Bed Bug Bites

By Perry Benani

Bed Bug Bites Pictures, Symptoms, and Treatment

Information on the bites of bed bugs, images of what bites from bed bugs appear and, tips to determine if you’ve been bit by bed bugs, and tips on how to treat the itching.

Bed bugs live in darkness that feeds most of the time during the night, in the evening when hosts sleep.

In the daytime, they can be found in crevices and gaps in walls and bookshelves, bed frames, and any other place that allows the possibility of access to humans.

They are also fast-moving insects that can be capable of traveling long distances.

Bed bugs infest their hosts using sharp beaks to puncture the skin and inject saliva. Like mosquitoes’ saliva, it contains an anticoagulant (to stop blood coagulation) while they are sucking.

It can also act as an anesthetic to make the victim not feeling being bitten. 

So, when they sleep, people do not feel like being bit. However, they will only be aware that they have been bitten later in the day.

Nymphs (young bed bugs) require about 3 minutes to feed. However, a fully grown bug feeds for 10 to 15 minutes. After feeding, they return to the closest crevice.

Bed Bug Bites On Back and Butt

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like On Humans

Pictures of Bed Bugs Bites On Woman Back

A young lady with many bed bugs on her buttocks and back.

Bed bugs bites on the lower back/buttocks of a woman, sitting on the bed that gave her the bites
Bed bugs bites on the lower back/buttocks of a woman, sitting on the bed that gave her the bites

Multiple Bites by Bed Bugs
Bed bugs bites that are swollen on forearm.
Hey there!

My story begins in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am currently enrolled in university and have been in the city for the past three years.

I noticed that I was developing this terrible rash in the past few days (more than a couple, actually) and believed it was a heat rash since I only experienced it whenever I sweated or was hot.

However, I was able to check the mattress’s side and saw there were black dots all over the place. The problem has caused me a lot of embarrassment, as every time I leave the house, I would get these itchy hives that would appear everywhere on my arms.

I’m finally moving out of the house and saying goodbye to these horrible bloodsuckers once and for all. I’ve even tried allergy medication that contained antihistamines because I believed it might be an allergy reaction.

However, you cannot treat an allergy to bed bug bites using Zyrtec, Benedryl, or Claritin.

What Are The First Signs And Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites?

The bites of bed bugs can be mistaken as other household insects because the bites appear like those caused by other insects like fleas, mosquitoes, and lice.

Bed Bugs Bites
image credit: urbanentomology.tamu.edu

However, bed bug bites can be identified when you know the symptoms to look out for.

The most obvious signs that indicate bed bugs are many small, flat, or raised skin welts that will always be in a three-in-a-row or clustered arrangement because bed bugs repeatedly feed in the same spot.

Experts define the three-row bite marks as lunch, breakfast, and dinner. The welts may become red, flare-up, and cause itching. In the event of a scratching, the bites may also cause the welts to become swollen, develop an infection, or leave marks.

Another tell-tale indicator could indicate that the bed is infested that you are likely to be each night while you’re asleep and form similar clustered patterns of big itchy welts each morning.

Other signs of an infestation could be little blood spots in bedding from dead bugs which have been crushed in the course of feeding or staining the mattress due to the feces that the bug has left behind.

Are you bitten by bed bugs? Let us know about your experiences.

Bed Bugs Vs Fleas, Spiders and Mosquitoes Bites – What Are The Differences?

Although bed bug bites can cause itching and skin irritation, like spiders, flea, and mosquito bites, some distinctions exist.

Bed Bug

Bed bug bites typically appear as tiny red welts in groups or an arc on the feet, hands, neck, and other body areas during sleep. For most victims, the bites cause intense itching for a few days.

Because bed bugs feed in the evening, you’ll likely find that you’ve been bitten in the morning. Sometimes, the bites are more rash-like than bite-like.

This is why bites’ symptoms could be confused with other skin rashes caused by laundry soap, detergents, and other products for cleaning.

Characteristics of Bed Bug Bites on Arms
Victims of bed bug bites on arms (image credits: tripadviser and aaron)

Flea

Flea Bites

The appearance of flea bites is like bites from bed bugs, as they are found in groups and can itch quite a bit; however, the bite marks from fleas tend to be less noticeable and are more pinkish-colored.

The common household flea bites are most common in the lower portion of the body, particularly around the ankles, legs, and behind the knees.

The majority of the time, the only method to know if a flea has bitten you is to determine if you have recently been in contact with household pets such as cats and dogs or wild animals like rabbits, rats, or rabbits, who are the most likely to have fleas bite human beings.

Children get flea bites from playing with their cats and dogs most of the time. There are also instances of people being victimized by sand fleas common in wetlands, beaches, and swamps.

Flea Bites on Legs
Multiple flea bites on legs

Spider

Spider Bites

The characteristic of a spider bite is typically a large, isolated swelling that appears immediately following the bite, revealing that the skin could be punctured.

Depending on the toxicity levels of the bite, it is possible to feel the pain of the bite, much like the sting of bees. The pain may last from up to a couple of minutes or the duration of a full couple of days.

Spider Bites
Symptoms of spider bites on hand and leg (image credits: graela and doug)

Mosquito

Mosquito Bites

If mosquitoes bite a person, bites appear as small, pinkish bumps that cause irregular skin swelling. There are a variety of reactions, but generally, people will feel itching in the area of the bite for several hours before the itching gradually disappears after a couple of days.

