Bed Bug Bites Show Up A Week Later

When do bed bug bites show up? How to get rid of them?

This post is part 5 of the Ultimate guide on how to get rid of bed bug bites.ВBed bugs need to feed on blood in order to survive and to mature into adults. The female bed bugs have to drink blood in order to produce eggs. In short, bed bugs need blood – human or animal – in order to make it in this life! They normally feed on human blood. But bed bugs can also feed on blood from animals such as dogs, cats, and bats. So,В when do bed bug bites show up?

Once the bed bugs find their target, they insert their mouthparts to find a vessel from which to draw blood. Firstly however, the bed bug will drop saliva onto the skin. Its saliva will be lined with an anesthesia so that it can feed on the blood without alerting the human or other host. Unfortunately, it’s the anesthesia in the saliva that may determine how severe the bite becomes to the host. Some people have very sensitive reactions to the saliva while others don’t.

Once the bed bug is done feeding, it will go back into its hiding place . In most cases the hiding place is cracks and crevices around your home. When you wake up, depending on how sensitive your skin is, you may or may not notice that you have been bitten.

When do bed bug bites show up? How do bugs feed?

When do bed bug bites show up? They may show up a few hours or days after the bite. This generally depends on the bitten person.

Bed bugs generally feed at night, although they are more than happy to feed during any time of the day as long as there is blood to be sucked. During feeding time, the bed bug will piece the skin with two hollow tubes. One tube is specifically designed to inject saliva that contains anesthetics and anticoagulants into the body while the other tube is designed to draw blood from the host.

It is the saliva and its contents that may cause itching in some individuals.

When do bed bug bites show up? The effect

Biting bed bugs

Bed bug bites will show up anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Following the bites, depending on one’s skin and its sensitivity, you may be looking at no or severe reactions. Some people may not even know they have been bitten unless they actually see the bites in a mirror or when someone points out the bites to them; others may experience serious reactions following the bites.

There are individuals that may develop itching after the bites; there are those that may develop red welts or swelling. Some people may not even end up with a bite mark; while others may need medical assistance to overcome the irritation caused by the bite mark. You may feel a burning sensation after the bite. It may later lead to red bums or, in more extreme case, blisters.

Regardless of the reaction however, it is important to avoid scratching the bite marks as this may lead to an infection.

What to do when you get bed bug bites?

It is important not to scratch bed bug bites when they start to itch. This is because scratching may lead to serious infections. When you have bed bug bites, it is better to wash the given area with soap and water then proceed to make use of any one of the natural remedies listed below:

  • Place a piece of cotton pad in pure witch hazel. Place it on the affected area for about 10 minutes. This should reduce the irritation.
  • Dilute equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water and apply the diluted solution to the affected skin for a few minutes. Leave the solution to dry then rinse off with warm water.
  • Make use of Aloe Vera to help heal the irritated skin. The juice from the Aloe Vera will help stop the itching.
  • Make a thick baking soda paste with the help of a little water and apply the same on the affected area.
  • Make use of oatmeal paste to sooth large bed bug bite areas. The oatmeal paste will not only help relieve itching but will also help fight against inflammation.
  • In case you fear an infection caused by the bite then you should consider applying honey on the affected area.
  • Freeze cucumber slices and apply the same on the bite marks. This will help reduce itching thanks to the cooling effect cucumber has on the skin.
  • Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply the same on the affected area.

If the natural remedies mentioned above don’t help to relieve the itching or treat the bed bug bites then you should consider visiting a doctor for the right prescription to help with the problem. There are a number of creams and pills that can be given to help relieve the itching or irritation.

When do bed bug bites appear?

Bed bug bites can appear anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on ones’ skin reaction to the bite.

Not to be confused with other bites such as those from fleas, bed bug bites normally leave a red mark or a few red marks that are in a line or cluster. In order to ensure that you have bed bug bites and not other bugs such as fleas, it is important to check for bed bugs around your home. These bugs normally hide in cracks, crevices, box springs, bed frame or mattress seams among other places.


