Show Me Bed Bug Bites On Humans

Bed Bug Bites on Humans – Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

The adage: ”Don’t let the bed bugs bite” holds true today more than ever. While bed bugs have been associated with humans since centuries they have actually evolved along with the pre historic man. Today, 1 out of every 5 Americans has been the victim of a bed bug infestation or at least knows someone who has. Bed bugs are capable of traveling up to 5 to 20 ft to find their host. They generally emerge from their hiding places at night and are capable of engorging on their host’s blood for 3 to 10 minutes per feeding.

Bed bug bites on humans do not cause any diseases but can be extremely annoying. Not only do they translate to lack of sleep, they can also cause intense itching. Scratching the site of a bed bug bite can lead to various skin infections, some of which may require antibiotics or steroidal ointments for healing.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites on humans

As mentioned before, bed bug bites on humans generally occur at night, though hungry bugs might not hesitate to bite even during the day, if they find a sleeping host at that time. The bed bug bites on humans themselves are painless due to which the individual often does not realize s/he is being bitten. The bugs do not remain on their victim after the feeding is over; rather they move away to their chosen hiding places to digest the meal. Symptoms of bed bug bites on humans vary from person to person.

  • People with sensitive skin might develop angry red welts a few days after being bitten.
  • Some victims may not have any symptoms at all. In a few cases, there may even be a delay of a few weeks for the signs of bed bug bites on humans to appear.
  • Scientific studies conducted on bed bug bites on humans in apartments have shown that some victims of bed bug bites do not have any reaction despite being bitten repeatedly.
  • Elderly victims are also more likely to not have any signs and symptoms of bed bug bites on humans.

The main difference between flea bites and bed bug bites on humans is that the former mainly appear on the hands, legs, ankles and other exposed parts of the body. On the other hand, bed bug bites on humans are seen several parts of the body including face, neck, back, arms, and legs. Often these signs and symptoms are mistaken to be mosquito bites or other causes. This the main reason why bed bug infestations often go unnoticed for long periods of time.

Home remedies for bed bug bites on humans

If you suspect you have bed bug bites, make sure you refrain from scratching the bitten area. To speed up healing, the following home remedies for bed bug bites on humans can help:

  • Taking an oral anti-histamine.
  • Applying soothing creams containing hydrocortisone.
  • Natural creams containing calendula, or creams and gels containing Aloe Vera extracts can help relieve inflammation and pain.

As mentioned before, the bed bug bites on humans do not cause any diseases but they are known to cause anxiety and other nervous disorders in their victims. Hence, it is important to get rid of bed bugs by opting for professional extermination treatments along with pesticides and organic/non-chemical solutions.

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Bedbug Bites

Childhood Skin Problems

Photo courtesy of Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin

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The first sign of bedbugs may be red, itchy bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites, unlike some other insects that leave bites here and there.

Bedbugs do not seem to spread disease to people. But itching from the bites can be so bad that some people will scratch enough to cause breaks in the skin that get infected easily. The bites can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. Read more about bedbug bites – symptoms, treatments and prevention.

Sources

Image: Photo courtesy of Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin

Text: "Bedbugs – Overview", WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Bedbugs Slideshow: An Informative Look at Bedbugs

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

As if you needed something else to worry about, bedbugs, those pests from the old bedtime rhyme are making a comeback. More of a nuisance than a health hazard, they’re showing up to suck blood from people in hotels, college dorms, and hospitals. Take an informative look at bedbugs: what they are, where they lurk, and how to spot them before they get you.

Know the Enemy

Bedbugs are small, flat, wingless insects with six legs that, like mosquitoes, feed on blood from animals or people. They range in color from almost white to brown, but they turn rusty red after feeding. The common bedbug doesn’t grow much longer than 0.2 inches (0.5 centimeters) and can be seen by the naked eye to the astute observer.В Bedbugs get their name because they like to hide in bedding and mattresses.

Am I at Risk for Infestation?

Bedbugs are most often found in hotels, hostels, shelters, and apartment complexes where lots of people come and go. Because bedbugs hide in small crevices, they can hitch a ride into your home on luggage, pets, furniture, clothing, boxes, and other objects. Bedbugs are found worldwide, but are most common in developing countries. Once rare in North America, they may be on the rise due, in part, to increases in international travel.

