How to Identify Common Bug Bites and What To Do About It
- 1 How to Identify Common Bug Bites and What To Do About It
- 1.1 7 Common Bug Bites and How To Identify Them
- 1.2 7 Things You Should Know About Bed Bugs
- 1.3 1. They don’t only live in beds.
- 1.4 2. Bed bugs have preyed on humans for at least 3,500 years.
- 1.5 3. Bed bugs hate heat.
- 1.6 4. Bed bugs can hibernate
- 1.7 5. Bed bugs were almost wiped out in the 1950s.
- 1.8 6. They can still be killed…sort of.
- 1.9 7. Bed bugs don’t spread disease.
- 1.10 How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in 4 Easy Steps
Everyone’s been bitten by insects like mosquitoes, ticks, and bees. Sometimes, knowing what kind of insect bit us can be helpful, to know how to lessen the pain, swelling, and itchiness. With that in mind, we’re going to show you five of the most common insect bites, their symptoms, and how they should be treated. 1.Mosquito bites Normally the area around the bite turns red and swells. They can also cause minor irritation and become itchy. To relieve the urge to itch, put a little lotion or alcohol on the bite and massage the area. However, if you feel pain in your joints, fever, swollen lymph nodes or other more severe symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. If that happens, you might’ve been bitten by a mosquito that was carrying a dangerous poison. 2. Flea Bites Normally fleas leave three or four red dots on your skin. These little bumps can be really itchy, so the first thing you should do is apply calamine lotion or coconut oil to help with that. Avoid scratching these areas so as not to damage your skin. 3. Bed bug bites These little bugs are crafty and their bite can have different effects on different people. Some people, for example, can be bitten and not feel anything. Others, however, may suffer from an allergic reaction and experience swelling, itchiness and dermatitis. You can wash the affected area with soap and water, but you should still make it a point to see a doctor. 4. Spider bites Technically spiders are not bugs (they’re arachnids) , but we decided to include them because spider bites are very common. Most of the time, spider bites are harmless, but there are some exceptions, such as the black widow or the brown recluse, whose bites can have serious consequences. If a spider bites you, wash the area with soap and water. Next, apply ice. If the swelling continues, see a doctor immediately. 5. Tick bites Ticks are also not insects. Just like spiders, ticks are arachnids. They’re normally found on horses, dogs, and cats. They are so dangerous that their bite could cause serious diseases, such as Lyme disease. Tick bites leave a large red ring on your skin. First, you must remove the tick with a pair of tweezers. Don’t put any oil on the affected area and keep it away from heat. All you need to do is wash your skin with soap and water. Then go see a doctor to make sure you don’t have any major diseases.
7 Common Bug Bites and How To Identify Them
7 Common Bug Bites & How To Identify Them Summer is just around the corner! It signals picnics, bonfires, pool parties, hiking trips and kickball games in the backyard. Along with the sunshine and warm weather, summer often means bugs. It’s important to be able to recognize a bug bite, in order to keep yourself safe. Sometimes, a little lotion to stop the itching will do the trick. Other times, a trip to the hospital is necessary. Here are seven common bug bites and how to identify the bug that bit you: Brown Recluse Spider A brown recluse spider bite can send you to the emergency room. Brown recluse spiders usually hang out in isolated spaces with dry rot and dust, such as attics, barns and sheds. If you notice a bite with brown and purple spots, head to the hospital. These spots are necrotic lesions and they need to be treated immediately. Bed Bugs If you’ve been bitten by bed bugs, you’ll develop a clump or a line or red welts that might first appear on your arms and shoulders. Bed bug bites are extremely itchy. They might not show up until several days after you’ve been bitten. Make sure you don’t scratch your bites, because excessive scratching can cause an infection. Use lotion to calm the bites then call an exterminator! Fire Ants Fire ants are red ants that earned their name from the intense stinging pain of their bites. If you get bite by several fire ants. you’ll develop a painful, itchy, red rash that looks similar to a bad acne breakout. It might be on your feet or legs. Too many bites can cause an allergic reaction, so pay attention to your breathing and keep an eye out for hives. Black Widow Spider The Black Widow leaves a bite that looks like two small puncture wounds. Think a very tiny vampire bite. After you’ve been bitten, the toxins may cause muscle pain and swelling. This type of bite is rarely life-threatening, but it should be looked at by a doctor. Tick If you spend the day outside near the woods or tall grass, you might end up with a tick if you aren’t careful. If you find a tick on you, make sure you remove the tick completely, then clean the area and monotor the bite closely for rashes and signs of infections. Ticks often carry diseases. If you notice a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye, visit a health care professional immediately. This rash is a sign of Lyme disease. Fleas Fleas are tiny bugs that often travel in animal fur. When they bite, they leave small clusters of itchy welts, and they often target the feet or ankles because they are near the ground. Flea bites aren’t especially dangerous, but they can carry disease, so watch for a fever or other signs of infection if bitten. Mosquito Most of us know what a mosquito bite feels like – itchy! Mosquito bites often appear on your legs and arms in the form of an itchy, lumpy red spot. If you’re outside in the summertime, do what you can to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitoes can carry diseases like West Nile, Zika and Malaria.
