Bed Bug Bites How Do You Get Them

Bed bug bites: Have you been bitten? Five signs to look for and how to get rid of them

BED bugs bites can cause great irritation, but unless you spot an infestation and get rid of them, the problem will keep occurring. Because bed bugs are difficult to spot, the best way to identify you have a problem is by looking at your bites. There are five signs to look for.

Bed bug bites are small insects that live in the cracks and crevices in and around beds.

They can be difficult to spot for a number of reasons – one being that they crawl out at night and bite exposed skin.

Bed bugs are also very small, with adult bedbugs only growing up to 5mm long – a similar size to an apple seed.

One of the best indicators you have bed bugs is to distinguish the bites. The NHS lists five signs that show you’ve been bitten.

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Bed bug bites are small insects that live in the cracks and crevices in and around beds

The first, is the bites can cause itchy red bumps not he skin.

Secondly, they usually occur on exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands or arms.

Thirdly, they often occur in lines across the skin.

The fourth sign is they may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters in more severe cases.

Finally, bed bug bites can become infected with bacteria if scratched. Signs of infection when this happens include pain, increasing redness and swelling.

The health body adds: “The bites usually fade in a few days. If they’re very itchy, you can buy a mild steroid cream (such as hydrocortisone) or antihistamine tablets to relieve the itch.

Bed bug bites: How do you know if you’ve been bitten? (Image: GETTY)

“See your GP if you develop signs of a skin infection, including pain, redness and swelling, as you may need antibiotics.”

You can try and spot the presence of bed bugs in your bed. You may be able to spot the small bugs or tiny white eggs. A bright torch can help with this.

Tiny black spots on your mattress may also be apparent – this could be their dried poo – or you may spot blood spots on your sheets if a bug has been squashed after it’s fed.

An unpleasant, musty smell in your bedroom can also indicate an infestation.

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Bed bug bites: Also look out for tiny white eggs on your mattress (Image: GETTY)

Bed bugs: How to spot them and how to get rid of them

Bed bugs: What are bed bugs? How to spot an infestation and how to get rid of them.

Bed bugs: How to spot them and how to get rid of them

First, wash infested clothes or bed linen at 60C or put them in a dryer on a hot setting for 30 minutes.

Next, use a vacuum cleaner with a hose to suck up any bugs you can see. Proceed to dispose of the contents of the vacuum cleaner in a sealed bag.

Consider throwing away any mattress or furniture that’s heavily infested.

Use plastic mattress covers that encase the entire mattress – this will stop any bed bugs getting in or out.

If you’re looking to prevent bed bug infestations, make sure to inspect your mattress and bed regularly for signs of an infestation and get professional advice if you think you have bed bugs.

Avoid buying second-hand mattresses and carefully inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it in your home.

Finally, keep your bedroom tidy and remove clutter.

Horsefly bites have also been common this year. The bites are painful and itchy, but there are five other signs you may have been bitten.


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Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.


Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.


Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.


University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

How do you get Bed Bugs? Read Daniel’s Nightmare!

How do you get bed bugs? There are so many ways you can accidentally bring these blood suckers into your home and most common are listed below:

  • Staying at a hotel and not using this checklist to make sure your room is bedbug free!
  • Buying used clothing and bringing it into your home without first washing it.
  • Bringing old books into your home.
  • Letting someone enter your home suspected of having an infestation and not recognizing the signs.
  • Furniture from a dumpster.

Of those listed above, the most common way people get bed bugs is by bringing a piece of furniture laying beside a dumpster into your home.Below is Daniel’s infestation storywe’re sharing with everyone so that others don’t make this innocent but costly mistake!

I had never encountered bed bugs before. I’m in college right now living in an apartment complex with 5 other people because shared rent is making our lives a whole lot easier. However its difficult to have 6 beds in a two bedroom apartment, so most of use couches and comfy sofas as our bed.

Most of our furniture came from Craigslist, but the last one that I got for myself was one that a roommate of mine noticed was left near the dumpster outside a few days ago because one of our neighbors were apparently moving away. It was a cozy green chair that perfectly matched the green sofa in our living room, it was only out there for a few hours and I wanted to keep it for myself in my bedroom, so on that same day I cleaned it, vacuumed it, and sprayed it with a can of Febreze to give it a more refreshing odor before bringing it in.

I was sleeping on the floor with some blankets underneath beforehand, so I was very relieved to have finally found something I can sit and lay on in my bedroom. But once we set it up, I noticed a red bug crawling along the armrest. I’m not sure if I killed it or just flicked it off, but I just assumed it was an ant or some beetle from the outside that found its way on it. I don’t really care for bugs, only spiders and cockroaches bother me, so I didn’t think too much of the bug I saw. Though I did mention it to one of my roommates if it might be a bed bug, but he told me the size of it was too big to be one so I never gave it a second thought.

On that same night that we brought it in, right before falling asleep I noticed another one crawling along my shirt. I tried to crush it with my finger, but I’m not sure if i made contact or not because it slipped off my shirt and down between the crack of the chair and the cushion, and again I just ignored it and fell asleep.

The next morning, I felt a little itchy when I woke up, but just continued on my way to go to school. Throughout the day however I noticed how often I was itching, and noticed several red marks appearing on my left forearm, mostly around my inner elbow. Later I realized the same red marks on my right forearm around my outer elbow, as well as both of my knees. I knew it had to be bedbugs, because the only time I was ever bitten so much was when I went to the pool area one night with my friends and never did again after getting bitten so much. But this time I had way more bites than a few mosquitoes could do without even being outside, and as the itch spots hardened I counted at least a dozen bites on each arm and leg.

I remembered that while I was cleaning the chair when I brought it in, the underside was ripped and you could see the springs and the cotton (or whatever the white cotton-looking stuff surrounded the springs was) and it was full of a dozen dark red and black spots. My same roommate told me it was probably just soda or juice that soaked through the cushion and stained the cotton, but the marks were very spread out, not congested in a single area or anything. Although the spots looked nothing like the bedbug feces or shells as I see in the pictures above, they ‘did’ look more like someone may have tried to thoroughly wash and clean it up as if there was a serious nesting ground here before, which is a scary thought. How do you get bed bugs? used furniture, that’s how!

After about 3 days, I couldn’t take it anymore and just threw the chair out. One main problem though, is that I needed something for my legs to rest on while I attempted to sleep on the chair those two nights, and for that I used my luggage bag that contained most of my old clothing that either don’t fit me or don’t wear very often. But still, yeah, BIG mistake, totally unfortunate for me to have chosen my luggage out of anything else I could have possibly used as a footrest. And now that my feet and legs also have bites on them, its possible that some of those bugs may now be hiding out in my luggage.

Today is that third day, and I’m currently washing all my blankets and clothing. I threw out the couch as soon as I arrived from work, and I showed my friends why by revealing my arms to them because I’ve been keeping the issue to myself since day 1. I am deeply hoping that all of those bugs stayed in the chair and haven’t tried nesting anywhere else, but I’m not sure and I’ll have to wait a couple more days or weeks to see if I still get any new bites or if anyone else in this house gets itchy. By the way, the two roommates who I share the bedroom with have shown no signs of my problem…yet.

