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An Itch That Won’t Stop Itching
Bed bug bites itch.  For me a bed bug bite itch like no other itch and that’s saying a lot, because as a child I had eczema.  I would scratch so hard until my skin bleed.  The bed bug itch was almost that intense.  

I had a prescription that provided some relief. However, nothing worked for me like the baking soda paste.  I would simply make a paste with baking soda and water, and let it set for a few minutes and rinse off.  The itch would leave almost immediately.  Some people say white vinegar works great too.   

It took me a good part of a year to discover this awesome remedy to soothe the itch from my bed bug bites. Prior to this discovery I would scratch my skin almost constantly and developed what is called a bed bug rash.  The scratching continued and progressed from the bed bug rash to some scaring.  

I waited a few months to see if the scars would disappear on their own to no avail. Finally, I got help from this life savings reference.  I was happy with the results.  I even had scars that were minimized from childhood.  However, after the dust settles, it is what it is. 

What Do Bed Bugs Eat?
I am going to change gears on you a bit,  but I want you to try to keep an open mind.  We have been hearing in the media, internet, TV, etc that bed bugs can live up to a year or so without a blood meal.  And yes, I agree with this information 100%.  They probably can live that long without a blood meal, but what if they have a backup food source?  From my experience and talking with elders who has experienced a bed bug infestation does indicate they have an infinity for dead skin.

Not to scare you, but I was showering one day and some sheets of skin not a lot was racing towards the drain.  I was horrified.  I asked myself what is going on.  Well to make a long story short, and because I know this is not pleasant, I caught them eating what appeared to be my skin.  They were feeding, but their bodies had not become elongated like it does with a blood meal.  There was some skin that had been removed at the site where they had gathered.  I soon noticed my skin around my ankles and on the bottom of my feet scaring up. 

Perhaps, bed bugs feeding on skin actually would explain why a house so infected was abandoned by the owners and boarded up, and after three years the boards were taken down in preparation to sell the property and to their surprise a very active bed bug infestation was still in effect.  The pictures were almost unbearable to view.  These creatures have a lot of secrets.  I think there is a great deal to know about them. 

After a horrible discovery of my heels becoming sore while standing, I had somebody look under my foot with a magnifying glass and saw where these bugs had pierced an opening in my skin where they had peeled off dead skin and was feeding in that particular opening probably nightly.  My thinking was that they didn’t have to repeat the puncture made when they feed through tough skin.  The bottom of my foot was a place where they were less likely to be noticed. 

This was hard to believe.  First of all, I used 91% rubbing alcohol followed by some essential oils and garlic powder.  It took maybe a day, but they soon got the message.  My arm too had skin removed.  My heel eventually got better on its own without a visit to the doctor.  

This was just too much.  I was thinking though that maybe this behavior makes sense for them.  After all, they are highly attracted to the bed.  Could it be the mattress provides them with a food source of dead skin and not just a good place to hide?

Some people who have experienced a bed bug problem say that baby oil really worked for them in keeping these bugs off their skin.  The baby oil did nothing for me.  What worked for me was the castor oil undiluted for skin.  It was extremely thick with no odor.  It may or may not work for you.  I’m not recommending but only informing what worked for me.  Bed bugs also like to bite in the same area which gave me a heads up on where to place the oil. 


Let me say right up front that new is relative.  Everything new for the most part in reference to consumer goods had to be manufactured.  Everything manufactured had to have human intervention.  You don’t know who has a bed bug infestation at home.  Can you imagine someone calling in to work stating that they can’t work that week because of a bed bug infestation? 

I don’t know about you, but my thoughts are that their situation would not go over too well.  Bottom line they report to work with the probability of exposing and risking all which includes employees, as well as the merchandise.  So in essence, new goods need to be suspect too, because the probability of bed bug exposure does exist perhaps on some level.  

Let’s look at other scenarios.  New goods will not load themselves on a truck.  And new goods will not stock themselves on the shelf.  There are a lot of opportunities for bed bugs to infect new goods in my opinion for this transmission probability to be ignored. 

You also have people trying on goods, sitting on goods, and returning goods.  So please do not relax and not thoroughly inspect any and all goods coming into your home whether new or otherwise.  I have never seen this issue addressed. However, I have spotted a different type of bug that was dead inside of a coat pocket I had purchased new.  So you never know.


I have five tips that I will be using to prevent the recurring of bed bugs.  Tip number one is to keep close tabs on your environment.  Notice the smells, and whatever might be off in what you are observing on a daily basis. 

Tip number two is having a special coat rack might be a good idea for guests.  Throwing coats on your bed during a get together with family and friends could be at best risky.  It comes down to whatever you feel comfortable doing.  

I have purchased a dedicated coat rack reserved only for guests.  I am inconspicuous but give every coat a quick inspection before hanging it on the rack.  I take charge of hanging up guests' coats myself. 

Tip number three is it’s a good idea to inspect your locker at your gym.  There are so many people that come in and out with lockers being in close proximity to each other.  The days are long gone of throwing caution to the wind and throwing your items into the locker without a visual inspection.

Tip number four is that we must keep in mind that our pets too can be a food source for bed bugs.  Consult with a veterinarian that might be able to suggest something to use.  Inside pets, especially need not be forgotten.  They don’t have the benefit sometimes for having a bed that specifically deters insects.  

In the meantime, they could be jumping on and off your bed infecting or re-infecting it with bed bugs.  Some people say they use cedar oil as a good deterrent. However, I have no experience using this product on a pet.  It is my opinion that you should consult a veterinarian that is familiar with bed bugs. 

Tip number five is to try not to panic.  Just concentrate on reducing their numbers.  Remember to spray and/or treat the eggs and the babies too which is key.  Purchasing a high quality bed and box spring encasement in my opinion is a good first start and well worth the investment.  Remember a mattress cover is not the same as a bed bug proof encasement.  They can look similar but in function are different animals.

In my opinion a bed bug encasement is a gift to your domicile that will keep on giving.  Some people leave their encasements on for 18 months to make sure that all bed bugs trapped inside have died.  I chose to leave my encasements on permanently. 

I also use a mattress pad between my sheets and the encasements.  For extra protection I use peppermint essential oil as a deterrent, on my mattress pad only.  That’s just what I do to help keep my encasement clean.  This serves as a deterrent only, but I'll take it. 

Remember that baby bed bugs are so small and sometimes cannot be seen with the naked eye.  Can you imagine they are even able to pass through a stitch on your mattress?  Also keep in mind that an encasement will not stop bed bugs from biting.  Bed bugs located outside the encasement are still an issue. 

However, they will not be able to have the mattress to breed or have easy access to feed.  They do however require a blood meal prior to mating.  So whatever you can do to keep them from feeding is a plus.  The mattress is a major tool for them to gain a good foothold in establishing an infestation in your home.

When traveling especially, I use essential oils like lavender, rosemary, or peppermint as a discouragement for bed bugs to stay away from me.  If you choose to do this you might need to clear this with hotel management.  Most hotels I deal with are understanding and accommodating.  I don't use a lot to offend anyone, but just enough to give the bed bugs a wisp.  They have a keen sense of smell, so a little goes a long ways. 

This post first appeared on Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself, please read the originial post: here

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