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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

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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Bedbugs

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 Pictures, Symptoms and Treatment

Usually bed bugs feed during night when you sleep. They are sensitive to blood pushes in your vessels, which enables them to penetrate directly into your capillaries with their mouthparts. Each insect consumes approximately one microliter of blood per one bite. However, to become full bed bugs make 5-7 bites. Thus, in the morning you find several marks in one place. Multiple marks, redness and itching are the most distinct bites signs which help to tell bed bug bites from bites of other insects or parasites.

Peculiarities of Bites of Bed Bugs

Mouthparts of a bed bug resemble a tube with two grooves: one is narrow and the second is a bit wider. Wide channel serves for blood sucking, while the narrow one serves for saliva injection during the bite. Saliva of a bed bug contains analgesics, so when an insect bites, it does not hurt or itches.

Where do bed bugs bite? Bedbugs prefer to bite people with thin skin. That is why very often women and children become their victims. Bed bugs like places with more delicate skin: inner surface of arms and legs. You can notice bed bug bites on face and your neck. Bed bugs rarely bite pets, as animals have thicker skin than humans. It explains why bed bugs parasite on humans.

Larvae Bites

For satiation a bed bug larva needs less blood than a mature bug, as it is smaller than an adult insect. Nevertheless, unlike an adult bed bug its larvae bite almost every day, because frequent feeding is necessary for their growth. In addition, a larva does not inject saliva with analgesic during a bite, which makes their bites more painful. Do bed bug bites itch? Yes, if you were bitten by a larva. And usually they do not itch, if you were bitten by an adult bug.

Do Bed Bugs Bite at Daytime?

Usually bed bugs feed when it is dark at night, as they are less disturbed at this time. Their peak activity lasts from 3 to 7 AM. Daylight and human activity forces the parasites to hide. Nevertheless, even in daylight sometimes the insects can bite a person who moves rarely. Bites of bedbugs during daytime usually indicate that there is a large population of bed bugs in your house or apartment.

For full satiation an insect consumes the amount of blood that is twice its own weight. Insects need about 5-7 days to digest the sucked blood. However, bites on your body can appear every day, because the entire population has to be fed. Thus, you can judge by the number of bites about the total number of insects in your house. In heavily infested apartments you may get hundreds of new bites over night; and some insects may make attempts to bite you even during daytime.

Can the Bugs Bite Through Your Clothes?

As a rule bed bugs bite the open parts of your body. Nevertheless they are capable of biting through certain kinds of fabric. Going to bed heavily dressed is useless, as it is inconvenient and the bugs can get under your clothes. Also quite often they can hide in the seams still having access to your bare skin.

Bed Bug Bites Symptoms

Bed bug bites symptoms may be different depending on a person. This happens for several reasons.

Firstly, the insects bite humans with rough and thick skin less often. Thick skin makes is difficult for an insect to determine where to bite.

Secondly, different people respond to analgesic contained in bug’s saliva in various ways. That is why the reaction to bugs bite differs from person to person. Are bed bug bites itchy? Some people don’t have bite marks or any unpleasant symptoms, including itching. However, this does not mean that the insects do not bite them. Others can have quite strong reaction that can make them think that they have an allergy.

Whatever your reaction is, you should immediately see a doctor who will make a correct diagnosis and prescribe corresponding bed bug bites treatment, as only a specialist knows how to treat bed bug bites.

How long do bed bug bites last? They usually disappear after 10 -12 hours. If you have an allergic reaction, the bites marks and itching may stay for 2-3 days.

For children bedbug bites can be a strong stressful factor because bedbugs bite mainly at night, which leads to severe deterioration of sleep quality.

Symptoms of bed bug bites include:

  • Skin redness;
  • Severe itching;
  • Swelling of the bitten place;
  • Multiple marks on small skin area.

Bed Bug Bites Pictures and Images

Allergy to Bites of the Insects

Bed bug bites can cause unforeseen complications. One of the most unpleasant consequences is allergy to bites of bedbugs. If you have this allergy you may have severe rashes, pain, irritation and itching. Also you may possibly have fever, weakness or dizziness.

