How Long Before Bed Bug Bites Go Away

Bed Bugs FAQs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Do bed bugs spread disease?

Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

What health risks do bed bugs pose?

A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation?

One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:

  • the bed bugs’ exoskeletons after molting,
  • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,
  • rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and
  • a sweet musty odor.

How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?

It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites.

Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.

How did I get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are experts at hiding. Their slim flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel.

Who is at risk for getting bed bugs?

Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs when visiting an infected area. However, anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has a higher risk of being bitten and or spreading a bed bug infestation.

How are bed bugs treated and prevented?

Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat. The best way to treat a bite is to avoid scratching the area and apply antiseptic creams or lotions and take an antihistamine. Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying. If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

How Long do Bed Bug Bites Last – When Will They Heal

People who have suffered from bed bug bites know how painful and itchy these can be. Naturally, the question foremost on their minds is how to heal the bed bug bites faster? In this guide, we shall study a few methods of preventing, treating and healing bed bug bites quickly. We will also study a few efficient ways of getting rid of the bed bugs to prevent further bites.

How long do bed bug bites last and what are the symptoms?

Bed bug bites typically heal within a week to 10 days, depending on how sensitive one is to them. In fact; some lucky people may have been bitten by these pests, but they do not experience any symptoms at all! Those that are hypersensitive to most insect bites may experience following symptoms:

  1. Itchy skin, red welts or bumps
  2. Rash in the form of clusters
  3. Bite marks that are straight or grouped together typically under the edge of tight fitting clothing on arms and legs or also on the neck, back or other exposed parts of the body.

An indication of bed bug infestation is the presence of their discarded exoskeletons and fecal matter in the form of rust colored stains on bedding and mattresses. An offensive almond like smell may also be present in some cases.

Preventing bed bugs

Everyone deserves a good night’s rest in order to function properly the next morning. Hence, the last thing you’d want is to awaken from bed bug bites. Preventing bed bugs is the best solution for this problem. This can be done as follows:

  1. Vacuuming the carpets regularly
  2. Never picking up second hand furniture, bedding or discarded mattresses from the curbside.
  3. Inspecting rooms thoroughly for signs of bed bugs when staying in hotels. As stated above, you will notice red stains and discarded skin on beds and mattresses, especially around the corners of the bedding.

If you suspect an infestation at home, you must promptly call a professional pest control company to handle it immediately. For very large infestations too, it is best to enlist the services of professionals in order to make sure that the eggs, larvae and adult bed bugs are completely eliminated. Failure to do so will lead to re-infestation. It is also important to discard infested items carefully by sealing them in bags which have been pretreated with flea powders or other bed bug repellents.

Treating bed bug bites

Bed bug bites must not be ignored. Scratching the site of bite can even lead to secondary skin infections which are harder to treat.

  • See a doctor to identify if the rash is from bed bug bites. There are many skin conditions or allergic reactions to products which can sometimes produce similar rashes.
  • To prevent infections, apply benzoly peroxide or rubbing alcohol on the rash.
  • An effective home remedy for soothing the pain and itchiness from bed bug bites is applying a mixture of baking soda and water directly on the rash. (Leave the paste on the rash for at least half an hour and then wash it off.)
  • Many natural soothing lotions and creams containing Calendula, aloe vera etc can also give relief from pain, swelling and itching.

It is important to get rid of bed bugs from home. To do this effectively:

  • Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth powder (food grade) liberally at the feet of the beds and under the bedroom furniture etc. The diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs by shredding their insides and dehydrating them.
  • Wash the bedding and linen in very hot water to kill eggs and larvae.

These precautions will help prevent further bed bug bites. If in case you are not able to deal with the infestation, you must call a professional pest control agency to do the same.

Related Posts

  • Bed Bug Bites vs. Body Lice Bites: How To Tell the… Bite marks on the body are the first sign of…
  • Bed Bug Bites vs Spider Bites – What is the Difference? Insect bites of various kinds are a common reason behind…
  • Do I have Dust Mite Bites or Bed Bug Bites? Bed bugs and dust mites belong to different groups of…

Got bed bugs?Here are 10 products that can help you get rid of and prevent them.

