Every night we tuck our kiddos into bed and wish them sweet dreams. We also secretly hope for a deep sleep that lasts well into the next morning. What don’t we wish for? Bed bugs.
The idea of these insects getting into our beds is bad enough, but then we find out they bit our babies. Are we powerless to stop it? Absolutely not.
Our goal today is to give you all the information about bed bugs and what to do about them if you or your littles get bit. We also want to leave you with some tips and tricks to keep them away for good. (Fair warning: you may be washing the sheets tonight.)
Let’s get started:
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny insects that can’t jump or fly but crawl incredibly fast. These insects are flat and round in shape and reddish-brown in color. For reference, they’re about the size and shape of an apple seed.
Bed bugs have not only been around for thousands of years but they can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, so we can’t just easily move away from them.
With their crawling speeds, they can travel room to room with ease. This means that complexes like apartments, condos, or hotels can become infested quickly. Even though they’re fast, you are able to spot them. Also, if you don’t catch them in the act, you may still be able to find their shed skin left behind.
Do Bed Bugs Only Live in Beds?
Bed bugs live in our beds, but they also like to hide in other areas around our homes. Crevices of couches, chairs, and even in your personal belongings are some of their favorite hiding spaces. Kid spaces are even more ideal. If you have a kiddo who has a plushie obsession, these insects will make homes in them.
When Do Bed Bugs Bite?
Just like vampires, bed bugs tend to bite under the cover of darkness.
As with many insects, bed bugs will lay dormant during the day to avoid being seen. They’ll hide all over your room or house while you’re up and active and then wait for the quiet of nighttime to find food.
Bed bugs live on blood, so they wait for you and your family to go to sleep to eat. Their saliva contains an anticoagulant, which keeps your blood from clotting so they can eat until they’re done — just like mosquitoes.
Where Do Bed Bugs Bite Us?
Bed bugs will bite anywhere and everywhere. Since these bugs are living in your bed, they are able to bite anywhere on your body as soon as you nod off.
Bed bugs also multiply rapidly, so you’ll find a lot of bites, everywhere.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Bed bug bites are round red bumps that are raised off of the skin. These bites are generally painful, if only slightly, and cause itchiness and irritation. You may also notice an aching sensation at the bite site or additional swelling.
In cases of extreme sensitivity, these symptoms will be heavily exaggerated. If you notice that you or your child wakes up daily feeling itchy or sore, it may not be in your head.
Immediately check for red welts to determine if the problem may be bed bugs. In cases of a severe reaction, you may feel weakness, trouble breathing, or even flu-like symptoms. If any of these reactions persist and you notice these types of bites, contact your medical advisor immediately.
How Do You Know if You Have Bed Bugs?
If you start to itch and notice a few red bumps on your body, you’ll need to determine what is biting you. It can be any number of insects, including spiders and mosquitoes, especially since symptoms can overlap.
To either eliminate or blame bed bugs, you’ll have to do some detective work. This means finding the bugs directly: Start by pulling back bed sheets and examining them. Next, you’ll want to check the mattress, other fabric furniture pieces as well as plushies in your kids’ rooms.
Don’t just look for the bugs either; check all these spaces for small bloodstains. When bed bugs bite, their saliva keeps your blood from clotting right away. This means that after they’re done feeding, it will take a moment before you stop bleeding.
This process will leave marks on your sheets, mattress, or any other areas you may sleep. For kids, this could also mean stuffed animals that they like to take to bed with them.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you do determine it is bed bugs, we have tips and tricks to rid your space of these insects. We also have steps to take to relieve symptoms of pain, itchiness, and irritation.
It’s not always easy being a parent, but with The Natural Patch Co. on your side, we hope we’ve made it a bit better.
Wash All Your Sheets and Clothing
First things first, wash all sheets and clothing. It may seem a tad daunting, but it is necessary to get rid of the creatures in your home. Use the hot water setting and dry everything on high heat in the dryer.
You may want to also consider washing many of the stuffed animals that inhabit your kids’ rooms. Even if you eliminate the risk of bed bugs on your sheets and clothing, they could be hiding in the crevices of these soft toys. This means if the bugs hiding on plushies are left alive, your home will be infested again in no time.
Furniture and Carpets
The furniture and any carpeted areas of your home will also be at risk. It may be more time-consuming, but you will want these areas steam cleaned.
If you have the correct tools, you will be able to steam and clear these areas on your own. If not, you may want to call a professional to clean these items for you.
It’s important that you do this, as your couch, chairs, and carpeting spaces can hide bed bugs. You won’t see them or notice they’re there, but they will be able to take over your home practically overnight.
How To Treat Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs leave behind bites that can itch and cause your body aches and pains. If your littles or yourself find bed bug bites, act fast. Before using any product, make sure to thoroughly clean the area with warm water and soap.
The saliva left behind by these bugs can add to the irritation, so getting rid of the residual effects on the top of the skin can help.
From here, you have a few options for treatment that will work for your kiddos and you.
For kids, an oatmeal bath can greatly help the irritation feelings. It will calm their skin, and what child doesn’t love a good bath?
It’s a great way to get their spirits up after these bites and have them focus on other things other than the bites on their bodies.
Antihistamine lotions can help reduce the itch sensation. The downfall here is that most of our littles don’t enjoy creams and lotions being rubbed into their skin, which means we have to wrestle and fight with our kids to help them feel better. Then, as soon as we turn our backs, they’re rubbing off everything we just rubbed on.
Keep in mind that bug sprays cannot prevent bed bug bites. So spraying harmful chemicals on and around your kids won’t do any good and could do some harm.
A Better Solution
Instead, keep our MagicPatch on hand for these situations. Our scientifically engineered patch technology is applied directly to the bite and is proven to relieve itching faster. While these are traditionally used for mosquito bites, they are helpful in many buggy situations.
It’s not a lotion that kids will struggle to let you put on and leave behind a smell they can’t stand. Instead, these patches cover the bites and start to relieve the symptoms as soon as they are applied.
Kids love stickers, so applying our patches will be fun, enjoyable, AND provide them the much-needed relief they need. They’ll be happy to keep the patches on, and you’ll be thankful they’re not going crazy from itching or pain.
Don’t Worry, Be Ready.
We are confident that these tips, tricks, and our patches will keep you and your kiddos safe and pain-free. Being a parent is the most rewarding but the hardest job we take on. But, with the right, all-natural products in your toolbelt, it can be easier (and more pleasant) than ever before.
Keeping aware of the issues and risks we face in our daily lives helps keep us protected from them. Of course, you aren’t able to eliminate all risks, but you’ve got The Natural Patch Co. to provide that much-needed backup.