How Do I Stop Bed Bugs From Biting Me

10 Non-Toxic Tips to Keep Bugs from Biting

Are bugs bugging you? Don’t reach for the DEET just yet. Try these easy tricks to safely prevent pests (and if they still come around, we have three tips to naturally soothe any bites or stings).

Tips to Keep Bugs from Biting:

1. Protect your child by covering that delicate skin with lightweight, long sleeved shirts, long pants and socks. Insects may be attracted to floral prints. Choose light, solid colored fabrics.

2. Mosquitoes are usually most active at dusk and just before dawn. Avoid playing outside during these peak hours.

3. Keep your window and door screens in good repair. When possible keep your child protected indoors or behind mosquito netting.

4. If eating outside, use an outdoor fan to blow away mosquitoes.

5. To reduce mosquito breeding near your home, plant scented geraniums, lemon thyme, marigold, tansy, citrosa plants, sweet basil and/or sassafras.

6. Eliminate common mosquito breeding sites such as sources of standing water (old tires, pools, plastic pots, buckets, garbage cans or clogged roof gutters). Change water in birdbaths every other day.

7. Make your yard friendly for natural predators such as ladybugs, bats, dragonflys, praying mantis, spiders and birds. Stock a pond with goldfish or freshwater minnows.

8. Use yellow light bulbs (non-attractive, to bugs) in outdoor fixtures.

9. Fragrances attract insects. Avoid using scented products (such as soap or shampoo) on your child or yourself.

10. Choose safer bug repellent products (but consider efficacy if you have local insect-borne disease risks.) SafeMama.com has a great guide to natural bug repellents.

Tips for Soothing Bug Bites(from Herbal Household Remedies)

Tea tree oil.If you are stung, remove the stinger if there is one. Apply tea tree oil liberally in a circular motion surrounding the entry point — be gentle touching the point of entry! Let dry and the pain and swelling should ease in two to three minutes. Re-apply if needed.

Baking soda. Mix baking soda with water to form a paste. Again, remove the stinger and apply the paste. Cover with a gauze bandage or paper towel and tape. Leave on for one half hour or more until the pain is gone.

Onion. Relieve the itch from bug bites with an onion. The sulfur in onions neutralizes the chemicals that cause the itch. Simply slice a yellow onion in half and rub one of the cut sides on the bite. The itching should stop immediately. Refrigerate the onion in a sealed container to use again if the itching resumes. Make a fresh slice before reapplying it.

Vinegar. Good for spider bites too. Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and place it over the spider/bug bite. If you get bites on your hand or foot, put the soaked cotton ball in a bag and put your infected hand/foot in the bag over night. Make sure that the bag is not tight around the wrist/ankle. As an alternative, you may hold the soaked cotton ball in place by a band aid. By morning, the swelling and/or soreness should be gone as if you had hardly been bitten at all.

Note: Even when using natural bug repellents or remedies, watch for reactions. Some people have sensitivities. Always watch for reactions after bites and stings, also. If you notice any abnormal swelling or other signs of a serious allergic reaction, call 911, because some people can die from bites/stings if they are not treated immediately.

How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites

How to prevent bed bug bites. that’s front and center in the mind of anyone dealing with the irritating little critters. Here are three strategies that work – and a few important warnings. While you may not be able to get rid of bed bug bites all together, there are certainly things you can do to reduce how often these buggers make a meal of you.

How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites by the Numbers

No calculator needed. The math is really simple.

Fewer Bed Bugs = Fewer Bites

Reducing your bed bug infestation is the most obvious way to prevent bed bug bites, even if it’s not the easiest. The more bed bugs you can get rid of (or contain), the more you will prevent the bites. It’s simple math.

Use the IPM (Integrated pest management) techniques laid out in the bed bug control section of this site. Follow the plan laid out by your exterminator. Or if you are going the DIY route (not recommended unless you have no choice), create your best IPM action plan using our step-by-step tutorial. All of the suggestions below are only effective as part of a coordinated plan to eliminate the bed bug infestation in your home.