Bed bugs: Diagnosis and treatment

How do you know if you have bed bugs?

To find out if you have bed bugs, you need to look for two things:

Bites on your body

Signs of bed bugs

Bites on your body:If you have bed bugs, you’re likely to have bites. Bed bug bites usually cause itchy welts. These welts usually appear in a zigzag pattern as show in the photo below.

Bed bug bites

When bedbugs bite, you often see clusters of bites. Each cluster usually contains 3 to 5 bites that appear in a zigzag pattern.

You’ll seldom see bed bugs, so many people mistakenly believe that mosquitoes, fleas, or spiders bit them. Sometimes people mistake bed bug bites for a common skin condition such as an itchy rash, hives, or chickenpox.

To make sure you have bed bugs, you’ll need to look for signs of bed bugs.

How to check for bed bugs

Although bed bugs don’t usually require serious medical attention, they can cause a great deal of anxiety and restless nights. To help find bed bugs before they find you (and your belongings), dermatologists recommend looking for the following signs near places where you sleep.

How to check for bed bugs

Although bed bugs don’t usually require serious medical attention, they can cause a great deal of anxiety and restless nights. To help find bed bugs before they find you (and your belongings), dermatologists recommend looking for the following signs near places where you sleep.

Signs of bed bugs:This step is important. If you have a bed bug infestation, you need to find out so that you can get rid of the bed bugs. Getting rid of the bed bugs is the only way to stop the bites.

If you have a large number of bed bugs, you may see the bugs. Most people, however, only see signs of bed bugs. To look for signs of bed bugs, check the places that people sleep for the following:

A sweet, musty odor.Take a deep breath. If you notice a sweet, musty in your hotel room, cruise-ship cabin, or other sleeping area, there may be a heavy bed bug infestation in the room. Bed bugs produce chemicals to help them communicate, although not everyone will notice the smell.

Specks of blood on bedding, mattresses, or upholstered furniture such as couches and headboards.Look carefully at your blankets, sheets, and mattress pads and then check the mattress and box spring. Are there specks of blood anywhere, especially near the seams? If so, there could be a bed bug infestation. You should also check for specks of blood on all upholstered furniture, including couches and headboards.

Exoskeletons.Bed bugs have an outer shell that they shed and leave behind. Do you see shell-like remains on the mattress, mattress pad, or beneath couch cushions?

Tiny, blackish specks.If you see blackish specks on the bedding, mattress, headboard, or beneath couch cushions, it could be bed bug excrement.

Eggs.After mating, female bed bugs lay white, oval eggs in cracks and crevices. Keep in mind that these will be small, as a bed bug is only about the size of an apple seed. The photo below shows a bed bug near eggs. The photo was magnified so that you can see the bed bug and eggs.

If you do get bed bugs and have many bites or a bite that looks infected, see a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can treat an infection and help relieve the itch.

Bed bug with eggs

A bed bug is a tiny insect with a broad, oval body. If it has recently eaten, it has a reddish-brown color.

If you see bed bugs, they will likely scurry toward the closest hiding place. Any dark place such as inside a mattress or even a picture frame makes a good hiding place.

As you watch bed bugs move, it can look like they are flying or jumping because they can crawl quickly. Bed bugs cannot fly or jump; they can only crawl.

If you find signs of bed bugs, call a pest-control company or your property manager. You should not use bug spray or a fogger. These products have little effect on bed bugs.

Treating bed bug bites

You should see a dermatologist for treatment if you have:

Skin infection (bites feel tender or ooze discharge, such as pus)

An allergic skin reaction (skin red and swollen or hives)

Your dermatologist may prescribe the following to treat bed bug bites:

Allergic reaction.Some people may require an injection of an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or epinephrine (adrenaline) for a severe allergic reaction.

