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Bed Bugs at Night

table of contents

"Getting bite in bed at night is never pleasant. Possibilities include bed bugs, spiders, mosquitos, fleas and mites.  Bites are an allergic reaction, with not two people having the exact same symtpoms.

Bed Bugs: Tend to only bite exposed skin areas that are not covered by clothing. They rarely bite the bottoms of the feet, but will bite other exposed areas such as the tops of the feet, hands, arms, neck and face.. Two people in the same bed or home can have different bite reactions, ranging from no reaction, to skin red rashes and welts. To confirm you have bed bugs you need more evidence than just the bites. Look along the bed seam and other tight crevices near the bed to see if you can find a live insect. Other signs include black, brown, or reddish marks along the mattress seams. It is common to see multiple bites in a pattern such as a straight line or cluster. A bed bug puncture is also noticeable at the center of a bite. Symptoms can appear within one hour or days after being bitten.

Mosquitoes: These insects are active at dusk. Bite marks are similar to bed bugs and tend to be in the form of a skin bump or welt. They also itch. Mosquito bites are randomly placed where bed bug bites look like more of a pattern.

Fleas: Flea bites are usually at the bottoms of the legs, but can occur on the feet, knees, elbows, armpits, and legs. They tend not to be on the upper body. Bites high up on the body are more likely to be caused by bed bugs.

Spiders: There are a few types of spiders that will bite at night. Symptoms related to spider bites include rash, itch, skin red welts and swelling. Spider bites tend to be in one location with only one bite.

Mites: Mites are tiny insects that create bite symptoms such as skin swelling, itch, bumps and a reddish rash. Scabies in particular cash rash and very strong itch at night.

Lice: Lice bite the scalp and live on the hair. They cause skin sores and itch.

Flies: These insects are usually found near bodies of water (Sand Fly - Southern United State, Deer Fly, Black Flies, Stable Flies. Most flies cause blisters and red skin bumps. More common in tropical areas and near lakes or streams.

If you get bug bites in bed at night the best approach is to try and find a live insect that might be causing the problem. If bites are the only confirmation of bed bugs, then consider the possibility that the bites are caused by another insect. You can also get a free home inspection from the service that is advertised below to be sure. A Doctor or Dermatologist might also be able to confirm the source of the bites, although diagnosis can be difficult since many types of bites look the same."

mosquito bites

Mosquito bites tend to be in random locations on the body and result in a bump at the site of the bite. Symptoms include:

  • Itch
  • Swelling
  • Red rash
mosquito bite on armMosquito Bite on Arm Causing a Random Bite That is Red, Raised and Itches.

flea bites

Fleas tend to bite the feet or the lower legs. They cause multiple red bumps that are surrounded by a reddish skin area or halo. Bites appear right after being bitten.

flea bites on legsFlea Bites on Legs. The biets are extremely itchy and can become painful. Bites are found in clusters of small red bumps found in clusters of 3 to 4 bites.

Common flea bite locations are:

  • Knees
  • Elbow folds
  • Groin
  • Breasts
  • Armpits
  • Waist
  • Lower legs

bed bug bites

No one wants to be bitten in bed at night. Not only do many insects cause red rash-like spots but they itch. And the very idea of having some pests crawling on you while you sleep, well, that's just creepy. But what else do we know about night bug bites in bed?

how do bed bugs bite?

Night bug bites in bed are usually caused by the pest that we also know as bed bugs. These small insects live inside crevices on mattresses, box springs, frames, and bedding. They can also live in furniture and inside dark places such as dresser drawers. They only feed at night, and usually only feed towards the last hour or two of night. The night bug bites in bed that we experience come about from the tubes that they use to pierce the skin. They then sip out a few drops of blood. The irritation that we feel afterwards is caused by the chemical they inject to keep the blood flowing. This is known as an anticoagulant.

If bites are only on the bottoms of the feet then the likely cause is scabies, which is a result of mites burrowing into the skin. Bed bug bites are also mistaken for flea bites. If there is a pet in the home, this should be a consideration. Bed bug bites are most likely to be seen on exposed areas of the body during sleep such as the neck, arms and legs. Bites can occur on the hands and face, but are less likely.

Bed bug bites usually have clear centers. The red area which surrounds the bite can be as small as those indicated in the picture, or as large as a wheal, which could be 1 to 2 inches round in hypersensitive individuals. Not everyone gets an allergic reaction to a bedbug bite. Those that do tend to see a bigger reaction with each episode as the body gets more sensitive over time.

A reaction to a bedbug bite can be seen within 1 hour to 1 day, with the bites healing themselves in 2 to 4 days, or if they have a delayed reaction that appears in 1 to 14 days, the bite reaction should heal in 2 to 14 days.

bed bug bitesPicture of Bed Bug Bites

bed bug nightmares

It is not unusual after you have had bed bugs in your home, to imagine that they are crawling on your long after they are gone. Bed bug nightmares are normal and should stop over time.

Not only is having bed bugs in your home, but dealing with the issue could be a nightmare.

do bed bugs spread disease?

Contrary to what you may have heard, night bug bites in bed do not cause diseases in the person who was bitten. It is important to keep in mind that this only applies to bed bugs. Mosquitoes, for example, who also feed at night, can and do spread disease such as malaria. People who are being bitten while they sleep should try to determine what kind of insect is doing the biting.

what about bed bug related infections?

Bed bug bites can lead to infection, but this is almost always associated with the scratching that the person does to the area and not to any type of bacteria that the insect injected into the area. Fingernails, even after hand washing, are notorious as breeding grounds for bacteria. When you scratch the affected area, you can leave those same bacteria inside the wound that you create with the nails. This can lead to infections.

bed bug bite treatment options

For most people who suffer from night bug bites in bed, over the counter medications such as calamine lotion will help to reduce the itching. The most prevalent symptom is itch. To treat itch, a gel such as Aveeno is specifically made to stop itch and soothe skin that has been bitten by a bed bug. If you see puss, or if redness doesn't go away in a few days, see a Doctor to determine if infection has set in, or if there is another underlying cause for the condition.

Those who are hyper-sensitive may need to visit their doctor for special creams or lotions. In general, the best treatment is to get rid of the pests as soon as possible. This course of action against night bug bites in bed is often the only way to get a good sleep without worrying about what is crawling on you.

eliminating bed bugs from your bome

If you have a small infestation then you need to thoroughly clean the room where the infestation occurred and the it would be a good idea to check any adjoining rooms.

Bed bugs tend to hide close to their source of food, which in this case is either you or a pet. Start by washing in 97 degree water any blankets and linens. As an alternative you can freeze them. Either way will kill the bugs. When done, don't bring back into the room until it is thoroughly cleaned.

Next buy a non-toxic spray and dust to treat the room. There are many effective set of products, you can either purchase sprays from either Bedlam, Phantom, or Sterifab. Bed Bug Supply also offers a bed bug kit providing you with the necessary basic products needed to treat a bed bug infestation. They are safe to use on your mattress and rooms where you live.

Thoroughly spray your mattress, making sure to spray in all the cracks. Do the same in any crack in the floor and furniture. Use the dust under the bed and furniture to kill bugs as they emerge from their hiding places.

The bugs are difficult to kill, so you may need two treatments. To protect your mattress and pillows it's a good idea to get a Bed Bug Proof Zippered Bedding Encasement, cover designed to keep the bugs from repopulating the box spring and mattress.

how to hire an exterminator

Since killing bed bugs is difficult, we always suggest the hiring of a bed bug exterminator over home methods. Speak with different companies to compare costs, guarantees and methods used for bed bug treatment.  

We suggest starting with Home Advisor, since the companies they provide are pre-screened and will provide up to 4 free quotes. You can also call eLocal at (877) 673-2704 and request a free home inspection.

what looks like insect bites but are not

There are many causes of what you think are bites, but that actually have other causes. This includes:

  • Hives: caused by an allergy and like insect bites are red, raised and can itch. If the hives get larger or appear in other parts of your body, an allergic reaction can be the cause.
  • Dermatitis hepetiformis: autoimmune disorder that causes the skin the blister and itch (more frequently seen in people with celiac). Symptoms are found on the lower back, scalp, buttocks, elbows and knees.
  • Fungal Infections: fungus can take hold in warm damp areas of the body such under the breasts, around the genitals, and between your toes or on the feet. 
  • Heat Rash: when the sweat ducts are blocked it can cause a condition called miliaria. Symptoms include red bumps and itch.

what to do about getting bitten in bed at night

  1. Look for signs of an insect infestation. Check around the mattress to see if you can spot a live insect or signs of bed bugs such as red/brown stains. If you see any staining on the mattress call in an exterminator to inspect the room. Also check any crevices such as around the headboard and floor moulding. In mild cases Bed bug bites will heal on their own with no treatment. You can apply an anti-itch cream such as Aveeno.
  2. If you do not see any insects, visit a dermatologist who can rule out non-insect causes or suggest treatment options. 

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