How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites by Protecting the Bed

Regardless of whether you are working with an exterminator or not,the single best thing you can do to prevent bed bug bites is to protect your bed.

Encase your mattress, pillows and box spring in a good quality mattress encasement that is designed for bed bugs.The encasements trap the bedbugs that are living there and prevents them from biting you.It also makes it easy to spot (and kill) the ones that show up from other hiding places. Obviously, that also helps you accomplish bed bug bite prevention tactic #1 above. Nice how that works, right?

Also, use bed bug detectors/traps like the climb-up interceptors to catch ‘em on the way up to the bed and on the way down. These won’t eliminate your bed bug infestation on their own, but they will help protect you from being bitten.

Prevent Bed Bug Bites by Covering Up and Getting Tucked in Tight

Bed bugs typically bite on exposed skin, so wear pajamas with long pants and long sleeves if at all possible.Even if its late July and the heat index is 100. Crank up the A/C if necessary! The middle of a full-fledged bed bug infestation isnotthe time to be sleeping in your skivvies, or worse yet, your birthday suit!

Sleep under the covers and tuck them in tight.(Maybe that’s where the old saying “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” came from?) Again, bed bugs have difficulty biting through fabric and are looking for exposed skin. So not giving them any skin to feast on is a solid strategy to prevent bed bug bites.

Note:This will really only work if you have properly protected the bed with mattress and box spring encasements.

Things That Will NOT Prevent Bed Bug Bites

Many people’s first instinct is to move to another room to avoid getting bitten.BAD IDEA.They will follow you and you will just spread the infestation to other parts of the house. Bed Bugs are attracted to the heat of our bodies and the carbon dioxide we exhale, so they can find you – and they will – no matter where you go to try to avoid them.

Some people also believe that leaving the light on at night will prevent them from coming out.Unfortunately, this is a myth. While they are nocturnal and prefer the cover of darkness, they are blood thirsty and they will go to extremes if necessary to get their next meal. So leaving the lights on won’t go a long way to prevent bed bug bites. See more bed bug control "DOs and DON’Ts" here.

A Few Words About Bed Bug Repellents

While it mayseemlike bed bug repellents are a logical way to prevent bed bug bites, in reality they do more harm than good.Repellents can be a bad idea for a number of reasons:

  1. Many repellents you spray on your skin are not intended to be applied to skin that will be covered or left on for long periods of time (Read the label!)
  2. You can’t wear bug repellent 24 hrs a day. They’ll just find you in the daytime in another part of the house (same logic as sleeping in another room applies here too)
  3. Repellents that you spray on the bed may not be safe for you to sleep on (again, always read the label first)

Some people have recommended using a number of essential oils as a natural bed bug repellents. They may be a safer option and may work at preventing bed bug bites in the short-term. But again, that’s not really going to solve your problem.

Notwithstanding the health and safety concerns, repellents are just going to drive bed bugs further into their hiding places – and they can live there for up to 18 months without a blood meal – so in reality, you are not really preventing bed bug bites. You are just prolonging your agony.

There’s also one reason why it would be a good idea to just go ahead and "let the bed bugs bite". Ormore accurately(if you’ve protected the bed correctly), let themtryto bite.

You Need to Bait Them to Get Rid of Them

What? Let the bedbugs try to bite me?!That’s right, and here’s the reason why.

If you want to get rid bed bugs, you’re going to have to draw them out and so they can meet their death on their way to you. Unfortunately, that meansyouare the bait. If you’re using residual spray insecticides or bed bug dust (DE) they have to come in contact with it for it to kill them.

The bottom line is this. in most cases you are going to have to endure at leastsomebites for at leasta little whileto effectively get rid of the bed bugs. The trick is to make it as few bites as possible, for little time as possible.