I’m doing as much research as I can on these little *insert curse word here*, because I think I have over 50 bed bug bites that are incredibly hard not to scratch. I pray it goes away, cause I’ll feel horrible and responsible if the entire house gets infested including all my roommates and all their clothing and furniture, and then we have to resort to exterminators or even fumigation, which will cost a lot. But that’s the worst case scenario I suppose, unless we have to move.

So I just wanted to post my experience here, the pictures were incredibly helpful, but I’d also like to ask if anyone could give me some tips on some methods and techniques that work and don’t work. Like if I should wash my cloths with certain detergents at certain temperatures, or if I should burn that chair as well as my luggage, or what traces of these bedbugs I should be looking for to locate them, or if you recommend an anti-itch cream that works very well and lasts long, etc. Thank you so much. This site is great and I also hope scientists find some kind of cure or remedy to this growing issue in our society.

How do you get bed bugs? Used furniture left next to trash is the #1 method for bringing them into your home, second is staying in an infested room, be it a hotel, friends house, or used cloths. If you find yourself with an infestation, check out our step by step guide on how to get rid of bed bugs.

How Do Bed Bugs Spread – Visitor Q & A

Biggest mistake I’ve ever made was buying a used mattress from a second hand store. I ended up with a bed bug infestation like you would not believe, but by using food grade diatomaceous earth, diligent cleaning for a month, bed bug mattress cover, I finally got rid of them. My advice, look at the mattress for signs of bed bugs BEFORE you bring it home, even if it’s new (many time, companies just stick the returns back out on the floor).

Thank you very much. I promise that if I knew what I know now about these bedbugs, especially about their trails and signs of infestation,I would have never brought in that piece of infested furniture, because I did spot the red and brown marks on the underside of the chair, and I just ignored it.Now I regret it more than anything and pray that the problem doesn’t spreadto my roommates.

I read several of the comments here on your site and purchased a set of glue boards that one of the commenters recommended to monitor and catch these bugs, because I want to make sure I have them before going on a killing spree and buying a ton of products to fight back. I’ll post my efforts and results in a few days to update my situation for everyone to see what I tried, what worked, and what didn’t.

My buddy gave me a decorative sword (turned out to be filled with bed bugs) and now i’m staying at a motel at a cost of 386 dollars and had to pay a professional exterminator 500 dollars. thanx bedbugs and my (expletive) buddy

Hi. Have you found any sign of infestations at the Lucerne Hotel in NYC or the Mariott in Orlando Florida 1.5 miles from Disneyworld? Thank you so much.

Can bedbugs be transmitted through library books?

Good question and one that I’ve never heard asked before!

An individual book, doubtful, but a box of books that has been stored in a home / area infested with bed bugs would make sense. They are found where the source of CO2 is greatest and if the box was close to the bed, couch, etc, the bugs may indeed find it a suitable home.

I just did a response for the Lucerne Hotel, 201 West 79th Street, New York City, NY and did not find any reports of bedbugs. The Marriott will need an exact address for me to check.

Hey.. I live in a trailer in Sarasota with a roommate and didn’t even know what a bed bug was until i moved here! I sleep on an air mattress and had my first encounter with the beastly bug about a month ago..

At first i thought it was a baby cockroach or something and than i stepped on it and it occurred to me that it was human blood that came out of it!! I than took my sheets off and began to search the home for more..

They are very hard to find during the day and squeeze into cracks and crevices extremely well!! They’re there one minute and appear gone the next!! It’s like they disappear, but they’re not gone they’re lurking, waiting for you to lay down so they can feast on your blood!! Vicious little things and you cant feel them!!

I was at work the other day and a co worker brought it to my attention that there was a bug crawling on my neck!! How embarrassing!! He had no idea what it was but i knew immediately when i saw it and thought to myself that they’re following me now!! Anyways, my roommate and i are on the warpath now!

Are trying to get rid of them and have tried everything.. Ive found that the ant and roach spray works the best!! Can anyone give me some more tips on how to kill these little blood suckers because we’re getting eaten alive!!

I have a friend that her family’s home is infested with Bed bugs. She removed all the furniture and vacumed 100 times and removed all clothing to wash at a laundromat. Do you think she still has them? The couch was infested with these awful bed bugs. She took the couch and chairs to the dumpster, and vacumned many,many times. What are the chances that they are gone? what else can she do to eliminate them. She is so frazzled.

I wash my sheets and clean the house at least once a week! Learn to not take free furniture, because free will always be EXPENSIVE later on! 🙂

I first found out that I had them last night! I was just about to go to bed, after reading, and while sitting I noticed something crawling along the bed by me…. I squished it and there was BLOOD! I instantly flipped out. I threw my blanket, pillows on the ground and flipped my mattress and found two more!! I killed them but while looking for others underneath I couldn’t find any.

Thinking that, those were the only ones I put the mattress down and looked at one orange pillow that I rest my back on and saw something move…… and sure enough when I put it on my bed there they all were in a little corner. I of course instantly freaked out, choked up, and stomach and heart sank. I ran to tell my mom and she was curious because if they were all there…. why wasn’t I getting bitten?

Only time I noticed any bug bites was when I started cleaning in my room once and woke up to what I thought was a spider bite. Next day or so I had another one but a bit farther away from the first. After that I didn’t see anymore bites. Could you have bed bugs and sometime not be bitten or show signs of the bite mark? What can I do to get rid of them? The same night I got two garbage bags and put the orange pillow in it and left it on the back porch and going to put it in the garbage can today ( was 1 am when I noticed them.)

I am also washing my sheets and all of my clothes, to be on the safe side I bagged the clothes I’m going to wash in garbage bags and keep them in my room for the time being while the others are washing. Not to mention getting rid of clothes I don’t wear anymore and things to throw out too. I’m going to also vacuum my room like crazy and after doing so take the vacuum bag out and rebag it and throw it out.

I am just so afraid that because of me they spread throughout my house!! But the rest of my family haven’t complained of any bites or seeing anything. I don’t know how long they have been in that pillow. I’m hoping that pillow was home base…. sheesh even after the initial shock last night I’m still shaken. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you!!

I know this pain all too well, my son and I have been going through this since May 2009. The bed bugs are so itchy, i could not stop from scratching until it bled. I looked every where for an answer to relieve the itches. Finally, I found it, CASTOR OIL. Apply the castor oil as soon as you get the itches and then it will go away in about 10-20 minutes. Sometimes, the itches will come back the next day. Just keep applying the castor oil. The bump will get swollen and then it will go away with no scars. It is AMAZING. Note: This worked for me, I’m not a doctor and you should read any warnings before applying oil.

we have bed bugs and dont know how to get rid of them we have baby thats gets bitten by them and want to know what to do with them

Hello bedbug fans! lol My case is that my sister has a very very bad infestation of bedbugs and she transports them to other peoples house. my mother babysits her twins and now my moms bed is infested with bedbugs. everyday after work i would pass by my moms house and lay down on her bed until my b/f came to pick me up. to my surprise, about a week ago i woke up and it was a fat juicy bedbug on my pillow and i almost had a heart attack. my b/f crushed it with tissue and it bled and then he flushed it.

we are currently sleeping on an air mattress because we are afraid to buy a mattress or any type pf furniture. my mother, myself and b/f is certain that the bedbug hitched a ride on me from my moms house and was caught in time before it nested or bit due to us not seeing anymore at all through our inspection. so don’t be fooled and think only used furniture can bring them. they hitch hike, the at jobs, hotels, movie theaters, school, new mattress, old, friends clothes, trains, cars etc.

what i suggest is limit your amount of furniture and unnecessary clothing, get a metal platform bed with a foam mattress and wrap it 2x in plastic (eliminate bx springs if you can) at the start of your door coming home strip and put your clothing in a plastic bag and tie it tight, sit your shoes you wore for that day on the fire escape or outside the door for a lil while then inspect them and jump your behind right into the shower.

don’t let anyone in your bedroom coming from outside and sitting in your bed. if you know someone has them eliminate their company and don’t care if they get mad cause no one cares if they bring them to your home. by some polyutherine and paint around the baseboard in every room cause they can travel through walls and that will seal anything trying to get through. that’s about it, good luck to all and pray cause bed bugs surely have taken over.

