Bed Bug Bite Symptoms
Bed bug bite symptoms are caused by an allergic reaction to a bed bug
protein. Bites are allergic reactions can can vary from person to
can also get more severe each time a person is bitten. Some
people show no reaction at all, while others can develop small red
inflamed areas , large red wheals or blisters. The center of a bedbug
bite where the puncture of the skin actually occurs is clear.
All reactions usually itch. Symptoms that appear
within 1 hour to 1 day resolve themselves in 3 to 4 days.
Symptoms that appear in 1 to 14 days take 2 to 5 days to
clear. If bites do not heal, or if their are signs of infection such as
puss or crusts, then medical attention is needed."
Bed bugs bite at each stage of their life cycle.
They are not actually biting the skin, but puncturing it in one place
for each "bite" with a sharp sytlet which projects from the
head. Each feeding period lasts 3 to 15 minutes.
bedugs leave their hiding place and usually bite exposed skin areas
such as the neck, legs and shoulders just before dawn. It is
rare for bed bug bites to occur on the bottoms of the feet.
If bites are limited to this area, the problem is usually
which are caused by mites.
The typical reaction is a raised red round area 3/8 inch in
diameter. Most bites itch. To help with itch either
purchase an over the counter insect itch cream or you can purchase one
specifically to soothe skin bitten by bed bugs offered by All
If the bedbug bites are scratched, a secondary
infection could set in
from breaking the skin with a finger nail. If symptoms do not
go away by themselves in several days, or if the reaction looks
infected such as having puss or crusts, then see a Doctor for an
anti-biotic cream or oral anti-biotic.
Bed Bug Bite Symptoms - Pattern
Bed bugs often bite in a row, which would follow the seam of a
bed, a common hiding place for bedbugs. The papules seen
below are a typical bite reaction. However, it is possible
for a single bite to be a bedbug bite.
Picture of Bed Bug Bite
Bed Bug Bite Symptoms on Arm
Bed Bug Bite Reactions
Reactions can range from no reaction at all to blistering of
the skin. A light skin reaction is known as a macule. The
reaction depicted below occurred 1 hour after the skin was punctured by
Skin Reaction 1 Hour after BedBug Bite
Similar to the picture shown
at the top of the page, bites occur in rows and can vary in size.
Raised Bed Bug Bite
Bed Bugs Bite Pattern
Rare Bed Bug Bite Symptoms
In people that are very allergic to the anesthetic/anticoagulant
compounds in bed bug saliva, blisters could form on the arm.
Picture of Blister
Reaction to Bed Bug Bite
A chronic or severe allergic reaction could result in asthma, hives
(urticaria) or in very rare cases anaphylaxis which results in
difficulty breathing and possibly even death, although again, this is
If repeatedly bitten by a large infestation, then a person can suffer
from mild anemia, which is a low number of red blood cells. Symptoms
include paleness, shortness of breath and feeling tired.
Killing Bedbugs in Your Home
Bed bugs are very difficult to remove from a home or
apartment. Several types of products are needed to kill both
the bedbugs and their eggs.
Professionals have an edge in that they know how to find the
bedbug's hiding places and they have the experience, and possibly
better chemical and non-chemical approaches. The downside is
cost which can include a payment for an on site inspection ($50 - $100
more if bedbug sniffing do is used) and payment for the treatment
itself ($500 - $1000+). Here are three easy ways to quickly
call a professional:
National Company: We suggest calling a firm such as Terminix
(phone 877.291.4849). This company in particular provides a
free on-site inspection and free quote. Even if you decide to
do it yourself, this will confirm that you have an infestation and what
is involved during treatment. A national company also
establishes and is improving their approach based on the experience of
their local pest control professionals.
Service Magic List: Service
Magic (phone 877-233-1145) is a network of local pest control
companies that have been pre-screened. They will provide 4
free bed bug quotes.
Database: We have a list of bed bug professionals that can
be searched here.
If planning to do it yourself, and if you have patience and
time, then a kit, such as the one offered by Dermisil
for Bed Bugs (organic/natural products) or Amazon.com
(insecticide based products) is a cost effective approach.
Kits, which cost
approximately $160 contain a mattress safe spray for killing live
bedbugs, a steamer to kill the eggs and fossil dust which will be
sprinkled around the areas bed bug hide to kill any that were missed or
from late hatching eggs that were not killed.
In addition to the kits, be sure to buy a bed bug proof mattress and
box spring cover. Walmart
is a good source for a low cost option. Studies
show that 80% of bed bugs will appear in and around
For more information see our guide to killing
Connecticut Agricultural Extension
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