The burning sensation caused by bedbug bites is caused by chemicals in the bedbug’s saliva. To reduce the burning, try not to scratch the bites. This may aggravate the condition. To ease the pain, use calamine lotion or baking soda paste. You can also use a bandage to cover the bite.
In the past, bedbugs were removed by stripping the mattress and burning the springs, frame, and straw mattress. This process was quite messy and often left behind the terrible smell of roasted bedbugs. Other methods included burning the bed frame and filling the cracks with gunpowder and lighting it. Some people recall smelling the acrid odor left behind by burned bedbugs during the spring cleaning process. To get rid of bedbugs, people also purchased solutions in local drugstores made from arsenic, mercury, or turpentine. These solutions were then mixed with water or turpentine and applied to the affected areas of the bed.
Bedbugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide that humans give off. Their location in the house is usually close to a sleeping person, so they don’t travel to other rooms. Most bedbugs feed between midnight and dawn and will remain in one place. Sometimes, they are undetectable, but you can spot them by looking for bedbug droppings or a small red or black dot.
Although it may be tempting to throw out the entire house and furniture to get rid of the bedbugs, this is often not the best option. The bugs will return soon enough, resulting in a re-infestation.