7 Things You Should Know About Bed Bugs
When you were a kid, your parents might have told you not to let the bed bugs bite. And for a long time, they were so unheard-of that you might have asked your parents what a bed bug even was. But today, bed bugs are the fastest growing pest control emergency in the developed world. 1 in 5 Americans either has had bed bugs, or knows someone who has. And the problem isn’t going away. It’s actually getting a lot worse. Known into the scientific world as Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are blood-feeding insects that are about the size of an apple seed once they’re fully grown. They survive on the blood of mammals and insects, but they prefer human blood. A colony of bed bugs can have thousands of individuals. And you can have them without even knowing it. So here’s what you need to know about bed bugs.
1. They don’t only live in beds.
The name “bed bug” might make you think they only live in beds. But bed bugs will live just about anywhere they can hide. An adult bed bug is five millimeters long and as narrow as a piece of paper, and they can crawl up to thirty meters in a night to find a meal. That means bed bugs will hide behind light switches on the wall, underneath peeling paint and wallpaper, or in the gap between the walls and the baseboards, or just about anywhere else. Bed bugs have even been found living inside of a prosthetic leg.
2. Bed bugs have preyed on humans for at least 3,500 years.
We’ve been dealing with bed bugs for a really long time. We know they infested ancient Rome. The Romans actually brewed them and drank them as a cure for snakebites, which I’m sure was delicious. We also know they were in ancient Egypt, because the Egyptians wrote about them. Probably complaining to their landlords. In fact, archaeological evidence tells us that bed bugs have fed on humans for at least 3500 years, because fossilized bed bugs have been found at dig sites. But bed bugs may have been plaguing us for much longer than that, based on what’s in their mitochondrial DNA — that is, the DNA inside the powerhouse of the cell. By comparing the mitochondrial markers in bedbug populations around the world, we’ve learned that they originated in caves in the Middle East, where they would have fed on bats. Now, bed bugs can’t fly, and they can’t jump. They can’t crawl very far, either. Thirty meters a night isn’t setting any land speed records. So it’s a lot more likely that we met them when we went into their caves, instead of them coming out of their caves after us. Which means the first humans that bed bugs ever chewed on were probably cave-dwellers.
3. Bed bugs hate heat.
So, we’ve had them forever, and they can hide anywhere. How can we get rid of them? The simplest way to wipe out a bed bug infestation is heat. Both eggs and adults will die in under ten minutes if exposed to temperatures above 46 degrees Celsius. You know how in old-timey movies, cheap beds, like in hotels and hospitals, had all those janky metal frames? Metal frames were popular because you could rub them in kerosene and light them on fire. That would definitely take care of any bed bugs living inside of them. Another method that was used to clear bed bugs out of furniture was to pack the joints with gunpowder and explode them. Maybe don’t try that one, though. SciShow is officially telling you not to set your bed frame on fire. Please don’t burn down your house.
