Bed bug bites are small, circular red marks or welts on the skin. They usually itch and may swell up. The nocturnal bloodsuckers usually bite in lines or zigzag patterns. Those are the three main signs of bed bug bites, but the problem is, that these can also be signs of other insect bites or skin irritation caused by completely different reasons altogether.
There are four main characteristics of bed bug bites:
- Visible Lines of Bites
- Several Bites at Once
- Uniformly Red, Hard Bite Marks
- Targeted Areas
What are the Most Common Places to Find Bed Bug Bites?
Bed bugs wait until people are asleep before they come out of their hiding places to consume human blood. They will feed on anywhere there’s exposed skin. Some body parts where people often found they’ve been bit include:
How Do You Tell Bug Bites from Other Bites?
It can be tough to tell bed bug bites apart from other insect bites. There’s no one surefire way to deduce if your red mark is a bed bug bite or some other skin irritation, and to make matters even more confusing, bed bug bites look different from person to person. There are, however, several telltale characteristics of bed bug bites like those described above.
Bed Bug Bites Often Appear in Noticeable Lines of Bites
Bed bugs tend to leave tight, grouped clusters or lines of bites on the areas of the body they prey upon. Unlike mosquitoes, bed bugs feed in only one spot until engorged. They feed on this spot continuously for three to ten minutes. If you interrupt them (by rolling, adjusting your covers, etc.) at any time during their feeding, they’ll break off and attempt to return to a nearby spot later. Bed bugs will also feed up to three times a night, so lines of bed bug bites are sometimes called “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” signs.
You Usually Get Several Bed Bug Bites at Once
Unfortunately, it’s never just one bed bug bite. Infestations are always dozens or even hundreds of bed bugs… and they all feed at once. They all also feed up to three times a night. Consequently, if bed bugs find you for even one night, they’ll bite you quite a few times.
Bed Bug Bites Usually Turn into Uniformly Red, Hard Bite Marks –
Bed bug bites tend to look and feel most like mosquito bites. They are small, usually circular, very itchy, and bright red (especially when inflamed). These welts may take several days to swell up and will often grow over time. Unlike mosquito bites, bed bug bites rarely become “puffy,” though they may feel tender. They may also scab or bleed if you scratch them enough.
Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites do not have a clear central location where the bite originated. They usually don’t develop any ring-like, circular rash, either. Instead, they tend to become hard, even as they inflame. If you’re particularly sensitive to bed bug bites or allergic, your bites may appear liquid-filled. Bed bug bites also tend to last longer than mosquito bites. Your bites could last several weeks after the initial bite.
Bed Bugs Often Target Certain Areas of the Body
Bed bugs feed on specific parts of the body in straight lines or zig zags. They also work their way from site to site to find the best places to feed. This behavior means, unlike other pests, bed bugs don’t bite randomly. Instead, you should be able to notice patterns in their biting behavior, especially after a protracted infestation. Look for zigzagging or clusters of bites moving from area to area of your body.
To complicate matters, bed bugs don’t necessarily feed every night. After engorging themselves, bed bugs typically digest and molt for several days. Depending on how synchronized your infestation’s feeding rituals are, that means your bugs could feed on you severely one night and not much another. In other words, don’t be surprised if your symptoms tend to wax and wane slightly for weeks or months.
Remember: bed bug infestations never go away on their own. If bed bugs feed on you now, they’ll keep feeding until you do something about them.
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Do Bed Bug Bites Hurt?
People do not feel the bites as they happen; bed bugs secrete a numbing agent as they suck the blood out.
Do You Notice Bed Bug Bites Right Away?
Bed bug bites may take up to two weeks to appear. Look for several bite marks, rashes, or irritated areas around likely spots. Remember: if you have one bite, then it probably isn’t a bed bug bite. Unfortunately, as infestations grow, the number of bites you sustain will, too. You’ll probably notice several bites in key areas of your body at first, and then many more bites in those areas as time goes on.
It’s also worth noting that not every person experiences symptoms from bed bug bites.
Can You Get Bed Bug Bites on Ankles?
Yes, bed bugs will bite you on your ankles just like any other part of the body. It all comes down to which part of your body has exposed skin and is easily accessed. Ankles can be a particularly aggravating area for bed bug bites as your skin folds tend to be highly sensitive. If you’re dealing with bed bugs and you’re concerned about getting bed bug bites on your ankles, consider wearing socks to bed as this will make it more difficult to access that area.
Disclaimer About Identifying Insect Bites
Insect bites of all kinds (including bed bug bites) are notoriously difficult to decisively identify without an actual insect sample. No matter how positive you are that you’ve got bed bug bites, the only way to know for sure is to find the bugs themselves. Consider these bed bug bite identification steps a helpful first step, but not a complete response.
If you think you have bed bugs, we always recommend conducting a professional inspection. Griffin’s experts use highly-trained canines to thoroughly inspect the infested site and collect samples. We’ll be able to tell you if you have bed bugs for sure and figure out the best way to wipe them out.
When it comes to bed bug bites, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Infestations never go away and only worsen over time as they grow and expand. If you think bed bugs are biting you, do something about it right away: call Griffin Pest Solutions.
Griffin’s bed bug experts specialize in finding, diagnosing, and eliminating bed bug infestations of all sizes. No matter your infestation, we have the tools and expertise required to find and fix it right. If you think you’ve been bitten, now’s the time to call. We’re ready to help make sure the bed bugs can’t bite anymore.Back to Bed Bug Exterminators – Control – Removal