What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

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Getting out of bed with itchy bite marks on your arms and body in the morning can be fairly alarming. But it’s more unnerving to wonder whether you have bed bugs roaming around inside your mattress. With that said, what do bed bug bites look like?

In this article, I will explain exactly what bed bug bites look like and what you can do to treat and prevent them. After finishing this article, you will also understand how to tell apart bed bug bites from bites that other insects can inflict on you!

What do bed bugs bites look like?

What do bed bug bites look like

Bed bug bites are generally found to be on the parts of the body that are more likely to be exposed to them during sleep. This includes the arms, hands, neck, and face.

However, they can bite any part of the body. The bites often look like small red bumps or welts and can be itchy.

Bed bug bites can be quite difficult to identify, as they vary in size and shape. In general, the bites are usually small and red.

They may also have a black spot right in the center, which is caused by bed bug excrement. Additionally, bites can become swollen and itchy if someone is allergic to bed bug saliva.

In most cases, people bitten by bed bugs will experience a small area of bites or a zigzag pattern. The bites may become highly itchy, sensitive, inflamed, red, or blistered.

Treatment typically includes antihistamines and corticosteroids, while preventing future bug bites can be done through the use of insecticides or mattress covers.

The overall size of a bed bug bite is determined by how much anticoagulant the bed bug injects into your skin and also how sensitive you are to the bites.

Generally, people will have different reactions to bed bug bites, ranging from having no reaction at all to developing large welts on their skin.

Bed bug bites can be very difficult to identify, as they often look like other types of insect bites.

In fact, many people don’t realize they’ve been bitten by bed bugs until after the pests have had a chance to feed on their blood for several hours, or even days. This allows the bed bugs to multiply and spread throughout an area.

What are the symptoms of bed bug bites?

Bed bug bites can cause a great deal of itching. This is because the bed bugs inject an anesthetic into their victims to keep them from feeling the pain of the bite. Additionally, some people may experience other symptoms, such as swelling, redness, and bruising.

Itchiness is a common bed bug bite symptom

Many people who are bitten by bed bugs do not experience any symptoms at first.

However, the initial bite sensations may be burning and later develop into red bumps known as papules or wheals (rash). These bumps can be itchy and irritating. Some people also develop blisters or hives.

If a bed bug does, in fact, bite you, you may have other symptoms such as swelling, redness, and itchiness around the bite. Try to avoid scratching the area aggressively since it could lead to infection.

If the symptoms persist or worsen after a few days, contact your medical professional for further advice and treatment.

Why do bed bugs bite humans?

Bed bugs are parasites that require blood in order to survive. They will bite any warm-blooded animal, including humans. Bed bug bites can appear different on different people and can be difficult to diagnose.

Bed bugs will usually take more than one bite. This is because they often feed off of blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin. Further, they are attracted to their hosts by warmth and carbon dioxide emissions.

Bed bugs

Once they have bitten their host, they release an anticoagulant so that they can feed for an extended period of time. Bed bugs are very sensitive to movement, so they tend to bite humans when they are sleeping and are less likely to be disturbed.

Interestingly, the number of bites a person receives is not indicative of the number of bed bugs present. People can be bitten multiple times without having an infestation, and people who have an infestation may not have any bites.

What are the best ways to treat bedbug bites at home?

Bed bug bites typically get better within 1 to 2 weeks. However, there are a bunch of steps that you can take to help hasten the healing process and reduce the amount of malaise you experience.

These include applying a cold compress, using over-the-counter antihistamines or cortisone creams, and taking oral medications if necessary. The best ways to treat a bed bug bite are as follows –

Over-the-counter medication

These include over-the-counter creams and Benadryl, antihistamines, and pain relievers.

A cold cloth or ice packs

If you are unlucky enough to experience the bites of bed bugs, the best way to treat the bites is by applying a cold cloth or ice pack wrapped in a towel. This will immensely help to reduce the swelling and inflammation left behind by the bite.

Baking soda and water

You can also use baking soda to treat bed bug bites. You should apply a thin paste of baking soda and water. Baking soda is a natural astringent and can help reduce swelling and itching. Additionally, be sure to keep the bitten area clean and free from infection.

How to prevent bedbug bites?

The ideal way to avoid bed bug bites is to prevent these parasites from entering your home and your sleeping space. I have elaborated on some of the ways to prevent bed bugs and, consequently, bed bug bites in the first place!

Travelers must decontaminate their luggage routinely.

Travelers often pick up bed bugs by living in hotels that have existing bed bug infestations.

Therefore, decontaminating your luggage, clothes, and belongings when you return home is one of the most important things you can do. You could also opt for a bedbug spray or mattress cover to protect yourself from future infestations.

