Bedbugs are tiny, parasitic insects that live by feeding on blood from humans and animals. In 2010, more than a dozen cities in the United States experienced a bedbug infestation. The cities with the biggest bedbug problems were Cincinnati and Columbus in Ohio, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Washington DC. Increase in travel is one of the top reasons experts are giving for the spread and inundation of bedbugs in our homes, in hotels and shops.

Bedbug bites resemble mosquito bites, but are much smaller. If you go to bed with clear skin and wake up in the morning with tiny, itchy, red, raised bumps on your skin, it’s possible that you have bedbug bites. You can confirm that you have bedbugs by inspecting your sheets. Look for drops of dried blood, which will look like tiny red or brown spots. When blood dries, it turns brown.

To treat bed bug bite, keep your skin clean and wash it with a gentle, fragrance-free soap. Apply an antibiotic cream, such as Neosporin or hydrocortisone cream on the affected areas. To ease itchiness or discomfort, take an antihistamine like Benadryl, which is an oral medication available over-the-counter. You can also use an over-the-counter, medicated anti-itch cream such as Caladryl or Benadryl cream.

It takes one or two days for bedbug bites to go away. If you have sensitive skin, or scratch your bites, you could prolong the healing time. It’s best to refrain from touching your skin if possible. If you’ve developed scars from bedbug bites due to incessant scratching, try applying an over-the-counter silicone scar ointment to the spots. It can take approximately four to six weeks or longer for scars to fade entirely. If you have dark skin, you could experience hyper pigmentation, a condition in which a spot on your skin becomes darker than the surrounding skin. A topical bleaching agent can help even out your skin tone. You should talk to a dermatologist before treatment with a medication that can permanently affect the appearance of your skin.

While it is in your best interest to kill bed bugs naturally, note that this is extraordinarily difficult to do and it typically requires the help of professional exterminator with experience in bed bug removal. Bed bugs do not respond to bug spray. Bed bugs can bit through thin bled clothes, but they do prefer bare skin. While they will bite you on the head, due to their preference of bare skin, they’re likely to migrate down to your face. Spraying bed bugs directly with Lysol can kill them, but bed bugs are such stealthy little creatures, most of the time they go completely unnoticed, even after a person realizes that they have an infestation.

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