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Home > Blog > What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Nov 14, 2022

Nobody wants to imagine having bed bugs in their house. The thought of your bedroom being contaminated by hordes of insects is enough to make one’s skin crawl. The good news is that bed bugs do not necessarily indicate a dirty environment. And if you’re equipped with knowledge of what bed bug bites look like, you’ll be prepared to address any potential problems that arise and soon be back to sleeping soundly.

The hallmark signs of a bed bug infestation are blood spots on sheets and blankets, the appearance of bed bug droppings and castings, and, of course, bites on the skin. But what do bed bug bites look like and how can you tell them from other insect bites? Keep reading to learn the telltale signs.  

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Where on the Body Are Bed Bug Bites Common?

Bed bugs most often attack skin exposed or uncovered by clothes, meaning that your head, neck, shoulders, hands, feet, and arms are the most susceptible, depending on what you wear to sleep.

Bed bug bites may occur in isolation or scattered around the body; however, they are most often found grouped in one or two areas of the body. The bites may form the shape of a line or a zig-zag, revealing the bugs’ path along your skin.

How Big Are Bed Bug Bites?

There are several factors that influence the size of bed bug bites. When bed bugs bite their victims, they inject a dose of anticoagulant that prevents the person’s blood from clotting. This strategy is how bed bugs can feed from one bite site for many minutes at a time. 

A person’s reaction to the anticoagulant in the bed bug saliva will largely determine their body’s response to the attack, as well as the ultimate size of the bite. At the smallest, a bed bug bite can be as tiny as the head of a pin and barely raised above the surface of the skin. A very inflamed bite can grow up to the size of a coin. 

Bed Bug Bites FAQs

When Do Bed Bug Bites Appear?

Bed bug bites usually appear a few days after the insect has attacked. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bite marks can occur within just a few hours or up to a 14-day period after the bite.

How Long Do They Last?

Most bites only last between one and two weeks. The healing time may vary from person to person, depending on an individual’s sensitivity to insect bites. In these cases, healing may take three weeks or even longer. However, bed bug bites do not cause any long-lasting or permanent harm.

What Are the Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites?

The severity of symptoms that present when a person has sustained bed bug bites will vary between individuals. The most common symptoms are tiny blemishes on the skin where the bed bugs’ teeth pierced the skin. The bites may also be red and itchy. These kinds of wounds make up the majority of bed bug bite symptoms. Some people’s reactions are so minor that they do not notice the bites for weeks.

Symptoms can be more severe if a person has an allergy to bed bug saliva. In these cases, hives or rashes may form on the skin. Rather than small red pimples, the bites may be larger and contain fluid or pus. If the blisters pop, they run the risk of becoming infected, leading to further complications. If you do get bed bug bites, it’s best not to scratch them.

Bed Bug Problem? We Can Help!

Now you have all the information you need to identify bed bugs and their bites. If you think you have a bed bug problem, get in touch with a bed bug professionals from Romney Pest Control today!


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