4. Bed bugs can hibernate
Even though bed bugs hate heat, you can’t just wait for them to die on a hot summer’s day, for a couple of reasons. First of all, just because it’s 46 degrees outside, doesn’t mean it’s 46 degrees where the bed bugs are actually living. In the shade under your bed, or in the cool recesses inside your walls? It’s a lot more comfortable. But more importantly, bed bugs are capable of something called diapause. Diapause for insects is kind of like hibernation for bears. It’s a deep sleep, where the bed bug shuts off most of its metabolic processes and survives on its energy stores until it either runs out of energy or wakes up. Bed bugs enter diapause when it starts to get too hot, or if temperatures drop below freezing, or if they can’t find food. That’s why putting your bedding in trash bags to try and starve the bed bugs out doesn’t work. Thanks to diapause, bed bugs can survive over a year without a meal. But in the same way that a bear won’t go into hibernation if you just stick it in a big freezer for a few hours, bed bugs won’t enter diapause if it only gets hot over a short period of time. Diapause is a reaction to slower, environmental changes … like the onset of summer. Which is why setting a bed on fire kills them.
5. Bed bugs were almost wiped out in the 1950s.
But heat isn’t the only way to kill a bed bug. The reason you grew up thinking that bed bugs were maybe not even a real thing, is because bed bugs were almost wiped out in the 1950s. All because of an incredibly useful but also super terrible, toxic little chemical called DDT. DDT stands for dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane, and it was the first chemical pesticide to be put to widespread use. It was rolled out after World War II, and by the end of the 1950s, bed bug populations had been so reduced in the developed world that scientists mostly stopped studying them, because they literally couldn’t find any. DDT is from a family of pesticides called pyrethroids, which are synthetic versions of a compound created by the chrysanthemum flower. Here’s how it works: Most animals, insects and humans included, have pores in the membranes of our nerve cells that can be opened to let in sodium. When sodium enters a nerve cell, it triggers a nerve impulse. Pyrethroids bind to those sodium pores, locking them into the open position. That allows sodium to flood the cells. So nerve impulses start to fire uncontrollably, eventually leading to paralysis and death. Pyrethroids have a much bigger effect on insects than they do on larger animals like birds or mammals. Even better, pyrethroids can affect insects at all stages of their life cycle, including when they’re in the egg. One treatment of DDT was enough to completely wipe out a population of bed bugs. And they would stay wiped out for up to a year. But DDT was banned in the US in 1972, for a lot of reasons. For one thing, females who are exposed to DDT before puberty are five times more likely to develop breast cancer. DDT has also been linked to male infertility, as well as miscarriage, nervous system and liver damage, and developmental disabilities in children. It may not kill humans the way it kills insects, but it sure isn’t good for us. So we should like, not bring DDT back, ever.
6. They can still be killed…sort of.
Modern bed bug treatments can be effective. But they’re costly, and not as reliable as DDT was. There are other pyrethroids now, for example, that don’t have so many harmful side effects. We can try using those against bed bugs, but the bugs have evolved a near-complete immunity to them. Bed bugs today are ten thousand times less vulnerable to pyrethroids than they were fifty years ago. It goes back to those sodium pores. They’re made up of about two thousand amino acids, and it turns out that if you change just a handful of those amino acids, the sodium pore can still do its job. But the pyrethroids can’t bond to those new amino acids. That makes pyrethroids, DDT included, totally useless against bed bugs. And we don’t have anything else that works anywhere near as well. Steam treatments are effective: hot steam will kill bed bugs and their eggs. But the steam needs to come in direct contact with the bugs to kill them, which can be tough if they’re, like, inside your mattress. In that situation, bed bug-proof mattress covers are available. Essentially, you wrap your bed in airtight plastic, and starve the bugs out. But like I said earlier, that can take up to a year. So … I hope you like the sound of crinkling plastic while you sleep. You can also seal the cracks and crevices where bed bugs like to hide. That will cut down on the number of locations where they can lay their eggs. And linens and furniture can be put in a freezer unit for a couple of weeks to freeze the bugs to death. If you have a bed bug infestation, you may end up needing a professional exterminator to do ALL of those things … and maybe more than once. The cost can run into the thousands of dollars. Okay, so is there good news? Well, yes, kind of.
