Considering how time-consuming and costly it can be to eradicate bed bugs, it’s prudent to take precautions and avoid infestations in the first place. Householders should be vigilant when acquiring used furnishings, especially beds and couches. Discarded items should be avoided, and secondhand articles should be examined closely before being brought into the home. Look carefully in the folds and seams of furniture for signs of bed bugs (see the previous section entitled "Description and Habits" for more details). There is no reason to stop shopping in consignment stores, yard sales, etc., but it would be prudent to run clothing and fabric items through the washer or dryer before storing them in the home. The risk of acquiring bed bugs from items purchased in antique stores would generally be insignificant.
Bedbugs are obligate blood parasites that belong to the insect family Cimicidae. Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus, the two bedbug species that feed primarily on humans, are oval, reddish-brown, flat, and wingless. Adults are typically 4 to 7 mm in length (Figure 1). Nymphs can be as small as 1 mm, and are translucent and lighter in color 5,7 (Figure 2). Adult females produce 200 to 500 eggs in a typical six- to 12-month life span.5,8 Bedbugs can withstand temperatures from 44.6°F to 113°F (7°C to 45°C).8
In addition to the physical manifestations of bedbug bites, patients can experience significant psychological distress. The stigma that bedbugs are related to poor hygiene (however inaccurate) can lead to poor self-esteem, avoidance of family and friends, and suspension from work.37–39 Management of an infestation can be stressful, costly, and disruptive to everyday life. Worry can lead to insomnia, depression, anxiety, and even delusional parasitosis.37
Hi, I am from the United states and have recently travelled to Poland. Decided to stay in an AirBnb in Warsaw. Everything was okay until a couple of days into the stay when I noticed what seemed like a very small cluster of small bites in the crook of my neck. Stranger still, on the opposite side of my neck, in the same location, there was another very small cluster of small bites. Ofcourse, I panicked. Washed everything three times, etc. The next few days, it seemed a couple of more would appear in the same area. In the crook region of my neck. But, NOT on my legs, feet, stomach, hands. Keep in mind, I sleep with very little clothes and thought it was weird that this “skin reaction” was not any where else. I did start wearing a new product in my hair and exactly where my hair falls usually, is pretty much where these little “bumps” appeared. I did try to do little experiments to test out the theory that I may just be having a skin reaction to a hair product. One night, after donning almost little to nothing sleepwear, I rubbed lemon juice all over my neck. The next morning, I did feel slightly better but I believe maybe one or two very small bites after I washed it. Lately, I’ve been securely wrapping my neck and covering it when I go to sleep and have recently stopped using said new product in my hair. The bumps seem to be darkening and going away and as usual, found nowhere else on my body. Occassionally, after running the crook of my neck area, it feels like one or two very small bumps will appear. I dont know. Is this a new level of highly sophisticated bed bugs that I’m dealing with? Or is it just a skin reaction and my mind is playing invisible bug warfare on me? Please note. I do not have lice and these very small bumps I mentioned before are way further down from my scalp. Crook of neck area. Just a little higher than where my collar bone is. Please advise. Have you heard of anything like this?
Scratching can cause superinfection, leading to impetigo, cellulitis, or folliculitis.27–32 Reactions typically resolve within one to two weeks without treatment.32 Systemic reactions have been described, including asthma, generalized urticaria, angioedema, iron deficiency anemia, and, very rarely, anaphylaxis.33–36 Although bedbugs have been suspected to be vectors of more than 40 microorganisms, there is no evidence that they are involved in the transmission of disease.5
When traveling, inspect the bedding prior to exposing yourself or your belongings. Seal your dirty clothes in plastic bags. You may even consider encasing your luggage in a plastic bag while you are in a hotel room. Launder your clothing as soon as you get home. You can treat your suitcase by vacuuming, using a clothes steamer, or handwashing it with hot water and soap. You might also consider encasing luggage in a plastic bag between trips.
Its important to note that bed bugs can easily be transferred from other locations (such as hotels, friends, etc.) into your bedroom, something your definitely want to avoid! Its important to always check your skin, clothing and bags for any signs of bed bugs (and their bites) before entering your bedroom after sleeping away from the home. If you have been bitten a couple times, there is usually no urgent need for medical care. In fact, there are a number of effective home remedies that you can use to treat these insect bites. However, sometimes medical assistance is required. When is this the case and how can you identify when professional help is needed?
As if you needed something else to worry about, bedbugs, those pests from the old bedtime rhyme are making a comeback. More of a nuisance than a health hazard, they’re showing up to suck blood from people in hotels, college dorms, and hospitals. Take an informative look at bedbugs: what they are, where they lurk, and how to spot them before they get you.