I cleaned my room and found this pillow FILLED wit them on the side. I was :O and I went to my mom. She said they were fleas from my dog. I was okay.. She threw away the pillow and said “they were gone.” So a couple days later, I started finding spots on my sheets, i checked myself on my mirror to see if i had a cut or something. I checked my bed and found one of the bugs so I killed it. I went to my cousin’s room in my house and passed over to him without even noticing, same goes to my sister, mom and living room. I hate, despise, them. They are getting me and my family stressed and angry. Now we have to throw away ALL the beds, some clothes and some sheets, and etc. just because of those critters. OMG, I’m about to cry man. I hate them with everything. I feel way to anxious. I feel way to itchy. I wish I never got them man. I wish it could just disappear. but no, I’m stuck with them into further notice. Don’t mind my writing, if somethings didn’t make sense or whatever. Too angry at those things to care.

so i got my first place a little studio apartment ( been living here for 4 months); started out sleeping on the floor until i was able to get my bed transported to my place…finally got a mattress (used) from a relative who showed no signs of bed bugs at all) the beginning of this week i was so excited to finally have a bed.

well one morning i wake up and find some bite marks on me…i think its probably just spider bites since id been finding them in the place…well the next morning i find more bites on my arms..lower back..and legs so i ask ppl at work what bites they are …they gave me responses from bed bugs..ringworm…jiggers I’m getting pissed because all I’m doing is itching and its driving me nuts…

so i inspect my mattress don’t see anything at all go to inspect my box spring and see this blackish red bug crawling real fast…i scream of course and grab my spray and doused the bug and do some more inspecting and come across 3 more bugs and douse them with this spray that’s supposed to kill bed bugs, yet the bugs are still moving and enjoying all the light!

I’ve never had this problem and I’m stressing out ..i bagged all my clothes to be washed ..refuse to sleep in my bed and be a meal …these bugs are making me go insane……i bought some foggers do they work?

we just bought our Queen size bed couple months ago,my boyfriend notice that he has raches on his body,but we have a 4 months old baby ,everyday we try to kill them little by little.some times we kill 4 to 5 bedbugs,some days we found 7 to 6 at lease,,we just don’t know how to get rid of them,,

I was at my friends house for the last few days and slept on her couch the first night I woke up and was itchy on my stomach and my arms . The next morning I saw what looked like to be bug bites I didn’t see any bed bugs . Every night I stayed at her house I would wake up itching in the middle of the night and in the morning would find bites in different places. Could she possibly have bed bugs and I f she did how do I know if I brought them home with me, if I don’t see them, and how do I get rid of all the itching Ive had.

Sorry for all your troubles. I was a little down then started to read these bedbugs blog and it made my day. I am amazed at the many bedbug stores. I have certainly have become aware and more cautious of bed bug. Thanks and God bless you all.

We have this lady at work who has cats and if you look at her work chair there was so much cat hair on it that you would think the cats come to work. I had to train her and decided instead of talking about her I would clean her chair.

Using clear tape I scrubbed, brushed and beat the chair not thinking about bed bugs. After cleaning and loosening whatever might have been in the chair she took her chair back to her area. Two coworkers ended up with bites and were sent home or to the doctors and an exterminator was called in. So I’m thinking to myself if they’ve been bitten I should have more than a few bites (I cleaned the chair) The exterminator only sprayed the cubicles where the 2 ladies sat they didn’t spray my section which was in the opposite direction. Needless to say I had bites on my back not realizing it.

I was itching so I took a shower and when I came out of the shower I had my kid scratch my back it was still itching like crazy and they were like mom what are all these bumps on your back. Once I realized Oh My Goodness I went to work the next day to let them know and to show them my back and the hives that came with it they questioned whether it was from me cleaning the chair. Of course I felt that is was so I left work and went to the doctors he said they were definitely bites he couldn’t say whether they were flea bite or bed bug bites but he gave me a cream to put on me. So now every night I wake up with bites and I don’t know why and if I brought something home that day trying to be a good person and clean a co worker’s chair.

to get rid of bed bugs put food grade diatomaceous earth (silica) around the bed posts of your floor and i believe you can dust your bed with it. It can be found online or at a health food store. It also gets rid of other bugs and it does wonders 4 your body go figure you can kill bugs and eat it.

A friend of mine lived in a group home and had recently moved out. He had mentioned that the house had bed bugs, but they had seemed to stay on the first floor.
He just moved into a new place and after a few weeks of being there, along with a brand new out of the plastic mattress, we found the creeping bugs.

I’ve often sat on the bed, since there is no where else to sit, other then the floor. Is there a chance I brought them home?

I have not shown any signs of being bit, no itching and no marks. Could I have dodged this?

I’m curious I just got new furniture from a rent a center we got it on Friday left for the weekend come home last night sat on the sofa for a few hours and had bedbugs all over us. The store is saying it had to come from our home? We have never experienced any bed bugs what so ever but I have no proof of where they came from is it possible they come from the new sofa?

What is the address of the rent-a-center that sold you the sofa that has the bed bug infestation? I’ll check to see if there have been similar problems in the past.

I can’t sleep knowing these bugs are in my house. I have found only 5 can’t find where they are nesting (catching them was the only way I knew they were here). I have had both Terminex and Orkin come and look at the place. They both said the only sign of them were the actual bugs I caught and saved. After doing what they said two do (spray, wash, mattress covers, vacuumed) 3 days later if found two more in my bed. What did i do wrong or not enough of? I also changed my curtains. I am so paranoid every little thing I feel I think its a bug. Can’t afford the professional treatment. What do i do next.


I just found out that my mattress has a very small, but still very creepy, bed bug infestation! It took some detective work to figure out where they came from but I think I have it figured out! Amazon the online store!!

About 4 months ago, I purchased a new bed-in-a-bag set…..and it actually turned out to be a bed-bug-colony-in-a-bag set! A friend had come to visit about 2 weeks after I bought the new set. I was all excited and washed everything except the dust ruffle. Now I wish I had washed it! I’m guessing that one of the warehouses had a set returned after it had already been put on an infested bed and Amazon just re-sold it to me!

While she was here we were both getting bit like crazy by mosquitoes and she’s not use to all the mosquitoes in FL so I told her not to worry about it. The bites I had seemed to be itching more and for weeks on end before they finally healed up. I was researching how pheromones can attract them, or even steroid/cholesterol residue on your skin from your metabolism or medications. So, I first thought it was my new lotion that was attracting them because it was the only new variable that I could figure out.