7. Bed bugs don’t spread disease.
It’s weird, for a blood-feeding insect, but bed bugs don’t spread disease. Most sources of human blood-borne illness break down inside of bed bugs almost immediately. For example, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, decomposes in the bed bug’s digestive system in under an hour. Since bed bugs only feed once every few days, there’s basically no danger of it getting passed on through bites. There are a few diseases that can survive for longer. Hepatitis B, for example, remains in the bed bug’s digestive system for up to six weeks after feeding. But there is no evidence that the virus will actually pass into a new host. Bed bugs seem to be very clean eaters. Disease-carrying blood-feeders like mosquitos can make you sick because of the compounds they inject into your bloodstream when they feed, like anesthetic so you don’t feel the bite and anticoagulants so your blood keeps flowing while they feed.. Those substances are tainted with the blood of their other victims. Bed bugs also inject you with anesthetic and anticoagulants — but without the blood mixed in. Theoretically, it’s possible that bed bugs could transmit something — say, if you rolled over on a bed bug, it burst, and its blood got into an open sore. Gross, I know. But there’s never been a case of that actually happening. Scientists can’t even make it happen in a lab. The one exception is Chagas disease, which they managed to spread to mice by putting bed bug feces directly into an open scrape. But, again, it’s never happened to a person. So, if you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, or just want to know what to do if you ever are, contact your local pest control experts. Just don’t look to the lessons of history, because old school ways of wiping out bed bugs were … bad. Probably our best hope is that science will come up with something new. Something as effective as DDT, but not as, you know, awful. And hopefully they come up with it soon, because after talking about bed bugs for ten minutes, I feel like they are crawling all over me. Oh, and half of people don’t respond to bed bug bites at all. There’s no itching, and no mark. So even if they’re snacking on you every night, you might not even know it.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in 4 Easy Steps
Hi, this is Josh with Bed Bug Supply and today I want to show you how you can get rid of bed bugs in just 4 easy steps. This is a proven, professional-strength treatment process that stops the biting from the very first night. Let’s get started. First, you need to stop bed bugs from reaching you in your bed. Your mattress, box spring, and bed frame are the most common hiding places for bed bugs so it’s the best place for you to start your treatment. Begin by stripping off your bedding from the mattress and bagging them in sealed garbage bags to prevent bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home. Take the bags directly to your washing machine, carefully unload your bedding directly inside, taking care to reseal the bags, and wash using the hot water setting. Once that’s done, dry the bedding on the high heat setting if possible. This will kill any bed bugs and eggs hiding in your sheets and covers. While your laundry cycle is running, remove your mattress and box spring from the bed frame, then use a vacuum to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that may be present along the seams and folds of your bed. While you could use most regular vacuums for this step, the preferred weapon of choice is a sealed HEPA PCO vacuum. These are designed specifically to collect bed bugs and their eggs into a sealed HEPA filter so that nothing gets out. After you’re done going over the bed with a vacuum, you should follow up with a steamer. While the vacuum may have done a good job covering the surfaces of your bed, only a steamer can effectively penetrate deep inside your mattress, box spring, bed frame, headboard, and footboard to kill bed bugs and eggs hiding inside. Use the included cloth attachment to break up the moisture expelled and steam slowly all over your bed, paying close attention to seams and folds. Once your bed has been steamed and left to dry, spray the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray like STERI-FAB. This will kill bed bugs quickly and then evaporate, leaving no residual protection, so follow up with a residual spray to fill those cracks and crevices with a residue that will kill bed bugs for several weeks. After your bed has been fully treated and left to dry, use sealed and certified bed bug proof mattress encasements and box spring encasements, like these SafeRests, to protect and seal off your bed. These will prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping your mattress, reducing the potential hiding places that they can reside in. Once your encasements have been applied, you can put the mattress and box spring back on your treated bed frame, and put your clean and bed bug free bedding back on your bed. In step 1, you treated your bed inside and out and made sure that bed bugs stay out of your mattress. However, bed bugs aren’t just hiding in your bed. They’re also likely in your furniture, your closet, even your walls or floors – anywhere close enough for them to detect the carbon dioxide and body heat that you emit in your sleep. So the second step is to stop any bed bugs from climbing back into your bed looking for a meal. Let’s start by isolating our bed from other points of contact. Bed bugs can’t jump or fly, so they have to crawl up something to reach you. If your bed has hanging skirts, let’s tuck those in or remove them. You should also remove any unnecessary pillows, and any storage underneath the bed. And don’t forget to move your bed away from the wall. Now that you’ve isolated the bed, the only way bed bugs can reach you while you sleep is by climbing up the legs. You can stop them by placing ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg. As bed bugs attempt to get to you, they will climb up the edge of the Interceptor and then fall into this pitfall where they can’t escape. With these traps in place, you can stop bed bugs from reaching you in your bed and monitor their population over time without being bitten. This is a critical part of the treatment, as you’re cutting off the infestation’s food supply and inhibiting their reproduction and growth.
