Bed Bug Bites Pictures, Symptoms and Treatment
Information about bed bugs bites, pictures of what do bed bug bites look like, how to check if you have
been bitten by bed bugs and advice on how to stop the itch.
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that feed mostly at night when their hosts are asleep. In the day, they hide
in cracks and crevices of walls, bed frames, bookshelves, basically anywhere that gives them easy access to humans,
although they are fast moving insects that are able to travel great distances.
Bed bugs bite their hosts by using their sharp beak to pierce the skin and inject their saliva. Like mosquitoes,
their saliva contains an anticoagulant (to prevent coagulation of the blood) as they suck and also acts as an
anesthetic agent to prevent the victim from feeling the bite. Therefore, while sleeping, humans rarely feel any
sensations of being bitten, but will only realize the day after.
Nymphs (young bed bugs) take about three minutes to feed, while a full-grown bug feeds for ten to fifteen
minutes. After feeding, they then crawl back to the nearest crevice to digest.
Pictures Of What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like On Humans
A young woman with numerous bed bug
bites on her back and buttocks.
Bed bugs bites that are swollen on forearm.
A picture of a cluster of bed bugs bites on the inner side of the
Bed bugs bites on the lower back/buttocks of a woman, sitting on the bed that gave
her the bites.
So, my story starts in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am currently attending university
and have lived in residence for the last 3 years. I started developing this really
bad rash the last few months (more than a few actually) and I thought it was heat
rash because I would only get it when I sweated or got hot. However, I just checked
the side of my mattress and low and behold, black dots everywhere. This has caused
me such embarrassment because everywhere I would go leaving the house, I would have
these hives looking rash all over my arms. I am finally moving out of residence and
saying goodbye to these horrid blood suckers once and for all. I even tried allergy
medicine with antihistamine because I thought it was an allergic reaction, which it
is, but you cant really cure allergic reaction to bed bug bites with zyrtec,
benedryl, or claritin.
thanks and I hope my story helped!
What Are The First Signs And Symptoms of Bed Bug
Often, the bites of bed bugs are mistaken or misdiagnosed for other common household insects since the bites can
look almost identical to those caused by other parasitic blood feeding insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, ants and
Nevertheless, bed bugs bites can be easily recognizable once you know what are the symptoms to look for.
The first tell tale symptoms of bed bug bites are the multiple small, flat or raise welts on the skin that will
always appear in a linear three in a row or clustered pattern because of the bed bugs tendency to feed on the same
location more than once. Experts usually describe the three in a row bite marks as breakfast, lunch and dinner. The
welts can turn red, flare up and become itchy. Scratching the bitten areas may also cause the welts to blister,
have an infection or leave scars.
The next tell tale sign that may indicate your bed is infested is that you will get bitten every night while you
are sleeping and develop similar clustered pattern large itchy welts every morning.
Other possible signs of an infestation are tiny blood spots on bedding materials of dead bugs that are crushed
during feeding or staining on the mattress from the waste of the bugs.
Bed Bugs Vs Fleas, Spiders and Mosquitoes Bites - What Are The
Even though bed bug bites cause itchiness and irritation to the skin similar to flea, spider and mosquito bites,
there are a few differences.
The bites of bed bugs usually appear as small, red welts and tend to show up in groups or in a line formation on
the hands, feet, neck and other exposed body parts during sleep. For most victims, the bites will cause intense
itching for several days.
Since bed bugs feed at night, you may most likely notice that you have been bitten only after you have woken up
in the morning. Sometimes, the bites may also tend to appear more rash-like rather than bite-like, which is why the
symptoms of the bites can sometimes be mistaken for other types of skin rashes caused by laundry detergent, soap
and other cleaning products.
Flea bites can look very similar to the bites from bed bugs since they also occur in groups and itch a lot
but the bite marks of fleas are typically smaller and more pinkish in color. Common household flea bites also tend
to occur mostly on the lower part of the body around the legs, ankles and behind the knees.
Victims of bed bug bites on arms (image credits:
Most of the time, the only way of knowing whether you have being bitten by fleas is asking yourself if you have
recently come into contact with any household pets like dogs and cats or wildlife animals such as raccoons, rabbits
and rats that typically carry fleas that bite humans. Most of the time, children end up with flea bites playing
with their dogs and cats. There are also cases of individuals being bitten by sand fleas which are found commonly
around beaches, wetlands and swamps.
Multiple flea bites on legs
The characteristics of a spider bite is usually large, isolated swelling that show up immediately after the bite
revealing that the skin may be pierced. Depending on the toxicity of the spider bite, one may feel the painful
sting of the bite much like the sting from a bee and the pain can last for a few minutes to as long as a day or
When an individual is bitten by mosquitoes, the bites tend to flare up quickly as pale pinkish bumps with
uneven swelling on the skin. Reactions may vary but most individuals will experience itching around the bite area
for a few hours with the itch gradually disappearing after a day or two.
Symptoms of spider bites on hand and leg (image
credits: graela and doug)
Large welts and swellings of mosquitoes bites (image credit:
Again, for those who are still unsure about what insects bit you, entomologists and pest control experts
receommends that the best way to identify whether one is bitten by bed bugs is to physically check for the signs of
the bugs themselves. Look for the live bugs or other signs of recent activity like the outer exoskeleton casings
where the bugs shed, droppings and newly formed dried blood stains on the bed sheets.
