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

But the bites will look different from person to person, and some people won’t develop any reaction whatsoever. “The same bedbug could bite two different people and one could have no reaction at all and the other can have an extreme reaction with a swollen arm or itchy rash,” says Eric Braun, a board-certified entomologist and technical services manager for the national pest control company Rentokil. Some people end up developing a rash that looks like eczema. (5)

You may notice a single bite, while other times several bites will appear in a line. (1) “In most cases, they occur in clusters or zigzags of flat, itchy bites,” Durham says. “One bedbug will usually take more than one bite, so the severity of your infestation can have a big impact on the severity of your physical reaction to the bites.”

Bedbugs have not been shown to transmit any diseases to humans. Unlike mosquitoes, bedbugs do not pose a risk of illness through their bites. However, they can have a negative impact on mental health due to the stress and embarrassment associated with an infestation.

bed bug bites what do they look like

What Do Bedbugs Bites Look Like

What do Bed Bug Bites look like? Pictures & Identification Steps | Pestbugs

To treat an allergic reaction, the doctor may prescribe an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or epinephrine injection. If the area is infected, he or she might prescribe an antibiotic or recommend an over-the-counter antiseptic. Finally, if it’s severe itchiness that you’re dealing with, applying corticosteroid or taking an antihistamine in pill or liquid form may be able to help.

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You might notice rust-colored stains they leave behind on fabric or the exoskeletons they’ve shed. But often, the only recognizable sign that you’re dealing with a bedbug infestation is the itchy, red clusters of bites they might leave you with — as you can see in the below pictures of bedbug bites.

As the name suggests, bedbugs bite at night when you’re asleep in bed, usually about an hour before dawn. (2) If you wake up with a bite, though, don’t immediately assume bedbugs are to blame. The bites look very similar to other insect bites. Here’s what to know to confidently identify bedbug bites and how to go about treating them.

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What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? | Reader's Digest

You’ll likely only see them in their hiding spots or crawling across the floor since, unlike other insects, bedbugs cannot fly or jump. Durham says to check along the edges of your mattress. You may see the exoskeletons that bedbugs have shed as they matured, or you may notice a musty smell, both of which indicate there could be bedbugs in the area. It can also be helpful to check your bed with a flashlight during the middle of the night (since these crawlers tend to be more active at night.)

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What do bed bug bites look like?

Here’s what you need to know about bedbugs, photos to help you identify bedbug bites and warning signs that you might have lots of tiny, hungry new roommates.

Bedbug bites appear as swollen red spots that often itch, similar to mosquito bites. They can appear anywhere on the body that is exposed while sleeping.

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

In many cases, people only notice the bites. And it can take a lot of training to pick up on the other signs that you have a bedbug infestation, Kimsey says. “It’s so hard to find their resting places,” she says.

Bedbug bites generally heal within a couple of weeks. It is recommended to clean the area with soap and water and apply a corticosteroid cream to relieve itchiness.

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.

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

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? | ABC Blog

In rare cases, people can develop severe allergic reactions to bedbug bites, Ungar says, which can include symptoms such as:

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How to treat bed bug bites

Although some people will say a bed bug bite hurts somewhat, most complaints are due to the itching the bites cause, says Gibb. And that itching is due to the chemicals the bed bug inserts into your body during the bite, notes Rajotte.

“They really prefer to be located as close to a food source as possible,” Frye says. “And in this case, the food source is going to be people.” Bedbugs can also be skittish and easily scared by a food source that moves, so they prefer to strike while people are immobile, like when they’re asleep.

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.

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