Feeding Habits

These nocturnal creatures can hide in beds, floors, furniture, wood, and paper trash during the day. We humans usually become their dinner during the night, with peak biting activity just before dawn.They can obtain their meal in as little as three minutes, after which they are engorged and drop off the host, then crawl into a hiding place to digest their meal. Bedbugs can live for 10 months, and can go weeks without feeding.

Signs and Symptoms of Bedbug Bites

Amazingly, these sneaky little bloodsuckers dine on you without waking you. You don’t feel their stealthy bite because they inject a numbing agent into your body, along with an anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing as they suck. The first sign of bedbugs may be itchy, red bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites.

Treating Bites

Bedbug bites do not usually require treatment. If a secondary infection occurs (usually from scratching), apply a local antiseptic lotion or antibiotic cream or ointment. Creams with corticosteroids and oral antihistaminesare used for the primary, unbearable symptom of itch. In these more severe cases, you may need to see your doctor.

Do Bedbugs Transmit Diseases?

Bedbugs are more of a nuisance than a health hazard. In a recent study, researchers reviewed 53 recent studies on bedbugs and their health and medical effects. The results showed that although bedbugs have been blamed for the spread of up to 40 different human diseases, there is little evidence to suggest they are carriers of human disease.

Bedbug or Imposter?

Don’t assume your bites are bedbugs. Bites can be hard to identify, even for doctors. Rule out mosquitoes, fleas, mites, and biting gnats by conducting a visual inspection. It’s best to collect and identify bedbugs to confirm bites. Look for the bugs themselves or their bloodstains, especially along the seams of mattresses. Further, look for dark spots of insect waste where bedbugs might crawl into hiding places on furniture, walls, and floors.

Bite Back Against Bedbugs

Professional exterminators should get involved right off the bat—tell your landlord, super, hospital administrator, hotel owner, or you call a professional right up front. The exterminator will locate the bed bugs (which may be found in more than one location) and exterminate as needed. YOU will have to do a lot of laundry.В

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New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene.
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Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 17, 2018

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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Show me bed bug bites on humans

Information about bed bugs bites, pictures of what do bed bug bites look like, how to check if you have been bitten by bed bugs and advice on how to stop the itch.

Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that feed mostly at night when their hosts are asleep. In the day, they hide in cracks and crevices of walls, bed frames, bookshelves, basically anywhere that gives them easy access to humans, although they are fast moving insects that are able to travel great distances.

Bed bugs bite their hosts by using their sharp beak to pierce the skin and inject their saliva. Like mosquitoes, their saliva contains an anticoagulant (to prevent coagulation of the blood) as they suck and also acts as an anesthetic agent to prevent the victim from feeling the bite. Therefore, while sleeping, humans rarely feel any sensations of being bitten, but will only realize the day after.

Nymphs (young bed bugs) take about three minutes to feed, while a full-grown bug feeds for ten to fifteen minutes. After feeding, they then crawl back to the nearest crevice to digest.

Pictures Of What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like On Humans

A young woman with numerous bed bug bites on her back and buttocks.


Bed bugs bites that are swollen on forearm.


A picture of a cluster of bed bugs bites on the inner side of the arms.


Bed bugs bites on the lower back/buttocks of a woman, sitting on the bed that gave her the bites.

So, my story starts in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am currently attending university and have lived in residence for the last 3 years. I started developing this really bad rash the last few months (more than a few actually) and I thought it was heat rash because I would only get it when I sweated or got hot. However, I just checked the side of my mattress and low and behold, black dots everywhere. This has caused me such embarrassment because everywhere I would go leaving the house, I would have these hives looking rash all over my arms. I am finally moving out of residence and saying goodbye to these horrid blood suckers once and for all. I even tried allergy medicine with antihistamine because I thought it was an allergic reaction, which it is, but you cant really cure allergic reaction to bed bug bites with zyrtec, benedryl, or claritin.

thanks and I hope my story helped!

What Are The First Signs And Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites?

Often, the bites of bed bugs are mistaken or misdiagnosed for other common household insects since the bites can look almost identical to those caused by other parasitic blood feeding insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, ants and lice.


image credit: urbanentomology.tamu.edu

Nevertheless, bed bugs bites can be easily recognizable once you know what are the symptoms to look for.