Bed bugs may show up a few hours after the bed bugs have finished feeding; or they may show up 14 days later. Generally speaking, your skin type will determine how long bed bug bites last.


BedBug FAQ

We receive a lot of questions about bedbugs, such as what is a bedbug, where do they come from, are they dangerous, etc.. We have posted the most popular questions and their corresponding answers below.

What is a bedbug?

A bedbug is a small nocturnal insect of the family Cimicidae that lives by hematophagy (or in other words by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts). bedbugs can be found all over the world, generally in human inhabited environments. The reason bedbugs are normally found in these areas is because they feed off the blood of humans.

Bedbugs are small like an apple seed; an adult may grow to be the size of 4-7mm. They are a reddish-brown color, and their shape is flat and oval.

check out are bed bugs pictures to see them compared to all kinds of objects, such as a finger, dine, quarter, in the sink, etc.

Where do bedbugs come from?

One of the most common forms of infestation is through contacts with infested furniture in hotels, motels, and other places of temporary accommodation. Bedbugs can be passed on from used clothing or furniture. Cleanliness does not arrest the spread of infestation directly. The idea that dirt can cause an infestation is a misconception. However cleanliness, by depriving the bedbugs some of their hiding places, does slow down the infestation. Apartment complexes often have bedbugs because they can get from apartment to apartment easily.

What are their feeding habits?

When a bedbug bites a human, it injects two hollow tubes into the skin. With one tube the bedbug injects an anti-coagulant, anesthetic and with the other tube, it steals your blood. They will feed for about five minutes before returning to their hiding place. Also, bedbugs typically are active only at night (they start appearing at dusk) because they are nocturnal, but can be seen anytime especially if a chance to feed occurs. An important bit of information to know about the feeding habits of bedbugs is that they can survive for up to eighteen months without feeding even though they seek blood every five to ten days. A hungry bedbug looks slightly different from one that has fed because it is typically flat with a circular shaped abdomen while a blood fed bug is elongated with a tapered abdomen.

Are bedbug bites dangerous?

I’m not a doctor, but if a bed bug feeds on a person with HIV and you pop that bug in your hand which has a cut, I’d think there might be a concern! Check out my page on bed bug bites and you will see people attacked lives destroyed.

The bites themselves are not dangerous but they can leave scars caused by itching and some people end up with rashes that look like a big red welts. Doctors often misdiagnosis the bites.

How do I stop the itching from bedbug bites?

One that will help out is anti-itching cream for insect bites. You can usually find these at a drug store over-the-counter. Other people say that taking Benadryl or using calamine lotion will help with it. It’s important to remember that even though these methods may help reduce itchiness, they will not get rid of the bedbugs.

How can I tell if I have bedbugs?

We have a comprehensive list of ways in which you can check for bedbugs – generally, the first thing you may notice is a peculiar pungent odor, this odor is often very familiar to building inspectors and tenement dwellers. If you think you may have an infestation, it’s a good idea to check your bed visually.

Other things you may notice are blood spots, fecal stains or cast exoskeleton skins. Take extra care in checking the mattress itself and the corners of bed nets. Bedbugs typically hide in old furniture, behind peeling paint, wooden floorboards as well as seams and folds in a mattress, bed frames, and bed springs.

Remember, just because they are called bedbugs doesn’t mean they are only in your bed. Although in most cases bedbugs are in a small, concentrated area and usually within 10-20 feet of where you sleep.

What do I need to know if I have bedbugs?

If you think you may have bedbugs avoid bringing anything else into the contaminated room. Also remember not to start sleeping in a different bed, the sofa or with another family member or friend because there is a chance that the bedbugs may follow you to the new location and therefore contaminate another area.

Don’t throw anything out, instead, try to get rid of them yourself seek help from a professional. Make sure you don’t bag anything unless it has been washed in hot water and dried on hot for one to two hours. Remember, if you bag up clothing or bedding before washing and they contain bugs, you only contaminate your living space again as they can live up to 18 months without feeding. To be safe just assume everything in that room is infested; also, make sure to review our bedbug treatment section.

