“Good Night. Sleep Tight.
Don’t let the bedbugs bite!
That nursery rhyme is estimated to be over 100 years old, but it’s a sure bet that people more than 100 years ago had to deal with bedbugs. These nasty little creatures like to hide under the covers and feast on human and animal blood while we sleep. And since they inject a type of anesthesia while they suck out the blood, we often don’t feel them or notice the bites until morning.
Earlier posts describe how to keep your house bedbug free and described how bedbugs might get into your house. This post is to provide more information regarding how to tell if you have a bedbug infestation and how to treat the bites.
How to notice if you have bedbugs:
If people wake up in the morning and see bites on their legs or arms, they may assume they have bedbugs. Although this may be a good clue, it’s not a 100% guarantee. Other bugs can and do bite sleeping people, so you would have to do a little bit more investigation. Look on your mattress, under your fitted sheet and in little hidey holes and corners of the mattress to see if you can find the small, oval brown bug. These bugs are very good at hiding so not actually seeing the bug doesn’t mean you don’t have them.
You can also look for very tiny blood stains on your sheets, bedbug fecal matter which looks like dark spots, or molted bed bug skins in the corners of your mattress or bed board. Of course, the best way to tell is to bring in a professional to do a thorough examination.
Treating the Bedbug bite:
The most important thing to do is to treat the itchiness. The last thing you want to do is to start scratching enough so that you cause an infection of the bite. You can use over the counter cortisone cream, anti-itch cream or some type of topical anesthetic.
The second thing to do is to help the bite heal. Using calamine lotion can help dry out that rash and will provide a protective layering over the skin. If you don’t have calamine lotion, you can use a paste made of baking soda and water or take an oatmeal or baking soda bath.
And just for fun – here’s the rest of that old nursery rhyme….
And if they do, then take your shoe and
Knock them ‘til they’re black and blue!”