Bed Bug Bites - Symptoms, Prevention and Other Useful Information
Are you being hit by bed bug bites?
Probably the two most often asked questions concerning bedbugs are: 1 - Are they dangerous? and 2 - How do you stop the itching of bed bug bites?
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While everyone does not react to insect bites in the same way, generally speaking, they are like most other bites and not dangerous. As a matter of fact, many people do not even notice them because the crafty little bug injects its victim with a chemical that stops blood coagulation, which alleviates any itching.
For those who do have an allergic reaction to the chemical, there can be itching, welts, a rash or even blisters. For this reason, many people endure misdiagnosis and much wasted time in determining their condition though bedbugs have been around for thousands of years.
Bedbugs are what are known as a parasitic insect, or in other words, they are a species that prefers to feed on human blood. Because the symptoms of bed bug bites are so general, diagnosis often requires that the bedbugs be found and produced. This in turn has proved difficult in many cases due to people's extensive travelling habits and the giveaway spirit people have toward their neighbors - including clothes, bedding and furniture.
As you can guess by the name, these bugs like hanging around beds or other places where people sleep. They are active in the night when there is little activity around them and less likelihood of detection. They feed by piercing the skin of their victim with two hollow feeding tubes that are shaped like tongues. These tubes work together to simultaneously inject its own saliva and draw blood. It is the saliva that contains the anticoagulants as well as an anesthetic.
After feeding three to five minutes - depending on its size, and if he is completely engorged with blood, the bug will return to its hiding place to digest. The bedbug can actually live up to a year without feeding but prefers a regular schedule of every five to ten days - again, depending on size. Their average lifespan is about six months.
Bed bug bites vary from person to person. Because it is an allergic reaction, it depends on how each person's skin reacts to the injected chemical. A mild reaction to a bed bug bite might consist of a rash, while another person might break out in what looks more like hives, while yet another might sport what looks like flea bites. Blisters are not as common an occurrence, nor is an allergic shock, but both do occur.
Though it is not a louse, it is sometimes referred to as one. Other names include mahogany flat, heavy dragon and redcoat. They mate by traumatic insemination (the male piercing her abdomen) and go through six life stages in becoming mature. They shed their skin after each stage, leaving behind a replica of them in the last stage.
Infestation can take place in a number of ways, but most often it in through hitching a ride - furniture, bedding, etc. Because they are elusive, they are hard to spot. They lodge in dark crevices and lay their eggs in the seams of fabric. Take care when bringing in anything second hand, and if bedbugs are suspected, look for blood smears on sheets, fecal spots and evidence of molting.
Learn more about bed bug bites through the other related articles and pages on this website.
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