How Long Before Bed Bugs Bite

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.

Conclusion

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.

GO TO CHAPTER 6 OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO GET RID OF BED BUG BITES

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.

UNDERSTANDING BED BUG BEHAVIOR TO LEARN THE TELLTALE SIGNS OF INFESTATION

Bed bugs may be waging a nightly war on your family, so you’d better know your enemy. Learning about bed bug behavior is your first line of defense, even before you call in pest management professionals. Discourage these creepy home invaders by getting inside their heads. Here’s how.

INTERESTING BED BUG BEHAVIOR

Feeding patterns are mostly nocturnal and often occur in the “breakfast, lunch and dinner” bite pattern. This means the bed bug will first feed where your exposed skin meets the bedding and then move up for “lunch” before moving again and drawing their third bite, thereby creating a distinctive line of bites. You can also receive a singular bite or even develop a larger cluster of bites as dozens of bed bugs feed on your blood while you sleep.

THE BED BUG DINE AND DASH

Thanks to an anesthetic in their saliva and an extremely sharp, straw-like mouth they use for piercing your skin and sucking your blood, you won’t wake up during a bed bug feeding. The saliva also contains an anticoagulant, which prevents clotting, so a typical meal only takes between three to 10 minutes before the bed bug is gorged with your blood.

After eating, the bed bugs will scurry back to hiding spots in your room’s baseboards, floorboards, box springs, carpeting, picture frames, crevices, books, etc. Studying bed bug behavior tells us that they typically hide within eight feet of their victims, digesting your blood, mating and laying eggs before heading back to your bed for another feeding in about five to 10 days.

Oddly enough, it’s not the smell of humans that makes these pests drool as they gravitate from all corners of your home toward your bed. High doses of human aldehydes actually repel bed bugs. Instead, the CO2, warmth and moisture your body emits can lure these bloodthirsty bed bugs to your bedside, all of which they can sense from three feet away. Beyond that, they search for blood meals in random patterns.

GUESS WHO ELSE IS COMING TO DINNER

Bed bug behavior is based around invading, multiplying and completely taking over your bed. After feeding, they return to their hidden trenches to digest the blood meals and begin the vicious bed bug mating process.

A single female lays between one and 12 eggs each day and between 200 and 500 eggs in a lifetime. Guess where all those offspring will be feeding? Now, multiply that reproduction rate by each bed bug in your home, and it’s clear why the pros say it’s never just one bed bug.

After hatching, bed bugs require a meal of blood between each of their five nymph stages. Molting occurs after each phase, which makes exoskeletons (i.e., bed bug shells) a telltale secondary sign of infestation. Immature bed bugs continue to become darker and larger as they feed between each phase until they reach adulthood. An egg can fully mature into an adult in as little as a month and a half if conditions are right (between 70°F and 90°F). The average lifespan of an adult bed bug ranges anywhere from four months to over a year with the right conditions. They spend this entire time feeding, mating and expanding the infestation.

What we know about bed bug behavior tells us this feeding and mating cycle will continue relentlessly. That is why you need a professional. Bed bugs are very difficult to control for several reasons. They can go a whole year without feeding, can survive any temperature between freezing and 122°F and are even evolving to resist standard pyrethroid insecticides.

UNMISTAKABLE SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE BED BUGS

Don’t rely on bites as a reliable sign of bed bugs. Bed bug bites can be hard to differentiate from other insect bites. Instead, look for secondary signs of bed bug infestation as well, such as shed skins, rust-colored spots on the mattress and bedding (bed bug feces), blood spots on your sheets and pajamas and a musty, sweet-smelling odor.

Physically spotting these insatiable insects is the gold standard for diagnosing a bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, bed bugs are nocturnal so catching one is difficult. If you get lucky, place captured bed bugs in a sealed container and show them to an expert.

Be sure to call Terminix® at the first sign of bed bugs. We understand bed bug behavior and will provide a free bed bug inspection for your home and a battle plan to win the war against bed bugs.

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.

How Long Does It Take For A Bed Bug Infestation To Develop?

ByChris Williamson February 6, 2012.