Isolate your luggage and wash Or treat it with heat

When you return from a trip, keep your suitcase away from your bed and put your clothes through a hot water-based washing cycle before folding them and placing them in your closet. This will help to prevent bedbugs from coming into your home and biting you.

Treat and isolate any new secondhand furniture that you bring home.

It is important to inspect any secondhand furniture, linen, or clothing for signs of bedbugs before bringing it into your home. This will help you avoid bringing in any unwanted pests that could cause an infestation in your home.

Store and transport any laundry infested with bed bugs in sealed plastic bags.

If you live in an apartment with other people or share a laundry room with others, using sealed plastic bags can help to prevent bed bug infestations.

By transporting your laundry in sealed bags, you can avoid contact with the bugs and stop them from spreading. Additionally, always remember to fold your clothes once you get home instead of doing so at the shared space.

What does A bed bug bite look like when compared to flea bites?

Flea bites

Fleas and bedbugs are both parasites that feed on the blood of humans and other animals. They can both cause red bumps on your skin, which is why it can be difficult to tell them apart.

Bedbugs are more likely to bite the upper parts of your body, while fleas are more likely to bite your feet and ankles.

Flea bites and bedbug bites look very similar, but there are a few distinctions. Fleabites are generally smaller and can be more numerous.

Bedbug bites often appear in clusters or lines, whereas flea bites are usually isolated. Additionally, bedbugs can be small and look like a pimple, while fleas tend to be bigger and have a blackhead.

While identifying whether you’ve been bitten by a bed bug or a flea, you also need to verify whether these pests are in your environment or not. Therefore, it is important to remember that bedbugs leave behind dark spots from their excrement, while fleas typically do not.

Finally, you can check for bugs by looking for their eggs and molted skin around mattress seams, cracks of bed frames and headboards, and baseboards around beds. Bedbugs also tend to live in clusters, whereas fleas generally bite one person at a time.

What do bedbug bites look like when compared to mosquito bites?


Bedbug bites are often mistaken for mosquito bites. While there are other bites that look like bed bug bites, there are a few key distinctions that can help you determine if you’ve been bitten by a bedbug.

Bedbug bites typically appear in small clusters in a pattern, while mosquito bites can be more random.

Additionally, bedbugs inject an anesthetic into their victims to keep them from feeling the bite, so sometimes, people don’t realize they’ve been bitten until later. If you’re not sure what bit you, take a picture and compare it to images of both types of bites.

Mosquito bites and bedbug bites are both itchy and can get better without any treatment. However, if the itch is driving you crazy, you can try using a cold compress, calamine lotion, or oral antihistamines to help relieve the itch.

What do bed bug bites look like in comparison to spider bites?

Bedbug bites and spider bites look very similar. They are both red and itchy, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. However, thankfully, there are a few key differences in the way these bites manifest on your skin.

Bedbugs tend to bite in clusters, while spiders typically bite one at a time. Bedbug bites also tend to be more symmetrical than spider bites. Additionally, bedbugs release an odor when they bite, which is not present with spider bites.

Bug bites, in general, often take longer to heal than other types of bug bites. However, bedbug bites are especially notorious for this because they tend to be itchier and cause more skin irritation than other types of bug bites.

In addition, if these bug bites become infected, they can potentially cause serious skin injuries.

How long do bed bug bites generally stay Itchy?

Bed bug bites can vary in terms of both their appearance and how long they itch. Some people may only experience a mild rash or no reaction at all.

For others, however, the bites can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. The duration of the itching is also highly variable- some people may only have a few itchy days while others may suffer for weeks.

How Long Does Bed Bug Bite Last?

Bed bug bites usually last around 10 to 14 days. The severity of the bite will ultimately depend on a variety of factors, including the person’s sensitivity, the size of the bed bug, and how many times it has bitten someone.

In some cases, bed bug bites can cause an allergic reaction and require medical attention.

Typically, those with more sensitive skin see the bed bug bites within less than an hour after being bitten. For many humans, it could take up to 30 days for the bites to disappear completely.

The bites usually last for a week or two but can persist for longer periods of time if scratched aggressively, become infected, or are left untreated.

Can Bed Bug Bites Kill You?

No, bed bug bites cannot kill you. Typically, bed bug bites manifest by way of a mild allergic reaction that causes skin irritation symptoms. It is quite rare for a bed bug bite to cause an allergic reaction severe enough to cause death in a person.

Show me a picture of a bed bug bite.

Bed bug bites


The fact is that bed bug bites look like small clusters of red and itchy rashes on your skin. While they can cause a fair amount of discomfort, you can treat them using simple and easily accessible methods such as OTC corticosteroids and other home remedies.

Therefore, as long as you are aware of what a bed bug bite looks like, you can take the proper steps to treat them without having to worry much about your health!

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.