What Do Bedbugs Bites Look Like

It’s important to figure out what kind of bug bite you have, so pest control professionals can take the best course of action. The answer to the bed bug bite vs. mosquito bite question might seem obvious at first, but don’t jump to conclusions. Just because you woke up scratching a red bump doesn’t mean it’s a bed bug bite. Just because you started itching after a camping trip doesn’t mean it’s a mosquito bite.

The dark black or red stains found on the sheets are actually digested blood. After bedbugs feast on their host (i.e. you), they may excrete some of the digested blood onto the sheets. Gross, yes. But the upside is that the stains offer you an easy way for you to tell what kind of bug you’re dealing with.

Visually, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish between bed bug bites from mosquito bites – especially since everyone reacts to bed bug bites differently. Nonetheless, one difference you might find is that some bed bug bites are accompanied by rashes.

How Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bed Bug Bite vs. Mosquito Bite: What Kind of Bite is That

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)

But nevertheless, you can use some context clues to decipher which insect is your culprit.

The bites can appear on any part of the body that’s exposed while you sleep — places like the back of your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs are common, says Steve Durham, president of EnviroCon Termite & Pest in Tomball, Texas.

What Bug Bit You? What Bug Bite Do You Have? Let’s Find Out!

For most people, bedbug bites result in itchy bumps where the bite occurred, within a day of being bitten. (4) The bites usually look like mosquito bites and will appear as a somewhat swollen red spot that might itch. (1)

What makes it even more challenging to identify the two, is that not everyone has the same reaction (or reacts at all) to bed bug bites. (In fact, some people don’t even know what a bed bug bite looks like.) The bites might look like red welts on one person, rashes on another, and raised blisters on the next person. Due to the wide range of reactions, it’s not visually easy to determine if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug.

Bedbugs prefer to feed on the blood of humans (but they can survive on the blood of mice, rats, or other animals, too). You probably won’t catch the bugs in the act of biting, however, because the bedbug injects an anesthetic and an anticoagulant to numb the area as it bites you. (1)

5 ways to tell the difference between a bed bug or mosquito bite

bed bug bites what do they look like

Whether it’s a bed bug bite, mosquito bite or any other type of insect, it’s vital that you eliminate anything that is biting you. While bed bugs have not been shown to carry disease, bed bug bites are itchy and sometimes ugly and painful. Don’t let insects live off of your blood. Contact Terminix® today and bite back.

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Location and appearance matter

That’s because the distinguishing physical characteristics of a bed bug bite vs. mosquito bite aren’t always enough to figure out which pest has your blood on its hands (or mouth, as it were). Here’s what else you need to know to unmask the culprit:

In most cases, the only way to say for sure whether it was a bedbug that bit you is to search for evidence of bedbugs living in your home. “Once you start to notice the itchy bites, the second giveaway is the presence of small blood spots on your sheets or mattress, usually resembling patches of rust,” Durham says. Those spots are left behind after a bedbug has been smashed.

What Do Bedbugs Bites Look Like

Bed Bug Bites vs. Mosquito Bites

Mosquito and bed bug bites are very similar. It’s important to obtain circumstantial evidence in addition to visual evidence. For example, if you find bed bug feces and eggs in the crevices of your mattress, chances are the bites are from bed bugs. If you live in a warm climate and have no screens on your windows, mosquitoes could be your problem.

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Like mosquito bites, bed bug bites usually look like small red bumps. Learn how to tell the difference between a bed bug bite vs a mosquito bite.

If you’ve gotten even just one mosquito bite in your life, you know that they start itching almost immediately. Often, you’ll even feel an itching sensation before the red bump pops up.

The American Academy of Dermatology says that some people develop itchy welts within a few days of their first bites, but it can take up to 14 days for others to feel the areas itch .

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