Mosquitoes Bites and Swelling on Leg
Large welts and swellings of mosquitoes bites (image credit: jenn)

For those who are unsure of the insects that bit you, experts from pest control and entomology advise that the best method to determine if you’ve been bit by bedbugs is to check for signs of bugs.

Find live bugs or other indications of recent activity, such as outer exoskeleton casings that the bugs shed their droppings and dried blood stains on your bedsheets.

For those who aren’t, read this article to learn how to look for indications of bed bugs in your house and hotel rooms.

Where Do the Bed Bug Bites Most Commonly Seen?

All exposed areas on bodies during sleep can be a prime target that bed bugs could bite and suck on to collect blood. The neck, face, hand, back, legs, and arms are frequently bitten areas.

How Long Does the Bite Rash Last?

The bed bug’s reactions to their bites are dependent on the person. Some people may not experience any reaction; however, those who are extremely allergic to bites could suffer from localized reactions and develop rashes or blisters that are extremely itchy after being repeatedly bitten.

Typically, bed bug rashes appear a few hours after the initial bite; however, there are cases where the rash doesn’t show up for a few days or even a few weeks later because it is dependent on the reaction of the person being bit.

Generally speaking, the rashes from bed bugs last between two and three days before they slowly disappear.

But the rashes could persist for longer when the individual is sensitive to allergic reactions. In most cases, a medical intervention must remove the skin rash completely.

Do Bed Bug Bites Transmit Disease?

Bed Bug Bite

Are bites from bed bugs contagious or dangerous? Although these tiny blood-sucking insects are a nuisance and are considered a nuisance, their bites are relatively harmless and do not transmit any disease.

However, an allergic reaction to bites can cause nausea, vomiting, and shock on rare occasions. A few people might also experience psychological trauma and may not be able to sleep.

A Reader’s Comment on The Effects of Bed Bug Bites

I was getting many bites and scratches on my body one year ago. I was admitted to the ER because I was unsure of what was wrong. I went to 3 specialists and received biopsies, but still, nobody knew what the issue was.

In three months, I relocated from that place to another complex because of the bedbug infestation, which I’d never had before. I’m still getting bit, with severe itching, marks across my arms, legs, neck, and the crease on the top of my legs, before going into the private parts of my body.

Doctors were not able to help. I’ve experienced many. Calamine lotion can help with the itching, but the product is messy, and it leaves a greasy residue on the skin. It’s been a while since I’ve taken cortisone in the past for irritation… didn’t help.

I must wear clothes to cover the marks to work. Since December, mattresses and springs have been covered in bed bags with zippers, and I have added a cover this year. I can’t afford to throw away my mattress. However, I did throw away my bedding and then started again. Also, my pillows have been covered with a zippered bed cover.

The itching is terrible, and the bite marks that I’ve experienced for about an entire year appear to be getting re-infected. They are swelling and red. A few on my body have begun to fade, or you need to look closely. I began tanning with the heat, and it helped. It can also make the scratched skin blend in with normal skin.

This is HORRIBLE. I think I spotted one in my bed. I later looked at my computer, and it did look like them. I’ve heard they’re sensitive to light, so I put on the lights when I sleep. I’m not sure whether the itching is real. It could be due to psychosomatics. 

I’m always feeling like those bugs crawl on me. It’s like when you look at an ant in a park, and you can’t get rid of that thought out of your head and begin to itch. The bites are usually not visible to the untrained eye; however, the area will expand once you begin to itch and the skin gets torn.

Diana Sinclair

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites?

For fast relief from the pain and itching that bites cause, it is recommended to wash it under cool running water for about 1 minute. Then, cleanse the area using a bar of antibacterial soap. This reduces inflammation and irritation and keeps your mind off of it.

For a more thorough treatment of the skin rashes, intense itching, or to avoid infections, your best option is to get medical advice from your doctor.

How to Avoid Getting Bitten Again?

For fast relief from the pain and itching that bites cause, it is recommended to wash it under cool running water for about 1 minute. Then, cleanse the area using a bar of antibacterial soap. This reduces inflammation and irritation and keeps your mind off of it.

For a more thorough treatment of the skin rashes, intense itching, or to avoid infections, your best option is to get medical advice from your doctor.

How to Avoid Getting Bitten Again?

The first step is to verify whether bed bugs are present, even if you think tiny blood feeders have bitten you.

It is best to look over your bedroom and bed to find any obvious signs of bugs. If brown creatures are detected, it is possible to call a reputable pest control service to get rid of bed bugs.

For those who are searching for ways to avoid getting bitten, here are some actions you can take to ensure your safety:

  • Get rid of any debris and wash your space thoroughly. Clean carpets and repair any cracks in the wooden floors.
  • Cleanse all bedding and clothes with hot water and wait at least 20 mins. Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat and can die if temperatures are above 120 degrees.
  • Utilize a bed bug spray to eliminate all visible bugs you detect, especially behind and around the headboard or bed frame and furniture upholstered close to the bed. After that, apply expert insect powders like Diatomaceous Earth by spreading it over the carpet and bed to guard the perimeter.
  • If you’re still worried, you could also apply dense, double-sided tape to the top part of your bed. Or employ traps made by professionals to identify and stop bed bugs from biting.
  • Cover the mattress with bug-proof covers designed to keep bugs and fleas out. In the same way, pillows and bolsters must be covered to prevent the bites of bed bugs. The covers work in two to stop new infestations and keep existing bugs from spreading out to feed.

Note: For those traveling, check out this checklist on how to avoid bed bug bites while staying in hotels and keep bed bugs from coming back home to your vacation.


Other Related Topics

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