How do you get rid of bedbugs?

Visit my page on killing bedbugs for everything you’ll need to do it yourself without spending a fortune! You want to start treatment as soon as possible because each bedbug can lay four to five eggs a day – if you do the math, that is a lot of bedbugs!
(Consider this: in a room that is around 70 degrees, and there are 40 bugs six months later there would be 5,905 bugs!).

Do bedbugs ever bite private parts?

They sure do – they are happy to feed on any part of the body as long as it’s not hair or an area that is hairy.

Do Mattress covers work?

Yes, but only if it seals completely! Mattress covers will seal the mattress and keep bedbugs that are in, locked in (and those ‘trapped’ bugs will eventually die) and will also keep bugs out. The bedbugs hiding around the bed frame and other areas will still find their way to the top of the mattress and bite you. Don’t be fooled that this is a cure-all, which it is not; a mattress cover protects the mattress (not you).

Do bedbugs smell?

Most people say they smell like raspberries and large infestations can smell like moldy shoes.

I’ve heard that bedbugs rest on the ceiling and fly to their target, is this true?

Not true, BUT, Bat Bugs which are like bedbugs except for the hair on their head, feed on bats. When you remove the bats from your home, these bugs may move down and start feeding on you.

If I have a pet in the room with me, will the bedbugs feed on it instead of me?

No, you are the Filet Mignon, and your pet is ground beef. Humans are the preferred host for feeding!

Is it true that a bite from a bedbug can take up to 14 days to show?

From what the California Department of Public Health Vector-Borne Disease Section says, a bedbug bite may not show for up to 14 days!

Everyone reacts differently to bedbug bites, but if a reaction does occur, it usually happens by late morning.

Can I take legal action against the hotel for being bitten by bedbugs?

Yes, there are some examples, but three of the most popular include a woman who filed a lawsuit against Catskills resort for $27 million; bitten so bad that she can no longer stay in hotels. Because this is a critical part of how she makes her living (she’s in entertainment booking), she can no longer continue her lifestyle.

The second involves a woman staying at the Hilton hotel in Ohio; Sai Kim filed a lawsuit for more than $5 million claiming that she ended up with 150 bedbug bites on her hands, feet, face, fingers, toes, legs, neck, back, chest, stomach, and genitals.

Bed bug bites cover Gertrud’s legs and attacked her in her sleep!

The claim reads like this:

As a direct result of exposure to bedbugs, she was left physically scarred and emotionally damaged and that these consequences were a direct result of the defendant’s negligence and that the hotel breached its duty to provide reasonably safe accommodations that eventually led to “embarrassing injury and tremendous emotional distress.

The last case and probably the biggest bedbug case ever settled out of court was a woman who was bitten more than 400 times while staying at a Ramada Plaza Hotel in San Francisco. Some say that she received $71,000 to settle her bedbug claim. Note: The reports on the internet about the lawsuit came from the City Star, a local paper, but in trying to find the actual case, no information was available.

What is the size of a bedbug?

The picture below shows the size of a bedbug compared to a woman’s fingernail.

This is a picture of a bed bug compared to a fingernail to give you an idea of size.

We have two pages of questions and answers about bed bugs, see Page 1 and Page 2.

Insect bites showing up after returning home? – Tanzania Forum

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I left 1 week ago and it seems like I am still showing new bug bites. Not a lot but like 1 or 2 a day, enough that I’m paranoid something came home with me. My whole trip I only had 1 bite mark but then on my way home I discovered some bites on my feet/ankles/toe/calves as they were itchy on my flight home. One foot now has 4 bite marks, two of which popped up 2 days my return. I’ve had a couple on other areas show up like my legs and upper body. I’m kind of paranoid about bringing home bugs, especially bed bugs. I checked my bed and did not see any evidence of any kind of bugs. Do you think this is a delayed reaction and I’m getting worked up over nothing? I’ve been using some prescription hydrocortisone that I had still left over and taking Benadryl. I did wear sandals without socks at times during the trip so I thought this could be how my feet got bit up but I wore socks and regular shoes on way home. I did use insect repellent with deet but I maybe have missed spots on my feet. The last day in Arusha I didn’t use any insect repellent now that I think about it.

