How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?

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Have you ever wondered How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last? 

Bites from bed bugs resemble little red welts and might linger for two weeks or longer. You’ll want to discover how long bed bug bites endure as much as you’ll want to track down the causes that lead to bed bugs inhabiting your home. 

Here are some bed bug bite facts and what to expect if you believe you’ve been bitten.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bedbugs are the tiny members of the genus Cimex that feed on warm-blooded animals’ blood.

Their bites are usually painless, but they can cause a great deal of itchiness. Bed bug bites resemble spider or mosquito bites in appearance, with red circular-raised lumps in the middle and a little dark area in the center.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last

However, what distinguishes bed bugs from other insects is that their bites frequently appear in a line on one section or side of your body.

This results from a process known as “probing”; the bed bugs probe the skin in various locations, most likely to find the best access to blood.

Itchy red welts on the skin caused by bed bug bites can linger for several days.

On the other hand, bed bug bites cause diverse reactions in different people. A bite may or may not leave a mark on certain persons.

Whereas individuals with more severe allergic reactions to bed bug bites will notice bigger, swollen, and itchy markings.

Excessive scratching increases the risk of subsequent infection as the bites become more inflamed.

How Do You Know if Your Bites Are from Bed Bugs?

Bite mark, sting or sore on human skin. Close up of symptoms. Healthcare theme.

Identifying a Bed bug bites can be difficult as they often look like other insect bites. However, a few key signs will help you determine if bed bugs have bitten you.

  • Welts or Red bumps
  • Bed bug bites are distinguished by their linear or zig-zag pattern, ranging in size from ΒΌ to 2 inches in diameter.
  • Usually aren’t dangerous.

Moreover, as the appearance of bug bites is so similar to that of other pests, it’s often impossible to tell if the bites are from bed bugs unless, of course, you come across these apple seed-shaped bloodsucking insects or indications of an infestation, 

However, some tell-tale symptoms increase the likelihood that they are if:

  • The bedsheets have smeared blood or blood particles on them (which is bed bug excrement).
  • You’ve awoken with red lumps on your skin that weren’t there before you went to bed. Bite marks commonly appear on the face, back, shoulders, neck, arms, hands, and legs, which are frequently exposed while sleeping.
  • You’ve purchased secondhand furniture like a bed frame, box spring, or mattress. Purchasing old furniture is one of the most common ways to get bed bugs.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Take to Show Up?

When a bed bug bites you, you may not detect it immediately. 

And because bites don’t always show up right away, it’s typical for people to go unnoticed after being bitten. 

A bite might emerge anywhere between a few hours and a few days after the encounter.

Furthermore, as the bed bugs have special saliva that contains an anesthetic (acting as a numbing agent), you will not feel bitten. This is an important part of their feeding process because it can take up to 10 minutes to eat.

How Long Does Bed Bug Bites Last?

Bed bug bites on human skin  or bedbug infestation concept as a magnification close up of  parasitic insect pests as a hygiene symbol and health danger of bloodsucking parasites with 3D illustration elements.

How long do bed bug bites last on your skin, is administered on a case-by-case basis. The time it takes for bed bug bites to completely heal varies depending on the person inflicted.

Bed bug bites usually persist for around a week or two. The welts and itching of insect bites will disappear in a few days for some people who aren’t particularly sensitive to them.

On the other hand, bed bug bites might cause allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to insect bites. When scratched excessively, these result in larger bite marks, which might turn into blisters. As a result, the recovery time is extended significantly.

The administration of some home and/or medical therapies might also impact the timeframe of bed insect bites, significantly helping in soothing the effect.

Do bed bug bites itch and hurt?

According to studies, the human immune system often does not react to the first bite because it has never been exposed to the bed bug’s salivary proteins.

As a result, responses are more likely to occur after multiple bites.

Having said that, most people who are bitten by bed bugs will experience some type of reaction, though the severity can vary.

The most common symptoms include itchiness and redness around the bite site.

In more severe cases, bed bug bites can cause an allergic reaction, which results in urticaria (inflammation and swelling of the skin) at the bite site.

First, you may experience a little burning sensation, followed by red welts on your skin that are usually irritating.

The welts are often unpleasant and large in people who respond more severely.

They can develop blood blisters and have a lot of irritation. As previously stated, this can also occur after being bitten repeatedly over some time.

Bed bug bites can cause trouble breathing, a swollen tongue, fever, and anemia in the most severe cases. Fortunately, anaphylactic shock is exceedingly uncommon.

Do Bed Bugs Bite Every Night?

