Bed Bug Allergy

By Mark | Bed Bug Detection

For most of us, bed bugs are a serious annoyance, but for some unlucky people who have a bed bug allergy, bed bugs can pose a bigger issue.

According to CNN.com, bed bugs bites were discussed at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. This is because bed bugs can cause allergies from severe itchiness to asthma symptoms and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis (an acute, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause your blood pressure to decrease and your breathing to become difficult).

Even if you do not suffer a bed bug allergy after getting bitten by bed bugs, swelling and blisters can result from scratching the bites.

So, what can you do if you have bed bug allergies?

Bed Bug Allergy Cures

For mild bed bug allergic reactions like itching, slight swelling, and rashes, you can use the following methods to alleviate the discomfort:

  1. Hydrocortisone Creams
  2. Lower strength hydrocortisone creams can be bought over the counter at most pharmacies and will often help reduce swelling and reduce itchiness. If you don’t see specific hydrocortisone creams, then look for other anti-itch creams as they will often contain some hydrocortisone.

    If the bed bug bites are very itchy, then visit your doctor and see if they can prescribe you a stronger hydrocortisone cream.

  3. Antihistamines
  4. There are a variety of different antihistamines – some you take orally while others you apply topically. Also, if you need to drive or operate machinery, watch out for some antihistamines that can cause drowsiness.

    These antihistamines work by reducing the histamine levels in your body. When you get bitten by bed bugs, they inject a chemical into your skin and your body senses it as a foreign object and starts producing histamines to combat it. That’s why there’s swelling. The antihistamines will call off your body’s responses and return things to normal again.

  5. Calamine Lotion
  6. Calamine is a cream you can apply to the bites to help keep the itching down. It’s used often to calm a variety of bug bites.

  7. Washing with Soap
  8. This is an easy first step if you’ve gotten bitten by bed bugs. It’s mostly good for reducing the initial itchiness and killing the bacteria that might be around the bite to prevent the bites getting infected.

    bed bug bites treatments

  9. Baking Soda
  10. Many people find creating a paste using baking soda and a small amount of water and applying it on your bites help with calming itchiness. This is a simple solution to try since most of us have baking soda at home.

  11. Essential Oils
  12. Essential oils like tea tree and lavender often help with the bites. Both have properties that can help with itchiness. However, as with all essential oils, make sure you buy pure ones and dilute properly before apply to your skin.

  13. Epsom Salt Baths
  14. You can buy these salts in a variety of stores and they at worst can provide you with a nice relaxing bath. Epsom salts contain magnesium, which can help you sleep better. So, this is a great way to soothe your bites and help you get a good night’s sleep.

While these bed bug allergy cures can help calm the itchiness and reduce the swelling, you really want to make sure you cure your bed bug problem so that you don’t keep getting more bites.

So, here are a few of our top methods for getting rid of bed bugs to help to deal with the problem from the root.

5 Steps To Stop Bed Bugs From Biting You

If you follow the following 5 steps, you’ll be able to be bed-bug-free in your house. The first few solutions will also provide you with some immediately relief from bed bugs, but make sure you carry out all 5 steps in quick succession to prevent bed bugs from migrating back to the areas that you’ve already cleaned.

  1. Wash your sheets on the hot setting and then dry them also on the hot setting.
  2. This simple step will get rid of bed bugs on your bed sheets. The hot temperatures can kill the bed bugs and the bed bug eggs.

    When picking up the bed sheets to take them to the washing machine, be careful not to spread the bed bugs. You want to try to keep it contained – so don’t flap the sheets. Place the sheets into a plastic bag if you need to carry it far to the washer.

    However, this shouldn’t be the only thing you do. You must also carry out the other methods on this list to ensure that bed bugs don’t come back and bite you.

    wash bed sheets and clothes to kill bed bugs

  3. Get a bed bug mattress cover.
  4. To make sure the bed bugs that might be in your mattress don’t come and bite you while you’re sleeping, make sure to also get a mattress cover as quickly as possible.

    These covers are made of waterproof materials that help seal your mattress up so that no bed bugs can get in or out. Get a good one that isn’t made of thin material and also double check it to make sure that there are no tears on it. Lastly, after you put the cover on, tape up the zipper to ensure it doesn’t come open by accident.

    If you also have box springs on your bed then make sure to get some box spring covers as well. It can also protect your box springs even if they are not infested by bed bugs yet.

  5. Clean Your Pillows
  6. The next thing to clean is your pillows. If you can wash these, then definitely wash them on high heat and dry them on high heat too. If the pillows are not washable (maybe because they’re too big), then try to just dry them on high heat. If that’s not possible, then the next best option is to use a dry steamer on them (you should get one of these devices regardless – see step 4).

    As an alternative method (it’s unclear how well this works), you can place the pillows under direct sunlight for several hours. This may heat the pillows to a hot enough temperature to kill bed bugs and any eggs they might have laid.

  7. Dry Steam Your House
  8. Dry steam your entire house to ensure no bed bugs or bed bug eggs are left around anywhere that can get into your clean bed again and start biting you at night.

    A dry steamer is a vacuum-looking device that spurts out small amounts of very hot steam. This jet of steam is hot enough to kill bed bugs as well as bed bug eggs. And you can use a dry steamer on furniture (like sofas) and carpet. These are all items that would clearly be very difficult to clean otherwise. But a dry steamer can get at them all.

    In fact, if you don’t want to get a mattress encasement, then you can instead dry steam your mattress (and pillows).

    Just make sure to buy a dry steamer (like this one) that will reach high enough temperatures to kill the bed bugs.

  9. Spread Diatomaceous Earth Around Your House
  10. The very last step is to spread the diatomaceous earth around your house. This white dust is pretty safe to use around your house – just don’t breathe much of it in when you’re laying it down.

    This dust kills bed bugs by dehydrating them. So, this method is a great one for ensuring that bed bugs that escaped your dry steaming will still get killed when they walk over the diatomaceous earth.

    We suggest spreading a thin layer of this dust under your bed (where bed bugs tend to be around) and around the corners of your rooms and in particular in any crevices around your home.

In the end, getting rid of bed bugs in your home is your best bet for preventing more bed bug bites and any allergic reactions that can result from them.

The above 5 strategies will help you eliminate bed bugs from your home, but you must use all 5 strategies combined or else bed bugs will come back. Too many people think just washing their sheets will do the trick and are unfortunately faced with new bites the next day or a week later. Bed bugs can be tough to get rid of, so make sure you use all the methods at your disposal to ensure that they are completely eradicated. That’s the best way of guaranteeing you’ll be free of bites.

Last Thoughts On Bed Bug Allergies

Bed bug allergies can be serious, so if you think you may be having an allergic reaction to bed bug bites, act quickly. Apply some of the creams mentioned above or take antihistamines to lessen the allergic reaction. See a doctor if it’s severe.

If you need to move out of your home for a while because of the bed bug allergies, then do so and hire a professional exterminator to come and kill the bed bugs in your home. While a professional exterminator can be more costly than the methods we described above, a good one will do a thorough job while you recover from your allergies. It usually takes several visits and they will usually use a combination of heat (dry steam treatment) and possible chemicals to kill the bed bugs.

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