While bedbugs are not likely to be present in your own home, it is possible to get them from other places. They can be brought into your home on your luggage or folded clothing and can be present in used furniture and mattresses. You should inspect your home thoroughly after visiting a hotel or vacation rental for bedbugs.
The bites of bedbugs are itchy and often lead to a strong urge to scratch. They can cause a range of symptoms, including a rash, fever, difficulty breathing, and even a full-blown allergic reaction. The bites can cause pain and may even trigger depression and anxiety. If you discover bites on your skin, the best way to treat them is to clean the affected areas with soap and water. You may also apply a steroidal anti-itch cream containing hydrocortisone. You may also apply a topical anesthetic, such as diphenhydramine, to the area.
When bedbugs feed, they inject tiny amounts of saliva into the area they bite. The bites may be unnoticeable until your skin reacts to the saliva, which takes between five and ten minutes. After feeding, bedbugs will return to hiding places, which can take up to 14 days. It is important to know that bedbugs will not reproduce until they are mature. A female bedbug can lay seven eggs in a day and hundreds over the course of her life.
You are at a greater risk of contracting bedbugs if you spend a lot of time traveling or sleeping in a hotel. If you have frequent movements, you may want to wear pajamas while sleeping. As a precaution, be sure to check used clothing and bedding before bringing them home. If you stay in a hotel, check the seams of the bed and look for signs of bedbug excrement. Likewise, you may want to place your luggage on a dresser or table so it will not be easily accessible to bedbugs.