and intercepting your bed does two important things: it creates a safe haven for you that bed bugs can’t reach, and
it allows you to act as a lure to bring bed bugs out from their hiding places and into the sprays and powders that will be applied in step 4.
Now that the bed is secure, you can move on to the common bed bug hiding places.
Bed bugs are also found in
- your clothes,
- your furniture,
- and floors.
In this third step,
we’re going to hit the bugs where they’re hiding. First, remove any unnecessary clutter in the room. Things like clothes, shoes, and books give bed bugs a place to hide and makes treatment harder. Launder what you can in a dryer for at least 45 minutes using high heat settings, if possible. Many personal belongings can’t be laundered or steamed, like books, papers, luggage, shoes, and dry-clean only clothing. These can be treated with a portable bed bug heater, like this ZappBug. This heater will deliver lethal heat without damaging its contents. Treat deep cracks and crevices along your baseboards, window sills, and furniture with a vacuum cleaner, then again with a high pressure steamer. Our bed bug steamers deliver steam that’s over 180 degrees, enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs instantly. Many of them, like this Vapamore, even have a steam adjustment knob that allows you to control the flow of your steam: low power for direct surface steaming or high power for deep penetration into walls and upholstered furniture. Remember to move the nozzle slowly, no more than about 1 inch per second, to ensure that all bed bugs are adequately exposed to the heat. By now, you’ve covered most of the room with various treatment methods. Now you just need to hit the bed bugs that you may have missed previously and set up a long-lasting defense to ensure that the infestation is finished off.
For our final step,
you are going to use a combination of contact and residual sprays as well as a residual powder. First up are the contact sprays. These will kill bed bugs quickly but offer no long-lasting protection. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you hit bed bugs where they’re hiding, so spray along baseboards, below drawers, behind nightstands, and on the cushions of upholstered furniture like sofas and chairs. Resist the temptation to spray all over the place. Bed bugs don’t tend to hang around in open areas when they’re not feeding, so this won’t do you any good. Instead, focus your spray on tight spaces throughout your room that bed bugs are likely to be hiding in. Next are the residual sprays. Residuals won’t kill as quickly as the contact sprays did, but they will be effective for much longer. Spray into cracks and crevices throughout the room, like in the corners of upholstered furniture, along baseboards, and along the edges of the carpet. Lastly, you want to use a residual powder for places that you couldn’t use your sprays. Using a professional powder applicator, you can apply powder into deep cracks and crevices throughout the room, such as under appliances, in door frames, and along cracks where the wall meets the floor. You can also puff some powder behind the faceplates of electrical outlets and light switches. To prevent any surviving bed bugs or eggs from repopulating the area, you’ll want to reapply your contact and residual sprays about two weeks after the initial treatment, then again two weeks after that, for a total of three applications. For the sake of convenience, we offer pre-packaged bed bug kits containing all the sprays and powders that you’ll need, along with a professional powder applicator, just like you see here. Regardless of what products you use, remember to always follow the product label and MSDS for safe and effective usage. If you followed all 4 steps, including the follow-up treatments in the last step, you’ll be bed bug free now. To avoid future infestations, keep your bed encased, isolated, and intercepted, and use your portable heater to treat luggage after coming home from trips. The best part about this process is that you own all of the items used once the treatment is done. This ensures that you have all the prevention tools that you’ll need to keep bed bugs away for good.