Remember, if you have any unpleasant and disturbing symptoms you should immediately inform your doctor about them. Especially if you were bitten for the first time and you do not know your reaction to such an irritant.

How to Differenciate Bed Bug Bites From Allergies

Bed bug bite almost always causes itching wherever it was produced. When people discover this symptom, they mistakenly believe that it is an allergy to bedbugs. Identifying the exact diagnosis is a task of a dermatologist. The doctor can distinguish allergy from the signs of bed bug bites. In case you have an allergic reaction there are some additional symptoms apart from skin itching.

Both cases require prompt and proper treatment, because even if you are not allergic to the saliva of the insects, bed bug bites can cause unpleasant consequences, leaving permanent traces on skin. An infection can easily get into such wounds that can cause suppuration and other more serious consequences.

Bed Bug Bites Treatment

There is no special medicine for treating bed bug bites, but you can alleviate itching and pain by applying ice, soapy water or special ointment for skin. Some doctors recommend to cure bed bug bites with antihistamines.

But how to get rid of bed bug bites completely? The answer is simple. You need to exterminate all the bed bugs in your flat or house. Getting rid of these insects is quite a difficult task. It requires great cleaning efforts from you and involves inviting a disinsector to your house.

Bedbugs

What should you know about bedbugs?

Bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, oval insects that feed by sucking blood from humans or other warm-blooded animals. The effect of bedbugs on human health and reports of bedbug infestations of certain hotels has received media attention in recent years.

How big are bedbugs?

Bedbugs do not fly. Adult bedbugs are 5-7 mm in length.

Where do bedbugs live?

Bedbugs are pests that can live anywhere in the home. They can live in cracks in furniture or in any type of textile, including upholstered furniture. Bedbug infestations are most common in beds, including the mattress, box springs, and bed frames. Bedbugs are most active at night. These pests may bite any exposed areas of skin while an individual is sleeping. Common locations for bedbug bites are the face, neck, hands, and arms.

Are bedbug bites painful?

A bedbug bite is painless and is generally not noticed. The bites may be mistaken for a rash of another cause. Small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin are the most common sign. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and itching.

How do you know if you have bedbugs?

Fecal stains or rust-colored dark spots, egg cases, and shed skins (exuviae) of bedbugs in crevices and cracks on or near beds are suggestive of infestations, but only observing the bugs themselves can confirm an active infestation. A professional pest-control company may be required to help identify and remove bedbugs from the home.

What home remedies and medications treat and get rid of bedbugs?

Home remedies for bedbug bites include measures to control itching, such as oatmeal baths or cool compresses. Typically, no treatment is required for bedbug bites. If itching is severe, steroid creams or oral antihistamines may be used for symptom relief.

Picture of Bedbug Bites

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.

What are bedbugs? What do bedbugs look like?

Bedbugs are small oval-shaped non-flying insects that belong to the insect familyCimicidae, which includes three species that bite people. Adult bedbugs reach 5 mm-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm. Bedbugs have flat bodies and may sometimes be mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches. Bedbugs feed by sucking blood from humans or animals.Cimex lectulariusis the scientific name for bedbugs.

Adult bedbugs are reddish brown in color, appearing engorged and more reddish after feeding on a blood meal. Nymphs are light-colored and appear bright red after feeding. The wings of bedbugs are vestigial, so they cannot fly. However, they are able to crawl rapidly.

Temperatures between 70 F-80 F are most favorable for bedbugs, allowing them to develop into adults most rapidly and produce up to three generations per year.

Where are bedbugs found?

Bedbugs are found all over the world. Bedbug infestations were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT for pest control began in the 1940s and 1950s. They remained prevalent in other areas of the world and, in recent years, have been increasingly observed again in the U.S. Increases in immigration and travel from the developing world as well as restrictions on the use of stronger insecticides may be factors that have led to the relatively recent increase in bedbug infestations. While bedbug infestations are often reported to be found when sanitation conditions are poor or when birds or mammals (particularly bats) are nesting on or near a home, bedbugs can also live and thrive in clean environments. Crowded living quarters also facilitate the spread of bedbug infestations.

