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How does bug bites look like: 7 Mosquito Bite Home Remedies


7 Mosquito Bite Home Remedies

This article was medically reviewed by Shonda Hawkins, M.S.N., a nurse practitioner and member of the Prevention Medical Review Board.

A speck of black floats past your face or a wispy buzz sounds in your ear. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can detect the presence of mosquitoes before they’ve had a chance to bite. But in most cases, you don’t notice them until one or two (or five) have feasted on your ankles and elbows, causing itchy, red welts to rise up on your skin.

But, why do mosquito bites itch so badly? “As part of the feeding process, all blood-feeding organisms introduce saliva into the wound,” explains Jonathan Day, Ph.D., a mosquito researcher and professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida.

Proteins in a mosquito’s saliva prevent your blood vessels from clotting, Day says, which allows the mosquito to extract your blood more quickly and efficiently. Once the mosquito has finished its meal and departed, its salivary proteins stay behind. “Your immune system sees those proteins as a foreign substance, and immediately attacks them with histamine,” Day says.

Histamine is an immune chemical your cells release in response to the presence of an injury, allergens, or other irritants. And it’s this histamine that produces the itching and swelling some people experience following a mosquito bite, Day explains.

He says “some people” because, surprisingly, not everyone experiences an itchy reaction to mosquito bites. “For most people, the first time they’re bitten by a type of mosquito, they get that reaction,” Day explains. “But as you’re bitten more, most people cease to have a reaction.” Basically, your immune system learns that a particular type of mosquito’s bite is not a threat, and so it stops freaking out every time that species of blood-sucker bites you, he says.

But this isn’t true for all people, Day adds. Some of us never stop experiencing that itch. Also, if you travel to a new place with new types of mosquitoes that your immune system hasn’t been exposed to before, you’re likely to get an itchy, inflamed reaction to a bite.

How to get rid of itchy mosquito bites

Of course, the best way to stop mosquito bites is to prevent them in the first place with an effective insect repellent. If you do suffer from a bite, the itching should go away within two to three days, Day says.

Don’t want to wait that long? A number of home remedies can help you get rid of mosquito bites quickly. While some research shows that popular natural solutions (like applying a banana peel to your bite when you’re in a pinch) can temporarily reduce swelling and irritation, the following treatments are the most effective ways to get rid of itchy mosquito bites ASAP.

Swab the bite with rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol works really well in reducing itching and that histamine response,” Day says, adding that he always carries individually wrapped alcohol wipes when he’s studying mosquitoes in the field. He explains that rubbing alcohol “denatures” the proteins in the mosquito’s saliva, meaning it clears away the thing that your immune system would normally react to with itching or swelling. “Rubbing alcohol also has a soothing and cooling effect,” he adds.


Treat it with ice—or anything cold, really.

Applying ice (or anything sufficiently cold) can reduce swelling, and should also provide temporary relief from itching, Day says. Ice won’t remove or neutralize the saliva proteins the mosquito left behind, and so your bite will likely start to itch again as soon as you take away the source of chilly relief. But if you’re in agony and just want a respite, ice is an effective option. Pro tip: A strap-on ice pack is useful if you have a number of bites in a concentrated or hard-to-reach area.


Dab on calamine lotion.

Calamine lotion can be soothing,” says Lee Townsend, Ph. D., an extension professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky. This pink-hued, OTC topical treatment contains zinc oxide, which has long been known to have anti-itch properties. The downside: Calamine needs to be reapplied several times a day to keep the itch away when treating mosquito bites, but it helps if you have it handy.


Pop an oral antihistamine.

Most OTC allergy drugs—including Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec—work in part by turning off your body’s histamine response, hence why they’re called antihistamines. Since it’s this histamine response that causes the mosquito bite-related swelling and itching, these drugs can provide major relief. If you’re dealing with multiple bites and dabbing on calamine isn’t getting the job done—or you’re headed somewhere where having legs slathered in pink goo isn’t an appropriate look—an oral antihistamine is a helpful option.


Slather on aloe vera gel.

If you prefer to turn to a natural home remedy, applying pure aloe vera to your mosquito bite could help it heal. “It can help soothe irritated skin, such as from bug bites, because of its anti-inflammatory properties,” Noelani González, M.D., director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai West in New York recently told Prevention. “It can also help reduce redness in that area.” Just note that it may take a few days for the itch to completely subside—but you’ll reap these aloe vera skin benefits in the process. (Just be sure to test another patch of skin first to ensure that you don’t have an allergic reaction.)


Reach for baking soda.

Mix baking soda with a little water—just enough to form a paste. Apply that to your bites, and you should experience itch relief, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you’re dealing with many bites, you could also add a quarter cup of baking soda to a bath to quell the itch and tame inflammation. That’s why baking soda makes an effective sunburn cure, too.


Apply hydrocortisone cream.

This topical anti-inflammatory agent will keep bite-related heat and swelling down and has also been shown to relieve itching, according to the National Library of Medicine. You don’t need a prescription-strength product. Applying 1% hydrocortisone cream a few times a day should help get rid of your mosquito bite.


Markham Heid
Markham Heid is an experienced health reporter and writer, has contributed to outlets like TIME, Men’s Health, and Everyday Health, and has received reporting awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.

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What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? 10+ Pictures & Case Examples [2021]

It’s always unsettling to wake up from a long slumber and notice strange marks on your body.

Or maybe you wake up to a strong itching or burning sensation on your back…

But can’t quite see what the problem is.

It’s natural to think that you have been bitten by insects in the middle of the night.

But how do you know which insect?

