A bedbug bite usually appears as a raised blister with a red spot in the center. It itches and sometimes has a burning sensation. Bedbugs do not live on the human body but they do infest beds, bedding, upholstered furniture, walls, woodwork, and draperies. They usually come out at night, drawn by the odor of the human body. When crushed, the bedbug gives off a foul odor.
Because the bedbug bite itches, the bitten area may be masked by the results of scratching and secondary infection. The spots most commonly bitten are the parts not covered by the night clothing. People who wear pajamas, if bitten, are usually affected in the areas around the ankles, the wrists, and the neck. Sometimes the spots are found in a line, as the bedbug feeds along its way. The only treatment usually required for a bedbug bite is application of a lotion of calamine, with menthol or phenol or camphor to relieve the itching. Ordinary rubbing alcohol or wet dressings of boric acid may be applied.
The bite of the flea resembles that of the bedbug, but the flea injects an irritating fluid when it bites. The spot is usually surrounded by an area of redness, and groups of bites may be close together. The flea bites are usually on exposed portions of the body, but the fleas may get under the clothing and bite anywhere. Any of the lotions usually used for itching may be applied to flea bites.
Fleas that infest rodents can carry diseases such as plague. Fleas are found everywhere. They may pass to human beings from dogs, rats, or pigs. When human beings are bitten by fleas the source of infestation should be found and eliminated. Flea powders are easily available at any drug store.