The first tell tale symptoms of bed bug bites are the multiple small, flat or raise welts on the skin that will always appear in a linear three in a row or clustered pattern because of the bed bugs tendency to feed on the same location more than once. Experts usually describe the three in a row bite marks as breakfast, lunch and dinner. The welts can turn red, flare up and become itchy. Scratching the bitten areas may also cause the welts to blister, have an infection or leave scars.

The next tell tale sign that may indicate your bed is infested is that you will get bitten every night while you are sleeping and develop similar clustered pattern large itchy welts every morning.

Other possible signs of an infestation are tiny blood spots on bedding materials of dead bugs that are crushed during feeding or staining on the mattress from the waste of the bugs.

Bitten by bed bugs? Share with us your experiences here.

Bed Bugs Vs Fleas, Spiders and Mosquitoes Bites – What Are The Differences?

Even though bed bug bites cause itchiness and irritation to the skin similar to flea, spider and mosquito bites, there are a few differences.

The bites of bed bugs usually appear as small, red welts and tend to show up in groups or in a line formation on the hands, feet, neck and other exposed body parts during sleep. For most victims, the bites will cause intense itching for several days.

Since bed bugs feed at night, you may most likely notice that you have been bitten only after you have woken up in the morning. Sometimes, the bites may also tend to appear more rash-like rather than bite-like, which is why the symptoms of the bites can sometimes be mistaken for other types of skin rashes caused by laundry detergent, soap and other cleaning products.


Victims of bed bug bites on arms (image credits:tripadviserandaaron)

Flea bites can look very similar to the bites from bed bugs since they also occur in groups and itch a lot but the bite marks of fleas are typically smaller and more pinkish in color. Common household flea bites also tend to occur mostly on the lower part of the body around the legs, ankles and behind the knees.

Most of the time, the only way of knowing whether you have being bitten by fleas is asking yourself if you have recently come into contact with any household pets like dogs and cats or wildlife animals such as raccoons, rabbits and rats that typically carry fleas that bite humans. Most of the time, children end up with flea bites playing with their dogs and cats. There are also cases of individuals being bitten by sand fleas which are found commonly around beaches, wetlands and swamps.


Multiple flea bites on legs

The characteristics of a spider bite is usually large, isolated swelling that show up immediately after the bite revealing that the skin may be pierced. Depending on the toxicity of the spider bite, one may feel the painful sting of the bite much like the sting from a bee and the pain can last for a few minutes to as long as a day or two.


Symptoms of spider bites on hand and leg (image credits:graelaanddoug)

When an individual is bitten by mosquitoes, the bites tend to flare up quickly as pale pinkish bumps with uneven swelling on the skin. Reactions may vary but most individuals will experience itching around the bite area for a few hours with the itch gradually disappearing after a day or two.


Large welts and swellings of mosquitoes bites ( image credit: jenn )

Again, for those who are still unsure about what insects bit you, entomologists and pest control experts receommends that the best way to identify whether one is bitten by bed bugs is to physically check for the signs of the bugs themselves. Look for the live bugs or other signs of recent activity like the outer exoskeleton casings where the bugs shed, droppings and newly formed dried blood stains on the bed sheets.

For the uninitiated, read this post on how to check for signs of bed bugs at home and in a hotel room.

Where Do the Bites Most Commonly Occur?

Any exposed areas of the bodies while one sleep are target spots for a bed bug to bite and suck on for blood. The face, neck, back, hands, arms and legs are the most common areas where bed bug bites occur.


Two day old cluster pattern bites marks of bed bugs on women back.

How Long Does the Bite Rash Last?

Reaction to bed bug bites depends on the individual. Some people will not have any reaction at all while for others who are quite sensitive to bites, they may have localized allergic reactions and develop blisters or rashes that can be extremely itchy as they get bitten repeatedly.

Typically bed bug rashes will show up a few hours after the actual biting but there are some cases whereby the rash does not appear until a few days or even a week later since this is dependent on the allergy reaction to the person who is being bitten.

Generally, the rashes of bed bugs will last for two to three days and then slowly fade away. However the rashes can last much longer if the person is more allergic prone. Often it will require some medical intervention to finally clear up the skin rash completely.

Do Bed Bug Bites Transmit Disease?