About a month after she left I started to wonder if it could be fleas or bed bugs because I was spending much less time outside but had 4 times as many bites. I looked online but when I checked my bed, there were no bugs/feces/shed skins. I figured I was just attracting mosquitoes from all regions of the continent. Finally, 4 months after I got the bed set, I started to notice that the bites were mainly on my fingers and arms but hardly anywhere else. They would itch for 2 days and calm down but sometimes at work they would instantaneously swell back up and get itchy again.

Mosquito bites normally only last 2-3 days and are only itchy the first day. The bites I had were multiplying but also taking 2-3 weeks to heal completely. The last 2 nights I’ve been waking up around 5 or 6 am and notice 1 or 2 fingers that have 4-6 bites each! They itch way worse than mosquitoes/fleas and I just couldn’t believe that 1 mosquito in my room at night would bite that many times in a row if I’m sleeping and don’t move while he fills all the way up. At this rate it would have to be a mosquito with a tapeworm!

All in all, I looked online at pictures and bite blogs that compelled me to look again after work and sure enough they have finally colonized enough to have a few very large adults, one weird shaped casing like an egg sac, and a few nymphs that are very hard to see. I’m moving at the end of the month and I’m tossing my FAVORITE mattress in the trash when I go. I squashed every bug I could find (all full to the brim with my blood) and washed everything. I’m going to try the spray to cover me for a few weeks and everything will get bagged or thrown in the dryer before I move 1 box!

Wish me luck……and, if I’m right, then I suggest not buying anything made of fabric at Amazon if you know what’s good for you…but if you do…don’t forget to wash the dust ruffle!

Ugh. About 2 weeks ago we found out we have bed bugs. For weeks, I was finding bites on me and figured that they were mosquito bites because my husband wasn’t getting bit and we live in Texas so the mosquitoes are horrible! I’ve heard horror stories about bed bugs so I began checking my mattress and didn’t see anything. While my husband was on a hunting trip, I woke up at about 3 in the morning itching the crap out of my foot. I turned on the light and there they were. MY WORST NIGHTMARE!

The bugs where all over my mattress. I proceeded to wash everything!! And as soon as my apartment’s managers office opened, I called them immediately. 2 days later, they sent out an exterminator to confirm the bed bugs. We proceeded to throw away every piece of furniture away. A week after that (this last monday), the exterminator came to exterminate. So far, the bill has cost us $1000.00. Not to mention we still have to get our neighboring apartments inspected and if they in fact have bed bugs, we have to pay for their extermination as well. We have never brought a piece of used furniture into our apartment and have only stayed at 4 star hotels.

We are pretty sure that my husband got the bed bugs from a hotel in Louisville, KY because I checked the bed bug registry and 11 surrounding hotels had bedbug incidents. I have read on a few websites to not try and get rid of the bugs yourself, it only makes them worse!! So if you can, get an exterminator immediately. All of the bed bugs we have found in our apartment since Monday have been dead. THANK GOD!! Now we have to wait 2 weeks to buy new furniture!

Hey everyone. Thought I would give my input as I am a professional pest control technician and have been treating these little guys for 7 yrs. They are by far the most difficult beg to eradicate because they can hide anywhere and only certain things kill them. If you don’t want to spend the money on a professional then by a good steamer, preferably one with a hose. Shark makes good ones. While bed bug eggs can’t be killed with chemicals they are killed by temps greater than 120. Hence the steamer. Then you need to steam everything in the infested room.

The bed and its frame, any furniture and anywhere you can think of. Basically any crack or crevice can have bedbugs in it. Then you need to wash all you clothes and bedding in the hottest possible setting. Follow this with a good drying. This should kill anything in there. You should also get bed bug proof covers for your bed. Most places have them now. This keeps any residing bed bugs from escaping and reinfecting the bed. You need to keep it on for at least a year since they can live up to 16 months without feeding. Vacuum the carpet really well and toss out the bag or wash the canister. They only thing you don’t be able to do is lay down the good chemicals that will kill any remaining bugs that come out. Repeat this process every two weeks until you don’t see any more. Hope this helps.

Hello, I went to visit my elderly parents for Thanksgiving and no more than 10 min of sitting in the family room chair a bug was scurrying across my stomach of my shirt! I grabbed it and asked my husband immediately what he thought it was, now keep in mind I’ve had an obsession with researching these blood suckers, so I already knew what it was. I immediately went to check beds and on my mother’s bed was signs of bedbugs!!

It didn’t look that bad so we hurried to walmart to get encasements, but boy was I wrong! When I started lifting the clothes and dolls off her bed they were infested with bed bugs! My heart breaks for her and my dad! I went through hell cleaning and steaming all of my belongings when we got back, not to mention vaccuming and steaming the entire van! I’m heart broken that I can’t stay with my parents on trips anymore, because I fear of bringing them home! =(

I dusted all of the carpet and furniture with DE before I left and she has said she has seen signs of dead one’s not sure if it is just their skins or actual dead one’s she’s old and can’t see well, but she is still killing them… Her clutter is extensive and she can’t afford professional help, all I can do is lay the DE and hope that in time they go away =( God help all who have to go through this it is more than I can handle. If I ever got them I would have a mental breakdown! No place is safe and I can see that now…

So me and my sisters all got new bed sets and matresses so like the next few days my little sisters had bites on them but me and my parents thought it was mosquito bites. because they do out door cheerleading and their always outside in the grass but the bites kept appearing and we didn’t know what it was. we then thought it was spider bites that all changed last night because we had my cousin staying the night. he was laying in my sisters bed and he was like something bit me he was scratching like crazy and we then realized it was bedbugs so the terminex people came out and showed us where they were an I have just one word DISGUSTING!

So my aunt kicked out my cousin I went to pick her up and my aunts apartment was dang near empty. Didn’t think much of it so loaded my cousins clothes in my trunk and brought her to my house. She used my washer and dryer stored her stuff in my guest closet. After a week or so she went to my grandmas with all her stuff. My son has had bites all over with that a spider was finding him yummy. Well then last night I saw a bedbug crawling on the arm of my couch where my cousin slept. I bought some fogger stuff does anyone know if it works? I have 4 kids and I have to wash all their clothes and bedding (30) loads… I need advice! Please help…

its like 3am and i just woke up skratching like crazy, i may just be going a bit crazy im feeling a scratching like no other and i can see marks allready begining to appear. its like something ive never felt, im from the uk and i havent found any signs of bed bugs but something that looks like fecies in the pictures i cant see any nests on my matress but its not a spring mattress its an air matress, im 17 and the only reason im on this website is because im just quickly doing some reserch is it bed bugs?

Signs of bedbugs are the important part Harry – check out the bedbug checklist, 3am is the right time, but, if this is the first time happening, it could simply be an allergic reaction! This exact same thing happens to me when I eat bad seafood and only my chest and up get bumps. Let us know if you find anything, more signs of bed bugs (like the feces you mentioned).

I keep getting bed bugs this time of year for the last three years. It’s annoying. The first year I was living in a crap hole apartment so I thought it was because of that. I come from a small town, and I found the cheapest apartment I could find when I moved here three years ago. So I got rid of my mattress and washed everything like it was advised on the internet. I was moving in with a friend, so I let my landlord know that I had them. He told me that the building was infested and he was taking care of all the units anyway.