Bedbugs can live in any area of the home and use tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture as hiding places. They tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses or mattress covers, box springs, and bed frames. They do not infest the sleeping surfaces of beds as commonly as cracks and crevices associated with the bed frame and mattress, including mattress seams. Other sites where bedbugs often reside and potential infested items include curtains, edges of carpet, corners inside dressers and other furniture, cracks in wallpaper (particularly near the bed), and inside the spaces of wicker furniture.

Since bedbugs can live for months or even longer under favorable conditions without feeding, they can also be found in vacant homes.

SLIDESHOW

Are bedbugs found in hotels?

Bedbugs are found all over the world. Bedbug infestations were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT for pest control began in the 1940s and 1950s. They remained prevalent in other areas of the world and, in recent years, have been increasingly observed again in the U.S. Increases in immigration and travel from the developing world as well as restrictions on the use of stronger insecticides may be factors that have led to the relatively recent increase in bedbug infestations. While bedbug infestations are often reported to be found when sanitation conditions are poor or when birds or mammals (particularly bats) are nesting on or near a home, bedbugs can also live and thrive in clean environments. Crowded living quarters also facilitate the spread of bedbug infestations.

Bedbugs can live in any area of the home and use tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture as hiding places. Bedbugs tend to be most common in areas where people;

  • sleep,
  • they usually concentrate in beds, including;
  • mattresses or mattress covers,
  • box springs and bed frames,
  • matttress seams and cracks,
  • curtains,
  • edges of carpet,
  • corners inside dressers and other furniture,
  • cracks in wallpaper (particularly near the bed),
  • recently used suitcases, bags, and other things that you have taken outside of your home, and
  • inside the spaces of wicker furniture.
  • They do not infest the sleeping surfaces of beds as commonly as cracks and crevices associated with the bed frame and mattress, including mattress seams. Other sites where bedbugs often reside and potential infested items

    Many news reports in recent years have focused on the discovery of bedbugs and their health effects (even in upscale five-star hotels), and a number of lawsuits have been filed by guests of fashionable hotels who awoke to find hundreds of bedbug bites covering their skin. Searching on travel-review web sites regularly reveals information and even photos confirming the presence of bedbugs in numerous hotels.

    Since bedbugs can arrive on the clothing or in the suitcases of guests from infested homes or other hotels harboring the pests, hotels can be an easy target for bedbug infestations.

    In addition to hotels, bedbug infestations have been found in;

    edbugs are found all over the world. Bedbug infestations were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT for pest control began in the 1940s and 1950s. They remained prevalent in other areas of the world and, in recent years, have been increasingly observed again in the U.S. Increases in immigration and travel from the developing world as well as restrictions on the use of stronger insecticides may be factors that have led to the relatively recent increase in bedbug infestations. While bedbug infestations are often reported to be found when sanitation conditions are poor or when birds or mammals (particularly bats) are nesting on or near a home, bedbugs can also live and thrive in clean environments. Crowded living quarters also facilitate the spread of bedbug infestations.

    Bedbugs can live in any area of the home and use tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture as hiding places. They tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses or mattress covers, box springs, and bed frames. They do not infest the sleeping surfaces of beds as commonly as cracks and crevices associated with the bed frame and mattress, including mattress seams. Other sites where bedbugs often reside and potential infested items include curtains, edges of carpet, corners inside dressers and other furniture, cracks in wallpaper (particularly near the bed), and inside the spaces of wicker furniture.

    Since bedbugs can live for months or even longer under favorable conditions without feeding, they can also be found in vacant homes.

    How do bedbugs spread?

    Bedbugs live in any articles of furniture, clothing, or bedding, so they or their eggs may be present in used furniture or clothing. They spread by crawling and may contaminate multiple rooms in a home or even multiple dwellings in apartment buildings. They may also hide in boxes, suitcases, or other items that are moved from residence to residence or from a hotel to home. Bedbugs can live on clothing from home infestations and may be spread by a person unknowingly wearing infested clothing.

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