For centuries people have feared bug bites because they are known to carry disease. Even now, one million people die each year from diseases spread by mosquitoes. Insect bites are especially worrisome when pregnant because mosquitoes are vectors of viruses like Zika which can cause birth defects and even miscarriage. However, if you have suffered a bed bug bite while pregnant you can rest easy – you and your baby are in no danger. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to healthy individuals and their bite poses no danger to those who are pregnant.
Safe Bed Bug Treatments When Pregnant
Pregnant women are advised to avoid exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, if your home is infested with bed bugs it is imperative that the premises undergo treatment, leaving you with limited options. Here are a few treatment options that are safe to use while pregnant and still effective:
- Heat Treatments: A specially trained exterminator will heat the premises to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Bed bugs and their eggs will perish if the temperature is held at a consistent 118 degrees Fahrenheit for a full 90 minutes. Remote thermometers are placed in each room of the home so the exterminator can confirm that the necessary temperature is reached. This treatment will typically take between six to eight hours during which you will have to vacate the premise along with any pets and flammable objects. Heat treatments are a safe and highly effective way to remove bed bugs from your home if you are pregnant because they leave no chemical residue.
- Steam Treatments: Steam is a safe and effective way to rid a home of bed bugs. The steam penetrates upholstery, clothing, crevices, beds, and other items with ease. The steamer delivers temperatures that are lethal to bed bugs, ideally between 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The steamer penetrates ¾ of an inch into the fabric and baseboard cracks and crevices.
- Non-toxic sprays and home treatments: There are numerous plant-based bed bug treatments available on the market that are believed to be safe to use around children and pregnant women. However, it is still advised that you remain out of the room during treatment.
Other Ways to Safely Treat for Bed Bugs
- Mattress encasement: Encase your mattress with a bed bug mattress cover. An encasement will block bed bugs from nesting within your mattress and makes them easy to spot.
- Bug interceptors: Place bed bug interceptors beneath the legs of the bed to prevent bugs from accessing your bed. The interceptor effectively traps the bugs with either a pitfall or surface that is difficult to traverse.
- Hire a K9 Detection Team: If you suspect that you have bed bugs hire a K9 detection team to pinpoint the infestation so you can focus on treating the area.
- Hire an Exterminator: Hire a professional exterminator to do a thorough examination and treatment of your home.
Treating Bed Bug Bites When Pregnant
If you are bitten by bed bugs while pregnant try these at-home treatments:
- Dab witch hazel on the bites to help relieve itchiness and reduce swelling.
- Sooth the wound with aloe vera. The gel has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities that will prevent the bites from becoming infected.
- Create a paste of baking soda mixed with a few drops of peppermint oil to relieve the intense itching.
- Take a hot bath and add peppermint oil to the water to soothe the bite and stop itching.
- Rub a topical cortisone cream onto the bite wounds to relieve itching.
- Place petroleum jelly on each bite to stop the air from irritating the wound.
- If you have suffered extensive bites, ask your physician if you can safely take an antihistamine.
Get more information on Bed Bugs:
How to Avoid Scarring from Bed Bug Bites