Bedbugs are a group of insects that are known to infest human homes and other areas where humans congregate. Bedbugs are small, with six legs and no wings and are about ¼ of an inch long. They survive by feeding on the blood of humans, living in the bedding and household items of their hosts. Typically, bedbugs will bite humans while the human is sleeping or sitting still, and often only at night. They lay eggs in your home, which hatch after about a week. The bugs need to be exterminated from the home to be eliminated, and can transfer from place to place on clothing or other items.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Bedbugs occur in all places around the world. In the US, they have undergone a resurgence in their populations in recent years. They have been reported in all 50 states, but the size and prevalence of outbreaks is largely unknown. Typically they are found in cluttered, poorly kept environments, and have been known to cause outbreaks in hotels, apartment buildings, and even regular homes. To keep them at bay, experts recommend cleaning the area thoroughly, vacuuming, and removing clutter. Clothes should be laundered and dried with hot temperatures which effectively kills the bedbugs.
The symptoms of bedbugs are variable in different people. They look like typical insect bites, with a small, red, itchy bite being found on the exposed skin upon waking. Bedbugs will sometimes bite several times in a row throughout the night, and a line of bites in a row will be found. Other conditions can cause similar symptoms, including scabies, so talk to your doctor to make sure you are being bitten by bedbugs.
Diagnosis and Bedbugs Treatment
The diagnosis of bedbugs is often made based on the patients story about how and where the bites were acquired as well as the appearance of the skin. Bites appearing in the morning on areas exposed overnight are most common. The bites are red and itchy, and can appear in a row. If you are able to collect a bed bud, which are visible to the naked eye, and show it or a photograph to your doctor, this may ensure proper diagnosis.
Bedbug treatment involves treating the symptoms and eliminating the infestation. Symptoms can be treated with anti itch creams containing pramoxine or cortisone. The bites will usually disappear within several weeks.
More importantly, eliminating the bugs is the only way to protect yourself from getting bitten again. Professional pest control personnel should be contact to ensure that bedbugs are the culprit and to apply pesticide to eliminate the infestation. The prevent future infestation, keeping the house clean, laundering bedding, and sealing the house to prevent entry are the key steps to take.
How PlushCare Works
At PlushCare all of our visits are through a simple and convenient phone or video consultation. Our doctors are able to help diagnose bedbugs and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. If appropriate, we can provide a prescription for medications such as cortisone or order lab tests to help diagnose and monitor the condition. If the doctor prescribes medication, the prescription will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice for immediate pick-up. If lab tests are ordered, you can take the order to any Quest laboratory location you like.