Bed bugs are small insects that don't fly. They are part of the Cimicidae family, together with two other biting species. Bed bugs are small, reaching no more than 7 mm in length in adulthood. They can look somewhat like a small cockroach or tick, and they can be health hazards for the family members because they usually hide in the bed and then suck blood from people who are asleep. It should be noted that it is important to be aware of the bed bug symptoms, treatments, and causes, so that you can prevent full infestations, or learn how to deal with them.

Understanding Bed Bug Symptoms, Treatments and Causes:

Once they become adults, bedbugs are a red to brown in color, with the red being more pronounced after a feed. The nymph (baby) is clear and will be bright red after feeding. They have vestigial wings, which means they can't fly. But they are rapid crawlers. They also love temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, in which they can produce around three generations of bugs each year.

These bugs live in beddings, clothing, and furniture, which is why used furniture and clothing must always be cleaned thoroughly. They crawl around and contaminate multiple locations in one building. They can also be found in suitcase and boxes, thereby spreading to other buildings.

The bed bug symptoms, treatments, and causes come from the fact that bug will bite a human being and then suck blood. This is usually done while people are asleep. The bites are often found on the arms, hands, neck, and face. It is a painless bite that often goes by unnoticed, although small raised bumps may start to appear. People may also experience itching, swelling, and redness. A danger in this is that, if the bite is scratched, an infection can occur. Often, bed bugs seem to feed together, in a line, which is why there is often a bit area in a straight or zigzagged line. This is known as the "breakfast, lunch, and dinner" line, because the same bug will eat multiple times around the same place. Of particular interest is the fact that the line, or even a single bite, can take up to two weeks to appear, by which time an infestation may have taken hold already.

Often, if the bite is noticed and it is not in a line, people may believe that it is a mosquito or flea bite, or any other skin condition. However, clear indications include blood spots on the bed, as well as dark fecal spots. Thankfully, they do not carry infectious microbes, although they may be a vector of Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis. It is not clear, however, whether they carry this disease.

It is usually not required to treat the bed bug bites. However, if the itching becomes severe, for instance, if the person experiences an allergic reaction, a steroid cream may be prescribed. If there is an infection after scratching, this will require treatment.

Generally, home remedies are all that are needed to treat the bites. Baking soda and water pastes, oatmeal baths, and cool compresses can help with the itching. It is very important, however, to treat the infestation, because bed bugs will not go away on their own.