Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite…
But if they DO, we want you to know what to do! Lately bedbugs have been a hot topic, as we see more and more reports of people acquiring bites across the country. It does seem as if there has been an influx of bedbug reports, and although it is uncertain on the cause of the increase, it certainly doesn’t hurt to arm yourself with a little knowledge to know what to do and what to look for.
Bedbugs, even as adults, are small – the size of an appleseed, with their eggs and youth being almost invisible to the naked eye. Skilled at hiding, bedbugs are so thin that they can even fit in places that only a credit card can fit, making them oftentimes difficult to initially detect. Preferred hiding locations include mattresses, box springs, and bed frames, but can even include electrical outlets or seams of carpeting and wallpaper. Bedbugs cannot fly, but can cover ground quickly, and travel by attaching to clothing or belongings.
Telltale signs of bedbugs include blood or small, dark, or rusty colored spots on sheets, bedding, and upholstery from bed bugs being crushed or from their excrement. In addition, it is not uncommon to find eggs, eggshells, or young bedbug skin shells at the site of infestation. In sites of high infestation, you will likely find groups of live bugs as well.
The initial bite of a bedbug is typically painless, but turns into a welt and itches shortly after the bite is acquired. These bites can often be confused with other types of bugs, though these itchy bumps can happen anywhere on the body (not centered around the ankles like fleas) and have no center red bite mark. Thankfully, bedbugs do not transmit disease, and are more of a nuisance than a serious health risk. In places of high infestation, it is often difficult to rid an area of them, as they are skilled at hiding and can withstand high temperatures, and the eggs are often resistant to chemical treatment.
While bedbug infestations can be treated on your own, it can often be a lengthy process to totally remedy the situation. You may consider consulting a professional if the situation is beyond your control, or if you need results quickly. Some things to remember:
-If you live in a multiunit structure (like apartment), a landlord will need to be notified as this can spread to other units
-Make sure to empty the vacuum and dispose of the contents quickly when vacuuming the bed, furniture, or bedroom area
-Carefully inspect used furniture and bed/mattresses/box springs before purchase. This is a very popular way for bedbugs to travel and spread
-If you have infested furniture that is not treatable and must be disposed of, make sure this furniture is destroyed or marked so that the infestation will not travel
If you think that you have received bedbug bites and would like a medical opinion or treatment, and are a member of VIP Medical Services, feel free to call Dr. Holt with your symptoms, and he will be happy to advise your next course of action. If you are looking for a new Primary Care Provider, consider making VIP Medical Services your healthcare home! 417-485-4847