Without much thinking, people naturally gravitate toward the thought of bed bugs, and whether they need to be concerned.

But before you jump to conclusions….

You should properly identify, diagnose, and prove that the bites you experienced were from bed bugs.  

Because if you seek medical treatment.

Or try to remove an infestation…..

You better make sure you’re not mistaking bed bugs for other, similar looking insects.

Bites require specific treatment and infestations require a specific process for removal. It’s critical that you understand what you’re up against before you take serious action.

So on that note…..

Let’s dive in.

How to Identify Bed Bug Bites

Signs and symptoms of bed bugs can be difficult to detect. Though these insects can be seen with the naked eye, they hide in dark, hard to reach places during the day.

Visible bites on your skin will take on the following characteristics:

  • Slightly discolored, red dots (about the size of ¼ to ¾ inches in diameter.
  • You see multiple bites in a row or in a zigzag pattern.
  • You could see hives or a red circle on the skin that surrounds the bites.

If you’re having an adverse health issue like an allergic reaction from bed bug bites. Your bites may blow up to the size of 2 inches or more and turn into painful blisters.

Another problem is. After you have been bitten:

The bites DON’T always show up right away.

In fact, bites may not show up for days after you have been bitten.

(or even weeks in some cases)

If you suspect bed bugs but don’t have any bites to show for it….

You can look for the tell-tale signs that an infestation exists in your home.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Look for Colored Spots

You should check the mattress, box spring, and within your sheets for blood spots or bed bug droppings.

These spots will be a brown, reddish color and you should see multiple in one place.

Use Your Nose

Bed bugs have glands in their body that produce an unpleasant odor that’s sort of an unhealthy combination of musty and sweet.

When in large numbers….

The smell can be VERY strong.

If your bedroom consistently smells like a wet towel or a locker room, you may be able to identify an infestation without the physical signs.

Look for Eggs or Nymphs

Adult bed bugs can be hard to spot, but sometimes you can find bed bugs earlier in their lifecycle.

Female bed bugs can lay up to 12 eggs per day (500 in their lifetimes) so there are bound to be bed bug eggs that you can spot.

Eggs are small, without much color (maybe off-white).

You should also be on the lookout for nymphs.

(baby bed bugs)

 Which are typically less nimble and slower than their adult counterparts.

Bed Bug Bite Pictures

Here are a few pictures of what bed bug bites look like.

Looking at cases of differing degrees of severity:

Mild Bites: In this case the victim has experienced a few bites in a cluster.

Mid-Tier Bites: Here we are seeing a high volume of bites, indicating a severe infestation was present.  

It’s important to note that these bites are small/medium sized, and haven’t led to any severe skin reactions. 

Severe Bites: Here you can see that the bites have grown to be 2 to 3 inches wide in diameter. 

This is indicating a harmful skin reaction is present.

Bed Bug Bites vs. Mosquito Bites

Bed bugs and mosquitos have vastly different physical qualities, but their bites are often confused with each other.  


Mosquito bites are puffy white red bumps that occur a few minutes after bitten. With bed bugs, symptoms are more variable, and bumps may not show up for weeks.

Time to Heal:

Mosquito bites will heal up much quicker, typically within 2 to 3 days.

While bed bugs bites persist for much longer.

Where They Bite:

Mosquito bites are usually distributed throughout the body in areas of exposed skin. This includes the legs, face, back, neck, arms etc.

Bed bug bites are more clustered and occur in a distinct pattern.

Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea bites


You’ll typically feel a Flea bite instantly after being bitten.

Both bed bug and Flea bites can cause inflammation, which can lead to noticeably larger welts than what would occur from other insect bites.

Where They Bite:

You can expect to find Flea bites on your lower body, that appear in random groupings.

Bed bug bites are more commonly in a straight line (or zig zag pattern),

Whereas Flea bites will occur in random looking clusters.


If you’re allergic to fleas, you could develop hives or a rash, similar to being allergic to bed bugs. The difference is that fleas are much more likely to cause a skin infection.

A common infection is called Tungiasis.

(Yes, it’s hard to pronounce)

This infection almost always occurs between the feet and toes.

Certain Fleas will dig under your skin to feed, which leads to this very complicated infection.

Bed Bug Bites vs. Hives

Bites from bed bugs are often mistaken for hives, mainly because they both stem from an allergic reaction.

 It’s critical that you’re able to tell these 2 skin conditions apart because…

They each require different types of treatment.


Bed bug bites will be fairly consistent in size and hives can be across the board. Some hives can look as big as a quarter or as small as a pimple.

Color and Shape:

While bed bug bites are consistently red, the color of hives will vary, from either pale to dark red.

Bed bug bites are usually perfectly round, while Hives can have more diverse, uneven looking shapes.


Bed bug bites can only occur in places that your skin is uncovered.

Such as:

Your neck, arms, legs, or face.

Hives can occur anywhere on your body, it makes no difference whether your skin is covered or not.  

How To Diagnose Bed Bug Bites

To fully diagnose a bed bug bite, you must look beyond the symptoms.

These bites can be easily confused with other insects or skin reactions, so it’s important to look at…

These 3 different factors when diagnosing your bites:


To determine whether bites are from bed bugs, it helps to look into the history of bed bugs in the site that you were bitten.

If you were bitten in an apartment complex, You should see whether your neighbors have had any previous or active infestations.

Though, people stay pretty quiet about their infestations…

So you can also look into public record for any landlord-tenant disputes that may have occurred at your rental property.

You should also ask yourself:

If you moved into a new home, has the home has a history of infestations?

Home Inspection

Has your bedroom been properly inspected for an active infestation?