Bed bugs are parasites that live off human blood. They are often found in mattresses, bed frames, and headboards. While they do not typically pose a serious health risk, their bites can be quite itchy and uncomfortable.

And although adult bed bugs only need to feed once a month, the nymphs will feed more often and can do so up to seven times in one week.

This is why it is important to get rid of bed bugs as soon as you notice them because they can quickly become an infestation.

In fact, if you have a large infestation in your home, you may experience bug bites every night as the bugs swarm to your blood.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Itch For?

So, how long do bed bug bites last on humans and itch? Itching from bed bug bites can last anywhere from one to two weeks, depending on the individual. Bed bugs can cause itching, irritation, skin inflammation, and even hives.

If the itching progresses to a rash, the symptoms may persist for up to a month, depending on the individual. For instance, if you’re allergic to bed bugs, the symptoms can have long-term health consequences.

Do Bed Bug Bites Spread When Scratched?

Itchy bed bug bites on a woman's lower back and buttocks

Scratching bed bug bites will not spread them, but they will worsen. Scratching can make bites bleed, inflame them, and leave them scarred. Bite wounds can become septic and dangerous in severe circumstances.

To avoid anything more than moderate discomfort, try one or all of the following therapies instead of scratching:

Antihistamine Cream:

Bed bug bites can be irritating and itchy. If you are looking for relief, using an over-the-counter antihistamine cream can help.

It is important to read the label of the cream to make sure that it is safe for use on the skin and does not contain any ingredients that could worsen the bite.

Icepacks or Cooling Lotions:

A simple icepack from the freezer is quick and effective at relieving irritation.

Furthermore, calamine lotion or aloe vera gel are two over-the-counter options for calming the redness and inflammation.

Oral Antihistamines

Oral antihistamines are medicines that can lessen the stinging sensations and keep you from responding to the bites. They’re most effective when taken just after being bitten, but you can benefit from them at any time.

Antibiotics (only when infected)

Bed bug bites can become infected if not treated properly. If you are bitten, it is important to seek medical attention and to take antibiotics if prescribed. Antibiotics are a type of medication that is used to treat and prevent infections.

Depending on the severity of the infection, antibiotics may need to be taken for a few days or a few weeks.

Do Bed Bug Bites Leave Scars?

In most cases, bed bug bites will not leave any scar or permanent marking.

Though bites can be unpleasant, especially if they occur on your face, neck, or arms, they are not dangerous.

However, If you scratch the bites, you’re only increasing the chances of permanent skin damage. This is due to the fact that scratching the skin with sharp nails will break the skin and result in an open wound. Open wounds, on the other hand, can be deadly.

Obviously, resisting the need to itch might be difficult, so keep your bites covered and your mind occupied.

Use the fleshy section of your finger, not your nails, to scratch the bite. Make every effort to avoid tearing the skin.

How to treat bed bug bites?

Bed bug bites are itchy and irritating. It is important to treat them gently so that you do not further irritate the skin.

There are various ways to treat bed bug bites, including using topical ointments, taking antihistamines, and applying cold compresses.

Furthermore, it is extremely important not to scratch the bites. This is because scratching the bites can cause skin tears and bacteria to enter the wound, leading to infection.

Symptoms of infection include redness, swelling, drainage, fever, and pain

In case you experience any of these symptoms, or if they persist or worsen after a week, it is best to seek medical attention.

Can bed bug bites be prevented?

Bed bug bites are best avoided by regularly examining your home for indicators of bed bug presence.

You may also reduce your chances of bringing bed bugs into your house by following these simple steps:

  • In case you reside in any kind of shared living, aim to keep your unit as private as possible. To keep bed bugs out of your house, seal crevices around baseboards, light sockets, and doors.
  • If you’re traveling, look for indicators of bed bugs in your room. Check your hotel room/stay space’s bed (drawback the sheets/check mattress) and all upholstered furniture. Before packing for your return trip home, inspect your luggage.
  • When you get home from a trip, wash all of your clothes right away in hot, soapy water and dry them on high heat for 20 minutes.
  • Secure mattresses and box springs with plastic covers.
  • Vacuum on a regular basis, especially in the sleeping areas. 
  • Eliminate debris in your home to prevent potential hiding spots for bed bugs.
  • Make sure they are in good condition before adding any used furniture or mattresses to your home.


Bed bug bites have a varied effect on humans. Some bite marks fade naturally within a few days, while others are caused by allergic reactions and take much longer to heal.

Regardless of one’s sensitivity to bed bug bites, it’s critical to avoid scratching them and to seek medical care to treat them properly. And the best method to avoid future bed bug bites is to ensure that these pests do not repopulate your home, particularly in your bedroom.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.