant keeps the blood from clotting to enable the blood to flow for easier feeding. As the anesthetic wears off, the saliva remaining begins to cause itching. If you have a lot of bites, it can be difficult to resist the urge to scratch away until you can remedy the problem.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the recommended treatment is pretty simple. Thoroughly wash the affected areas with soap and water. This helps to prevent infection and reduces itching. If needed, apply an over the counter corticosteroid product to the bites to further control the itching. If you are hypersensitive to insect bites, or too much scratching causes an infection, the AAD recommends seeing a dermatologist to help treat the symptoms.
With proper treatment, the itching will stop and eventually the welts will go away. But you’re not done yet. To make sure you don’t end up going through all this again, it’s best to contact a licensed pest control company to get rid of those bed bugs. A professional pest control technician will get the infestation under control and give you good tips to prevent infestation in the future.