Bed Bug Bites Photos and Advice

" As you can see in these bed bug bites photos, the appearance of bed bug bites vary by person. A bed bug bite is actually a skin puncture  from a sytlet on the bedbugs head. The bite reaction is an allergic reaction to the bite.  The majority of people show no skin reaction while others can have minor red bumps, a large wheal or in severe cases blistering of the skin.  Bed bug bites are often confused with bites from other insects such as mosquitoes, chiggers, mites , spiders and fleas.. Bed bugs do not spread disease"

Bed Bug Bites: Bed Bug Behavior

Bed bugs bites usually occur at night and are painless  Bed bugs need to feed on a warm blooded host for 3 to 15 minutes.  After feeding they will move into hiding until it is time for another blood meal.  

Some individuals have a delayed reaction to bed bug bites, which can appear as long as 14 days after being bitten.

Bed bug bites should heal on their own in 2 to 3 days.  Beyond skin inflammation, the most common bed bug bite symptom is itch.  Bed bug itch treatment includes the use of an over the counter insect itch cream such as Aveeno or a topical made specifically to help with bedbug itch such as All Stop.

When a bed bug bite is itched, microbes could enter the skin causing an infection. If this is the case, the skin will have symptoms such as crusting skin, pus, pain and inflammation.  Use a topical antibiotic ointment if minor infections occur.  If the infections or bites do not start to heal, see a Doctor for a stronger topical or oral antibiotic.

Bed bug bites are hard to distinguish from other biting insects such as chiggers, scabies, spiders and mosquitoes.  See our guide to the many causes of body itch. Bites are also confused and often mis-diagnosed as being caused by chicken pox, allergy and infection.  There is no method to determine if a bite is caused by a bedbug. 

Bedbug Bites have a clear center, which is the point at which the bed bug punctures the skin.  One bed bug can leave multiple bites. It takes a bed bug 3 to 12 minutes to feed.

Bed Bug Bites Photos: Minor Bed Bug Bite Reaction

Bed bug bites photos can appear as an individual bite or can appear in a pattern.  Bites are usually on exposed skin areas during sleep such as the lower legs, arms and neck. Bed bugs do not bite the bottoms of the feed and the palms of the hand.

bed bug bites photo
Picture Bed Bug Bite Symptoms on Arm

bed bug bite photos
Picture Bedbug Bites on Arm
bed bug bites photos
Bed Bug Bites Look On Arm

Bed Bug Bite Photos: Larger Bed Bug Bite Symptoms


Bedbug bites can result in a wheal like reaction that is larger in diameter.

bed bug bite photos
Picture Bed Bug Bite Wheal Reaction

bed bug bites photos
Photo Bed Bug Bites on Arm - Wheal Reaction

If bed bugs are hiding along the seam of a mattress and an arm rests against that seam during sleep, then patterns of bed bug bites often are seen.  This can include bites in a straight line or in a pattern.

bed bug bites photos
Picture Bedbug Bites on Arm in Pattern
Bed bugs are sensitive to movement, and can stop and restart feeding when the host stops shifting during sleep

bed bug bites rows on arm
Picture Bed Bug Bites in Straight Line Probably Caused by Bed Bugs hiding along a seam on a mattress

Chronic Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

It is very unusual to see the skin blister (called a bulla) after a bed bug bite. This occurs in highly allergic people.

bed bug bites photos
Bed Bug Bites Photos Blisters

bed bug blisters on arm
Bed Bug Bite Photo - Blisters

Killing Bed Bugs


We always suggest calling in an exterminator to kill bed bugs.  Even if you decide to do it yourself, have a professional confirm the presence of bed bugs. Service Magic (1.877.233.1145) provides up to 4 free quotes and all local exterminators have been screened by the network.  You can also check our exterminator database for experienced professionals and an additional source of quotes to compare with Service Magic members.

Home treatment is possible, but difficult.  For bed bug home treatment, we suggest purchasing a kit that includes a knock down spray, residual spray and bed bug dust.  We suggest this resource for purchasing a reasonably priced bed bug kit and mattress/box spring covers.

References Bed Bug Bites Photos:

Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius)
and Clinical Consequences of Their Bites
Jerome Goddard, PhD
Richard deShazo, MD

Jama.com

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