It’s important that a professional inspect your home thoroughly for signs of bed bugs.

This includes areas such as

  • The bedroom (including mattress/box spring, bedding, bed frame)
  • Walls and baseboards
  • Behind furniture
  • Any other cracks or crevices within your home

The Appearance of Bites

Though bed bug bites can easily be confused with other insects, a doctor should be able to diagnose your bites when looking closely.

Bed bug bites have a unique shape, and pattern, that a skilled physician should be able to identify.

Mild Bed Bug Bites

It’s impossible to predict whether a person will have a mild or severe reaction to bed bug bites.


Because everybody’s skin reacts differently, so the range of outcomes is extremely wide.

More often than not, symptoms of bites are fairly mild. Meaning you’ll experience some irritation for a few days along with unsightly red bumps or welts on your body. Bites like these are a light inconvenience but will not upend your life or debilitate you as a severe reaction would.

Keep in mind that…

Even if a bed bug bite starts off as mild, it can turn more serious fairly quickly.

Here are a few ways that can happen.

One is if you scratch the bites – it can lead to more severe symptoms like:

  • Intense burning or itching.
  • Bleeding or open wounds.
  • Scarring (in rare cases you may get keloid scars).

Bites can also turn more serious if you have other skin reactions while you currently have active bites on your body. Whether it’s a generic rash, or a breakout of hives, these types of reactions can exacerbate existing bites.

Here are some pictures of mild bed bug bites:

Below is a picture of a toddler who was bitten a few times on his ankles and feet. 

(Click here for more information about how bed bug bites affect children).

Below is a picture of a slightly more severe reaction.

(Although still considered mild).

Here you can see a woman who has around 10 bites on her back.  

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Itch?

Bed bug bites can itch anywhere from 3 to 10 days. The extent and longevity of the skin reaction is highly dependent on the individual and how they treat their bites. If an individual treats their bites with medication and care, then bites will disappear much more quickly.

Here are a few treatment methods to help relieve symptoms and help bed bug bites heal faster.

Calamine Lotion: This is a medicated anti-itch lotion that can be applied multiple times per day to relieve symptoms.

Antihistamines: You can take antihistamines orally to help reduce itching or any burning that’s occurring. This is an effective method when you’re experiencing disturbed sleep due to physical symptoms or anxiety from bed bugs.

Advil or Tylenol: Over the counter pain reliever medication can help reduce pain and any swelling that may occur from the bites.

Stick with reputable medications to help alleviate bed bug bites so that they go away quicker.

If after a few weeks your bites still haven’t gone away…

You should contact a doctor or health professional to evaluate your skin.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?

The length of time a bed bug persists on skin will depend on the individual.

Since a bite can take up to TWO weeks to show on up on skin, the consensus is they take around:

10 to 14 days to disappear.

Although, those with more sensitive skin….

Will see bites in less than an hour after being bitten, and it could take up to 30 days for the bites to full disappear.

In more severe cases, victims develop anaphylaxis and require immediate medical attention.

Others (the lucky ones), may not notice or even experience bites at all.

Bites will last longer if any of the following occurs:

  • Aggressive scratching: This can cause scarring and also cause the wounds to fester and burst.
  • When left untreated: Bites do eventually go away on their own, but certain treatments will help accelerate the healing process. In fact, Pinterest has a board with 27 natural home remedies for bed bugs.
  • Infection: If the bites turn into open wounds which then become infected, this will cause your bites to last a lot longer.

Bed bug bites typically last much longer than other insect bites like mosquitos.

You’ll need to be patient as your bites heal, and try to fight the urge to scratch and further irritate your wounds.

The fact that these bites persevere so long, is one of the main reasons that bed bugs can lead to long term psychological issues within victims.

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites Naturally

Bed bugs will target the areas of your skin that are exposed while you’re asleep.

Once you have been bitten, you should wash the area with soap and water.

Once the areas around the bites are clean.

You can try the following natural treatment options:


This is a natural bacterial agent and can help reduce the size of rashes and inflammation caused by your bites. Applying some light salt on the affected area may provide some relief to the irritated skin.

Try this method 3 times per day (and continue as needed)


Most toothpaste products contain Menthol, which will naturally cool the skin around the bite. This especially works if you feel a burning sensation coming from the affected skin.

Apply a dab of toothpaste on the affected area and rinse away after 10 minutes. Repeat this process a few times a day.

Ice Packs

Ice is known for its ability to numb your skin.

(specifically, your nerve endings)

And provide relief to a burning or itching sensation.

Ice is also great for reducing swelling or inflammation that can result in more serious reactions to bed bug bites.

Take your ice pack and apply it to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes max.

Continue to repeat the process as needed.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This product has applications for many different home treatments.

It has the capacity to be:

  • An antiseptic
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antifungal

To heal bed bug bites with apple cider vinegar, simply soak a cotton ball with this vinegar and apply it to the bites.

Feel free to reapply up to 5 times per day as the symptoms persist.

Can Bed Bug Bites Kill You?

A lot of talk goes around when it comes to bed bugs.

People spread rumors resulting in myths about bed bug symptoms and certain DIY methods of treatment that may or may not work..

The short answer to this question is:

NO. Bed bugs will not kill you.

More often than not bed bugs only cause light skin irritation.

Now there are situations where people can have adverse reactions to bed bugs, that in VERY rare circumstances may lead to death.

Although this would have to be due to a serious preexisting condition.

At the end of the day, bed bugs typically won’t cause physical harm, if anything they do more emotional damage than physical.

Check out the video below for 7 important things to know about bed bugs. 

Bed Bug Bites: What do They Look Like?