I left my suitcases in the garage and took out my clothes and put in washer and dryer right away. my pants, shirts, socks were treated with permethrin. I even treated my luggage and backpack before leaving. I was hoping this would help prevent anything from hitchhiking in my bags.

I’m still trying to get my photos organized on a site so I can share and write up a report. I came down with a slight cold upon my return also so I’ve been going to bed very early every night after working that I haven’t been able to work on it yet. But I will share as soon as I can.

Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

Find quick facts about bed bug bite symptoms, details about the variety of symptoms people experience, and videos about the signs of bedbug bites all right here.

On this page our goal is to give you quick and easy access to the information you need about bed bug bites and the symptoms they produce. Not everyone is looking for the same thing and people have different learning styles. So, you can work your way down the page or.

Pick where you want to start:

At the end of each section, you’ll find a link back up to this menu so you can check out just the sections that interest you in whatever order you choose.

If you want to learn more bed bug bite basics like how and why they bite, how to prevent them from biting you so much and bedbug bite treatment tips – see the general information page of the bed bug bites section.

Bed Bug Bite Symptoms – 8 Quick Facts

  • Bedbug bite symptoms are similar to symptoms of other insect bites
  • Not everyone reacts the same way
  • Symptoms are an allergic reaction to the bed bugs’ saliva
  • Bite reactions can be immediate – or delayed up to 14 days
  • Some people show no symptoms at all – even though theyarebeing bitten
  • Their bites arenot dangerous- bed bugs do not transmit disease
  • Bedbug bites are often the first sign of a bed bug infestation
  • Bite symptoms arenotproof that you have bed bugs

Bite Reaction Photos – Immediate and Delayed

The photos below show immediate symptoms of bed bug bites (left) and the reaction a day later (right).Note:Dr. Sorkin regularly feeds his laboratory bed bugs, so his skin is likely more sensitive than the average person as a result of frequent and prolonged exposure to bed bug bites. not to mention that this was the result of A LOT of bedbugs feeding in one small area from a laboratory vial. See more pictures of bed bug bites on the bite page of our bed bug photo gallery.

Types of Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

Bed bug bite symptoms vary from person to person and some people have don’t react at all. This was true in our case. While my husband was crawling out of his skin, I didn’t really have any symptoms at all. at least in the beginning. This is part of why I didn’t believe him at first (read more about that here).

They are pretty much like any other allergic reaction and can be confused with other things like other insect bites, poison ivy, and even allergic reactions to chemicals in things like detergents or perfume.

Symptoms include itching, redness, and swelling of the bite area. Itchy skin reactions are the most common symptom. And that can vary from a mild skin irritation. to mind-crushing itchiness that makes you just want to crawl out of your skin!

Bed bug bite marks can show up in a wide variety of ways (pretty much any combination of itchiness redness and/or swelling) including the following:

  • red marks
  • itchy bumps
  • little red bumps like pimples
  • "bed bug rash" – a red itchy rash almost like poison ivy
  • red welts, swollen raised welts or other symptoms like hives

The bites may show up in a grouping of three (sometimes referred to the "breakfast, lunch, and dinner" pattern), sometimes in a line or cluster of bites. But they can also be scattered in no recognizable pattern.

Sensitivity to bed bug bites can increase the longer a person is exposed to them. This is what happened to me. I had no symptoms in the beginning, but near the end I was suffering from itchy red bites just like my husband.

IMPORTANT NOTE:Bites are not proof that you have bedbugs.They could be the symptoms of something else or you could have been bitten by bed bugs, but not brought them home.The only way to know for sure is to find evidence of them.Learn about the 9 symptoms of bed bugs and then check out more pictures of the signs of bed bug infestation in the picture gallery.

