How To Know If It’S A Bed Bug Bite
Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.
Check if it’s bedbugs
Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo
Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.
Signs of bedbugs include:
- bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
- spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
- small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)
Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.
Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo
Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.
How you can treat bedbug bites
Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.
Things you can do include:
- putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
- keeping the affected area clean
- not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection
You can ask a pharmacist about:
- using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
- antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
- the redness around the bites is spreading
You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.
Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP
It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:
- visit their website
- use the NHS App
- call them
How to get rid of bedbugs
contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides
wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes
put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)
clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early
do not keep clutter around your bed
do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first
do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs
Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022
Bed Bug Bites and Pictures: How Can You Tell A Bed Bug Has Bitten You
It seems that that bed bug bites have become even more common in recent months than news reports last year predicted. There’s no doubt that these little menaces are taking over entire regions, especially in large cities but the question is why. Bed bug bites have been unheard of at most doctor’s offices and clinics since the 1950s for the most part unless you live in a developing country. Why the sudden boom?
The basic reason is simply the fact that we’ve overlooked them and they became a cute little thing we said to our children at night. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite”. We’ve all heard this and for the most part it was harmless. Today, it’s actually something to worry about and it’s time to startgetting rid of bed bugseverywhere.
A large factor in their return is actually a combination between overlooking them for years, a decline in the economy and booming tourism in many cities. People may come visit from places that do have bedbugs and all it takes is a couple stowaways in a piece of luggage and one room in a hotel becomes infested. From there, they creep around the whole building, and then new visitors take them to other areas and so on.
Identifying Bed Bugs
What’s that little bite on your arm? Flea? Mosquito? It could very well be a bed bug bite and you might not even know it, especially if you’ve done a bit of traveling lately. Unless you specifically look for signs of these little creatures, you’ll probably just write that bump off. Bed bugs are basically oval shaped and can be a shade of yellow, red, brown or a mix of them. They almost look like baby cockroaches. They are mostly active at night so it’s easy to miss them.
A good way to find out whether or not you have them isn’t to look for live ones but instead focus CSI style on evidence. Run a flashlight over your sheet when your ready to change your bedding and look for tiny brown specks (feces), translucent exoskeletons from growing, tiny blood spots, and maybe you’ll see a little critter or two tucked in a fold. Getting down to eye level with your bed can help spot anything uneven as well. Once you know you have them, you can start to take action.
Identifying Bed Bug Bites
Extreme Example Of Bed Bug Bites
This is actually extremely hard to do so using the technique above to search your bed (or couch, futon, etc..) is the best way to confirm it’s bed bugs. The bites will look very similar to a random spider or mosquito bite. It will be a small raised red bump, a red blotchy area or small rash in most cases. This is why it’s often overlooked. Many of us wake up with a tiny unknown “bug bite” here and there and think nothing of it. Bed bugs often bite in a line pattern. Here are some pictures of various bites to help you out.
Treating Bed Bug Bites
Like any bite, these can vary greatly depending on how many bites you have and your body’s reaction to them. In severe cases, this can be life-threatening and you will have to go to the ER. For most of us, it will be an irritating bump or rash. To help ease the pain and itchiness, you can use anything from aloe vera to Campo-Phenique to a Benadryl type cream. Whatever you prefer for other itchy bites should work well here. Some Tylenol or anti-inflammatory tablet or cream can also help if you feel you need it. Everyone has a particular remedy so use what you’re familiar with and comfortable with. Some people swear by tooth pain creams in addition to an allergy cream. Treating bites shouldn’t be something you need to do all the time so get rid of these pests quickly.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
As with any little critter that moves into your home, there are some steps you need to take to get rid of them successfully and permanently. Bed bugs are a little challenging as they are resistant to many types of bug spray you can buy on the shelf. That can of super powered roach killer smells and looks like it should wipe out anything with six legs but this isn’t always the case. Those sprays are formulated to work specifically on the insect on the can usually. Spider spray might just make cockroaches angry for instance. To truly tackle this problem your best options are:
Identification– Make sure this is actually the problem and you don’t have a spider nest hiding in your wall or floorboards. The bites can be similar and the method to get rid of them is very different. Triple check to make sure or call in a professional.