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 around areas of the body that are exposed while sleeping such as the face, neck, shoulders, hands, armpits, or ankles.

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… especially since bed bug bites look different from person-to-person. There are, however, several telltale characteristics of bed bug bites like those described above. The trick to figuring out if you’re looking at a bed bug bite is to look for several of the following characteristics at once:

1. Visible lines of bites

Insects obviously tend to bite the areas they have easy access to when they’re feeding. Mosquitoes bite your lower arms, legs, and neck because that’s what they can usually get to while you’re outside. Bed bugs are no exception. As explained above, these bloodsuckers prey on the parts of your body that are exposed while you’re sleeping. For most people, this may include your armpits, upper arms, neck, shoulders, hands, or even face.

Because of how they have to feed, 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 have to feed on this spot continuously for 3 to 10 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 also tend to feed three times a night, so lines of bed bug bites are sometimes called “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” signs.

2. Several bites at once

Unfortunately, you never suffer only one bed bug bite. If you’re ever bitten by a bed bug, it’s because you either have an infestation or slept in a place with an infestation. 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.

The symptoms of bed bug bites may take up to two weeks to appear, but they’ll probably start appearing all at once. 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.

3. Uniformly red, hard bite marks

Unlike flea bites, bed bugs bites do not have a clear central location where the bite originated. They usually don’t develop any ring-like, circular rash, either. Instead, bed bug bites tend to look and feel more similar to mosquito bites. They are small, usually circular, bright red (especially when inflamed), and itchy welts. These welts may take several days to swell up but will usually grow over time. They may also scab over or bleed if you scratch them enough.

Unlike mosquito bites, bed bug bites rarely become “puffy,” though they may feel tender. 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. They’re also somewhat more likely to scar than mosquito bites, especially if you itch them.

4. Targeted areas

As mentioned above, bed bugs feed on specific parts of the body in straight lines or zig zags. They also work their way from site-to-site in order 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 over the course of 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.

Insect Bite Disclaimer

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 any more.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

As you’ve probably noticed, there are a lot of insects in the world, and each of these insects come with their own specific list of problems. Of the vast variety of bugs in the world, many of them can be considered “biting insects”. And one of the most common biting insects in our area is the bed bug. Understanding how different insects “bite” us and how we react to those bites is helpful in identifying bed bug bites. Let’s take a look at some examples:

When horseflies bite, they use their saw-like mouthparts to cut into the skin. This can definitely be classified as a bite. So this is a good place to start. When a horsefly lands on you, it will saw into your skin and suck out the blood from the newly-created wound. During the process, it will introduce an anticoagulant into the wound. This slows the process of blood clotting and allows this to suck up larger amounts of blood. And the longer it is allowed to bite, the more anticoagulant will be administered into the wound and the more blood they’ll be able to consume.

Have you ever had a bug bite that became red and inflamed or developed a large rash around it? This rash is an allergic reaction to the anticoagulant injected into the wound. And the lower your tolerance to this anticoagulant, the more pronounced the rash will be. You may also have a more severe reaction if you’ve had a lot of this coagulant administered into the wound, as described in the scenario above.

When bed bug infestations begin, it is usually only tiny, immature nymphs that are feeding on your skin. These bed bug nymphs don’t administer nearly as much anticoagulant as adult bed bugs. So you may not experience any rashes at all when these bed bugs begin to bite you. However, these bites will become very noticeable over time as multiple adult bed bugs begin to bite your skin while you’re sleeping. The takeaway from this is that bed bug bites don’t always look the same. You’re not always going to be able to look at a bug bite on your skin and say, “Yup, that is a bed bug bite.”

Let’s take a look at another example. When wasps “bite” us, it actually isn’t a bite at all. It’s a sting. And it is very painful. You’re not likely to get stung by a wasp and not realize it. Bed bugs, on the other hand, can bite you multiple times without you even realizing it. They can bite you and feed on your blood while you’re sleeping and not wake you up. When you find these red welts on your skin in the morning, if you notice them at all, you’ll probably be left wondering where they came from. But there is a good chance that you won’t suspect wasps. But wasps aren’t the only insect that can sting you! Fire ants also sting. And if you or your child has had an encounter with fire ants and forgotten about it, you might mistake fire ants stings for bed bug bites. However, fire ant stings, or any stings for that matter, can easily be distinguished from a bed bug bite because stings will have a bump or blister in the center. This is because venom will cause more of a reaction than anticoagulant.

Another pest that might bite you is spiders. And while you won’t have any trouble distinguishing a black widow or brown recluse bite from a bed bug bite, you might have some issues when it comes to the bites inflicted by the common house spider. When common house spiders bite you, it may not be painful enough to wake you. And these bites will only result in a tiny red welt. If you find one or two red welts on your skin, there are two ways you can know that they’re not bed bug bites. First, the bites will have the bump in the center. Second, common house spiders have no reason to bite humans, so you’ll only receive a random bite now and again. But bed bugs deliberately bite multiple times and these bites are usually arranged in clusters.

The last bites we’re going to take a look at are mosquito bites, which are one of the most common bites that bed bug bites are mistaken for. When you get “bitten” by mosquitoes it is actually more of a poke than a bite. Mosquitoes use straw-like mouthparts to pierce the skin and suck the blood out. But how they bite isn’t what we’re going to focus on, but rather the fact that they usually only bite once. Since bed bugs bite multiple times, often three times or more, their bites can look like a path on the skin whereas mosquito bites will have more of a random appearance, like your skin is speckled with bites. Clustered bites or bed bug bite paths are the best indication that you’re being bitten by bed bugs.