Symptom Statistics

The Entomology department at the University of Kentucky conducted a study of the variety and prevalence of bed bug bite symptoms among people who were living with known bed bug infestations and this is what they found:

30% displayed no symptoms of bed bug bites at all!

What’s even more interesting is that still fewer people over the age of 65 reported reactions.

  • 42% of people over 65 had no bed bug bite symptoms
  • 26% of people ages 11-65 had no reactions to bedbug bites

Location of Bites

Of the people who did have symptoms, the breakdown of the location(s) of the bites on their bodies is as follows:

  • 84% had bites on their arms
  • 75% had bites on their legs
  • 50% had bites on their chest or back
  • 40% had bites on their neck
  • 40% had bites on their hands
  • 38% had bites on their feet
  • 21% had bites on their face

Types of Symptoms Reported

Itchiness was the #1 symptom. sometimes even in the absence of bed bug bite marks. Here’s the breakdown of that they reported:

  • 72% had itchy red welts
  • 50% had redness and skin discoloration
  • 28% had itching, but no welts

Other Symptoms Reported

Physical reactions were not the only symptoms reported.31% of people in the study suffered emotional symptoms as well. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 29% reported insomnia/sleeplessness
  • 22% reported emotional distress
  • 20% reported anxiety
  • 14% reported "stress"

Additional symptoms mentioned included:

  • nervousness
  • paranoia
  • anger
  • frustration
  • embarrassment
  • devastation
  • depression

These so-called secondary symptoms are often overlooked. In reality they can bethe most devastating part of dealing with bedbugs. Personally, I can identify. While I didn’t suffer the physical symptoms of bed bug bites until later on (after I had been bitten for a while and developed a sensitivity), the emotional burden was heavy. You can read our story here.

Health Checks Video: Signs of Bed Bug Bites

In this Health Checks video from the National Pest Management Association, Dr. Parada provides a brief overview of bed bug bites, how to treat them, and when to see your doctor. In my opinion its a good summary of much of the information shared on this page.

This video is shared via our Bed Bug Bites Video Playlist on the Bed Bug Answers Channel on YouTube. You can pause the video at the end or let the whole list of related videos (displayed on other pages of the bedbug bites section of this site) play through. If you want to skip to another video, just click the playlist icon in the upper left corner to see the entire list.

Not sure if its bed bugs bites or symptoms of something else? Narrow it down by answering the questions on this page.

You can also see more pictures of bed bug bite symptoms here and learn about how to treat the symptoms of bedbug bites here. including some simple home remedies that might surprise you!

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Symptoms – Insect bites and stings

An insect bite or sting often causes a small, red lump on the skin, which may be painful and itchy.

Many bites will clear up within a few hours or days and can be safely treated at home.

It can be difficult to identify what you were bitten or stung by if you did not see it happen. But do not worry if you’re not sure – the treatment for most bites and stings is similar.

Wasp and hornet stings


A wasp or hornet sting causes a sudden, sharp pain at first. A swollen red mark may then form on your skin, which can last a few hours and may be painful and itchy.

Sometimes a larger area around the sting can be painful, red and swollen for up to a week. This is a minor allergic reaction that is not usually anything to worry about.

A few people may experience a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), causing breathing difficulties, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth.Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you have these symptoms.

Bee stings


A bee sting feels similar to a wasp sting, but the sting will often be left in the wound. See treating insect bites for advice about how to remove this safely.

The sting can cause pain, redness and swelling for a few hours. As with wasp stings, some people may have a mild allergic reaction that lasts up to a week.

Serious allergic reactions can also occasionally occur, causing breathing difficulties, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth.Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you have these symptoms.

Mosquito bites


Bites from mosquitoes often cause small red lumps on your skin. These are usually very itchy. Some people may also develop fluid-filled blisters.

Mosquitoes don’t cause major harm in the UK, but in some parts of the world they can spread serious illnesses such as malaria.

Get medical help right away if you develop worrying symptoms, such as a high temperature, chills, headaches and feeling sick, after a mosquito bite abroad.

