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Bed Bug Bites - What do they look like?

Posted by Chris Voyce on

Waking up with insect bites on your body can be an annoying and uncomfortable experience, especially if they are on an exposed part of your body. But where did come from and what caused them?

The small, itchy, red bumps or welts appearing on your skin could be caused by a number off different culprits including bed bugs, fleas, mosquitoes, mites or scabies. They could also be the result of something that is not a bite such as a reaction / irritation from a plant or animal fibre or simply an allergic reaction to something that has been eaten. All of these possibilities should be investigated thoroughly to count them out before deciding that you have been bitten by a bed bug.

The presence of bites can be an indication that you have been bitten by bed bugs. However, not everyone has a reaction and not all reactions are the same. In order to ascertain that you have in fact been bitten by a bed bug you should look for the following indicators.

1. The first indicator to look for is the development of 'wheals' which is a bite reaction of up to 6cm across, with a deeper pink centre (see image below). These can take several days to form after being bitten.

Bed Bug Wheals

2. The second feature to look for is the bites appearing in small groupings or lines as can be seen in the image below. Bed bug bite appearing in a line or grouping is thought to be the result of a number of bed bugs feeding in an area.

Bed Bug Bites in lines or groups

Other symptoms of bed bug bites include a burning, painful sensation, a raised itchy bump with a clear centre, small spots of dried blood on sheets or clothing.

Bed bug bites most commonly occur on the arms, legs and torso. As opposed to flea bites which tend to mainly be on the legs.

Bed bug bites don’t always appear immediately after you’re bitten. They sometimes take a few days to begin causing symptoms. It should also be noted that bed bugs don’t come out to feed every single night. In fact, they can go several days without eating. It may take a few weeks to notice that your bites are part of a larger pattern.

Bed bug bites are often very itchy. You may experience a burning sensation on the skin several days after you’ve been bitten. You won’t feel the bugs bite you because they excrete a tiny amount of anaesthesia into your body before they bite.

If you scratch the bite, you may cause a secondary infection that can lead to swelling and bleeding.

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