Are the bites of bed bugs dangerous or contagious? Even though these tiny and bloodthirsty pests are really bothersome and considered a nuisance, their bites are fairly harmless and are not known to spread any diseases.

Nonetheless, on very rare occasions an allergic reaction to the bites has caused nausea, sickness and even shock. Some people may also be affected psychologically and not be able to fall asleep.

A Reader’s Comment on The Effects of Bed Bug Bites

I started with hundreds of bites on my body a year ago. I ended up in the ER because I had no idea what was wrong with me. I then went to 3 specialist, had biopsies and still no one knew what it was. I was able to move from that apartment in 3 months to a different complex. (because of the bed bug infestation that I had never experienced before. I am still getting bitten, severe itching, scars all over my legs, arms, neck and crease at top of my legs before entering private parts. No prescription has helped. I’ve had many. Calamine lotion helps with the itching but it’s messy and leaves a residue on your skin. I’ve had cortezone shots for the itching. did not help.

I have to wear clothing to help cover the marks to be able to work. My mattress and box springs have been encased in bed bed zippered bags since December, and then adding another cover over that this year. I cannot afford to trash my mattress. I did however trash my bedding and started over. My pillows are also protected with a zippered covering.

The itching is horrible and the same bite marks I’ve had for at least a year seem to be re-infecting. They get red and swollen. I also have several on my body that have started to go away or I mean you have to look really close to see. I started tanning and the heat helps and also starts tanning the scratched skin to blend with my normal skin.

This is HORRIBLE. I actually think just today I caught one on my bed and then looked on the computer and it does look like one of the species. I drowned it with 2 more I think I found. I heard they were sensitive to light so I sleep with the lights on. I’m not even sure anymore if all the itching is real. It could be psychosomatic. I always have a feeling something is crawling on me. It’s like when you see an ant on a picnic and can’t get that thought off your mind and start itching. The bite usually is invisible to the naked eye, but once you start itching, the area expands to the skin torn off.

Diana Sinclair

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites?

For fast relief from the discomfort and itchness of the bites, you are advised to run it under lukewarm running water for approximately a minute and clean the affected area with an antibacterial soap, which will minimize the inflammation and irritation as well as take your mind off it.

For a stronger treatment for the skin rashes, severe itchiness or to prevent infections, you can apply local antiseptic lotion, antibiotic cream or oral antihistamine. Some of the recommended topical steroid creams for the treatment of the bites are hydro-cortisone – Cortaid Intensive Therapy , for example – that helps to stop the itch and resolve any rash quickly.

How to Avoid Getting Bitten Again?

First, try to confirm the presence of bed bugs even if you suspect that you have been bitten by the tiny blood feeders.

It is best to first visually inspect your bed and room for any telltale signs of the bugs. If the brown critters are found, one can contact a reputable pest control company for the extermination of bed bugs .

For homeowners who are looking for ways on how to prevent getting bitten, here are some useful steps one can take to protect yourselves:

  • Clear away unwanted clutter and clean your room thoroughly. Vacuum carpets and seal any cracks in the wood floors.
  • Wash all bedding and clothing in hot water for at least 20 minutes. Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat and will die at temperatures above 120В°F.
  • Use a quality bed bug spray to kill off any visible bugs one can find especially around and behind the headboard, bed frame as well as upholstered furniture near the bed. Follow up the treatment with professional insect powders such as Diatomaceous Earth by applying it around the bed and carpet to defend the perimeters.
  • If you are still worried, one can also use thick, double-sided tape to tape it around the bottom of the bed frame or use professional traps as a tool to detect and prevent bed bugs before they bite.
  • Encase the mattresses with bed bug proof covers that are designed to contain fleas and bugs. Similarly, the pillows and bolster must be encase too to be effective in preventing bed bug bites. The covers will work both ways to prevent new infestations as well as trap existing bugs on the inside from getting out to feed.

Note: For travellers, read this travel checklist on how to prevent bed bug bites when staying in hotels and how to avoid bringing bed bugs back to your home from your holidays.

Other Related Topics

Bed Bug Rash
Identifying bed bug rash and what remedies can help stop the itch and clear the rash.

Bed Bug Repellent
Get the truth about the effectiveness of bed bug repellent, what you need to do to prevent the bites and how to get rid of those blood sucking pests.

Bed Bug Pictures
See and identify what do bed bugs look like.