Tick bites



Tick bites are not usually painful, so you may not realise you’ve been bitten straight away.

Symptoms of a tick bite can include:

  • a small red lump on the skin
  • swelling
  • itchiness
  • blistering
  • bruising

Ticks in the UK can sometimes carry a potentially serious infection called Lyme disease, so they should be removed as soon as possible if you find one attached to your skin.

See your GP if you develop any symptoms of Lyme disease, such as a rash that looks like a "bull’s-eye on a dartboard" or a fever.

Horsefly bites

BOB GIBBONS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY and John Devlin / Alamy Stock Photo

A bite from a horsefly can be very painful and the bitten area of skin will usually be red and raised.

You may also experience:

  • a larger red, raised rash (called hives or urticaria)
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • wheezing
  • part of your body becoming puffy and swollen

Horsefly bites can take a while to heal and can become infected. See your GP if you have symptoms of an infection, such as pus or increasing pain, redness and swelling.

Midge or gnat bites


Midge and gnat bites often look similar to mosquito bites.

They usually cause small, red lumps that can be painful and very itchy, and can sometimes swell up alarmingly.

Some people may also develop fluid-filled blisters.

Bedbug bites


Bedbug bites typically occur on the face, neck, hands or arms. They’re typically found in straight lines across the skin.

The bites are not usually painful, and if you’ve not been bitten by bedbugs before, you may not have any symptoms.

If you have been bitten before, you may develop itchy red bumps that can last for several days.

Mite bites


Mite bites cause very itchy red lumps to develop on the skin and can sometimes also cause blisters.

Mites usually bite uncovered skin, but you may be bitten on your tummy and thighs if your pet has mites and has been sitting on your lap.

Some mites burrow into the skin and cause a condition called scabies.

Flea bites


Flea bites can cause small, itchy red lumps that are sometimes grouped in lines or clusters. Blisters may also occasionally develop.

Fleas from cats and dogs often bite below the knee, commonly around the ankles. You may also get flea bites on your forearms if you’ve been stroking or holding your pet.

Spider bites

Lee Dalton / Alamy Stock Photo

Bites from spiders in the UK are uncommon, but some native spiders – such as the false widow spider – are capable of giving a nasty bite.

Spider bites leave small puncture marks on the skin, which can be painful and cause redness and swelling.

Some spiders bites can cause you to feel or be sick, sweating and dizziness. Bites can also become infected or cause a severe allergic reaction in rare cases. Get medical help immediately if you have any severe or worrying symptoms after a spider bite.

Ant stings and bites

The most common ant in the UK, the black garden variety, does not sting or bite, but red ants, wood ants and flying ants sometimes do.

Ant bites and stings are generally harmless, although you’ll probably feel a nip and a pale pink mark may develop on your skin.

Sometimes the bitten area may be painful, itchy and swollen.

Ladybird bites

Richard Becker / Alamy Stock Photo

All ladybirds can bite, but a type called the harlequin ladybird found throughout much of the UK is more aggressive and tends to bite more often.

The harlequin ladybird can be red or orange with multiple spots. Look out for a white spot on its head – other ladybirds do not have these patches.

Ladybird bites can be painful, but are not usually anything to worry about.

Flower bug bites

Nigel Cattlin / Alamy Stock Photo

Flower bugs are common insects that feed on aphids and mites. You can identify the common flower bug by its tiny oval body, reflective wings and orange-brown legs.

Flower bugs bites can be painful and very itchy, and are often slow to heal.

Caterpillar hairs

The caterpillars of the oak processionary moth are a real pest. They were first found in the UK in 2006 and are now in London and parts of southeast England.

In late spring and summer, the caterpillars have thousands of tiny hairs that can cause itchy rashes, eye problems and sore throats – and very occasionally breathing difficulties. The caterpillars walk up and down trees in nose-to-tail processions.

If you find them, or spot one of their white silken nests, report it to the Forestry Commission or to your local council.

Page last reviewed: 8 July 2019
Next review due: 8 July 2022

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