There are a lot of biting insects found in our area, but bed bugs are some of the worst. If you’d like fewer bugs biting you inside your home as well as in your yard, reach out to us at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions. We can help get the job done right!   

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?


Do I Have Bed Bug Bites?

When it comes to bug bites, most of us know them when we see them. Especially here in South Carolina, we’re all pretty familiar with what happens after we’re bitten by a mosquito or an ant, or stung by a wasp. We have our share of pests here in the South, and it’s usually no mystery when a bite shows up on your leg or arm: you know exactly what critter is to blame.

There are exceptions to this rule, though. If you’ve recently woken up covered in itchy red bites, you might be wondering: do I have bed bugs? You think back to the last time you were out of town, and start to question whether you might have brought them home with you from a hotel. At the same time, though, there are plenty of other bugs that can cause itchy red bites. In particular, it’s possible that you might be dealing with fleas instead of bed bugs.

So, how can you be sure? What do bed bug bites look like? Keep reading to find out.


How to Identify Bed Bug Bites

First off, it’s worth noting that bites from bed bugs are completely painless when you first experience them. Initially, you won’t feel a thing. This means that if you’re laying in bed and feel like something’s just bitten you, it almost certainly wasn’t a bed bug.

Instead, bed bug bites sometimes take days before they present with a physical reaction. In a small segment of the population, no reaction will ever occur at all. In other words, some people simply don’t experience much itching, redness, or swelling from bed bug bites.

On the flip side, though, the majority of people do suffer from significant itching after they’ve been bitten. If you suspect bed bugs but aren’t sure, consider checking your sheets. When bed bugs bite, they often draw blood. That blood can show up as tiny flecks and dots on your sheets.


Bed Bug Bite Symptoms and Reactions

The most common reaction to a bed bug bite is redness, swelling, and severe itching. In fact, some people are so bothered by bed bug bites that they simply can’t stop itching them. This can lead to infection of the skin due to the amount of irritation involved.

More often than not, bed bug bites show up as small, red, and sometimes raised bumps on the body. These usually appear in zigzag lines or clusters — it’s less common to have a single bite on the elbow, another single bite on the calf, and so on. Bites can show up on virtually any part of the body, including the feet, legs, arms, hands, neck, back, stomach, chest, and even the face.

Severe allergic reactions are possible. If itching becomes increasingly intense, hives begin to develop, or you’re suffering from any other unusual symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.


Why Do Bed Bugs Bite?

Bed bugs don’t bite you out of spite. Instead, biting is essential to their life cycle. Bed bugs are blood feeder insects, meaning that (much like fleas) they depend on blood in order to survive. It’s common for bed bugs to bite multiple times, as they may not find an appropriate blood vessel on their first attempt.


Health Risks

While bed bugs aren’t generally associated with disease (with the exception of recent findings related to Chagas), bed bug bites can pose other health risks. It’s important to keep the bite area as clean as possible, and to do your best to avoid scratching it. Otherwise, scratching the bites repeatedly can lead to secondary infections. These are particularly common in children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.


Treatments for Bed Bug Bites

After you’ve determined that you have bed bug bites, begin by washing the area with warm water and a mild soap. From there, consider using calamine lotion or another topical remedy to reduce itching. Oral antihistamines are also an option. Remember: if you believe you’re suffering from any unusual symptoms, seek medical attention right away.


Eliminating Bed Bugs

While it’s possible to get rid of a bed bug infestation on your own, doing so without the help of a professional is incredibly difficult. If you want your bed bug problem eliminated right away, contact Home Pest Control. Our safe, environmentally-friendly pest control services can take care of bed bugs once and for all.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last? (A Simple Guide)

Did you wake up this morning full of itchy red welts on your body?

Chances are that you have uninvited guests in your bedroom who take you for a red juice buffet. 

As much as you want to ​trace the ​factors that lead to bed bugs invading your home, you will also want to know how long bed bug bites last.

​In this article, you will learn:

  • How long do bed bug bites last?
  • What do bed bug bites look like?
  • What are the symptoms and treatment?
  • And how to prevent bed bug bites?

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​How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?

This is a case to case basis. The length of the time needed for bed bug bites to totally heal depends on the person bitten. 

Generally, bed bug bites can last within a week or two. For some people who are not so sensitive at all to insect bites, the welts and itchiness of the bites will be gone in a few days. Some people aren’t allergic to bed bugs at all and actually never realize they were bitten at all!

In contrast, for people who are very sensitive to insect bites, bed bug bites trigger allergic reactions. These lead to larger bite marks that may develop into blisters when scratched excessively. Because of this, the healing process becomes considerably longer.

Another factor that affects the timeline of bed bug bites is the use of certain home and/or medical remedies.

These can be applied to help soothe the skin from itchiness and therefore significantly reduce the time needed for bed bug bites to totally heal.

​What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bed bug bites are often mistaken for those of mosquitoes and fleas for one major reason – they all look the same. The bites are red circular bumps each with tiny dark spot at the center. The difference however is that bite marks from bed bugs appear in clusters and sometimes in zigzag patterns.

For people that have more severe allergic reactions to bed bug bites, the marks appear bigger, swollen, and itch considerably more. Since the bites become more irritated, secondary infection becomes imminent due to excessive scratching.

The following video shows what bed bug bites look like.

Bites of domestic bugs, how are they manifested and treated in humans?

Bedbug bites can be a year-round nightmare.In this article, you will learn how to distinguish bug bites from mosquito and flea bites and why a person does not feel anything at the moment of a bite.

Let’s answer the popular question: “Is it true that even two people sleeping in the same bed can have completely different reactions to these bites?” . We will also tell you how to get rid of itching after a bite and prevent the appearance of new ones. Forewarned – forearmed! Let’s start!