There’s no doubt about it – bed bug bites are a pain! So to ease your mind (and soothe your itch), here are some treatment tips for making your bed bug bites a little more bearable.

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What Could Be Biting Me At Night?

What Bed Bugs Look Like

What could be biting me at night?

I am trying to figure out what kind of parasite is biting me. I don’t think it is a flea.

I wonder if there is anything else besides the flea and dust mites that would "feast on me in bed".

I notice the itching starts as soon as I lie down in bed. I change the sheets every other day. I notice when I bathe that some kind of little bug is in the water. looks oval shaped and tiny.

Could it be a bedbug? They fit your description and they really do get you while you’re in bed.

If you can capture one of the critters (like the one in your bath), you can send it off to the Harvard School of Public Health using the form provided. They can tell you whether or not it’s a bed bug before you start treating your home for something that you may or may not have.

Getting rid of bedbugs can be a real challenge. There are a number of different treatments for bedbugs available ranging from pesticides to steam treatment, etc.

The first step is to determine the answer to "What could be biting me at night?" and go from there.

Comments for What Could Be Biting Me At Night?

Nov 20, 2019Bites at night
by: Vanessa

I have had 7 instances of bites at night. There are usually 2 a 5 at a time. not in a row. The exterminators looked for bed bugs and found nothing. I had a down pillow and an old poly pillow that I tossed. My most recent bites were 2 nights ago. I have a large hard, hot 3 inch circle on my inner upper arm and 2 large bites with scabs In center on the back of my neck. The time before that. I had a deep bite on my finger and several around my eye which made my eye swell closed. I have been to the Dr and taken various anti itch and antibiotic meds,
We don’t have bats or animals. Help

Sep 14, 2018Hopeless mitesNEW
by: Angela

Well it’s not just at night. It also gets on the dogs . Little shiny flat black spots,brown,white,blue hangs on hair. In the bed .they get them between there toes. And it seems to make them sore. It also gets in freer, frig,bed,cars,chairs and on the skin and hair of the dogs. In they’re private parts,moth,and wars. Thanks please help.

Aug 10, 2016What might be biting you, etc.
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Can you provide more details? Where are you getting these itchy, painful, blisters? Is it all over your body? Just one spot? Is it spreading? Are you getting more each night?

It may be that something bit you or you rubbed up against something toxic (poison ivy, etc) during the day and you just happened to start with the symptoms (evidence) during the night.

How large are the blisters and the swelling? What have you tried applying to the affected area so far?

Thanks,
Angie

Aug 06, 2016Idk what bit me.
by: Barb

This is painful it started iching at night and now is swollen and has blisters no poss coming out. But is vary very painful been this way for. four or five days its it’s still red and hurts I haven’t been iching it at all 🙁

Feb 16, 2016bug bites
by: cathy

I have rentals that I clean when tenants move out, last one I cleaned had a bunch of spiders and I used our house vacuum there. Since then I have been get bit every single night for last couple weeks, I wake up with new bites every morning so I don’t know if I vacuumed up spiders and brought them home or something else.

Jun 10, 2015Black dots around the house biting you.
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Cassandra,
Sounds like it could be mites of some sort. Have you tried using cedar oil in your cleaning efforts? That might do the trick.
Blessings,
Angie

May 24, 2015what is hitting me all day?
by: Cassandra M.

I have little black dots that is as small as a grain of salt and flakes that are Brown or black all over my house that are bitting me. They are all over my body bitting. They are all in my hair and even my privates when I shower. The bite will be by my ankles, but they do get all over me. They will be in my bed. They are clear at first but then true black after they feed off me. I saw some bigger ones they look triangle and the biggest ones are large and flat like a thumb tack. What are they and how do I kill them?

Apr 23, 2015ghost bugs
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Do you actually have bite marks (little red dots) or rash as a result?

I guess what I’m asking is whether or not you are definitely getting bitten or whether you just have the sensation of something crawling on you and biting you.

