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Pictures of Bed Bug Bites


Each of the following pictures of bed bug bites shows typical skin reactions to the insect's saliva. Most people  are not hypersensitive to the bites and will show no reaction at all with the exception of two small dots where the bedbug punctured the skin. Other people can develop red papular eruptions (raised inflamed areas) or in severe cases, blisters.

Most bites will have a small clear area in the center surrounded by redness that may or may not be raised. People tend to become more sensitive and have larger reactions after each episode. Reactions can include itch, swelling, rash and wheals (large round red area on the skin). Severe reactions can cause skin blisters and trouble breathing, although these reactions are very rare. 

Skin reactions can occur immediately, hours or days later.  Itch, the primary symptom beyond a red raised area, should subside in 1 to 3 days. Bed bug bites should go away with no treatment  in 4 to 7 days.

bed bug feeding on skinPicture of Bed Bug Feeding on Skin

If you skin symptoms match any of the pictures of bed bug bites, look for other signs of an infestation.

Bed Bug Feeding On Hand

pictures of bed bug bite Examples

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 Bed bugs bites will appear on areas of the body that are exposed during sleep. The most common areas are the legs, arms, shoulders and neck.  The bite itself will feel like a like tickle or pinch.  Patterns are often in a straight line.. Do not scratch the bites as it can cause a skin infection.

Typical Skin Reactions

bed bug bite skin reactionBed Bug Bite Skin Reaction After 30 Minutes
bed bug bites on lower legBed Bug Bites on Leg

Bed Bug Bite Patterns

It is common to see bed bug bites in a row of 3 or 4 bites or a cluster. This could be due to an arm or leg resting on an infested mattress seam.

bed bug bite pattern on armBed Bug Bite Pattern on Arm

Bed bug bites can appear individually, in groups or in rows.

bed bug bites on armCluster of Bed Bug Bites on Arm
bed bug bites in a rowBed Bug Bites In a Row. Could be caused by leg leading against mattress seam where bedbugs are hiding.

Bed Bug bite wheal skin reaction

The Bed Bug bite wheal pattern see below is usually seen in people that that have had other bed bug bite episodes and are now more sensitive to the bites.

bed bug bite wheal skin reactionBed Bug Skin Wheal Reaction

The size of the skin reaction depends on the allergic response of the individual. Hypersensitive individuals will have larger reactions.

bed bug bite whealBed Bug Wheal Skin Reaction
bed bug bite wheal on legBed Bug Bite on Leg - Wheal Reaction

Blister Reaction

In advanced cases bed bug skin reactions can turn into blisters.

bed bug bite blisters on armPicture of Bed Bug Skin Blisters
bed bug bite blisters on armBed Bug Bite Blisters Hypersensitive Reaction

Treatment of bed bug bites

Treatment for bedbugs bites involves addressing the itch, soothing the skin and then preventing any infection.  All Stop makes an anti-itch anti-microbial gel formula that is specifically formulated to stop bed bug itch and to promote healing.

If the bed bug bites aren't healing, or you see signs of puss or infection, be sure to see a Doctor.

Bed bug signs

Do not rely only on bite symptoms when determining if you have a bed bug infestation. Skin reactions can be caused by other insects (spiders, mosquitoes, scabies to name a few), skin irritation from exposure to household chemicals or some type of allergy.

If you believe you have bed bug bites, confirm the problem by looking for another signs of an infestation. There are four signs that when taken together, help to differentiate bed bug bites from those made by other insects such as mosquitoes.  These include:

  • Pattern: Middle of the bite is clear with a red ring around the middle.
  • Symptoms: Most bites are very itchy
  •  Location: Bugs bite skin areas that aren't covered by sleepwear.  This includes the arms, legs, shoulders and neck.  Bites are rarely seen on the bottoms of the feet.  If this is the location of the bite, see a Doctor as ask if the condition is scabies.
  • Signs on the Mattress: Small brown spots on a mattress (fecal matter) or small blood stains could indicate the presence of bed bugs.  Of course, spotting the bugs themselves is a sign.  They hide in the seams of the mattress.
bed bug mattress stainsPicture of Bed Bug Stains on Mattress

cONTACT a bed bug professional

As mentioned above, do not only rely on picture of bed bug bite examples to confirm that bed bugs are your problem. Call in a professional that knows how to spot an infestation that might be in the walls of your home or hidden in a bed frame.

We recommended using the exterminators registered with  Home Advisor. You can also call eLocal at  1.877.673.2704 for a pest control expert near you.   Members of these networks are licensed and reviewed. There is no charge to receive a quote. You can also look at our directory of bed bug pest control experts.  


Each of these free brochures are filled with additional  picture of bed bug bite examples such as photos of rashes, skin reactions, mattress signs and information.

Bed Bug bite picture collection and infestation facts.
Available in a free Ebook

Pictures and description of bed bug bite signs and symptoms. Treatment advice.
Available in a free Ebook


Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius) and Clinical Consequences on Their Bites; Jerome Goddard, PhD and Richard deShazo MD

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