This website’s mission is to provide comprehensive information about bed bugs .
Popular topics include how to kill bed bugs , bed bug rash , bed bugs treatment and what do bed bugs look like .

Bed Bug Bite Pictures

Here you will find a large collection of bed bug bite pictures showing the wide range of symptoms people experience in reaction to bed bug bites. There’s even a series of bed bug bite photos that demonstrate the stages of reaction over time – from the first appearance of bed bug bites to when they are nearly healed.

This page is pretty long. So if you are looking for something in particular, these links will take you to just the right section:

  • Bed Bug Bite Pictures – the basics of where they bite and what bites look like
  • Bed Bug Bite Complications – knowing proper bite care prevents more serious problems
  • Transition of Bite Reactions – time lapse photo series of symptoms

Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites often appear first on the head, face and neck.

Bed bugs search out exposed skin on which to take their next meal. That makes your head, face, and neck prime targets.

Bed bug bite symptoms vary from person to person.

The bed bug bite picture above shows a minimal reaction, while the bites in the picture below caused a more serious allergic reaction with swollen red welts.

The symptoms of bed bug bites mimic many other insect bites and allergic reactions.

Hands, arms and legs are also favorite targets.

The picture above shows minimal reaction to bed bug bites on the hand, while the photo of bed bug bites below demonstrates clearer signs of allergic reaction.

They will also feast on your shoulders, back and any other body part that’s left uncovered.

Bed bugs cannot bite through clothing so they are always going to look for exposed skin.

These two bed bug bite pictures show what can happen if you don’t cover up. More about how to prevent bed bug bites here.

Bed Bug bite symptoms often mimic other things.

The photo below shows how bed bugs bites can cause a rash type of reaction with red raised blistery bumps.

It even looks a little like poison ivy.

The photo below shows bedbug rash type symptoms as well. but this time it look a little more like chicken pox.

Bites alone are not enough to determine whether or not you have bed bugs.

Bed Bug Bite Complications

Bed bug bites can get infected without proper treatment.

Bed bug bites can be annoyingly itchy, but scratching them only makes the itch worse and opens the door to infection. The pair of photos below shows the original appearance of bed bug bites.

. and then the complications with infection just one day later.

Properlytreating bed bug bitesis simple if you know what to do.Read more about bed bug bite treatment and whatreallystops the itch here.

Bed Bug Bite Reactions – A Transition

In this photo collage, Lou Sorkin, Entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History shows the series of reaction he has to bites after feeding individual nymphs and adult bed bugs in the lab.

The entire sequence lasted just one hour from the initial appearance of bed bug bite symptoms to almost no visible sign of bite marks at all.

Note:The dark red blotches on his hand that look a like wine-colored stain are a birthmark, not the result of bedbugs.

More examples of the sequence of bite symptoms

The bed bug bite picture below shows the first appearance of bed bug bite reaction shortly after feeding a number of bed bugs in the lab.

Almost immediately the bites cause general redness, inflammation, and raised welts much like mosquito bites typically do.

The photo below depicts the symptoms of the same bed bug bites 6 hours later. The swollen itchy welts have been replaced by red bumps – looking more like a bed bug rash of sorts.

Note:The dark red stain-like marks on Lou’s hand and arm at the bottom of the photo above arenotfrom bed bugs. They are birthmarks.

Hours later the swelling is completely gone and only red bed bug bite marks remain.

As you can see, there were many bed bugs feeding on this one small stretch of skin. Not only is he one of my favorite entomologists (insect scientists).Lou Sorkin is a very brave man indeed!

Immediate and delayed reactions to a bed bug "feeding frenzy".

This pair of bed bug bite photos below show the immediate (left) and next day (right) reaction after feeding a colony of bedbugs from a container in the lab. (That’s why they are contained in a small circular area). The hive-like immediate symptoms are replace by dark red rash type reaction the following day with inflammation and less severe redness radiating out to a larger area.

The bites in these pictures above are the result of anentire colonyof bed bugs feeding in one spot and the larger area of reaction the next day is likely due to the high concentration of bites in one small area – it is not the spread of venom that is common with spider bites.

Hopefully, this bed bug bug bite picture collection has given you a better idea of what common symptoms of bed bug bites look like. Here are links to other helpful pages in the Bed Bug Picture Gallery.

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