If this is only happening at night, the most likely culprit is bed bugs. They can be very hard to spot.

Apr 22, 2015ghostbugs
by: twobigg

There’s. Something. In my bed eating me up everynite . It doesn’t bother my kids mother too much but they like feast on me!! Alot of times i would feel something crawling on me or biting and i’ll look but dont see anything. Other times i see small white things like lint or cotton or small black things. Can someone help please before they get to my kids they’re the ages of 3,5,6 .

Oct 01, 2014getting bites
by: Mikel

something is biting me on my arms the back of my neck and check area. Took the dog to vet to check for fleas said she didnt have fleas. then bombed the house washed everything and still I am getting bite any help?

Sep 01, 2014trying to analize what is biting me
by: louis allen III

very first bites right arm spotted bites not in a row as indicated to be called bed bites scattered bites on the left arm only one bump itches a lot rubbing alcohol relieves the itch.i need to determine what is biting me and determine what to do about getting rid of them permanently and forever correctly for what they are.

Sep 23, 2013Biting You At Night Only?
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Are you ONLY getting the feeling that you’re being bitten while you are in bed? Never during the day?

If the dog does have fleas and is in the house, it could still be flea bites even if you haven’t actually seen one on you.

Are you just feeling like you are getting bitten or do you actually see the bite marks (red dots or welts) on your skin?

Sorry for all the questions, but it’s the only way we can try to supply an intelligent answer. 🙂

Meanwhile, try making up a spray bottle of water and clove oil and spritzing it over your sheets at night before going to bed. It may be sufficient to keep the critters at bay. 😉

Sep 22, 2013not fleas or bed bugs
by: Anonymous

I’m getting bitten at night. At first I thought it was bed bugs so I stripped my bed down and did a thorough check no bed bugs. But i bleached down my mattress did the sheets and everything. Still got bitten then thought maybe fleas cause the dog has fleas once again stripped the bed and sprayed it down for fleas and did all the linens. I’m still getting bitten. And see no signs of any type of bugs. What is biting me.

Sep 20, 2013i believe it is bed bugs
by: Anonymous

when you are bit is it 2 or 3 in a row? if so it would be bedbugs they bite usually 2-3 its call breakfast lunch dinner

Nov 13, 2010Bed bugs, fleas, sand flies, mites.
by: Angie

I suppose mites could be biting you, but if you are positive they aren’t bedbugs, have you considered the possibility of fleas or sand flies?

Are these bites leaving a rash or spots of any type?

What Could Be Biting Me At Night?

What Bed Bugs Look Like

What could be biting me at night?

I am trying to figure out what kind of parasite is biting me. I don’t think it is a flea.

I wonder if there is anything else besides the flea and dust mites that would "feast on me in bed".

I notice the itching starts as soon as I lie down in bed. I change the sheets every other day. I notice when I bathe that some kind of little bug is in the water. looks oval shaped and tiny.

Could it be a bedbug? They fit your description and they really do get you while you’re in bed.

If you can capture one of the critters (like the one in your bath), you can send it off to the Harvard School of Public Health using the form provided. They can tell you whether or not it’s a bed bug before you start treating your home for something that you may or may not have.

Getting rid of bedbugs can be a real challenge. There are a number of different treatments for bedbugs available ranging from pesticides to steam treatment, etc.

The first step is to determine the answer to "What could be biting me at night?" and go from there.

Comments for What Could Be Biting Me At Night?

Nov 20, 2019Bites at night
by: Vanessa

I have had 7 instances of bites at night. There are usually 2 a 5 at a time. not in a row. The exterminators looked for bed bugs and found nothing. I had a down pillow and an old poly pillow that I tossed. My most recent bites were 2 nights ago. I have a large hard, hot 3 inch circle on my inner upper arm and 2 large bites with scabs In center on the back of my neck. The time before that. I had a deep bite on my finger and several around my eye which made my eye swell closed. I have been to the Dr and taken various anti itch and antibiotic meds,
We don’t have bats or animals. Help

Sep 14, 2018Hopeless mitesNEW
by: Angela

Well it’s not just at night. It also gets on the dogs . Little shiny flat black spots,brown,white,blue hangs on hair. In the bed .they get them between there toes. And it seems to make them sore. It also gets in freer, frig,bed,cars,chairs and on the skin and hair of the dogs. In they’re private parts,moth,and wars. Thanks please help.