Infection.An infection may require an antibiotic. If the infection is mild, your dermatologist may recommend an antiseptic medication that you can buy without a prescription. Your dermatologist will tell you which one to use. Your dermatologist also may recommend an antiseptic to prevent a skin infection.

Itch.A prescription antihistamine pill or liquid can help. You also can apply a corticosteroid to the bites. Your dermatologist will tell you which is best for you.

At-home treatment

If you do not have any signs of an infection or a serious reaction, you can often treat the bites at home.

To treat bed bug bites:

Wash the bites with soap and water.This will help prevent a skin infection and help reduce itchiness.

If the bites itch, apply a corticosteroid cream to the bites.You can get a weak form of this medicine without a prescription at your local drugstore. Stronger corticosteroids require a prescription.

Bed bug bites usually heal and go away within a week or two.

Image
Getty Images

References
Leverkus Met al. “Bullous Allergic Hypersensitivity to Bed bug Bites Mediated by IgE against Salivary Nitrophorin."J of Invest Dermatol. 2006;126:2364-2366.

Liebold Ket al. “Disseminated bullous eruption with systemic reaction caused by Cimex lectularius.”J Euro Acad of Dermat and Vener. 2003;17:461-463.

Steen CJ, Carbonaro PA, Schwartz RA. “Arthropods in dermatology.”J Am Acad Dermatol2004; 50:819-42.

Find a dermatologist by location
Find a dermatologist by name

Advanced search

  • About AAD
  • Contact AAD
  • Donate
  • Employment
  • Store
  • Support AAD
  • Website feedback
  • AAD meetings & events
  • Advertise
  • Classifieds
  • Licensing
  • Mailing lists
  • Meeting advertising
  • Legal notice
  • Corporate partners
  • Donors
  • Exhibitors: AM 2020
  • Media
  • International
  • For AAD members
  • Patient advocates
  • Diseases & conditions
  • Everyday care
  • Cosmetic treatments
  • Parents & kids
  • Public health programs
  • Find a dermatologist

Copyright © 2020 American Academy of Dermatology Association.
All rights reserved.

Reproduction or republication strictly prohibited
without prior written permission.

Bed Bugs Spray

Bed Bug Control Products

Bed Bug Guides & Tips

Length Of Time For Bedbug Bites To Show

What is the Length of Time for Bedbug Bites to Show?

A bed bug bite is more and more becoming to be a fairly occurrence in hotel rooms and homes. A bed bug bite or succession of bites create small hives that is typically in an orderly row or an aggregated pattern. Itching and skin redness are also very likely to occur and these typically fade over a period of a few days.

These blood sucking parasites are active and bite during the night, and they will bite all over your body, more in particular on those areas around the face, the arms and hands, upper torso and the neck. Any exposed skin when sleeping is a target location.

During the day time, these bugs will tend to hide themselves in a variety of isolated and dark areas in your house. The behinds of a loose wall paper or paint, cracks, mattress and box spring as well as the bed frame, are the favorite hiding spots of these bed bugs.

If you suspect that you are harboring bed bugs into your home, you should start to watch out for some bedbug bite marks all over your body. By now, you should be wondering about the length of time for bedbug bites to show. This information can really come in handy if you want to detect the presence of bed bugs into your home.

According to experts, not everyone responds to bed bug bites, so you won’t really be so sure if you would react to it. A recent research study has reported that majority of people do respond to it, more in particular those who has been bitten repeatedly over time, which is the case when these bugs have already infested your house. In addition to this, the study has also suggested that the length of time for bedbug bites to show may vary from person to person. Majority of bed bug bites do not show up right away, more in particular when an individual is bitten for the very first time. Along with repeated bites, the time delay will tend to get shorter and shorter.

In general, the length of time for bedbug bites to show may be divided into 4 different phases:

Stage 1: this is from day 2 to 3. The primary response was just as like having a mosquito bite. Each bite mark had a tiny, elevated light-colored bump at the center. The bites would feel only just slightly itchy.

Stage 2: This is from day 4 to 8 wherein the bite marks will appear swollen, bright red and feels painful burning itch. They now feel a little similar to chigger bites but only worse.