I was recently sent to a job to inspect for Bed Bugs. Previous tenants had been treated for bed bugs and have moved out. Management wanted to know two things: How long has the unit been infested, and were there any live beg bugs. Inspection for bed bugs can be difficult as most units are full of furniture and belongings, this unit was vacant and empty. With full access to all areas of the unit the extent of the infestation was more clearly defined.

Bed bugs, the scourge of the rental industry, are small insects that feed exclusively on human blood. Long lived and easily spread, bed bugs secretive lifestyle makes detection difficult. Relatively few bed bugs start an infestation. In fact, if a male bed bug is the only hitchhiker, no infestation will develop. Only female bed bugs are able to lay eggs. A mated female can lay around 3 eggs a day if feeding is available, laying more than 300 eggs in her lifetime. Small white eggs are cemented to discrete surfaces, near a host, and hatch in about 10 days. Nymphs resemble adults but are much smaller. In order to grow, or molt, nymphs must acquire a blood meal. Depending on the temperature, it takes nymphs about 100 days for the five molts to occur before mating can take place. Roughly 1.5-2 months are required for a complete cycle from egg to mated adult bed bug. Adult bed bugs live about 10 months, although without a host, bed bugs may live over a year.

Bed bug infestations develop slowly. At first very few insects are present, feeding intermittently on the host and may not be noticed. Bites are sometimes overlooked or blamed on some other pest species like spiders. Secretive adults may not be noticed as they feed on sleeping hosts. Over time though, evidence builds up. Bed bugs are gregarious, and can be found living side by side in harborage sites. Great numbers of nymphs and adults can be found together. As these sites become more active, females will migrate to areas of less activity to lay eggs. Male bed bugs want to mate constantly with females, driving them away. This behavior is believed to be what makes bed bugs “spread out” into new areas. Large populations also use up more and more of the hiding spaces near the host, and are forced to seek shelter farther from the feeding site. All the while the bed bugs are pooping. Bed bug feces is little more that partially digested human blood. Fecal spots form as the bed bugs move about and accumulate in and around the harborage sites. Fecal spots are usually clustered, and may have a small “smear” at one side, indicating the direction of the bed bug’s travel. In heavy infestations there may even be a discernable, almost sweet odor, due to large amounts of feces and aggregation secretions. As bed bugs molt during the growth process, the smaller old skin is shed and a new larger skin forms. These skins are also left where they fall and may accumulate over time. In heavy infestations, there may be considerable numbers of these cast skins.

Now, back in the unit to be inspected, I am looking for evidence. I begin with a cursory look around. With a bright flashlight, pliers, and a screwdriver in hand I start with the ceiling edges and walls. As harborage sites become full, bed bugs will end up in corners and on walls. Right away I begin to notice some fecal spots on door frames and at lower closet edges. No activity behind outlet covers, or under carpet in the 2 bedrooms, 12-25 dead bed bugs noted on the bed room floors, some fecal spots on lower closet door and door frames, no live activity. Bases of all 3 hall closet door frames also had fecal spots, dead bed bugs, no live activity. As I began to examine the living room, there seemed to be more and more dead bed bugs, and fecal spotting, increasing as I got over to the baseboard radiator. Fecal spotting all over the metal housing and adjacent molding told me I was getting warm. When I dismantled the housing and pulled the carpet out from under it I hit pay dirt. 1000’s of cast skins, large pockets of blood stained carpet(major harborage site), and hundreds of dead bed bugs were deposited under the carpet and heating unit. There must have been a couch or bed right there. As the infestation grew, the bed bugs spread out along the floor edge and eventually found the bed rooms, where there was much less fecal spotting etc. In my opinion, the focal point of the infestation was the living room. As far as a time table is concerned, based on the life cycle, amount of fecal spotting, and the number of cast skins noted, the infestation was more than a year old, maybe older. 2 live bed bugs were found, although upside down, on the kitchen floor. This indicates that the treatment was working, and that bed bug control is almost complete. My recommendation was to re-treat the unit prior to new tenants moving in to ensure that the infestation is gone completely. If you suspect bed bug activity in your home, contact Colonial Pest for a free quote, or call us right now at 1-800-525-8084!

Add Comments: