Night Bug Bites in Bed

" Night bug bites in bed are unfortunately becoming more common as bed bug infestations spread. Bed bugs are nocturnal, meaning they tend to come out at night to feed. Other bugs that bite and that could cause similar symptoms include fleas and mosquitoes. After they bite and feed they will crawl back to their hiding places for 5 to 7 days, until it is time to feed again. "  

No one wants to experience night bug bites in bed. Not only do they 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.

night bed bugs in bed
Picture 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. See these stories on MSNBC.

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 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 All Stop 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 Home

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. One effective set of products to consider is offered by a company called Dermisil. 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 a  Bed Bug 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 Terminix (1.877.291.4849) for a free in home inspection and free quote. Compare the information and cost provide to members of the Service Magic Network (877-233-1145), since these companies are pre-screened and will provide up to 4 free quotes.

You can also check reviews listed on Angies List. For extreme infestations you may need to have your entire home treated.


Mayo Clinic

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