Everything was good in my new apartment, this was the end of Oct 2009, I moved here March 2009. Well, a year later around the end of Sept 201o my room mate noticed she was getting bug bites. A few weeks later, I noticed as well on me. So I checked my mattress, the bed bugs were back. I was worried it was my fault, because I heard they can be dormant for a while. I thought I had taken care of it all, I had washed all of my clothes and old stuffed animals from when I was kid in hot water. I had gotten rid of my old mattress and even the furniture because I didn’t need my old couch and chair anymore since my room mate had her own furniture. I wasn’t sure if it was my fault, but we told our landlord, and they came and sprayed everything. We had no problems with bed bugs after that. Sometimes we found dead bugs in the furniture, but that was it.

Now it’s 2011, I have moved again because my old room mate had a fall out. I moved March 2011 into my own place. Everything was great here. In October I thought I saw some bugs, and bug bites on me. It stressed me out, because I am tired of it. I vacuumed everything and washed everything. I didn’t see any again after that, until this afternoon. I found one at 1 in the afternoon crawling on my bed. I killed it, and I guess I am going to pull everything out again and vacuum and wash everything. I have told the landlords about this, but I am seeing no results.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been living in apartment buildings in the city or what, but this is getting on my nerves. I am sick of it. I lived in apartment buildings in my old town, and never had this problem. None of my furniture is used. I’ve never slept in a hotel. I kind of wonder if they’ve been following me from unit to unit, or if there is just something about this time of year that makes them come out more. Whatever it is, I just wish I didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Whatever you do, DO NOT take furniture from the outside, it is quite gross, used furniture in general especially if it’s couches or a mattress. You don’t know how disgusting the previous owner is, it’s hygienic to only buy new packaged furniture

After reading all the stories in the post I would like to post mine too. We moved into a new apartment and we looked at all the stuff if everything was in place, but we never had any thought of bed bugs in the apartment. The first night me and my husband saw 3 bugs crawling and thought some roaches and killed them. Later we found more. My husband for little suspicious and browsed online and said they might be bed bugs. We complained to the leasing office people and they claim that we brought them along with us. Unfortunately we never saw any bugs in our lives till now and we are thrown into the place and we have all the blames on us now.

Later my husband found some clues in the apartment which proves that the apartment they gave us is already infested with them. I think that the previous people did not inform them and they left and now these little buggers are tied around our neck.

An exterminator was called and he did something. The whole apartment smelled gross for couple of days. We thought everything was set. And they even did steam cleaning to the carpet. Again just 2 days later I found another bed bug crawling…Depressed.. I donno from where these are coming from. We again complained the land lord.

God please help us and save people who are suffering from bed bug curses…

It was 1 am when I woke up a bit worried about us still being infested with bed bugs. I wake up paranoid and come to find a what seems to be blood spot on my bed. I get up turn on the light and try looking for the blood sucker but it was no were to be found. Not to mention im sleeping on a air-mattress. Because the last mattress was infested with them so it had to be thrown out. I’m just so stressed and aggravated with this bed bug problem. I’m pregnant and i’m trying to get rid of these bugs before my daughter is aggravates me even more because my roommates have so much junk that when it comes down to exterminating they don’t want to bag everything and dry it. And when trying the method of spraying alcohol all around the house the smell bothers them. Its been at least 4 months of extermenaters coming and going and its just ridiculous.the couches are gone to and it was just yesterday when two more were found in my roomates room. I seriously don’t know what to do it feels like a loosing battle when all I want to do is get rid of them!

This is a response for Lisa as her post really got to me and brought all the painful memories I have from 2 years ago of me having to deal with bed bugs.

Lisa, I had my 1-year old baby bitten by bed bugs in the fancy new apartment building we were living at that time. I just hope you hear me.. this is absolutely NOT something you want to live with or try to ‘treat’ when you have a baby, period. Here is how it is: if you live in the house that has couple of units – check with the other unit and if they DO have the same problem – MOVE OUT as soon as you can, if they DON’T have the same problem – skip to step #2 of my suggestion please. If you live in relatively large apartment building:

Step #1 : MOVE OUT as soon as you can (tell landlord bed bugs as a cause and that you will put their address on bedbug registry if they will give you any troubles with early termination fees and such). The reason is – landlords 99.9% of time are NOT educated about the right way of #1 inspecting (which should ONLY be done with certified dogs) and #2 with effective way of treating this problem.

Step #2: I guarantee you, you will save your SANITY and MONEY by just having a quality dog inspection to determine where exactly in your apartment and furniture bed bugs are (in my NJ area runs $250 and up). Get rid of those pieces of your belongings IF they are not washable (also if you don’t want to throw your mattresses or if they are expansive ones – clean them the best you can and place special protective covers sold in Bed Bath and Beyond and many online stores) AND rewash ALL of your washable belongings AND just get the hell out of there..

Now, 2 years later after the bed bug encounter in our perfectly beautiful apartments, and having to deal with management, and treating the unit, and throwing my hard earned furniture and stuff at the end, and having to move twice: first temporary to our parents’ house (to be ABLE to sleep) and than finally to our first home that we bought, AND even after that having to deal with constant anxiety and depression and obsess after every single mosquito bite on mine or my baby’s body..

I just hope you read this and take care of yourself first and your sanity before your baby arrives. Love, Oksana.

I had these bugs before. It was not fun. I’m in collage and I got this new furniture, it was wonderful. I slept on it every night unlit one night I found out it was by the dump for a long time and that’s how you get bed bugs. I got all itchy then I felt bad that if I may have caused my friends to become infested and start itching as well. Make sure that you don’t bring home used cloths or furniture and if you do, than make sure that you check them BEFORE bringing them into the home!

Hello I’m in collage and I had bad bugs before it was NOT fun at all. I bought a couch and I slep on it every night till I found out I had bed bugs. The couch was bye the dump for a while and that’s how you get bed bugs.

I went to school the next day and I had red bumps al over the place and I was itching all over to. I felt Bad because what if I gave te bed bugs to my roommates??


#1 DONT buy things that has been by the dump or ou will get the bed bugs and might not get rid of.

#2 DONT get couches ad chairs from people you don’t know and do have bed bugs…

I hope I helped you with bed bugs bar side you could possibly get sick from bed bugs. Trust me ou DO NOT want to get them 🙂 hoped I helped.

Thank You,

A few doors down on a really clean street.. neighbors have bed bugs.. throwing all furniture and bags in their driveways for days now.. can they travel threw the grass to other homes? if so is there something i can put outside around my home.. Worried . please help..praying our street name will not change and be called bed bug ave.. thank you.

Hi Kat, no, the maximum distance a bed bug can travel without help is around 60 feet; as for help, that can come in the form of a bat and unless you have bats, I think you’re safe.

i have a new bed since i moved to my new house. we found a leather couch outside and am using it for friends and what not. i just saw a small bed bug looking thing and got paranoid. is the bug from the leather or from the couch the leather is on? Just saw a bug on my pillow! Please. help with a good answer.

And one more thing. can they be brought into your home through a bite??

Hi people, after I took a shower yesterday morning I noticed a bump on my neck and one on my shoulder bone, I didn’t think it was anything just the soap I used.. But then this morning I woke up and noticed that the one bump had two next to it in a line.. The other one didnt but I’m wondering if its a bed bug bite? Can they come in from pets like my animals play outside and sometimes come into my room. Can they transfer onto my bed? My bumps aren’t itchy but I’m terrified of any bug.. PLEASE HELP!

