ABC Medical Center > Bedbugs

What is Bedbugs?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


Being hematophagous parasitic insects, bedbugs feed on human and animal blood through bites on the exposed parts of the skin during sleep. They have an orange or reddish-brown color and due to their tiny size, they are difficult to find because they tend to hide in any place that shelters them, such as mattresses, wood, bed structures, fissures, cracks, folds, and bed linen.

It is possible to find them in places where there is a high occupancy rate, such as hostels, hotels, and hospitals, but if you realize that you have an infestation at home, you should hire a professional extermination service as soon as possible, since bedbugs spread quickly, becoming resistant to the homemade insecticides with which they are attacked.

Although bedbug bites have their own characteristics, it is not easy to distinguish them from other insect injuries or some type of skin rash.

Signs and symptoms Bedbugs

When you have a bedbug bite, the injury shows certain aspects such as:

  • Reddish color with a small purple spot in the center.
  • They cause excessive itching.
  • They are usually in a line or grouped.
  • The areas that are most frequently attacked are the neck, face, and limbs.

The reactions to the insect bite vary from person to person, since in some cases there is practically no reaction, while sometimes, they can cause allergic reactions such as hives (urticaria), blisters, and uncontrolled itching.

Bedbugs have a great ability to move because they can go from one place to another hidden in suitcases, furniture, clothing, or boxes; being able to also move on their own between rooms, apartments, or houses.

It is popularly believed that the presence of bedbugs indicates a lack of hygiene in a place, which is false since the dirtiness of a place is not a factor for an infestation; bedbugs are where there is food and places to hide.

Potential risks:

Although bedbugs can appear anywhere, they are often found in crowded places such as:

  • Low-cost hotels.
  • Apartment towers.
  • Student hostels.
  • Homeless shelters.
  • Ships, trains, and trucks.

Diagnosis and treatment Bedbugs

When you wake up with signs of bedbug bites, quickly search different places in your house to find the hiding place and focus of infestation, the most likely being the mattress, furniture, and bedding, cracks in floors and walls. If you are not successful, it is advisable to perform a nighttime search since that is when these insects are most active.

Some of the recognizable signs of bedbugs are:

  • Small dark brown stains in a line on the edges and seams of the mattress. It is the insect’s fecal matter.
  • By changing their skin several times, bedbugs leave their old yellow skins so you can see them on your mattress.
  • Tiny blood stains on the sheets that reveal death bedbugs.

The lesions and their symptoms usually disappear in a couple of weeks without the need for treatment, although to speed up recovery you can use a topical cream with hydrocortisone and an oral antihistamine.

If you cause a skin infection as a result of your scratching, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic.

At the Pediatric Center, we provide specialized care to small patients from the moment of birth until they become adults, through our pediatric care, oncology, neurology, and cardiology services at the level of the best medical centers in the world.


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