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bedbugs

bed bugs

introduction

  • bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are a small (1-7mm), slim, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep and are a global issue, particularly in tourist accommodation rooms, and whilst annoying, fortunately, are not known to transmit disease although people can have allergic reactions
  • they can survive several months without a blood meal
  • their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found
  • they tend to live within 3m of where people sleep and hide in daytime in mattress seams, behind wallpaper, etc
  • they can travel by hiding in suitcases, folded clothes, etc
  • when they bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten

evidence of infestation

  • presence of exoskeletons after molting
  • bed bugs in mattress seams and sheets
  • rusty–colored blood spots on mattress due to their blood-filled fecal material
  • sweet musty odour

clinical features

  • bite marks on any part of the body including even face while sleeping
  • bite marks take one to several days and even up to 14 days to manifest
  • bite marks are slightly swollen and red are usually itchy
  • some people do not develop symptoms from bites

Rx

  • avoid scratching
  • antiseptics to prevent secondary infection
  • antihistamines if annoyingly itchy

prevention

  • look for signs of infestation before sleeping in a lodging
  • if detected, inform the landlord so they can attempt eradication with insecticides
bedbugs.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/20 14:18 (external edit)