Bed bugs are hard to detect in your home, especially if you’ve never had them and don’t know what to look for. Suspicious looking bites are generally one of the first signs that you may have bed bugs.
Bed bugs will bite anywhere on the body where there is skin. You may not feel it right away because they excrete a tiny amount of anesthetic before feeding on people. The majority of all bed bug bites will produce some degree of discomfort, such as itchiness and inflammation. The symptoms may develop immediately after the bite to days or even weeks later. Some people have no reaction to bed bug bites, while others experience an allergic reaction that can include severe itching, blisters or hives that may require medical attention.
Most people do not realize they are being bitten right away, in fact, it can take weeks or even months to realize that the bites are becoming a recurring pattern. Also, bed bugs may not feed every single night, thus making it even more difficult to detect that there is a problem.
Bed bug bites may be hard to distinguish from other insect bites or rashes, however, certain symptoms and signs to pay attention to include:
- bites tend to occur on areas exposed during sleeping, such as the neck, face, hands, shoulders, back, arms and legs
- a burning painful sensation
- a raised itchy bump with a clear center
- a red itchy bump with a dark center and lighter swollen surrounding area
- multiple or clusters of small red bumps or welts in a zigzag pattern or a line
- small red bumps surrounded by blisters or hives
It is important to take the necessary precautions to keep the bite area clean and protected. Try to refrain from scratching as much as possible to prevent bleeding and infection. For more information on how to treat bed bug bites, it’s best to consult with a medical professional for over the counter or prescribed treatment options.
For more serious allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention include:
- difficulty breathing
- feeling nauseous or flu-like
- swollen tongue
- irregular heartbeat