For the uninitiated, read this
post on how to check for signs of bed bugs at home and in a hotel room.
Where Do the Bites Most Commonly Occur?
Any exposed areas of the bodies while one sleep are target spots for a bed bug to bite and suck on for blood.
The face, neck, back, hands, arms and legs are the most common areas where bed bug bites occur.
Two day old cluster pattern bites marks of bed bugs on women back.
How Long Does the Bite Rash Last?
Reaction to bed bug bites depends on the individual. Some people will not have any reaction at all while for
others who are quite sensitive to bites, they may have localized allergic reactions and develop blisters or
can be extremely itchy as they get bitten repeatedly.
Typically bed bug rashes will show up a few hours after the actual biting but there are some cases whereby the
rash does not appear until a few days or even a week later since this is dependent on the allergy reaction to the
person who is being bitten.
Generally, the rashes of bed bugs will last for two to three days and then slowly fade away. However the rashes
can last much longer if the person is more allergic prone. Often it will require some medical intervention to
finally clear up the skin rash completely.
Do Bed Bug Bites Transmit Disease?
Are the bites of bed bugs dangerous or contagious? Even though these tiny and bloodthirsty pests are really
bothersome and considered a nuisance, their bites are fairly harmless and are not known to spread any diseases.
Nonetheless, on very rare occasions an allergic reaction to the bites has caused nausea, sickness and even
shock. Some people may also be affected psychologically and not be able to fall asleep.
||A Reader's Comment on The Effects
of Bed Bug Bites
I started with hundreds of bites on my body a year ago. I ended up in the ER because I
had no idea what was wrong with me. I then went to 3 specialist, had biopsies and still
no one knew what it was. I was able to move from that apartment in 3 months to a
different complex. (because of the bed bug infestation that I had never experienced
before. I am still getting bitten, severe itching, scars all over my legs, arms, neck
and crease at top of my legs before entering private parts. No prescription has helped.
I've had many. Calamine lotion helps with the itching but it's messy and leaves a
residue on your skin. I've had cortezone shots for the itching... did not help.
I have to wear clothing to help cover the marks to be able to work. My mattress and box
springs have been encased in bed bed zippered bags since December, and then adding
another cover over that this year. I cannot afford to trash my mattress. I did however
trash my bedding and started over. My pillows are also protected with a zippered
The itching is horrible and the same bite marks I've had for at least a year seem to be
re-infecting. They get red and swollen. I also have several on my body that have
started to go away or I mean you have to look really close to see. I started tanning
and the heat helps and also starts tanning the scratched skin to blend with my normal
This is HORRIBLE. I actually think just today I caught one on my bed and then looked on
the computer and it does look like one of the species. I drowned it with 2 more I think
I found. I heard they were sensitive to light so I sleep with the lights on. I'm not
even sure anymore if all the itching is real. It could be psychosomatic. I always have
a feeling something is crawling on me. It's like when you see an ant on a picnic and
can't get that thought off your mind and start itching. The bite usually is invisible
to the naked eye, but once you start itching, the area expands to the skin torn
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites?
For fast relief from the discomfort and itchness of the bites, you are advised to run it under lukewarm running
water for approximately a minute and clean the affected area with an antibacterial soap, which will minimize the
inflammation and irritation as well as take your mind off it.
For a stronger treatment for the skin rashes, severe itchiness or to prevent infections, you can apply local
antiseptic lotion, antibiotic cream or oral antihistamine. Some of the recommended topical steroid creams for the
treatment of the bites are hydro-cortisone -
Cortaid Intensive Therapy
, for example - that helps to stop the itch and resolve any rash quickly.
How to Avoid Getting Bitten Again?
First, try to confirm the presence of bed bugs even if you suspect that you have been bitten by the tiny blood
It is best to first visually inspect your bed and room for any telltale signs of the bugs. If the brown critters
are found, one can contact a reputable pest control company for the extermination of bed
For homeowners who are looking for ways on how to prevent getting bitten, here are some useful steps one can
take to protect yourselves:
- Clear away unwanted clutter and clean your room thoroughly. Vacuum carpets and seal any cracks in the wood
- Wash all bedding and clothing in hot water for at least 20 minutes. Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat and
will die at temperatures above 120°F.
- Use a quality bed bug
spray to kill off any visible bugs one can find especially around and behind the headboard, bed
frame as well as upholstered furniture near the bed. Follow up the treatment with professional insect powders
Diatomaceous Earth by applying it around the bed and carpet to defend the
- If you are still worried, one can also use thick, double-sided tape to tape it around the bottom of the bed
frame or use professional
traps as a tool to detect and prevent bed bugs before they bite.
- Encase the mattresses with bed bug proof
covers that are designed to contain fleas and bugs. Similarly, the pillows and bolster must be
encase too to be effective in preventing bed bug bites. The covers will work both ways to prevent new
infestations as well as trap existing bugs on the inside from getting out to feed.
Note: For travellers, read this travel
checklist on how to prevent bed bug bites when staying in hotels and how to avoid bringing bed bugs back
to your home from your holidays.
Other Related Topics
Identifying bed bug rash and what remedies can help stop the itch and clear the rash.
Get the truth about the effectiveness of bed bug repellent, what you need to do to prevent the bites and how to get
rid of those blood sucking pests.
See and identify what do bed bugs look like.