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Bed Bug Bites - What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?



What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Some people will not experience a reaction to a bed bug bite at all. Those that do experience symptoms of a bite are likely to experience one or more of the following:

  • a bite with a red, swollen area and a dark red center

  • bites in a line or grouped together in a small area

  • blisters or hives at the bite site(s)

Bites can happen anywhere on the body. Most commonly they occur on areas of skin that are exposed while sleeping, such as the face, arms, legs, and hands.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bed Bug Bite?

Bed bug bites don’t always appear immediately after you’re bitten. They sometimes take a few days to begin causing symptoms. It should also be noted that bed bugs don’t come out to feed every single night—they can go several days without eating. It may take a few weeks to notice that your bites are part of a larger pattern.

Bed bug bites are often very itchy. You may experience a burning sensation on the skin several days after you’ve been bitten. You won’t feel the bugs bite you because they excrete a tiny amount of anesthesia into your body before they bite.

If you scratch the bite, you may cause a secondary infection that can lead to swelling and bleeding.

What Other Bites Resemble a Bed Bug Bite?​

Unless you know you have a bed bug infestation or that you slept in an infested bed, you may not know to consider bed bugs as a possible cause of your mysterious bites. If you react to their bites, they may become slightly swollen with an itchy, irritating red center. When this happens, they visually resemble mosquito or flea bites in their earliest stages. However, bed bug bites can appear in small groupings or in a straight line. Mosquito bites are more sporadic. Flea bites remain very small and are typically located on your legs or ankles.

Can Bed Bug Bites Cause Other Problems?

Good news: unlike many other biting bugs, bed bugs do not transmit diseases when they bite you. The biggest problem bed bug bites pose is that they are likely to cause a skin infection around the bite site as a result of excessive itching and scratching. You may also be more likely to experience insomnia as a result of worrying that you will be bitten again.

If you are allergic to a bed bug’s bite, you may experience more dramatic symptoms. The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to a bed bug bite include engorged bite marks, painful swelling and burning at the bite site, and, in rare cases, an anaphylactic response.

How long does it take for bed bug bites to go away?

Bedbug bites usually take three to six weeks to heal, although new bites are likely to accumulate even as the older ones disappear as long as the infestation is still present. Bites may become infected, particularly if the person scratches at and further irritates the skin.

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