The most important facts about bed bug bites

Do bed bug bites itch?

During the bite – no.You don’t feel anything. You do not feel pain during the bite because bedbugs inject a temporary analgesic under your skin to help you feel no pain.

How long do bugs bite?

From 3 to 10 minutes – this is how long one full feeding lasts. It starts with the appearance of medium to large patches (swollen or flat) on any part of the human body (the most common areas are the face, neck, arms and hands). Also, with the appearance of spots, itching and redness appear.

Domestic bug bites are often confused with other insect bites. Sometimes they are mistaken for infectious rashes on the human body or even for injuries. And the real reason is determined last. There are cases when dermatologists have confused bedbug bites on the body with chickenpox or an allergic reaction. Although for experienced entomologists, it is not particularly difficult to recognize bites after bedbugs, since they have a pronounced specific appearance. It will not be superfluous to know the features of bites and ordinary residents of apartments or private houses.The sooner you recognize the presence of parasites in the room, the more effective the fight against these insects will be.

Parasites do not tolerate strong odors. They confuse insects. The bug cannot detect a person, and the presence in such a room becomes unbearable.

What do bedbug bites look like in adults?

Outwardly, bedbug bites on the skin resemble mosquitoes, but they are more painful and have clear edges.

If an adult is bitten by a bug, then a small swelling of a rounded shape of red color with a pronounced lump in the middle will appear on his body.

Multiplicity and accuracy are the hallmarks that characterize bedbug bites on human skin. This is due to the fact that during feeding, each individual makes not one, but five or seven bites on the human body, sucking blood from each puncture. If the bites are on the same line, then we can confidently conclude that you have been bitten by bugs. This arrangement is typical only for these parasites. Typically, the distance between each successive bite by one individual is three to four centimeters.When studying what bedbug bites look like on the human body, remember that insects do not feed in an organized way, but collectively. In other words, a large number of bites located close to each other may appear on the human body in the morning. But in each group, specific tracks will be clearly visible.

Before bed, apply a few drops of lavender, chamomile, lemon balm or St. John’s wort essential oil to your body. You can add two or three drops to the cream.

It should be noted that experts identify several dozen types of bed bugs.But individuals of each species bite people in almost the same way. All bug bites on the human body look the same, and the differences between them can only be seen with a microscope.

What do bedbug bites look like in children?

Children are a special risk group. In apartments or in private houses where house bugs live, it is small children that are the first to be attacked. This is due to the fact that babies have more delicate and thin skin, to which the blood vessels are very close. At the same time, body odor in children is not as pronounced as in adults.It does not interrupt the smell of blood that attracts bedbugs.

Externally, bedbug bites in children look similar to the bites of adults. But, if for men this situation is not a problem and the bug bite can become almost invisible by the morning, then the situation is different for children. Baby skin is very sensitive, and a pet bug bite will leave a mark for a long time. Moreover, the areola of redness near the bite itself will be bright red and large. And if you also consider that the place where the bugs were bitten it itches, then small children will certainly aggravate the situation.Therefore, adults should, at first suspicion, use a special ointment for bedbugs or other medicines.

Bedbug bites symptoms and differences

In most cases, bedbugs attack at night. And only in the morning a person notices the inflamed areas on the body.

If you have bed bugs, bed bites, symptoms and other features should be carefully studied. To do this, we highlight the important key points that allow a person to determine that the mark on the skin is the result of a bed bug bite:

  1. severe itching and burning;
  2. pronounced tubercle;
  3. red areola around the tubercle; 90 094 90 093 the number of bites from three to five in one area;
  4. bites in a straight line;

Having found similar features in the bites, examine the bed.Blood droplets or blackheads may remain on the laundry.

Bed bugs that have drunk enough blood can easily be crushed by hand while sleeping. Their remains are visible on the bed.

Bedbug bites are multiplicity from flea or mosquito bites. They are also redder and very painful. Unlike ticks, bugs, on the contrary, leave soft and small punctures. In this case, the bug during the bite is immersed in the skin almost from the head. They also differ from allergies.An experienced dermatologist with the naked eye will notice a small puncture from a bite on a red lump.

What places do bugs like to bite more?

It mainly bites the bug at night and in those places where the skin is thinnest, and the blood vessels are located close to the surface. First of all, parasites are attracted to exposed areas of the skin, and only then they get under clothes and continue to suck blood. Most often, vinegar from bedbugs can be found:

  • on the back and shoulders,
  • on the legs and arms,
  • on the neck and on the back of the head.

It is quite rare that traces appear on the face or abdomen of a person.

Bedbugs appeared in my apartment, which were discovered after the first bites. Before going to bed, I lit an aromatic lamp with the scent of lavender, put a few drops of oil on the night lamp and put lavender sprigs under the bed. The insects stopped biting.

How do bed bugs bite?

The oral apparatus of the parasite resembles a proboscis. With its help, the insect pierces the human skin and sucks blood.It is blood that is food for these insects. The process is simple enough. The parasite chooses a suitable place for it and bites through the human skin. After that, he sucks out a little blood from the hole and moves further along the body. At a distance of three or five centimeters, he again bites through the skin and drinks blood.

At one time, an insect can make five or seven bites and only then get enough.

But do not forget that only one bug makes 2-3 bites per night! And how many of these live in your bed ?!

According to scientists, up to several thousand bugs can live in one bed.But this is not the limit: there is a real case when 150 thousand bedbugs were found in a single room, most of which lived in the bed! Therefore, if even a tenth of this army of many thousands is hungry, in the morning your body may be covered with multiple red itchy bites.

Bedbugs are not afraid of light and can bite even during the day.

Despite the fact that bugs go out to feed only at night (usually from 3 to 8 o’clock), in exceptional cases this can happen during the day.This happens if the bugs are very hungry (so that you understand what it means “very”: bugs can live up to a YEAR without food!). What is force majeure for a bug? This is the absence of people around peacefully snoring at night. At risk: laundries, public transport, airports, offices and any other non-residential premises.

The following follows from this fact: bedbugs will not be afraid even of bright daylight or artificial light if they want to get their portion of blood. And they will want to!

Bed bugs bite all year round

Unlike other biting bugs, which have certain peaks in activity, bed bugs will live in your warm bed in winter and summer if you do not get rid of them.

Do dog bugs bite?

Yes, they bite. Sometimes the most severe suffering from bug bites falls on dogs, and while in the house, bugs can feed on their blood for a long time before moving on to you. Why it happens? It’s simple: dogs, like cats, sleep most of the day – up to 18 hours! This allows bedbugs to drink blood without any problems, even at night, even during the day.

Can bedbugs bite through clothing?

Not excluded. Bedbugs pierce the skin and suck blood with the proboscis, but it is not designed to pierce tissue, plastic, or paper.If you sleep in pajamas, this can play into your hands, but not for long – bugs run fast and still get to open areas of the body.

How dangerous are bed bug bites?

This is the question that most of all worries people bitten by bedbugs. According to entomologists, up to 27 viruses of various diseases can be found in bedbugs, but it has been proven that they cannot transmit diseases through a bite.

This fact is good news. In contrast to the reactions of the nervous system to bites.

Scientists confirm that sleep disorders, including insomnia, stress and irritability, can occur with frequent bites. It is believed that bedbug bites can cause constant crying in newborn babies. Also, in especially severe cases, with significant blood loss in infants, anemia may develop, and with special skin sensitivity, any person may experience an allergic reaction.

Attention! Despite the fact that bugs are nocturnal insects, they are less afraid of the light than they are hungry.They will come even if you cut powerful spotlights in the room.

How long does the bite take?

Bedbugs need fresh portions of blood every 3-4 days, but if they have already managed to actively breed, then the bites will not have time to heal, because more and more new ones will be added to them. Since the bites may take a long time to make themselves felt, you are unlikely to be able to pinpoint the exact day you were bitten. According to experts, it can take up to 3-4 days before the onset of symptoms, and in some cases – up to 14.

Redness, itching, swelling of the skin usually disappear in a few days. In more severe cases, for example, when hundreds of bedbugs have bitten a person, it will take more time – up to 3 weeks. If the bites persist, you notice a growing deterioration in well-being, immediately consult a doctor – an allergy is possible, which should be treated under the supervision of a specialist.

Allergy to bug bites

The saliva of young individuals is considered the most dangerous. Allergen, penetrating inside, quickly spreads throughout the body.An allergic reaction can be local and general, worsening the condition of the whole organism.

The allergy to bedbugs differs from other reactions in the following manifestations:

  1. In case of allergy, the bite spot exceeds 1 centimeter in diameter.
  2. A rash appears.
  3. Bite marks last for more than a week.
  4. Severe itching develops.

In addition to visual signs, other symptoms indicate the appearance of an allergy:

  1. Nasal congestion or severe runny nose.
  2. Dizziness, severe headache.
  3. Weakness.
  4. Difficulty breathing.

In rare cases, anaphylactic shock or Quincke’s edema may occur.

How to treat bed bug bites?

As a rule, bedbug bites go away on their own after a few days. They are especially easily tolerated by men. As far as children are concerned, certain actions should be taken in this case. For example, you can use a special ointment for bedbug bites.

Medicines or pharmaceuticals for the treatment of bites

If you do not want to use folk recipes, you can buy medicine for bedbugs:


The most affordable and harmless remedy. If you lubricate the bite site with balm several times a day, the inflammation and itching will go away in a few days.

Price: 83 rub

Bepanten gel

Suitable for people of all ages. The drug removes itching, swelling and inflammation.

Price: 673 RUB

Psilo balm

Acts like Bepanten gel.

Price: 239 rubles

Comparative table of remedies for bedbug bites

Product Type of action Price 1 0 Relieves itching and bite symptoms 83 rub
Bepanten gel Treats damaged skin 673 rub
Psylo 9222


239 rubles
In case of severe allegia, a visit to the doctor is obligatory comprehensive approach, competent treatment Depends on the med.insurance

Treatment of a strong allergic reaction

Particular attention should be paid to the question of how to smear bug bites when a strong allergic reaction occurs. If there is an allergy to bedbug bites, a doctor should prescribe treatment. The specialist will prescribe antihistamines. This can be cream, ointment, or pills. Most of the drugs prescribed are hormonal agents. Therefore, it is important to correctly determine the dosage and course of treatment. Self-medication in this case is unacceptable.

Folk or home remedies for treating bites

If you do not know how to treat bedbug bites, pay attention to traditional medicine. There are several home remedies that can help you manage and relieve bites:

  1. Redness and itching will be less severe if you rinse the bite site with cold running water.
  2. Bathroom with the addition of St. John’s wort, calendula and chamomile decoction will help relieve the inflammatory process.
  3. Use alcohol to disinfect the affected skin area.
  4. You can grease the bite site with aloe juice or put pieces of ice on it.
  5. Laundry soap or tar soap, as well as soda, helps with bites.

Remember! Bedbugs get used to the bad smell. The use of aromatic oils is to prevent stings.

Consequences of bites for the body as a whole

It is impossible to predict the consequences. Each organism is different, as is the reaction to a bite. It is worth noting that children of bedbugs cause a person the same harm as adults.If the bugs have left bites on the body, then they must be disinfected. Otherwise, an infection may build up on the wound, which will lead to a strong deterioration in the general condition.

After the bugs leave bites on the human body, itching and burning appear, causing irritability, insomnia and even depression. It is necessary to immediately relieve the itching and begin to destroy insects.

Bedbug bites in children

The above described in detail what a bug bite looks like on the body of an adult.Parasites leave a similar mark on the bodies of young children. It is worth noting that insects bite young children more often than adults. This is due to the physiological characteristics of the child. Babies have more delicate skin and blood vessels closer to the skin.

Danger to children

The danger of bites to children is the high risk of an allergic reaction. The parasite’s saliva contains a dangerous poison, which, when bitten, penetrates the child’s skin and instantly spreads throughout the body.If the baby has a tendency to allergic reactions, then the consequences of the bite can be quite severe.

Another danger is the desire of children to comb the bite. As a result, a wound forms on the baby’s body, on which other infectious diseases can accumulate.


After a house bug bite, redness appears on the child’s body, which itches a lot. A small bump can be seen in the middle of the red spot. The number of bites ranges from three to five.They are arranged in a straight line. Children become whiny, nervous and constantly scratching the bite site.

How to protect yourself from bedbug bites?

There are many myths on the Internet about which remedies help protect against bug bites. Here are two of the most common myths:

  1. Repellent sprays will keep you from getting bitten. Not true. Repellents can help with mosquito bites, ticks, and some other insects, but the bugs don’t care what you spray on yourself.
  2. Insecticidal “bug bombs” can kill insects and thus prevent insect bites. Not true: they, unfortunately, do not work either, because the smoke from the insecticide cannot get into those hidden places where bedbugs are buried. Moreover: having felt such a chemical attack, the bugs will hide even deeper into their crevices – and it will become even more difficult to get rid of them later!

To protect yourself from their bites, you need to use only tested and approved by scientists products And do not forget: you need to get rid not only of adults, but also of larvae and even eggs-potential adult bites.

But not everything is so simple: you cannot destroy bedbugs by any one means. Together with thorough cleaning, other methods must be applied in a comprehensive manner, for example, electronic bug repeller .

Here are 3 main steps:

  • Use bed bug detectors – to detect the presence of bedbugs in the house and even their path.
  • “Put on” your mattress in a special mattress cover to cure an old mattress or to protect a newly purchased one from the inclinations of bedbugs.
  • Purchase an effective bug spray for treating infected areas in the house.

Remember: up to 150 thousand bugs can live in your bed! So don’t delay and start fighting now!

What do bedbug bites look like, how to recognize them

Sometimes it is not easy to distinguish a bug bite from the symptoms of allergic dermatitis.

Consider the symptoms: bites look like an accumulation of micro-lesions of the skin in one area, representing their characteristic path .The path on sensitive skin is expressed by continuous redness, swelling, often this is the most characteristic sign that a person has been bitten by a bug. At the same time, considering such a “path”, it is not always possible to determine in which specific place the skin is punctured, and sometimes the puncture site, on the contrary, is highlighted with a bright red dot.

Itching from bug bites

Bite sites can itch without ceasing, a person experiences pain when touched, the skin swells in people with delicate sensitive skin.Most often, exposed areas of the body (face, neck, shoulders, arms) are affected. In this regard, it becomes very embarrassing and unpleasant to appear in such a sore and bitten form somewhere in a public place or at work.

Differences between bedbug bites and common allergies

A close comparison in the photo of a bug bite and an allergic reaction that has arisen for another reason, you can find significant differences. With bites, the redness is not continuous, it is located in a path or islets. A skin rash differs in that it does not have pronounced edema, but the skin turns red at the site of the rash in a continuous manner.

It is important to remember that sometimes an allergy is manifested to the bites of domestic bugs themselves.

Differences between bug bites and other insects (fleas, mosquitoes, lice)

It is difficult to distinguish a bug bite. And this is not always possible due to the fact that the bug is the same blood-sucking parasite, as well as mosquitoes, gadflies, horseflies, midges, ticks, biting midges, lice and fleas. Only tactics are specific in this case. The bug, biting through the epidermis, tries to “find” a suitable capillary, so it often leaves a line of 5-7 points in a row.By sampling blood, they bite humans and bedbug larvae, complementing painful abscesses.

After that, characteristic streamlined swellings appear on the body in the area of ​​the bite site, the place of redness is increased. Redness occurs in separate dots or tiny spots that are spaced from each other at a distance, although they are located sequentially. The pinpoint nature of skin lesions is the main feature that distinguishes these insects. If you are going to travel, for example, by train, then be sure to purchase a softening gel, because it often happens that fleas and bugs are found in the carriages.

Each person’s skin can react differently to a mosquito bite. Most often these are medium-sized blisters, slightly larger in circumference than the flea bites shown in the photograph and are not as reddened.

Allergy to bug bites

Persistent severe itching, redness and swelling confirm the existence of an allergy to an insect bite (not to be confused with an allergy to other irritants). The allergy usually occurs to the saliva of the bug, which is injected into the skin by the parasite.Children and women, as well as people with sensitive skin, are most susceptible to such an allergic reaction. An allergy to a substance that the bug uses as a pain reliever is perhaps the most unpleasant symptom. It may not go away for weeks. The marks remain on the skin for 3-5 days, then gradually disappear. With severe allergies, bite marks may not go away for a long time, so it is necessary to use means for treating bedbug bites.

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