Bed Bug Bites: What Are They?

ZappBug chambers do not rely on chemicals or abrasive dusts. Numerous studies have independently confirmed that heat is lethal to all bed bugs and their eggs regardless of life stage, chemical-resistance, and other factors.

According to Changlu Wang, Ph.D., extension specialist in entomology at Rutgers University, bed bugs typically feed every two to three days when a host is present, so if fresh bites appear in such a frequency, the timing could be another indicator of their presence.

Brielle Gregory previously worked at Men’s Health magazine, where she reported, edited, and fact checked all things health, nutrition, and weight loss related; she currently spends her time digging into similar topics as a freelancer writer and editor. She’s a doting dog mom to a half-corgi and an aspiring world-traveler who’s probably planning her next trip right now (the dog included).

Bed Bug Bite Signs, Symptoms, Pictures and Treatment

Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

Bedbugs

Mona Gohara, M.D. is a Yale-trained, board-certified dermatologist, Oberlin College-bred feminist, medical media expert, fashion fanatic, mom, wife, and virgo. Mona enjoys educating on skin health, skin cancer, skin of color, and sun protection. She has done this through writing, lecturing on the local, national, and international levels, and by engaging popular media. Mona is an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology, where she chaired the social media task force, The Women’s Dermatologic Society where she serves as president, and The American Society For Dermatologic Surgery, where she chairs the DEI Work Group. She is also a member of Prevention’s Medical Review Board.

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Where do bed bugs come from?

Transport Minister Clemente Beaune vowed to “reassure and protect” in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. And, in a letter to Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Grégoire called on the government to take action against the “scourge” of bedbugs before the 2024 Olympics, NBC News reported.

Even then, not everyone develops a noticeable skin reaction after getting a bedbug bite, the CDC notes. And even if you do have itchy bites, it can be tough to really know whether your bites came from bedbugs or another insect, or if they’re another type of rash or hives.

Most people will find bed bug bites to be small and very itchy. These bites are often mistaken for something else such as eczema. It can be hard to diagnose bed bug bites due to this, especially if someone inflames their skin further by scratching the area. There are some signs that point more strongly to bed bugs over other types of bugs. The number one thing to look out for is a line of bites going straight up your body: bed bugs commonly bite in this pattern as they bite you at the crease where your body meets the bed sheets. It’s very rare to find a single bite like you would with spiders or mosquitoes, and much more common to find clusters and lines. It’s also rare for bugs to bite your face. They most frequently bite your lower body, but anywhere can be bitten.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? Bed Bug Bite Pictures, Symptoms, and Treatments

That’s why they’re most often found in areas of the bedroom that are close to where people sleep, like the headboard or crevices in the wall or floorboards, Frye says. “They can fit into very tiny cracks that are the thickness of a credit card, and they will actually aggregate in those areas.”

The trouble with identifying a bed bug bite—as is true for a lot of insects, including mosquitoes—is that it can be hard to identify the source, as not everyone’s immune response is the same. “Everybody’s going to respond differently,” says Timothy Gibb, Ph.D., a clinical professor of entomology at Purdue University. “Same thing’s true with a mosquito bite. Some people are going to swell up and it’s going to itch. That same mosquito could bite someone else and it’s hardly noticeable.”

Bedbugs also tend to leave bites in clusters or in a line that’s sometimes referred to as a “breakfast, lunch and dinner” pattern, Ungar explains. “Again, that’s because it’s easy,” Kimsey says.

What do bedbug bites look like? Pictures to help you identify and treat them

Bed Bug Bites Pictures, Symptoms: What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

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PHOTOS OF BED BUG BITES

Bed bugs naturally like to hide in your mattress, especially in the corners, near the head end, and in the cord that goes around it. They also like to camp out behind the headboard, behind any pictures on the wall, and in electrical sockets.

If you have recently traveled and stayed in a hotel, motel, or bed other than your own, especially in an area with a current bed bug infestation, you will need to take precautions to sanitize your belongings and clothing to ensure you did not bring pests back with you, says Crumbley.

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