Cleaning– Insects don’t like clean areas much. Use a mild bleach mixture to clean your linoleum and tile and vacuum your entire house multiple times using a bug repellant carpet powder if available. Multiple times per day for a week or so is a great idea. Wash all your bedding, drapes, couch cushions and clothes near your floor in hot water. Dry them for an extended time on HOT settings.
Elimination– This is the most important step of course. Get rid of them for good. You might be able to combine this with cleaning if you only have a few but keep in mind, where a couple are, more may be hiding. Large infestations will absolutely need the help of a professional exterminator.
Repellants– Consider an all-natural repellant device or two. These are often very cheap and double as air fresheners. You slide them under your mattress or couch or in areas you think critters may hide. These work for multiple insect types making them very versatile.
Do You Have Bed Bugs? Know the Symptoms to Stay Safe
B ed bugs are the stuff of nightmares for a lot of renters and homeowners. Once you get them in your space, getting rid of them can be nearly impossible. Even professional treatment doesn’t take care of bed bugs the first time in some cases.
While you want to do everything you can to prevent getting bed bugs in the first place, knowing the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites and how to get rid of bed bug bites is important. Use this guide to learn more about spotting bed bugs and their bite.
Being aware of bed bug bite symptoms can help you get rid of them before they become a serious problem in your home.
Table of Contents
How to Tell if You Have Bites
Bed bugs tend to spread in certain areas like an outbreak or epidemic. However, even areas that aren’t known for bedbugs can still get them. Once they’re in your home they can be incredibly hard to get rid of.
Watch for these signs to see if you have bedbugs in your home:
- Check your sheets for anything moving. Bed bugs are small, but if you watch for a few minutes and you do have them you should see them moving around.
- Look for rust-colored or reddish stains on your bed sheets or mattress. These can occur when bed bugs get crushed while you are sleeping.
- Check for small dark spots about the size of a dot made by a ball point pen on your sheets or mattress. These are typically bed bug excrement.
- Try to find tiny eggs or eggshells that are about 1mm in size. These shells are the sign of bed bugs that have just been born or are waiting to be born.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Where to Look for Bed Bugs
Knowing what to look for when searching for bed bugs in your home is an important first step. You also need to know where they typically hide and can be found within your home if you want to stomp them out though.
Check for bed bugs around your home in these locations:
- Under loose wallpaper, pieces of art or behind tapestries in your home.
- Under the corners of rugs, particularly in your bedroom or bathroom area.
- Where your walls and ceiling meet overhead. These junctions are common places for bedbugs to nest and hide for long periods of time.
- In cushions, the seams of couches and loose fabric on chairs or other upholstered items. Bed bugs can even hide under throw blankets tossed on a bed, chair or couch if it isn’t routinely moved.
- In the joints of drawers. Nightstands, dressers, closets and bathrooms are especially susceptible to bed bugs, though they can hide in areas like kitchen drawers as well.
- In electrical receptacles around your home. Bed bug can also hide out in appliances within your home.
Bedbugs bite humans and animals around them to feed on their blood. Like mosquitoes and other creatures of this type, they’re attracted to the skin for this reason.
Bite marks tend to look like small red bumps, not dissimilar to the bite of a mosquito. The area that forms is generally referred to as a papule and it can become inflamed and infected if you aren’t careful.
This is what bed bug bites can look like
Bites on My Skin
Bed bug bites on humans are typically found around the hands, arms, shoulders, neck and face. You’ll usually find that bed bug bites are grouped together as well since these small creatures don’t typically cover much ground at once. This is not always the case however, and bites do not have to come in clear clusters or groupings.
While these bugs are small, you will see their bite since inflammation of the bite area, along with redness and swelling are common. Bed bug bites on toddlers and small children are even easier to notice. They should be treated immediately to keep small kids from scratching and potentially spreading an infection.
Do Bites Itch or Hurt?
The bites typically cause minor discomfort to humans, though many people are bitten when they are asleep because these bugs commonly live within sheets and bedding.
After being bitten by bed bugs, humans are likely to experience a variety of symptoms:
- Burning at the bite site. Many people notice a little bit of discomfort and an initial burning sensation when bitten by bed bugs.
- Itching around the area where person was bitten. This is common, though scratching is not ideal since it can spread infection. The problem can be even worse if you’ve got a large bed bug infestation and a large wound area.