I had bed bugs and I tore up my carpets, through out my mattress and box spring and my pillows and mopped and cleaned everything and also washed all my sheets in hot water twice. Now I just got a new bed. First night was wonderful, second night I found 2 huge bed bugs! Do you think I still have them? Does hot water not kill them?…… :”(

No, hot water will not kill them alone, you follow the instructions on my bed bug dust page to effectively get rid of these pests!

i have bed bugs now, im terrified to even sleep, i haven’t told anyone because i was to embarrassed, i’ve tried hovering the bed and spraying everyone i see with deodorant, but they always come back. but its weird this wasn’t any old or used bed, it was a bed in our spear room not used except for about twice just before my sister moved out. then we done up the room and that bed became mine, but quite a few months in i started to find spots of mold all over the bed covers, then i started to see bugs i had never seen in my life before climb up my walls and curtains. I had heard of bed bugs before but i never thought i would ever get any, so i decided to lift up my mattress and see if they were there, their was a few but not as many as i thought there would be. A few days later I went to get something out of my bed drawer and found loads of them in there including dead ones, now i don’t even want to go to sleep at night.

I heard that vinegar and salt i think with water to get rid of them! Is that true?

I heard that you should put turpentine at the corners of the matresses and box springs and in all creases of everything they may have gotten in. Good luck! Or better yet don’t do second hand save up until you can afford something, it’s not worth it because you may have to throw everything away you already have and that is a total waste!

Hey Shywan, simply puff diatomaceous earth into the mattress, it’s safe, doesn’t smell, and all natural – see my section on bed bug dust 🙂

Just wanted to know, I could be getting ahead of myself. I met this person in my building yesterday, we spoke for around 30 mins, but kept a fair bit of distance between us. She invited me to check out her apartment. Went in, for a couple of minutes, removed my shoes, but stood at the entrance itself for roughly 5 minutes. Today, I met her again; we rode the train together (she sat next to me). She disclosed at the end of the conversation that she has bed-bugs. They bite her only at night (on a hot day).

My question is, can I get infected by it? I am currently freaking out. :/

If you’re in her home and sit on infested furniture, yes, you can unwittingly bring them home with you. I think that so far, you are safe. You can do her a BIG favor and pass along my page on bed bug dust, it could save her a TON of money in extermination fees!

okay this past week I’ve found about 10 bites around my body (groin and the back of my knees) and I’ve compared them to what I’ve seen on this site and I’m pretty sure its bedbugs…. My question is, can you get bed bugs from a comforter?

My aunt bought this king size quilt from someone and decided that she didn’t want it, and piratically forced my mom to buy it from her. While cleaning up the house a couple weeks ago my mom told me about it and said i could use it on my bed instead of the twin sized one i had from my college bed.

I only just got these bites this past week, and at first i though it was just little spider bites on my legs (i don’t mind spiders, they eat the flies) but i noticed all the others around my groin and there’s just noway.

Yes, you can get bed bugs from a comforter. What I would do is see if there is an infestation inside that comforter (if it’s a multilayer design), are there signs of bed bugs? If you’ve got 10 bites, then chances are you have more than one bed bug (if they are bed bug bites).

I’ve been woke since 3:00 in the a.m i just found a large bed bug and a small bed bug within those hours how can i get rid off these bed bugs i have the bed bug dust stuff and applyed it to:
-the boxsprings
-the bed frame
-the floor
and other areas inside of the house and, there still signs of them. I’m off to read your section on bed bug dust. Thank you!

A friend of mine who’s house I stayed over a few times has bed bugs. I realized this after I ended up with over 10 bites on my body and woke up to notice a bag on my pillow! since then, I haven’t stayed over there again. I was hoping and praying that I didn’t bring the blood suckers home with me. I know for sure that if I change my clothes every time I stay before I leave and leave the clothes I slept in …after I realized he had them I became scared about my house. For the past few nights I’ve slept in my bed but haven’t had any bites…my question is, does it take time for the to infest in your mattress?

Yes, it takes time for them to reproduce, but not much. What you should do is buy a mattress encasement, one that protects your from dust mites will also protect you from bed bugs. Also use bed bug dust (food grade diatomaceous earth) to help eliminate them, it is safe and works great.

I was in a bind and needed money. My family was expanding, we needed new furniture so i decided to go second-hand. It first started when my son, who slept through the night from birth, started waking in the middle of the night about something biting him.
Then I started noticing bugs coming out of diaper bags, purses, ant then eventually my clothes! Overwelmed by how fast they multiplied, I threw everything away. Now I’m in the process of replacing everything I had to get rid of! Unfortunate?

Most people here seem to have very visible bites, but it’s worth observing that reactions vary tremendously. Some folks welt up and itch like crazy; some just get a little red dot that doesn’t bother them at all; and the rest are spaced out all along a continuum. It’s basically a matter of your individual body chemistry interacting with the bug’s. So, yes, it is entirely possible to have bedbugs and be bit and not know it–until you actually *see* one, on which good luck, unless you have bold ones like mine!

Consider this too: how big is a bedbug? How much blood can it possibly take? A drop? Two? I’ve read that some people get anemia from being bb-bit, but they probably have really major infestations.

One thing you should never do is be ashamed because you have bugs. It is NOT YOUR FAULT. You are not a rotten housekeeper. Unlike cockroaches, bedbugs are not attracted by filth. They’re opportunistic little bloodsuckers (like the IRS) and they go where the food (money) is. And they are very small and nearly flat and can hide in anything–clothes, shoes, luggage, a book. Many people are simply not aware that they have, and are spreading, bugs. This is one reason the problem has gotten so severe.

You can restrict yourself to 4-star or even 40-star hotels and it won’t keep you safe. The cleanliness and luxury of the hotel has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. All it takes is one traveller who’s been in, or who comes from, a third-world country and has one hitchhiking female bb who’s gotten it on with the guys: she’s like a queen bee–once she has mated she can egg happily away for the rest of her (year-long) life.

My daughter usually goes to her Fathers house who lives with his girlfriend and their baby and get other 3 kids every other weekend! From the day try moved in together and my daughter started sleeping at her house she would come back home with huge red spots all over her body. I’m a nursing assistant in nursing school so i automatically knew what it was.

I let her father know what was going on and he insisted she was getting these marks at my house that he never noticed it on her so I stopped letting her go over because he wouldn’t get the situation straightened out because to him I was lying and jealous ( don’t know why since I’m in a relationship with my 1 year old sons father).

Time went on and I never saw the spots again and one day my mother who usually watches my daughter for me to go to work on the weekends went to Brazil on vacation (that’s where were originally from) and I had no one to watch her so I took her to her fathers house when I picked her up that Sunday I noticed huge spots on her feet because she had sandals on and I showed them to her father so he could see I wasn’t lying.

I took her home called her doctor he said she had some kind of an allergic reaction and to use hydrocortisone on it which I did and knew to since I always did every time he came back like that. Still her dad insists it wasn’t bed bugs even said she might have gotten something and passed it to the other kids cause apparently they were also having red stops all over.

A few days later passed and I get a call from him saying that he was laying in bed and seen a couple of bugs pass by his door and he got up and followed them, when he lifted up the mattress where both my daughter and his stepdaughter slept on he found hundreds of bed bugs. So of course he apologized for being a jerk all these months and got rid of all of his stuff and hired an exterminator.

