Bedbugs are not guests you want to sleep with, so what do you do when you’re travelling or you’ve invited them home when you bought that couch from Craigslist? The pandemic was a bad time for bedbugs. With increasing travels these days, it’s back to business so there are more bedbug reports than before.
Paris is currently experiencing a bedbug infestation, but it is not the only city affected. The infestation has been widely reported in Paris, with increased sightings of the insects in homes, cinemas, trains, and even hospitals. The rise in travel and the increasing resistance of bedbugs to insecticides are some of the reasons behind the upsurge in bed-bug infestations in recent years.
The bedbug infestation in Paris has caused concerns about the safety of traveling to and from Paris, especially with the looming Summer Olympics in less than a year. However, there is no guidance on the US government website to suggest that traveling to Paris is currently unsafe.
Bedbugs are tiny, visible to the naked eye, and while they do breed very easily, they do not spread disease. These bugs have a life span of about a year or less, but can survive without feeding for 3 to 6 months. In cold weather, it’s been known that they can survive without feeding for up to 300 days!
Beds are not the only places you need to be check for bedbugs. They love to hide in mattresses, curtains, floorboards, electrical sockets, and even behind wallpaper. Tourists can unwittingly pick up the pesky passengers in their suitcases from an infected hotel, then travel by metro or other public means and deposit the hitchhikers in the seats. Bedbugs feed on blood by biting people, creating wounds that can be itchy but rarely cause other health problems.
Over the years, they have become increasingly resistant to insecticide and are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Despite their name, bedbugs can also be found in cabinets, sofas, seats, skirting boards, and other wooden fixtures. So the best way to deal with bedbugs is to wash your clothes and steam your shoes when you get home from a trip, or notice red bites on your skin.
The two best ways to get rid of bedbugs is using diatomaceous earth powder in your home, and by killing bedbugs with heat over 50 degrees celsius.
This is one of the best videos we have seen that explains a lot about bedbugs.
Precautions to take while travelling
Bed bugs can be a problem when traveling, but there are precautions you can take to avoid them. Here are some tips you should know:
- Use hard-cased luggage if possible. It is more difficult for bed bugs to attach to rigid materials than to fabric.
- Pack your clothing in re-sealable plastic bags. Plastic bags are available in up to 22-gallon sizes in hardware and other stores. Bring extra bags in a variety of sizes for items you buy on your trip.
- Pack a small, bright flashlight to inspect your room when you arrive.
- Don’t spray insect repellent or other pesticides on your luggage or clothing. They aren’t effective against bed bugs, and they may pose health hazards.
- Ask about bed bug policies when you make your reservations or check in. A good hotel won’t mind.
- An adequate bed bug prevention and control program should include regular inspections and access to a professional pest control company – even if the hotel has never had bed bugs.
- Learn to recognize bed bugs in all their life stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults.
- Inspect your hotel room thoroughly upon arrival. Check the corners of the mattress, box spring, headboard, and furniture for signs of bed bugs, such as blood spots, fecal matter, or live bugs.
- Keep your luggage off the floor and bed. Use a luggage rack or place your luggage in the bathroom.
- Consider bagging your luggage in a plastic trash bag or protective cover while at the hotel to deter bed bugs from taking up residence.
- When you return home, inspect your luggage before bringing it inside. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it away.
- Wash all your clothes in hot water and dry them on high heat after returning from a trip.
- If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your home after traveling, contact a pest control professional for help. If you want to avoid heavy costs that can run into the thousands, try diatomaceous earth powder and spread a thin layer over surfaces that might attract bedbugs. When the powder gets onto the bedbugs, they spread them back in the nest and this kills the bug infestation in your home.
