If you have red, itchy bumps on your skin, you may have an allergy, or you may have become prey to a bug bite. Insects such as spiders, fleas, bed bugs, and mosquitoes may be the culprit. The first step in solving the mystery is to identify what is biting you, your pets, or your children.
What is biting me?
Sometimes it is difficult to tell what is biting you, because many bug bites look the same. They appear as small red spots, with or without bumps. They can be raised or flat, but most of them itch or burn somewhat. Bed bugs, fleas, mosquitoes, and some spiders need human blood to survive.
Sometimes a spider bite is a result of a defensive mechanism because you may have rolled on it in your sleep. If it is a spider bite, usually there will only be one or two. If there are more than that, it is more than likely fleas, mosquitoes, or bed bugs.
If it is a flea bite, you usually feel it immediately. They are more likely to occur on the ankles and lower leg when walking through grass or other natural areas. They can also occur if you walk on infested carpeting. Another telltale sign of fleas is the presence of dried blood spots that may appear like dirt in the hair of a pet.
If you can rule out flea bites using this information, then your next step is to consider bed bugs and mosquitoes.
Mosquito bites usually occur randomly and are isolated. If you have a mosquito in your bedroom, it can only bite uncovered areas of the body. You will usually only have one or two bites per night.
If you’re allergic to mosquito bites, you may suffer from what’s called “skeeter syndrome” and develop blistering rashes that itch. Check out this post to learn how to stop mosquito bites from itching.
Bed bug bite
Bed bugs can bite you anywhere and crawl inside clothing. If you find bug bites that are in areas that were covered by the blanket or clothing, then it is more than likely bed bugs. At this point, you should inspect your mattress and bed coverings for signs of an infestation. You may find black dirt or live bugs in and around the seams of the mattress, or in dark places.
Bed bug bites usually occur in a group or cluster. With bed bugs, you can have hundreds of bites in a single night. You can also get a rash with bedbugs due to an allergy.
Source: James Heilman, MD
How can you prevent bites?
The first step in preventing additional bites from occurring is to find out what is causing the bite and then take measures to prevent further infestation.
Several natural bed bug sprays are available that can kill or repel bed bugs and keep them away from you. Sprays that contain pyrethrins are a good choice. Eco Defense is one of the best natural bed bug sprays and it’s safe for use around children and pets.
Diatomaceous earth can also help to eliminate bed bugs and other insects such as cockroaches and fleas. This is a natural product made from crushed limestone. It punctures the insect’s skin like a tiny shard of glass, but is harmless for animals, children, and adults. You only need a small amount. You can find a high quality diatomaceous earth here.
Using chemical treatments on dog, cats, and children can be dangerous. However, there are some natural remedies available that work to keep bugs from attacking. These include catnip, neem, cedar, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, and rose geranium. These are considered safe for pets and children.
Are there any natural remedies for bug bites?
Once you have a bug bite, your next question is how to relieve the itch and sting.
Emu oil can provide almost immediate relief. Other natural choices include lemongrass essential oil, lavender essential oil, and peppermint essential oil (source). These essential oils can provide relief. Some work better for certain people than others. You may need to experiment to find out what works best for you.
Tea tree oil is also effective if you have flea bites. In addition, this essential oil can be used as a flea repellent. Learn how to use tea tree oil for fleas here.
If you have a bug bite, applying ice may help to relieve the swelling and itch. You should not scratch, as this may lead to an infection. Some essential oils, such as lavender, contain antifungal and antibacterial properties and may help to prevent an infection.
If your rashes are very itchy, you should read this post : Do Bed Bug Bites Itch? Learn How to relieve Itching
It is good to know that there are natural remedies for both the prevention of future bites, and to treat those that have already occurred. Natural remedies are preferred, especially for pets, children, and adults who are sensitive to chemicals. When you need to prevent any further insect infestation, or treat a bite, it is always worth your while to try natural remedies first.
Also watch for signs of a more serious conditions such as a rash or hives that spread to other parts of the body, fever, swollen glands, or general malaise. These can be signs that a serious infection has set in. Some insects can transmit serious diseases to humans.