If you see red spots don’t take any chances just look even if it sounds crazy an you can’t imagine that you might have them cause you never know! If he has listened to me he would have taken care of his problem months ago but to him I’m always wrong and I don’t know what I’m talking about! Well I washed all of her clothes with hot water as soon as we got home that same day and just thanked god he didn’t pass any onto my apartment!

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like (And How To Get Rid of Them Faster)

It can be difficult to identify bed bug bites because the red itchy bumps caused by bed bug bites look like flea bites or mosquito bites. Bed bugs usually come out at night and feed on the blood of humans. The tiny nasty pests can leave a cluster of bite marks on your face, arms, stomach, and legs. Some people only have a mild reaction to the bed bug bites and may only have a few small red dots. However, others have more severe reactions and are plagued by large red bite marks and an irresistible urge to scratch them.

Pictures of bed bug bites show groups of red bite marks on the body. Very often, the bite marks left by bed bugs are in straight lines or in a zig-zag and very rarely is there just one solitary red bite mark.

There are many effective natural home remedies to quickly get rid of the signs of bed bug bites. You can make your own natural treatments for insect bites with ingredients like witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera. The natural anti-inflammatory ingredients in those home remedies help to quickly relieve itching and promote healing.

In this article, you will learn how to identify bed bug bites and find out how to get rid of them quickly. You will also see images of bed bug bites to help you to spot the tell-tale signs that you have been bitten.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

The Latin name for bed bugs isCimex lectularius, or common bed bug. If you’ve ever seen a close-up picture of a bed bug you will see that they look quite scary. However, in reality, bed bugs are tiny pests that lurk in corners and crevices of beds, mattresses, and furniture. They are about the size of a small apple seed and many can be seen crawling around if you have an infestation.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that bed bugs have flat, brown, oval bodies. They don’t have wings but can quickly scurry over floors, ceilings, and walls. The parasitic insects live in groups and love to hide in dark places. If you have a bed bug problem in your home, you should check for signs of bed bugs in corners of your bed frame, along the seams of mattresses, along baseboards, and behind pictures. In fact, they will live in any crevice that is large enough to slide a credit card into. 1

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that bed bug eggs look like tiny white pinheads. As they go through their nymph stages they shed skins and these yellowish shells are a common sign to look for when checking for an infestation of bugs. 2

Pictures of bed bugs

How to Identify Bed Bug Bites

On most people, bed bug bites look like itchy red bumps on their body. However, it can be difficult to know if the bite marks have been caused by bed bugs or not.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of bed bug bites may not appear for a few days. Also, each person reacts differently to being bitten by these irritating pests. Some people show no signs of being bitten whereas other people have a severe reaction to the bite, and large bumps appear on the skin that itch severely. 3

However, Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that the only way to know for sure if the red bite marks have been caused by bed bugs is to look for signs of a bug infestation. That will confirm if the red spots that look like bed bug bites are in fact the result of bed bugs.

Bed Bug Bites – Signs and Symptoms

Images of bed bug bites generally show clusters of itchy red bumps on a person’s arms, neck, face, legs, and other areas of their body. Depending on the number of bed bugs that have infested your sleeping area and your reaction to them, bed bug bites also have other signs.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that more often than not, bed bug bites will be in either a rough line or in a cluster of red marks. If they cause a severe skin reaction, the itching can be very intense. In rare cases, a person who has many bites and a severe allergic reaction should visit a doctor. 4

Doctors from the National Health Service say that, in some cases, the itchy red bumps on the skin can cause a rash or start to blister and fill with fluid. 5

However, it can be difficult to tell if the bites have been caused by bed bugs or another insect. Therefore, it’s important to know how to identify the difference between bed bug bites, flea bites and mosquito bites.

Bed bug bite vs flea bite

Flea bites and bed bug bites look very similar and cause itchy red marks on the skin. Even in pictures, it is hard to tell bed bug bites and flea bites apart. However, there are some differences.

The symptoms of flea bites generally appear on the ankles, feet and around the abdomen. As with bed bug bites, flea bite symptoms can also appear in small clusters. Dr. Carol DerSarkissian says that if you look closely at a bed bug bite you won’t see a small red dot in the middle as is characteristic of flea bites. 1

Bed bug bite vs mosquito bite

Both mosquito bites and bed bug bites can leave itchy welts on the skin. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the symptoms of mosquito bites show up very soon after the bite; in fact, in only a few minutes, a puffy red bump usually appears. 6

Unlike bed bug bites that are painless, you may feel the mosquito bite and it might start to itch immediately. It is also more likely that the mosquito bite will blister and ooze a small amount of fluid.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites – Complications

Bed bug bite marks usually heal within 2 weeks and won’t leave any permanent mark on the skin. In some cases, there are complications associated with bed bug bites.

Of course, for many people, the appearance of red itchy welts on visible areas of skin like their face or arms is an unwanted complication of bed bug bites.

One of the most common, and potentially serious, complications that is seen with bed bug bite is a secondary skin infection. Dr. Stephanie S. Gardner on WebMD says that itching from bed bug bites can be so severe that constant scratching breaks the skin and germs get it. This can cause a bacterial infection in the bite mark. 7

Dr. Steven Doerr on eMedicnineHealth warns that some people experience severe allergic reactions to bed bug bites. Some of the signs of a serious allergic reaction include itching all over the body, tightness in the throat, chest pain, red bed bug rash that spreads from the bite area. 8

At least the good news with bed bug bites is that they don’t spread disease. The CDC states that bed bugs don’t spread disease and the most serious health threat is a lack of sleep from scratching and secondary skin infections. 3

Signs of Bed Bug Infestation

If you suspect that clusters of itchy red spots on your body are the result of pesky bed bugs, you should check for signs of an infestation.

First, you don’t have to worry that having bed bugs is a sign of uncleanliness or dirtiness. The CDC says that bed bugs only feed on blood and aren’t attracted to dirt. Bed bugs have been found in the cleanest of 5-star hotels. 3

To check for signs of bed bugs, you should look in areas where they tend to live. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that tell-tale signs of bed bug activity are tiny rusty-colored stains on bed linen from bug feces or dried blood. You may also notice tiny yellow shed skins around your bed and sleeping area. 9

The next step to confirm if itchy red marks on your skin are from bed bugs is to find where the critters are hiding. You should check all joints and screw holes in your bed frame, around mattresses and box springs, and around the headboard. Other places where you might find evidence of a bed bug infestation are in the folds of drapes, in drawer joints, behind loose wallpaper, and at baseboards.

If you find feces, dead bed bugs, or bed bugs crawling around, it is time to take drastic action to get rid of the bed bugs quickly. This is the only way to prevent getting more bed bug bites in the future. Some effective ways to kill off infestation of irritating insects include using bed bug powders that destroy populations of bed bugs as well as bed bug sprays.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Fast

Fortunately, there are many great home remedies to get rid of bed bug bites quickly. Here are a few of the best ways of treating bed bug bites at home.

Cold compress

To quickly get rid of an intense itch in a swollen bump caused by a bed bug bite, you can use a cold compress. One excellent way to make a compress is by using a cold tea bag. Cold helps to relieve irritation from your skin by calming nerve endings, and tea helps to relieve itching and promotes healing.

