Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Home Care warning signs

Insect Bite (bedbugs) Home Care

Home care for bedbug bites is directed at controlling symptoms and may include:

  • Avoid scratching
  • Oral antihistamines for itching:
  • Launder all bed clothes and bedding materials to at least 97 degrees F (36 C.)
  • Obtain insecticides to kill them in the home. Hire an insect exterminator.
  • Vacuum daily and dispose of vacuum bags or freeze them for at least 24 hours to kill the bedbugs.

General home treatment measures for itching include:
  • Avoid exposure to substances that cause itching.
  • Apply cold compresses:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours
  • Clean the skin gently:
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Do not scrub the skin.
    • Dry the skin.
  • Take a cool bath or shower.
    • Consider using colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno) in the bath.

Medications for itching include:

Insect Bite (bedbugs) Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have bedbug bites and any of the following:

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Insect Bite (bedbugs) References
  1. Brouqui P, Raoult D. Arthropod-borne diseases in homeless. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Oct;1078:223-35. Review. [17114713]
  2. Cleary CJ, Buchanan D.Diagnosis and management of bedbugs: an emerging U.S. Infestation. Nurse Pract. 2004 Jun;29(6):46-8. Review. [15257124]
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