Q: How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?
A: Bites heal within 14 days but scratching can extend that time to a month and cause infection. Depending on a persons resistance levels, may not show any symptoms for 14 days after the bite, so it is very possible the whole process, from the time you are bitten until the bumps go away, will 30 days.
People who have been living with an established infestation and have been repeatedly bitten may have immediate reactions to the bites.
For those that have been bitten for the first time, there may be no reaction at all, or it may take up to 14 days before the person begin to react. Two weeks is a long time, and if you slept in multiple locations, it might be impossible to figure out where you were bitten.
Q: Do bed bug bites itch?
A: Yes, a bite from a bed bug can cause a very strong desire to itch, and that is the worse thing you could do. Infection, scarring, and a whole host of other problems can come from itching.
The more frequent the bites, the more sensitive your skin becomes, and the stronger the desire to scratch.
Whatever you do, do not itch these bites, it will only make it worse, can lead to infection and scarring making the bite last even longer!
Q: How are bed bug bites treated?
A: Baking Soda paste is the best home treatment for bites; mix water with baking soda to make a paste that you then place on the area and let dry. Here are the instructions:
- Make sure to wash the bed bug bites with soap and water.
- Make a thick, sticky paste with the water and baking soda, not too runny and thick enough that it will stay.
- Let the paste stand until completely dry and then wait an hour or so. Some let it stand for hours while others find that an hour or less is fine.
- Gently wash the paste off and pat dry.
Natural remedies for bites include:
- Witch hazel, St. John’s Wort and Lemon juice – all work by removing the desire to itch (Astringents).
- The gel from the Aloe plant is how many treat bed bug bites and contains anti-fungal and antibiotic properties that work great! Just trim a tip and apply the exposed area to the bite.
- Handed down from generations is a bath with a half cup of peppermint oil to relieve the itching.
- Claude suggested a “hot as you can stand it” shower or bath to treat the bites. The itching will intensify for a few seconds, but then there is the relief which lasts for many hours. Some believe that the heat from the water overloads the ends of your nerves and prevent them from telling your brain to itch. Some think that the heat causes your body to release more histamine than usual and thereby less histamine around the bite. Whatever the reason, it’s commonly used as a solution to itching caused by bites.
- Lemon juice on a wad of tissue placed lightly over the swollen area to reduce itching
- Chrissie said that a dab of Essential Oil of Basil with a cotton bud on each bite brings the ‘poison’ the bug has deposited to surface (she lances her bites with a sterilized pin (flame heat/wiped clean)). She then dabs the bed bug bites with lavender oil and her itching subsides.
- Sam uses crotamiton creme followed by lotrix creme for 15 days to stop the itching and clear things up.
Over the counter medication for bites:
- Cortisone cream to stop the itching
- Calamine lotion
- Just about any topical anesthetic containing pramoxine
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Naproxen or Ibuprofen or a anti-histamine like benadryl to help reduce swelling
- Light paste of aspirin and water like you would do if using baking soda and water
In Richard’s case, the itching was so bad that he ended up at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Urgent Care where the doctors prescribed Calamine Topical Suspension USP, Cephalexin and Hydroxyzine HCL for the bed bugs bites.
- Calamine helps to keep the bite area from oozing
- Cephalexin helps with bacteria of the infection bit
- Hydroxyzine helps with the itching that some people experience after being bitten.
Rachel had a doctor prescribe her betamethasone valerate to relieve the itching. She says it works but doesn’t get rid of the bites.
Bridget’s Dr. prescribed a topical cortisone cream to stop the itching and told that diphenhydramine (Benadryl) would halt the itching too.
Julie’s Doctor suggested using teatree oil as a repellent and fucidin H on the spots. He suggested that I should spray everything with the green baygon even the mattresses.
Rob’s Doctor prescribed locoid lipocream and found it to be most effective. He tried a sample of foaming medication in a small can which didn’t seem to work. He treated his swollen bites 3x the first day with the lipocream and by morning it was 100x better with significantly reduced redness and swelling.
We have an entire page of home remedy and treatment discussions shared by our visitors if you would like to learn more…