In the 1950s, everyone thought that bed bugs were gone for good. But now, the opposite situation is prevalent. The bed bug population in the U.S. continues to increase. People who have bed bug problems account for more than 50% of pest control calls, especially in states like Philadelphia, New York, and Cincinnati, where infestations are very common. An infestation can endanger health because there are different ways that individuals react to bed bug bites or just the presence of bed bugs.
Bed Bug Bites: The Minute Vampires
Some creatures feed on blood, whether this is from humans or other animals, and the bed bug is one of these. This insect is drawn to warmth and carbon dioxide, and when it bites, you won't even feel it. This is because the bug injects a chemical that works like anesthesia. Hence, the bite site will be numb. Then, it introduces a second type of substance in the body, which hinders blood from clotting. So, the bug is able to feed leisurely on a warm-blooded body.
Is It Bad to be Bitten by a Bed Bug?
The most common reactions of people to bed bug bites are skin itchiness and irritation. Usually, bites are felt a few hours after a biting incident. These are often mistaken as mosquito bites because they become slightly swollen and itchy. But there are signs that indicate that the bites are probably from bed bugs. First, bite marks can appear in groups or clusters. Second, bite marks are in a row or a line. The reason for this is that a bed bug can bite or feed more than once in a single area.
Some people react differently to bed bug bites. Usually, the severity of a reaction depends on certain factors, such as: age, health state, and hypersensitivity. Very young kids, old people, and individuals with chronic diseases or weak immune systems are more likely to suffer more serious reactions than healthy people. There are specific elements that, when observed, indicate that a victim must be brought to a hospital right away. Examples are - breathing difficulty, widespread swelling, generalized hives or rashes, palpitations, drastic reduction in blood pressure, and dizziness, to name a few. These are signs of a serious allergic reaction, which is medically known as "anaphylaxis." An anaphylactic reaction can happen if a hypersensitive individual was bitten just once. But even though you might be in good physical shape, you can experience an allergic reaction particularly if you have been bitten more than 50 times in one instance.
Although most individuals are not allergic to insect bites, they can still encounter a few medical problems after becoming a victim of ravenous bed bugs. For instance, skin infection can occur if a person scratches a bitten area excessively. If the infection is ignored, the wound can become worse, and the more serious the infection, the longer the healing process will be. It will also leave a bigger scar after the healing process has ended.
Claire Trent is a freelancer and a homemaker who has had her share of pest problems. She writes about her experiences, and she offers tips about how to get rid of DC bed bugs , rodents, roaches, and other common household pests.