What are Typical Bed Bugs Bite Symptoms?

How Do Bed Bugs Bite?

bed bug biting and filling with human blood
Bed bug biting and filling with human blood

To feed, the bed bug will pierce the skin of a host with two hollow tubes from its mouthpart. One tube injects saliva (containing anesthetics to numb the bite point) and anticoagulants (so the blood flows freely). The remaining tube sucks the blood. Feeding lasts five minutes, after which the bug goes back into hiding. Most bites are not noticeable by the host until a few hours or even days later.Bed bugs are most active between 3 and 5 am. As nocturnal blood feeders, you might see no bed bugs at all until they come out to feed at night. Bed bugs crawl out of their hiding places along your mattress folds or headboard cracks and will either crawl straight to you, or crawl along the ceiling and drop down onto your sleeping body when they feel a heat wave of carbon dioxide. Kinda creepy. The most active time for a bed bug is about one hour before sunrise – this also coincides with feeding time. Bed bugs hate sunlight and will be hard to spot out in the open during the day.

How often do they feed?

Bed bugs feed every five to ten days. But if there is no food source, bed bugs can last for several months without feeding, and be dormant for about a year. A well-fed bed bug has a lifespan of about six to nine months.

Bed bugs can end up in your hair but the happy fact is that they really don’t want to be there. Unlike fleas and lice that are built to crawl through hair, the common bed bug does not have these luxurious claw modifications. In fact, bed bugs prefer to feed on bare skin, where they can most easily position themselves to insert their feeding mouthparts through the skin. If you are bald, you are exempt from this good news.

Do Bed Bugs Bites Itch?

There’s nothing distinctive about bed bug bites. Therefore, neither a pharmacist nor a doctor nor anyone else should diagnose bed bugs simply because of the bites. Depending on the person, a bite reaction manifests in ways varying from nothing at all, to a swollen mark mistaken for mosquito bites, spider bites, etc. People react in different ways to bug bites so even being bitten by the same insect can have different results. If the person reacts to the fluid (a saliva injected to clot the blood and numb the bitten area) injected by the bed bugs, the person might wake up to itchy bumps, usually in rows of two or three. Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites do not typically feature a red dot in the middle of the bite. The more frequently bed bugs feed on one particular host over a period of several weeks, the more sensitized that host person becomes to their saliva fluid; eventually, the host will likely develop a mild to intense allergic response.

Are Bed Bug Bites Infectious?

Bed bug bites are NOT infectious!
Although some people experience the bites as itchy bumps they want to scratch until the cows come home, scratching the bites might lead to a secondary infection (of bacteria-induced Staphylococcus aureus, which IS infectious). The bites themselves, however, are not infectious. Keep your hands clean and don’t scratch. Easy for me to say.

Bed Bug Bites Treatment

What’s the most effective at-home bed bugs bites treatment? First, do not scratch your bites. Just like mosquito or other insect bites, scratching makes the reaction much worse. Instead, wash the area with warm soapy water and then use an anti-itch cream (i.e. Benadryl cream or Hydrocortisone cream) on the affected area.

What’s the most effective at-home bed bugs bites treatment? First, do not scratch your bites. Just like mosquito or other insect bites, scratching makes the reaction much worse. Instead, wash the area with warm soapy water and then use an anti-itch cream (i.e. Benadryl cream or Hydrocortisone cream) on the affected area.

Next: Pictures of Bed Bugs