What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? 10+ Pictures & Case Examples

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.”

Bed bug bites will most commonly occur on the arms, neck, or trunk of the body, says Gibb, although they’ll bite anywhere they can find exposed skin. And—as their name suggests—bed bugs will bite you at night while you’re sound asleep.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? | ABC Blog

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

bed bug bites what do they look like

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“They probe the skin in several different places, I think probably to find best access to draw blood,” says Gibb. In fact, if you have screens on your windows—thereby keeping out other insects that might bite—but are still waking up with a line of 3 or 4 bites on your arm, it’s safe to suspect that bed bugs might be to blame, says Edwin Rajotte, Ph.D., a professor of entomology at Penn State University.

Meet the Experts: Emma Grace Crumbley, entomologist for Mosquito Squad; Timothy Gibb, Ph.D., a clinical professor of entomology at Purdue University; Edwin Rajotte, Ph.D., a professor of entomology at Penn State University; Changlu Wang, Ph.D., extension specialist in entomology at Rutgers University.

How Do I Know If My Bed Has Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Bite Signs, Symptoms, Pictures and Treatment

When you think of annoying, common house bugs, your mind probably jumps to stink bugs, flies, cockroaches, and spiders. But there’s one home invader that is very different from the rest: bed bugs. While bed bug bites might not be the most common bug bites to receive, if you’ve recently woken up with a few itchy bumps, you might want to keep reading.

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What do bed bug bites look like?

Bed bugs are also excellent at moving in between adjacent rooms, especially in older buildings where door seals and baseboards are worn, leaving easy-access entry points, says Crumbley. “This, along with their small size and flat body plan, allows them to hide in many areas throughout a room, making controlling bed bugs especially challenging,” she notes.

However, there are a few things that can tip you off to the fact that bed bugs are the culprit of your bites. Here’s what to know, including bed bug bites pictures to help you visualize the symptoms.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? 10+ Pictures & Case Examples

Bedbugs

If you wake up with a line of three to four itchy, swollen bumps, it could be due to bed bugs.

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Where do bed bugs come from?

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.

The key bed bug bite symptom to look for is a red, raised bump, says Gibb, similar in appearance to a spider or mosquito bite. But what sets bed bugs apart from other insects is that oftentimes, their bites will present in a line or cluster on one part or side of your body. This is the result of what’s called “probing.”

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