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Information about bed bugs bites, pictures of what do bed bug bites look like, how to check if you have been bitten by bed bugs and advice on how to stop the itch.
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that feed mostly at night when their hosts are asleep. In the day, they hide in cracks and crevices of walls, bed frames, bookshelves, basically anywhere that gives them easy access to humans, although they are fast moving insects that are able to travel far distances.
Bed bugs bite their hosts by using their sharp beak to pierce the skin and inject their saliva. Like mosquitoes, their saliva contains an anticoagulant (to prevent coagulation of the blood) as they suck and also acts as an anesthetic agent to prevent the victim from feeling the bite. Therefore, while sleeping, humans rarely feel any sensations of being bitten, but will only realize the day after.
Nymphs (young bed bugs) take about three minutes to feed, while a full-grown bug feeds for ten to fifteen minutes. After feeding, they then crawl back to the nearest crevice to digest.
Bed Bugs Bites Pictures - What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
A young woman with numerous bed bug bites on her back and buttocks.
Bed bugs bite rash on forearm.
A picture of bed bugs bites on the inner side of the arms.
Bed bugs bites on the lower back/buttocks of a woman, sitting on the bed that gave her the bites.
What Are The First Signs And Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites?
Often, bed bug bites are mistaken for common household insects bites since the bites can look almost identical to those caused by other parasitic blood feeding insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, ants and lice.
Neverthless, bed bugs bites can be easily recognizable once you know what are the symptoms to look for.
The first tell tale symptoms of bed bug bites are the multiple small, flat or raise welts on the skin that will always appear in a linear or clustered pattern because of the bed bugs tendency to feed on the same location more than once. The welts can turn red and become itchy. Scratching the bitten areas may also lead to infection.
The next tell tale sign that you may have bed bugs is that you will get bitten every night while you are sleeping and develop similar clustered pattern large itchy welts every day.
Other possible signs of bed bugs infestation are tiny blood spots on bedding materials or staining on bed sheets from bed bug waste.
Where Do the Bites Most Commonly Occur?
Any exposed areas of the bodies while we sleep are target spots for a bed bug to bite and suck on for blood. The face, neck, back, hands, arms and legs are the most common areas where bed bug bites occur.
Two day old bed bug bites on women back.
How Long Does the Bite Rash Last?
Reaction to bed bug bites depends on the individual. Some people will not have any reaction at all while for others who are quite sensitive to bites, they may have localized allergic reactions and develop bed bugs rash that can be extremely itchy as they get bitten repeatedly.
Typically bed bug rashes will show up a few hours after the actual biting but there are some cases whereby the rash does not appear until a few days or even a week later since this is dependent on the allergy reaction to the person that is being bitten.
Generally, a bed bug bite rash will last for two or three days and then slowly fade away. However the rashes can last much longer if the person is more allergic prone. Often it will require some medical intervention to finally clear up the skin rash completely.
Do Bed Bug Bites Transmit Disease?
Even though bed bugs are really bothersome and considered a nuisance, bed bug bites are fairly harmless and not known to spread diseases.
Nonetheless, on very rare occasions an allergic reaction to the bites has caused nausea, sickness and even shock. Some people may also be affected psychologically with an inability to sleep.
A Reader's Comment on The Effects of Bed Bug Bites
I started with hundres of bites on my body a year ago September 2, 2009. I ended up in the ER because I had no idea what was wrong with me. I then went to 3 specialist, had biopsies and still no one knew what it was. I was able to move from that apartment in 3 months to a different complex. (because of the bed bug infestation that I had never experienced before. I am still getting bitten, severe itching, scars all over my legs, arms, neck and crease at top of my legs before entering private parts. No prescription has helped. I've had many. Calamine loction helps with the itchng but it's messy and leaves a residue on your skin. I've had cortezone shots for the itching... did not help.
I have to wear clothing to help cover the marks to be able to work. My matresses and box springs have been encased in bedbed zippered bags since December 2009, and then adding another cover over that this year. I cannot afford to trash my matress. I did however trash my bedding and started over. My pillows are also protected with a zippered covering.
The itching is horrible and the same bite marks I've had for at least a year seem to be re-infecting. Thye get red and swollen. I also have several on my body that have started to go away or I mean you have to look really close to see. I started tanning and the heat helps and also starts tanning the scratched skin to blend with my normal skin.
This is HORRIBLE. I actually think just today I caught one on my bed and then looked on the computer and it does look like one of the species. I drowned it with 2 more I think I found. I heard they were sensitive to light so I sleep with the lights on. I'm not even suure anymore if all the itching is real. It could be psycosematic. I always have a feeling something is crawling on me. It's like when you see an ant on a picnic and can't get that thought off your mind and start itching. The bite usually is invisible to the naked eye, but once you start itching, the area expands to the skin torn off.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites?
For fast relief from the itchness of bed bug bites, you are advised to run it under lukewarm running water for approximately a minute, which will minimize the inflammation and take your mind off it.
For a stronger treatment for severe itchiness or infection, you can apply local antiseptic lotion, antibiotic cream or oral antihistamines. Some of the recommended topical steroid creams for bed bug bites treatment are hydro-cortisone ( Cortaid Intensive Therapy Moisturizing Cream, for example) that helps to stop the itch and resolve any rash quickly.
How to Avoid Getting Bitten Again?
If you suspect that you suffer from bed bug bites, it is best to inspect your house and contact a reputable pest control company for bed bugs extermination.
Alternatively to get rid of them yourself, you need to clean your home thoroughly. Wash all bedding and clothing in hot water, vacuum carpets and any cracks in the wood floors and encase the mattresses with bed bug proof covers.
Bed Bug Control -- Methods to treat, prevent and kill bed bugs permanently.