What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like

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What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?


Do I Have Bed Bug Bites?

When it comes to bug bites, most of us know them when we see them. Especially here in South Carolina, we’re all pretty familiar with what happens after we’re bitten by a mosquito or an ant, or stung by a wasp. We have our share of pests here in the South, and it’s usually no mystery when a bite shows up on your leg or arm: you know exactly what critter is to blame.

There are exceptions to this rule, though. If you’ve recently woken up covered in itchy red bites, you might be wondering: do I have bed bugs? You think back to the last time you were out of town, and start to question whether you might have brought them home with you from a hotel. At the same time, though, there are plenty of other bugs that can cause itchy red bites. In particular, it’s possible that you might be dealing with fleas instead of bed bugs.

So, how can you be sure? What do bed bug bites look like? Keep reading to find out.


How to Identify Bed Bug Bites

First off, it’s worth noting that bites from bed bugs are completely painless when you first experience them. Initially, you won’t feel a thing. This means that if you’re laying in bed and feel like something’s just bitten you, it almost certainly wasn’t a bed bug.

Instead, bed bug bites sometimes take days before they present with a physical reaction. In a small segment of the population, no reaction will ever occur at all. In other words, some people simply don’t experience much itching, redness, or swelling from bed bug bites.

On the flip side, though, the majority of people do suffer from significant itching after they’ve been bitten. If you suspect bed bugs but aren’t sure, consider checking your sheets. When bed bugs bite, they often draw blood. That blood can show up as tiny flecks and dots on your sheets.


Bed Bug Bite Symptoms and Reactions

bites close up-1

The most common reaction to a bed bug bite is redness, swelling, and severe itching. In fact, some people are so bothered by bed bug bites that they simply can’t stop itching them. This can lead to infection of the skin due to the amount of irritation involved.

More often than not, bed bug bites show up as small, red, and sometimes raised bumps on the body. These usually appear in zigzag lines or clusters -- it’s less common to have a single bite on the elbow, another single bite on the calf, and so on. Bites can show up on virtually any part of the body, including the feet, legs, arms, hands, neck, back, stomach, chest, and even the face.

Severe allergic reactions are possible. If itching becomes increasingly intense, hives begin to develop, or you’re suffering from any other unusual symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.


Why Do Bed Bugs Bite?

Bed bugs don’t bite you out of spite. Instead, biting is essential to their life cycle. Bed bugs are blood feeder insects, meaning that (much like fleas) they depend on blood in order to survive. It’s common for bed bugs to bite multiple times, as they may not find an appropriate blood vessel on their first attempt.


Health Risks

While bed bugs aren’t generally associated with disease (with the exception of recent findings related to Chagas), bed bug bites can pose other health risks. It’s important to keep the bite area as clean as possible, and to do your best to avoid scratching it. Otherwise, scratching the bites repeatedly can lead to secondary infections. These are particularly common in children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.


Treatments for Bed Bug Bites

After you’ve determined that you have bed bug bites, begin by washing the area with warm water and a mild soap. From there, consider using calamine lotion or another topical remedy to reduce itching. Oral antihistamines are also an option. Remember: if you believe you’re suffering from any unusual symptoms, seek medical attention right away.


Eliminating Bed Bugs

While it’s possible to get rid of a bed bug infestation on your own, doing so without the help of a professional is incredibly difficult. If you want your bed bug problem eliminated right away, contact Home Pest Control. Our safe, environmentally-friendly pest control services can take care of bed bugs once and for all.

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June 5, 2018

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