- Redness and swelling. For some people, being bitten by bed bugs can cause a reaction that’s a bit like an allergy. Anti-inflammation medication can help control swelling if it appears after being bitten by bed bugs.
Can the Bites Make Me Sick?
Bed bug bites typically do not make people sick if they take care of them properly. When a person does not clean the bite area regularly, or they scratch the skin and spread infection, there can be health problems associated with being bitten by bed bugs.
Like other small bugs that survive on blood, there’s also the chance that infection can be spread when a bed bug bites more than one person. The risk of getting a serious infection this way is not high, but it can happen, particularly in places like hotels.
In general, bites that are taken care of properly will not pose much risk to humans.
Take care of bed bug bites by:
- Washing the bite area regularly. You need to keep bite sites clean, though they do not have to be covered with bandages or anything else.
- Reduce inflammation with a cool compress or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
- Do not scratch the bite site even if it is itching. Use a cool compress, calamine lotion or colloidal oatmeal to reduce the feeling of itching.
It is also important that you quickly wash sheets and bedding around your home to minimize your exposure to bed bugs if you think you have been bitten. Many people don’t do this fast enough to stop the spread of bugs.
Unfortunately, bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in their relatively short lifespan, all of which could be in your home!
How Can I Know if a Bed Bug Bit Me?
The easiest way to tell if a bed bug has bitten you is to look for small, dot-like bite marks on your skin. These tend to get red a few hours after you are bitten and they can swell up like mosquito bites.
Bed bug bites typically form in clusters as well, which can differentiate them from flea bites and mosquito bites. If you haven’t been outside, it’s the wrong season for mosquitoes or you don’t have pets, bed bugs are also a much more likely choice for what has bitten you.
How Do You Know If Bedbugs Are Present?
It’s also important to remember that bed bug bites typically cause a small, yet sharp pain at the time of the attack. If you’re awake when bitten by bed bugs you should immediately stop and look for them, related eggshells and eggs in the area.
Bed Bug Bites vs Flea Bites
Bed bug bites typically occur in a straight, cluster-like line, which can help differentiate them from flea bites. You’ll usually find three or four bed bug bites in a row, though this isn’t always the case.
Flea bites are also more likely to cause swelling faster than bed bug bites. If you notice swelling after an hour or less, or the bite is more like an open sore or blister after a day or two, you probably have flea bites instead of bed bug bites.
Are They Bed Bugs Bites or Flea Bites?
Bed Bug Bites vs Mosquito Bites
Mosquito bites are felt immediately and show a swollen area within minutes when most people are bitten. This is not always the case with bed bug bites since many people have only a very mild reaction to them. For these people, bites will look more like a reddish dot on the skin than a large, swollen bite.
Mosquito bites also itch immediately while it takes some time for bed bug bites to begin itching in most cases.
Bed bugs can be incredibly annoying for renters and homeowners since they’re so small that finding them is often difficult. Their bites can also cause a great deal of irritation and discomfort. Worst of all, they breed at an alarming rate, and if you have a few in your home now, you could have an infestation soon if it’s not caught quickly.
The good news is that bed bug bites generally don’t cause much harm to children, adults or even pets. They can create some discomfort, itching and swelling with their bite, but the spread of infection is rare if bites are dealt with properly.
Use the tips above to find beg bugs quickly and get them out of your home. The longer you let them live in your home or bed, the more likely you are to face a serious infestation down the line.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.
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How to Tell if You’ve Been Bitten by a Bed Bug
Bed bug bites usually appear as small red welts in zigzag lines or small clusters. Learn more about beg bugs and how to tell if you’ve been bitten.
Bed bugs are a notoriously sneaky nuisance. An infestation can happen to anyone, and it may take days before you even realize these pests have set up camp in your home. Here are some signs to tell if bed bugs have been using you as their midnight snack:
Are bed bug bites visible?
Like bed bugs themselves, their bites can be tricky to identify. Initially, the bites are completely painless, and it could take days to develop any reaction on the skin. Some people will have no physical reaction at all to bed bug bites. If no marks develop on the skin but you still suspect you may have an infestation, then the tiny blood stains the bugs leave behind on the bed after feeding could be the only sign you’ve been bitten. Be sure to take steps to check your room thoroughly.
What do bed bug bites look like?