Aug 10, 2016What might be biting you, etc.
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Can you provide more details? Where are you getting these itchy, painful, blisters? Is it all over your body? Just one spot? Is it spreading? Are you getting more each night?

It may be that something bit you or you rubbed up against something toxic (poison ivy, etc) during the day and you just happened to start with the symptoms (evidence) during the night.

How large are the blisters and the swelling? What have you tried applying to the affected area so far?

Thanks,
Angie

Aug 06, 2016Idk what bit me.
by: Barb

This is painful it started iching at night and now is swollen and has blisters no poss coming out. But is vary very painful been this way for. four or five days its it’s still red and hurts I haven’t been iching it at all 🙁

Feb 16, 2016bug bites
by: cathy

I have rentals that I clean when tenants move out, last one I cleaned had a bunch of spiders and I used our house vacuum there. Since then I have been get bit every single night for last couple weeks, I wake up with new bites every morning so I don’t know if I vacuumed up spiders and brought them home or something else.

Jun 10, 2015Black dots around the house biting you.
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Cassandra,
Sounds like it could be mites of some sort. Have you tried using cedar oil in your cleaning efforts? That might do the trick.
Blessings,
Angie

May 24, 2015what is hitting me all day?
by: Cassandra M.

I have little black dots that is as small as a grain of salt and flakes that are Brown or black all over my house that are bitting me. They are all over my body bitting. They are all in my hair and even my privates when I shower. The bite will be by my ankles, but they do get all over me. They will be in my bed. They are clear at first but then true black after they feed off me. I saw some bigger ones they look triangle and the biggest ones are large and flat like a thumb tack. What are they and how do I kill them?

Apr 23, 2015ghost bugs
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Do you actually have bite marks (little red dots) or rash as a result?

I guess what I’m asking is whether or not you are definitely getting bitten or whether you just have the sensation of something crawling on you and biting you.

If this is only happening at night, the most likely culprit is bed bugs. They can be very hard to spot.

Apr 22, 2015ghostbugs
by: twobigg

There’s. Something. In my bed eating me up everynite . It doesn’t bother my kids mother too much but they like feast on me!! Alot of times i would feel something crawling on me or biting and i’ll look but dont see anything. Other times i see small white things like lint or cotton or small black things. Can someone help please before they get to my kids they’re the ages of 3,5,6 .

Oct 01, 2014getting bites
by: Mikel

something is biting me on my arms the back of my neck and check area. Took the dog to vet to check for fleas said she didnt have fleas. then bombed the house washed everything and still I am getting bite any help?

Sep 01, 2014trying to analize what is biting me
by: louis allen III

very first bites right arm spotted bites not in a row as indicated to be called bed bites scattered bites on the left arm only one bump itches a lot rubbing alcohol relieves the itch.i need to determine what is biting me and determine what to do about getting rid of them permanently and forever correctly for what they are.

Sep 23, 2013Biting You At Night Only?
by: Angie from allaboutparasites.com

Are you ONLY getting the feeling that you’re being bitten while you are in bed? Never during the day?

If the dog does have fleas and is in the house, it could still be flea bites even if you haven’t actually seen one on you.

Are you just feeling like you are getting bitten or do you actually see the bite marks (red dots or welts) on your skin?

