Your nightmare has come true — you found some strange insect bites on your body, did a little bit of research, and lifted up your mattress to confirm the diagnosis only to find dozens of the creepy-crawlies creepy-crawling all over the place where you spend eight hours every single day. Bed bugs are disgusting pests that can disrupt your mental state due to anxiety, and are difficult to eradicate. Luckily, there are professional pest control services that exist exclusively to help with these uncomfortable situations. Once you call a bed bug exterminator and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the minuscule monsters will be gone for good, you need to treat the irritating evidence of their presence: those itchy little welts on your skin. Here are three ways to reduce the swelling, irritation, and itchiness of bed bug bites:
- Anti-histamines: The easiest but also most expensive option, you can either take an anti-histamine commonly used for low-grade allergic reactions (such as Benadryl), or apply a steroid cream (such as hydro-cortisone cream) to reduce redness and the urge to scratch. Bed bugs don’t spread disease, but scratching does increase the chance for infection, so always remember to wash the area with a gentle soap first to kill any bacteria that may be present before using these methods.
- Aspirin: Crush up a tablet of aspirin and mix it with a bit of water to turn it into a paste you can apply topically. This reduces redness and inflammation and will bring any swelling down relatively quickly. Most households have a bottle at the ready, so hopefully you won’t need to make a trip to the store for this quick method.
- Baking soda: The cheapest option of all (you can get a pound of the stuff for around a dollar at most stores), you can mix baking soda with a little water to create a thick paste that can be applied directly to the bite. Let it dry and you should feel relief, and can leave the paste on for as long as needed.
Remember to call your local bed bug exterminator first so you don’t need to repeat these treatments dozens of times, and you’ll be sleeping easy before you know it.
If you think a bed bug bite has become infected, visit your doctor before attempting to treat it yourself.