When bites do show, they will most likely appear as small red welts in zigzag lines or small clusters. These bites can also be mistaken for the bites of other insects, like mosquitoes. Unlike flea bites, which are primarily around the ankles, bed bug bites can appear on any part of your exposed body. You will often find similar telltale signs in bed bug bites. The bites will cause localized itching, which in some cases can be severe. Over time, people may become increasingly sensitive to bed bug bites, so the red welts and itching can grow in intensity the more often you are bitten.
What are Issues Associated With Bed Bugs?
If the infestation persists, bed bugs bites can also disrupt your sleep schedule and lead to insomnia and anxiety. Ifsigns of an allergic reactionoccur, such as hives or severe itching, medical attention may be needed.
Bed bugs do not attach themselves to their host. Instead, they feed in brief intervals and then go back into hiding. Therefore, bite marks and telltale stains are powerful clues in identifying the presence of bed bugs. Pictures of bed bug bites are helpful in this process.
Bed Bug Bites vs Spider Bites – What is the Difference?
Insect bites of various kinds are a common reason behind medical consultations. Some bites and stings only last for a few minutes; others may persist for days or weeks. The bites that last longer are usually due to an allergy and, naturally, they should be treated as such.
Today, we shall study a few important differences between bed bug bites and spider bites. We will also consider in brief, the different ways of treating them. Typically, an itch reliever medicine as well as a non-sleepiness causing anti histamine tablet or a combination of these may be required for treating both, bed bug bites and spider bites. Some spider bits can be fatal.
Signs and Symptoms of bed bug bites
Bed bug bites typically occur at night, since bed bugs prefer feeding on the sleeping hosts. Typically, bugs attack the exposed parts of the body such as arms, legs, upper neck and back. Bed bugs cannot jump or fly; so the bites are usually present in a linear pattern in groups of three or four. Signs of bed bug bites are:
- Red swollen weals around the site of bite
- Bitten areas can be itchy, or sometimes painful.
- Scratching the bites, especially in children, can lead to pus-filled blisters.
For treating and preventing bed bug bites on human skin:
- Wash the skin with a mild soap and warm water
- Apply an over-the-counter topical antimicrobial cream or lotion to prevent infection
- If fever or red angry rash is present, seek prompt medical attention.
Prevention is the best cure when it comes to treating bed bug bites. You must not hesitate in enlisting the services of a professional pest control company, especially if the infestations are widespread. Other preventive measures include wearing clothes which cover all body parts well: tucked-in shirts, long-sleeved clothing and gloves are ideal for this purpose. You can also use insect repellents (however, most typically last only for eight hours).
Signs and Symptoms of spider bites
Some Spider bites can be outright dangerous: the Black Widow spider bites are often painless but they can lead to severe nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and seizures. There may be a sudden drop in blood pressure. It is important to seek medical attention if this happens. An anti venom injection must be taken.
In many mid western and southern states, Brown Recluse spider bites have been reported. These can also be deadly and can lead to serious wounds and infections. Signs and symptoms include: reddish whiteness of the skin followed by “Bull’s eye” blisters. An anti venom injection must be taken promptly.
In short; the signs and symptoms of common spider bites are:
- Local/systemic toxicity known as Arachnidism
- Increasing pain at the bite site
- Colicky/abdominal cramps
Other spider bites can lead to localized pain, swelling, erythema and, in some cases, necrosis in the bitten region.
Summary of bed bug bites vs spider bites
|Bed Bug Bites||Spider Bites|
|Typically occur at night||Can occur any time of the day|
|Bed bugs reside near the sleeping areas of hosts||Spiders hide in closets, attics, in gardens etc|
|Appear in groups of three or four in linear patterns on neck, arms, back and torso||A single swollen bite is present in case of most spider bites. The black widow spider leaves two fang-like insertions or red marks. Bites are usually seen on arms, legs, fingers etc|
|Bed bug Bites are typically itchy||Spider Bites are typically very painful|
|Bed bug bites do not lead to any gastrointestinal distress||Some spider bites cause vomiting, abdominal cramping, paralysis etc|
|Local or over the counter hydrocortisone creams, oral anti histamines and/or soothing herbal skin lotions can be used for treating and healing bed bug bites||Anti-venom injections may be required depending on the type of spider. If the swelling is increasing rapidly, oral/topical antibiotics may be required.|
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