A study from 2012 into the healing effects of tea found that compounds in black and green tea have an astringent effect. This helps to reduce itching in irritated, inflamed skin. 9 However, you don’t just have to use black or green tea bags. Research has also found that chamomile has soothing properties and is just as effective as hydrocortisone creams (often prescribed by doctors to reduce itching in insect bites). 10

How to use:

To quickly get rid of the irritation that bed bug bites cause using a cold tea compress, this is what you should do:

  1. Put a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes. Remove the bag and cool it in the refrigerator.
  2. Place the tea bag on the red itchy bumps to relieve discomfort and irritation.
  3. Apply the cold compress 2-3 times a day for fast relief from bed bug bites and bed bug rash.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera also has properties that reduce itching and help to speed up the healing time of a bed bug bite. Aloe vera contains many properties to nourish your skin and relieve inflammation and irritation.

One study into the healing properties of aloe vera found that it has a soothing effect on irritated skin. It was found that aloe vera was just as effective as hydrocortisone creams in reducing itching and inflammatory responses in the skin. 11

How to use:

Aloe vera gel is great for helping bed bug bites to heal faster. This is what you should do:

  1. Use aloe vera gel with as few added ingredients as possible and liberally apply some gel to the bite marks.
  2. Massage the gel into the area around the bed bug bites to soothe the skin and stop itching.
  3. Apply the natural remedy 2-3 times a day to help your skin heal quicker and get welcome relief from the constant itching.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil will help to treat the itch in bed bug bites and help prevent secondary infections making the skin worse. Tea tree oil contains powerful antimicrobial compounds as well as properties that help to reduce inflammation and itching.

One of the benefits of using tea tree oil to quickly treat bed bug bites is that it helps soothe allergic skin reactions. For example, theBritish Journal of Dermatologyreported on a study into the antihistamine effect of tea tree oil. Histamine is released by the body as a response to allergens. It was found that applying tea tree oil to skin inflammation helped to soothe the allergic response fast. 12

How to use:

You can use tea tree oil as a spot treatment on one or two bed bug bites or you can mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil to apply to clusters of bed bug bites. This is what you should do:

  1. Put a drop of tea tree oil on the end of a cotton bud and apply to the itchy bed bug bite.
  2. Apply 2 times a day to help stop itching in the bite marks and prevent bacterial infections affecting the skin area.

For large clusters of bed bug bites, you can get relief by adding 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply 2-3 times a day to help your skin heal and treat any bed bug bite blisters that have formed.

You can also use tea tree oil to make a natural spray for bed bug eradication.

Other ways to get rid of bed bug bites quickly

There are many other natural ways to get rid of the visible signs of bed bug bites. Here are some more ways.

Witch hazelis a natural astringent that quickly soothes itchy skin and reduces redness. Witch hazel is perfect for treating bed bug bites and can be applied whenever your bite marks start itching.

Apple cider vinegar, when it is diluted with water in equal proportions, helps to reduce itching and kill germs in bed bug bites. Just apply diluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area to stop itching fast.

Cucumbershave an amazing soothing effect on the skin and will give you instant relief from itching and irritation. All you have to do is apply slices of cool cucumber to your bite marks.

For more information on these natural bed bug bite remedies and to find out some more effective ways to treat bed bug bite signs at home, please read my article on natural ways to make bed bug bites heal faster.

How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites

Of course, preventing an infestation of bed bugs is much easier than having to deal with the discomfort bed bug bites cause.

The CDC says that one of the best ways to prevent bed bug bites is to regularly check your bed, mattress, and bed linen for signs of bed bug activity. This can help you get rid of bed bugs before they become a major problem. 3

Also, you should be careful of buying second-hand furniture. The National Health Services warns to avoid buying second-hand mattresses and if you do buy used furniture, carefully inspect it for bed bugs. 5 Remember, that in the right conditions, bed bugs can live for many months without feeding!

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. WebMD. Bedbugs.
  2. EPA. Bed bug appearance and life cycle.
  3. CDC. Bed bugs FAQs
  4. MayoClinic. Bedbug symptoms.
  5. NHS. Bedbugs.
  6. MayoClinic. Mosquito bites.
  7. WebMD. Pictures of bed bug bites.
  8. eMedicineHealth. Bedbugs.
  9. EPA. How to find bed bugs.
  10. Phytojournal. Tannins are astringent.
  11. OWM. 2011;57(5):28-36.
  12. Skin Pharmacol Physiol.2008;21(2):106-10.
  13. Br J Dermatol.2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs

By DoMyOwn staff

How do people get Bed bugs in the first place? To some it seems like they just magically appear, and people are often left scratching their heads (and other areas…), confused and frustrated that they’ve wound up with a bed full of bugs. However, it is no mystery how bed bugs are spread from place to place; humans have helped spread bed bug infestations for hundreds of years.

How Bed Bugs Spread

The incorrect assumption is that dirty locations attract bed bugs and house bed bug populations. Although most dirty locations do attract a host of nasty insects that spread germs and contaminate areas, bed bugs are pleased with clean or dirty.

Bed bugs are able to spread via human travel and movement. The unique flattened and small round shaped of the bed bug allows them to hide just about anywhere they can squeeze.

They hitch rides onto the fabrics of furniture, mattresses, luggage, clothing, etc., where they ride until they find a suitable host area, like your bedroom. This is where bed bugs can establish populations, which they can accomplish fairly quickly.

Where You Can Get Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are most often found in homes, apartment buildings, college dormitories, and hotels, which are all places with consistent hosts at rest for bed bugs to feed. But bed bugs have also been found in daycares, movie theatres, and even city buses; these places generally don’t have large established populations, but bed bugs can be picked up and transferred from people resting in these areas. Since people are constantly rotating in these spaces, bed bugs can be deposited and picked up on clothing, bags, and purses and taken home.

Bed bugs hiding in furniture, mattresses, and other items you might bring into your home is another common way of picking up these little hitchhikers.

Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, they travel commonly by luggage. Hotels and motels, no matter how clean or shining the reputation, can be susceptible to bed bug infestations. This is one of the most common ways people get bed bugs, when the bed bugs hitch a ride back to the traveler’s home.

Steps to Prevent Getting Bed bugs

  • Never bring in upholstered furniture, bed frames, mattresses, or box springs found on the street into your home.
  • Check all borrowed, rented, or second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring them into your home. Check all cracks and crevices, even in wooden furniture.
  • The best way to prevent the spreading of bed bugs when traveling is to check the rooms before you stay in hotels. The nicest and cleanest hotels can be infested. Don’t place luggage on the ground, and inspect mattress, box spring, headboard, etc., for bedbugs before spending a night in your room.
  • If you suspect you’ve been around bed bugs, inspect your clothing and any items you had with you before entering your home. If bedbugs are found, launder items immediately or place in plastic bags until further treatment can be carried out with products like Sterifab.
  • Even if you don’t have bedbugs, seal cracks and crevices in your bedroom with caulk. Door and window frames, baseboards, floorboards, etc., should all be sealed to eliminate bed bug hiding spots. You can even seal cracks and crevices in bedroom furniture. Consider using a bed bug mattress cover, a box spring encasement, and even bed bug pillow covers to prevent bed bugs from taking residence in these items.
  • To do your part in preventing the spread of bed bugs, if you have to throw away any infested items, make sure to cover them in plastic if possible. Always place signs on the items stating that the items are infested in bed bugs. Never donate infested items.

If you already have a Bed bug infestation, read our article: How to Get Rid of Bed bugs

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