Sorry for all the questions, but it’s the only way we can try to supply an intelligent answer. 🙂

Meanwhile, try making up a spray bottle of water and clove oil and spritzing it over your sheets at night before going to bed. It may be sufficient to keep the critters at bay. 😉

Sep 22, 2013not fleas or bed bugs
by: Anonymous

I’m getting bitten at night. At first I thought it was bed bugs so I stripped my bed down and did a thorough check no bed bugs. But i bleached down my mattress did the sheets and everything. Still got bitten then thought maybe fleas cause the dog has fleas once again stripped the bed and sprayed it down for fleas and did all the linens. I’m still getting bitten. And see no signs of any type of bugs. What is biting me.

Sep 20, 2013i believe it is bed bugs
by: Anonymous

when you are bit is it 2 or 3 in a row? if so it would be bedbugs they bite usually 2-3 its call breakfast lunch dinner

Nov 13, 2010Bed bugs, fleas, sand flies, mites.
by: Angie

I suppose mites could be biting you, but if you are positive they aren’t bedbugs, have you considered the possibility of fleas or sand flies?

Are these bites leaving a rash or spots of any type?

How to Stop Bed Bugs from Biting

Complete removal is the only sure method of stoppingbedbugsfrom biting. Bed bugs have flat bodies that make them very adept at concealing themselves. Because they can easily survive for many months without feeding, even homes and apartments that have been vacant for a while may still harbor bed bugs.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed bugs can hide anywhere with cracks and crevices are present, even if the room contains no furniture. Folds and creases in linens, pillows and draperies, as well as the seams and tufts in mattresses, box springs, bedding materials and furniture fabrics provide ideal hiding places. Their small size makes bed bugs “stowaways.” That’s why hotel rooms and cruise boat cabins are particularly vulnerable. Use extra caution when contemplating the addition of used furniture to your living space, especially street items.

Identifying a Bed Bug Infestation

You may suspect the presence of bed bugs, but because they bear such a close resemblance other insects, the first step is to collect a live, crawling specimen. Have its identity confirmed by a professional, usually a licensed pest control operator. If you are a tenant, contact your property owner or manager to discuss your respective options and obligations. Property owners are generally required to contract with a licensed pest control operator.

Options for Removal of a Bed Bug Infestation

Because of their knowledge and experience with insecticides, it may be best to have a licensed pest control operator remove your bed bug infestation. If you choose this option, ask for and contact the references provided to you. Request a written integrated pest management plan detailing a list and description of the anticipated actions and insecticides used.

Once confirmed by a professional, you may opt to undertake the removal yourself. If so, be sure to develop an extensive plan and follow it precisely. If this plan includes the use of insecticides, make certain you fully understand the types of insecticides that are appropriate for the situation, particularly how and when to apply them. Most importantly, make certain you are fully aware of the risks involved and are prepared to accept any resulting consequences.

Removing Bed Bugs Yourself

Below are steps you can follow to rid your home of a bed bug infestation without the use of insecticides:

  • Remove all clutter, thus limiting potential hiding places for bed bugs.
  • Thoroughly clean both the infested rooms and others in the vicinity. Scrubbing infested surfaces with a stiff brush will dislodge eggs and dismantling bed frames and turning furniture upside down will expose additional hiding places.
  • Follow-up by going over all surfaces, cracks and crevices with a very powerful vacuum cleaner, thus removing bugs, eggs and their accompanying debris.
  • Encase the mattress and box springs with a special mattress bag, trapping the bed bugs inside where they will die off over time. Make certain the bag is virtually airtight as bed bugs can maneuver through even the smallest of openings.
  • Make certain the bed is not in contact with any walls and that all sheets, blankets, comforters and other bedding materials are not touching the floor.
  • Whenever possible, place the legs of bed frames and those of other furniture in dishes filled with mineral oil, teal tree oil or vaseline, all of which repel bed bugs.
  • Seal all areas that bugs might utilize to return to your home. Completely seal areas around pipes, electrical wiring and any other components that penetrate walls. Examine your home and fix any cracks around baseboards, openings under doors and any other areas through which a tiny insect might pass.

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