Bedbugs are insects that belong to the family Cimicidae. They survive by drawing blood from warm blooded hosts, like humans, and that results in a bedbug bite. They survive in warm places like beds, mattresses, couches and other pieces of furniture. This insect is reddish-brown in color, oval and flat and about 5 mm in length. These pests are active during the night when they feed on their hosts. Bedbugs can find their way into beddings anywhere but generally hotels and hostels are more commonly infested with bedbugs.
Bedbug bites look different in people. Some bites are larger than others. Sometimes it has a red dot in the centre, or scab like appearance or may look like a mosquito bite. The bites depend on the number of bugs feeding at that time. It is not unusual to have more than two or three bedbugs feeding at the same time. Humans cannot feel a bedbug bite though it does sting afterwards.
The reaction to bedbug bites is due to their saliva which is injected into skin while feeding. The skin thus gets irritated and swells up in response. In some people with highly sensitive skin, this reaction can be severe and can develop into a lump filled with blood or fluid.
Though bedbug bites are itchy and make the person uncomfortable, they are not known to cause diseases. There is generally no need to treat bedbug bites. If the itching is too uncomfortable, you can always wash the bite with soap and water and use an anti-itch cream to provide relief. If the bites are scratched and get infected, then that increases the likelihood of infections. Any bite which gets tender and starts bleeding or oozing stuff should be shown to a doctor.
To remove bedbugs at home, make sure all your bedding, mattress and furniture is vacuumed very often to rid the material of food. Clean your bedding, drapery, rugs in hot water. In extreme cases of bedbug infestation you might have to get them removed professionally. Exterminators use hot, dry steam or some chemicals to kill the bedbugs.
When travelling, make sure you do not keep your bags on the floor, as bedbugs like to “travel” with you. Inspect the bedding for any odd smell. If detected, opt for another room. Other than that you just have to carry an anti-itch cream, and make sure you wash your clothes in hot water when you get back home.