Stage 3: This is during the 9th day. By now, the swelling should have gone down and the itching reduced. If observed very closely, tiny blood vessel and capillaries may be seen around the middle of each bed bug bite mark.

Stage 4: This is about the 12th day. The portion around each bed bug bite mark should now appear like it has been bruised.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?

Ever wondered how long bed bug bites last? Bed bug bites look like small red welts and can last up to two weeks or more. Learn more about bed bug bites.

For most people, the idea of a bed bug feeding on them while they sleep is enough to make their skin crawl. Here are some facts about bed bug bites and what to expect if you think you’ve been bitten.

Q: How long do bed bug bites last?

A: Most bites will heal withinone to two weeks of appearingand not cause any long-term problems. Those with stronger sensitivities to insect bites may take up to three weeks or longer to heal.

Q: When do bites first appear?

A: According to theCenters for Disease Control,it can take up to 14 days for a bite to appear. Some people may not notice bites at all, while others may see signs of a bite within hours.

Q: What does a bed bug bite look like?

A: Bed bug bites are often mistaken for mosquito or flea bites. All three insects can cause small red bumps or welts in those they’ve bitten. However, bites from a bed bug are usually clustered or form a line in a zigzag pattern, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Q: Could it be another insect bite?

A: Many other skin reactions can look very similar to bed bug bites. If the bed bug was not actually caught in the act, bites and reactions to bites should be combined with other evidence such as blood spots, fecal staining, shed skins and bed bug eggs. This will help you correctly identify the culprit for proper elimination.

Q: How are bed bug bites treated?

A: There are ways to treat bed bug bites, including over-the-counter solutions. For specific details on how to treat a bed bug bite, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Don’t worry about questions like "how long do bed bug bites last?" Make this bite the last one, and call Terminix today for a free bed bug inspection.

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.

What are Earwigs?

Most people have probably heard of earwigs at some point or another. These creepy-looking insects are associated with some urban myths. Learn the truth about earwigs, including what attracts them and how to help get rid of them.

ARE TICKS DANGEROUS?

The majority of ticks will deliver painless bites without any noticeable symptoms. However, some ticks can carry a variety of bacteria and pathogens for disease. Although not all ticks are dangerous, you don’t want to risk coming into contact with these blood-sucking insects.

ARE TICKS DANGEROUS?

The majority of ticks will deliver painless bites without any noticeable symptoms. However, some ticks can carry a variety of bacteria and pathogens for disease. Although not all ticks are dangerous, you don’t want to risk coming into contact with these blood-sucking insects.

Are Bed Bugs Contagious?

Bed bugs are not too picky about where and when they catch a ride and don’t necessarily have a preferred mode of transportation, so it’s no surprise how many people wonder, are bed bugs contagious?

Related Articles

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

Cluster Flies In Your Home

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve dealt with annoying flies ruining your summer barbecues and outdoor dinner parties. You may have even become accustomed to whipping out the flypaper and heavy-duty bug zappers the minute you hear the familiar buzz of a fly. These annoying pests are likely house flies, which can pose significant health risks to you and your family. But have you ever seen large, sluggish flies loitering inside your home in the autumn and winter? They may be cluster flies.

Tips to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Your House

Now that it’s fall, it’s officially indoor stink bug season. Before it becomes winter, brown marmorated stink bugs are looking for comfortable overwintering sites to spend the cold months—and that can often mean that they may find a way to sneak into your house. While the odor that a stink bug releases is not dangerous, they are definitely a nuisance. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get rid of stink bugs in your house—without having to deal with the unpleasant smell.

What are Sand Fleas?

Many people love going to the beach to spend time in the sun, sand, and water. But they might not love some of the nuisances that live at the beach or in the ocean, such as gnats or jellyfish. But, what about the sand flea, a small critter that can be found in moist areas such as under rocks or debris. Keep reading to learn exactly what sand fleas are and if you need to worry about them.

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.

Add Comments: