What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bug bites – Cimex lectularius are a clever bunch of blood-sucking bugs, and populations are on the rise.
Getting rid of biting bugs at night and eliminating their spread without professional guidance can cost you a fortune. Additionally, bedbug activity critically disrupts your sleep and may even put your families health at risk!
Some individuals go for months thinking they have a skin condition, not realising it’s hundreds of bedbug bites! People also confuse bedbug bites with those of mosquitoes, horse flies, midges or flea bites.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Imagine for a moment you have a piece of paper. If that piece of paper can slide into a gap, then so can our little friends!
Bedbugs like to feed on warm-blooded animals like us. Bugs are often brought into our homes on clothing, luggage, second-hand furniture and ourselves, etc. Most commonly of all, they hitch a ride when we return from trips away from home.
Bed Bug Bites – seen on a female’s arm
A BedBug Bite – seen on an adult males arm
This bedbug bite is on the lower arm of a customer, living in a heavily infested renal property. It is clearly very angry looking and possibly infected.
Not everyone will react to bedbug bites! Some people have very obvious allergic reactions to bites from insect (arthropod) pests, while others in the same property will be bitten but exhibit none of the signs or symptoms.
When you are bitten by bedbugs, the insect injects you, piercing the skin with straw-like mouthparts that have been implicated in the possible transmission of diseases.
The signs of his skin reaction, to the bed bugs bite, are clear to see. This was accompanied by one of the common symptoms of bed bug bites, intense itching. Due to infection and scarring caused by previous bites he was trying hard to resist the urge to scratch.
From the photo, the localised reaction is clearly quite angry. The surrounding tissues to the left of the main bite, feature a reddening of the skin and slight inflammation.
Bed Bug bites on adults thumb
This man’s thumb shows us a fairly representative cluster of Bed Bug Bites. When the bed bug is searching for a suitable place to acquire a blood meal, it is attracted by heat emitted by our bodies. Another important attractant is carbon dioxide.
Once on our skin, it quickly picks up on the vascular signature and warmth of blood vessels close to the skin. It will then attempt to harvest its blood meal from that point.
More often than not the bites appear to follow the path of larger blood vessels. As such, these clusters or more accurately lines/rows of bites are very common.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Getting rid of Bed bugs and eliminating the spread of bedbugs can be very difficult. They are about the size of a lentil and very, very flat so fit in the smallest of gaps imaginable.
Bedbugs like to feed on human blood and the blood of other warm-blooded animals. These ectoparasites are often brought into our homes on clothing etc, on return from trips away from home.
Are Bites From Bedbugs Dangerous?
Medical treatments for bed bug bite treatment often includes hydrocortisone cream and gentle cleaning to eliminate bacteria and avoid infection.
When these insects are abundant they can take so much blood from an infant during a nights feed that over a short time the child will show signs of iron deficiency or anaemia.
Tests have been carried out that have shown bed bugs crossing a ceiling, then dropping onto a bed and bed frame to access a human host and feed. So even protecting your bed might not prove enough protection against bedbugs.
Over the past year, we have helped our bed bug pest control customers to wipe out bed bugs in their homes and businesses.
You can often spot that you have a problem with bed bugs simply by looking around the edges of your mattress, under the folded Seams.
If you find small, oval, flattened insects and you have dark speckles around them or nearby then you need to get things treated.
Two huge infestations we tackled last year presented a huge challenge, but as usual, we succeeded in taking control and eliminating them.
When Are Bedbugs Most Likely To Bite Me?
They are most active at night especially in the early hours, but this is variable.
If you work nights and sleep all day, then a darkened room is just as preferable. We have also seen them biting during the day, where the opportunity arises.
Bedbugs like all animals will make the most of any opportunity to feed if they need too. Bites often occur on exposed skin, especially the neck, face, hands, arms and feet. Hydrocortisone cream is often helpful at reducing the inflammation.
How can I Stop Bed Bugs Biting Me?
A combined, integrated and professional approach is normally the only thing that will crush a colony of bed bugs.
Sprays, creams and other barrier protection is available, but won’t always work.
The best, most barrier protection can achieve is a reduction in the likelihood of being bitten or minimise the number of bites.
Differences Between Bed Bug & Flea Bites
The main difference is easily spotted with bites from adult bedbugs.
Flea bites won’t bleed and rarely have an obvious puncture mark in the centre.
Bed bug bites regularly continue to seep blood immediately after feeding and have a very obvious puncture mark.
The real challenge is with juvenile bedbugs where the bites are almost identical to flea bites.
This is where we need to see the bedbugs or other evidence of them before we can give a reliable diagnosis and prescribe a suitable course of treatment options.
Where the diagnosis is not possible with any clarity, we would normally treat proactively for fleas and for bedbugs. We use residual insecticides together with fumigation for a comprehensive level of control of almost any insect species.
If you are deeply concerned about your insect bites, it is always worth visiting your doctor for advice.
How Long Will Bug Infestations Last
It depends on a number of factors, but if carried out properly a single treatment should suffice. That said, multiple treatments may be needed in established infestations.
Most modern homes contain large amounts of furniture and other items.
This means meticulously going through and checking every item. Unless you are thorough, you cannot say with any certainty that the area is clear.
It is our experience that proactive involvement of the customer (daily checks of beds etc) is essential to success. Without customers help and surveillance, It is almost always impossible to eliminate bedbugs.
Many people simply move! With our help though, this doesn’t have to happen to you.
Academic – Learn more about bedbugs