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Unpopular house mates

Parasites on the skin

Clothing, bed linen, towels and items with prolonged body contact such as a blood pressure cuff or stuffed animals and soft toys should be washed at a minimum temperature of 50 °C for at least 10 minutes or be decontaminated by means of a hot steam device thus getting rid of the mites. A suitable alternative would be to store the items hermetically packed in foil or plastic sacks at 21 °C minimum for at least 72 hours. Upholstered furniture, sofa cushions or textile floor coverings can be vacuumed using a strong vacuum cleaner or left unused for at least 48 hours. According to the Robert Koch Institute, this action is, however, not necessarily required due to the low risk of infection.

Troublesome souvenir

Bedbugs are mostly brought into your own home when returning from a business trip or from holiday. The insects could have also nested in furniture and items bought second-hand. They can be found regardless of hygienic conditions. If you suspect to have caught bedbugs, it is recommended to unpack your luggage for example inside a bathtub to be able to see the escaping bugs. The fact that bedbugs are gaining ground in Germany and worldwide has to do with the increasing resistance of the insects to insecticides. The parasites get really active only at night. Looking for food, they visit the sleeping host who attracts them with his body heat. The bugs mostly bite several times and between bites, always move on a small piece thereby forming the typical “bedbug streets”. As the insect’s saliva contains anaesthetic ingredients, the bites are not noticed to begin with. After a few hours the skin may redden, become swollen and begin to itch. The skin’s reaction is individually very different. With some people nothing can be seen, others are very sensitive to bedbug saliva. Medics call the clinical picture of the skin cimicose. The therapy is purely symptomatic and consists of antipruritic creams or oral antihistamines.

Bedbugs are not impressed by biocides from the pharmacy. To remove them permanently, a professional pest controller is required. The procedure can last several weeks.

Deutsch/German Englisch/English
Antihistaminika antihistamines
Anwendungsfehler application error
Bettmilbe bed mites
Bläschen blisters
Ellenbogen elbow
Ganzkörperbehandlung full-body treatment
Handgelenk wrist joint
Insektizid insecticide
Knötchen nodules
Körperkontakt body contact
Krätze scabies
Krätzmilbe itch mite
Leiste groin
Milbe mite
Pustel pustule
Schädlingsbekämpfer pest controller
Skabies scabie
Topisch topical
Unterkiefer lower jaw
Zehen toes

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