How to treat bedbug bites
Bed bug bites can cause skin irritation, sores, or itchiness, and can affect a person’s sleep and increase the risk of a skin infection. Here are some ways to treat bed bug bites:
– Wash the bites with soap and water to help prevent a skin infection and reduce itchiness
– Apply a cold compress to the bites to reduce swelling and itchiness
– Apply an over-the-counter anti-itch cream or lotion to the bites
– Take an oral antihistamine to reduce itching and burning
– If you have many bites, blisters, a skin infection, or an allergic skin reaction, see a dermatologist for treatment
– Your dermatologist may prescribe a prescription antihistamine pill or liquid to help with itchiness, or a corticosteroid to apply to the bites
– If your itching is severe and causes you extreme discomfort, your healthcare provider may prescribe a stronger steroid cream or recommend that you take an over-the-counter or prescription antihistamine medication
It is important to avoid scratching bed bug bites as much as possible, as scratching can lead to skin tears and infections. To prevent bed bug bites, it is recommended to reduce clutter in your bedroom, use a protective cover on your mattress and box springs, and vacuum your bed and the area around it every day. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, it is best to hire a professional exterminator who has experience with bed bugs.
How long do bed bug bites last?
Bed bug bites can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to heal, depending on the person’s sensitivity to the bites.
- Bed bug bites can take up to 14 days to develop on the skin and approximately 14 days to heal
- Most bites will heal within one to two weeks of appearing and not cause any long-term problems
- Bed bug bites can last within a week or two for most people, but for those with stronger sensitivities to insect bites, it may take up to three weeks or longer to heal
- Symptoms from bed bug bites manifest within hours to a few days after being bitten.
- Bed bug bites can look like small red welts and are often clustered or form a line in a zigzag pattern
- Bed bug bites can cause itchy red bumps, welts, blisters, and clustered bite marks or rash in various parts of the body
- To treat bed bug bites, wash the bites with soap and water, apply a cold compress, and an over-the-counter anti-itch cream or lotion
- For more severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe a prescription antihistamine pill or liquid to help with itchiness, or a corticosteroid to apply to the bites
I have red bites but cannot find any bed bugs
If you have bites but no signs of bed bugs, it is possible that the bites are from another insect or skin condition.
- Bed bug bites tend to look similar to other insect bites, and it can be difficult to identify them without other signs of an infestation
- Bed bug bites are usually very itchy and smaller than a quarter-inch across, and they often appear in a line or zigzag pattern of three or more bites
- Bed bug bites can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to heal, depending on the person’s sensitivity to the bites
- Other insects like spiders, chiggers, and mites are active at night and can cause itchy bites on the skin
- Other skin conditions like heat rashes or allergic reactions can also cause itchy red spots on the skin
If you suspect that you have bed bug bites but haven’t noticed any signs of an infestation, it’s possible that the bed bugs are hiding and can go unnoticed for a long time. If you are still unsure whether or not you have a bed bug infestation, call a pest control service. They can identify an infestation.
What are some natural remedies for bed bug bites?
Bed bug bites can cause skin irritation, sores, or itchiness, and can affect a person’s sleep and increase the risk of a skin infection. Here are some natural remedies for bed bug bites:
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera (either “fresh” or as a gel) works well against insect bites. The active substances and amino acids present in aloe vera can help relieve itching and burning
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice is a natural astringent that can help reduce swelling and itchiness. Soak a cotton ball in the liquid and apply to the bites
- Witch hazel: Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help reduce swelling and itchiness. Soak a cotton ball in the liquid and apply to the bites
- Baking soda & water: Create a thick paste with baking soda and water. Apply a heavy coat to the bites, let dry for an hour or more, and wash off with warm water
- Toothpaste: The menthol contained in toothpaste works well as an anti-itch remedy. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the bites
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. Apply a mixture of a few drops of tea tree oil and carrier oil, like coconut oil, on the bite
- Calamine lotion: Calamine lotion can help relieve itching and burning
- Ice: Applying ice to the bites can help reduce swelling and itchiness
- Oatmeal: Due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, oatmeal helps relieve irritated skin. Apply a paste made from a small amount of water and oatmeal to the bites
It is important to note that while these natural remedies may alleviate symptoms, they are not a substitute for medical treatment if you have many bites, blisters, a skin infection, or an allergic skin reaction. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, consult a dermatologist or doctor for treatment.
The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified healthcare professionals. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers regarding any medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment options.