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

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.

Bed bug bites occur most frequently while you’re asleep. As bed bugs bite they inject their victims with an anesthetic (as well as an anticoagulant), numbing the area and making it very rare for someone to wake up when bitten. Bites normally take a day or two to appear, although depending on your individual reaction they may be more visible sooner.

Having bedbugs or being concerned that you might have an infestation can also lead to mental distress, including insomnia and anxiety, Frye says.

bed bug bites what do they look like

Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

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

Bedbugs can be kind of “cryptic” and hard to find in a home, experts say. Their bites might be the only sign you can find. Alamy

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When bedbugs aren’t feeding, “they tend to retreat” into those crevices, as well as places like electrical outlets or even inside computers, Kimsey says.

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.

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


To make things perfectly clear: Bedbugs are parasitic insects that bite people and eat their blood, which is unsettling enough on its own. But the bites can also cause irritating skin reactions.

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How to treat bed bug bites

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.

Bedbug bites are typically red, itchy and raised. Some people may have more severe reactions. Joel Carillet / Getty Images

“You can kind of assume that they’re going to be somewhere near where you spend a lot of time in the dark,” Lynn Kimsey, Ph.D., distinguished professor of entomology and director of the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology, tells TODAY.com. They’ll likely be in an area of your home where you spend a lot of time relatively still, such as your bed or couch or favorite comfy chair, she says.

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

Bed Bug Bite Signs, Symptoms, Pictures and Treatment

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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What do bed bug bites look like?

In general, bedbugs “like to hide and they don’t want to be detected,” he explains. They prefer to live in places that are cramped, dark and near food (you).

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

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

Diagnosing bed bug bites can be hard for medical professionals. We often hear of doctors assuming a variety of skin conditions before bed bugs – especially doctors who haven’t encountered patients with bed bug bites before. While there is no specific test to determine whether bites are from bed bugs there are tests that can show whether or not it’s an insect bite. This is useful for ruling out issues like eczema or allergic reactions, but not for determining that any specific insect bite is a bed bug. To be sure you’ll want to check for other signs of bed bug infestation, such as the bugs themselves, moltings, and the characteristic staining of their blood meal feces.

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Here are several photos to give you an idea of what bed bug bites may look like. The reactions vary in seriousness, but this is a good place to start if you suspect you have bed bug bites. If you’re experiencing a severe allergic reaction to your suspected bites we recommend seeking medical attention.

Symptoms like these indicate a serious, potentially life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention, Ungar says.

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