Bedbug bites and hotels

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How to recognize a bite

Not everyone responds the same way to bedbug bites. Some people have no reaction. Others develop unbearably itchy welts. The reaction really depends on how your body responds to the insect’s saliva. Most people wake up with intensely itchy welts that resemble hives or scabies. Unlike hives or scabies, bites from bedbugs tend to appear in a row, often in threes. Since bites of three are common, the marks are frequently referred to as “breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Bites also may appear alone.

Sometimes the intense itching does not begin for several hours after waking. In rare cases, the reaction is severe, and a person develops large blisters, a fever, and general malaise. If this happens, seek immediate medical care.

If you discover one or more bites, wash the bites thoroughly with soap and water. Applying ice will help relieve some of the swelling, and an antihistamine or no-itch cream can help alleviate the itch. For most people, the bites persist for several days. Icing and antihistamine help relieve the discomfort. If the itch becomes unbearable or you see signs of infection, be sure to seek immediate medical treatment. Signs of infection include tenderness around the bite and oozing of white, yellow, or green discharge from the wound.

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