Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.
Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.
bites often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
spots of blood on your bedding from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)
Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. Theyre often in a line or cluster.
Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.
Asevere allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)is also possible but rare.
Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.
putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection
using a mildsteroid creamlike hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
antihistamines these may help if the bites are very itchy and youre unable to sleep
the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
the redness around the bites is spreading
You may have an infection and need treatment withantibiotics.
Its still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:
Find out about using the NHS during COVID-19
contact yourlocal councilorpest control service its unlikely youll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides
wash affected bedding and clothing use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes
put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)
clean and vacuum regularly bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early
do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first
do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs