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How To Identify Bed Bug Bites

Searching For Bed Bugs With Magnifying Glass

It is very easy to get confused between bed bug bites and normal skin rashes. Both have similar symptoms and appearances. 

However, bed bug bites have certain very distinct characteristics that cannot be detected if you don’t know what you’re looking for. So, we’re here to help you identify those characteristics that will help you to differentiate between a bed bug bite and a normal rash.

Once you are able to distinguish between these two, you can easily decide on suitable treatment options and avoid severe infections. 

So, without wasting any more time, let us get on with it! 

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are very small insects that are parasitic and feed on human blood. So, like mosquitoes, bed bugs are also bloodsuckers. They do not transmit or carry any harmful diseases or pathogens, unlike mosquitoes. However, they can be a serious health concern to the public under extreme circumstances.

These bed bugs usually hitchhike with people on their clothing or luggage. They are common among tourists and are frequently associated with travelling. They can go easily unnoticed by people owing to their small size. You need to carefully look for the signs associated with bed bug bites to detect an infestation. 

Measurements Of An Adult Bed Bug

Why Do Bed Bugs Bite?

As we mentioned, bed bugs are like mosquitoes as they feed on human blood for their nutrition. They possess a small and fine tube-like structure known as the proboscis that is used to pierce the outer skin layer and drink blood. 

So, in order to complete their lifecycle and reach the adult stage, these bugs need to feed on human blood during their immature stages. Adult female bugs need to feed on blood to produce and lay eggs. Hence, bed bugs bite to feed on human blood for their survival. However, they do not transmit any known pathogen or disease through these bites. 

Where Do The Bites Occur?

Bed bugs are most active during the night or early in the morning when you’re enjoying a deep slumber. Most of the time, you won’t even feel the sting from their bite. They usually bite the body parts that are exposed to them when you are asleep. So, the bite marks mostly occur on the arms, legs, neck, shoulders, and even on the face. 

Furthermore, the bite marks can also occur in groups or clusters on the body in some cases. Thus, you are more likely to find bite marks on exposed body parts as compared to covered areas like the abdomen or chest.

How Do The Bites Look?

In most cases, the bites do not cause any clear or major symptoms. They normally look like small, reddish, flat or raised areas that can cause irritation, itchiness, and even blisters. So, typical inflammation, redness, and itchiness are normal reactions to a bug bite.

However, the marks can appear a few days after the bites, so you might not be able to spot the bite marks right away. Even though the bite marks may look similar to skin rashes, their symptoms vary largely from person to person. So, along with identifying the bite marks, you also need to detect the symptoms of bed bug bites. 

Woman With Bed Bug Bites On Her Back

Common Signs And Symptoms Of Bed Bug Bites

The symptoms usually occur soon after the bite and develop over time. All bed bug bites cause irritation and discomfort. The symptoms also include swelling or inflammation, along with redness of the affected area. 

A painful burning sensation around the bite mark is also common in some cases. The bite mark also swells to form a red and itchy bump with a prominent centre. In some cases, the centre also starts ejecting puss-like fluids. 

The formation of blisters around the bite mark can occur in some people, especially when the bite marks are clustered together. Additionally, you can easily identify the marks on the body as bug bites if you find small and dried blood spots on the bed sheets from the bite. 

Usually, the symptoms of these bed bug times start fading after a few days. The bite marks also start to heal. However, you may face some extreme symptoms if you are hypersensitive to bed bug bites. These severe symptoms may include breathing difficulties, blisters, high fever, nausea, swollen tongue, and an irregular heartbeat.

Some people also exhibit flu-like symptoms if they are hypersensitive to these bug bites. In such cases, you need to consult a doctor immediately. Thus, the symptoms of bed bug bite largely depend on the individual and their sensitivity towards such bug bites. 

Lifecycle Of A Bed Bug

Symptoms Related To Infection

If you are highly sensitive to bed bug times, you are more likely to suffer from infections as compared to other people. Serious infections can cause blistering of the skin as well as shortness of breath. It is also common to feel a burning sensation in the bitten area if there’s an infection.

Infections can also occur if you accidentally tear the skin of the bitten area with your nails due to excessive itching. In such cases, pus-like fluids may come out from the centre of the bite mark. Furthermore, you may also suffer from a high fever if the infection is severe. 

Treatment Options

The treatment options are fairly simple when the bug bites do not cause severe infections. You can easily treat the bite marks by keeping them clean and washing them gently with soap and water. However, if the bites are itchy, you can use hydrocortisone, antihistamines, or any medical grade anti-itch ointments. 

The wounds and bite mark usually heal after a few days. But, if you are hypersensitive and facing severe symptoms, you need to seek medical help immediately. If you suffer from a dramatic immune response as a result of allergens, epinephrine medication and antihistamines can be a good course of treatment. 

Additionally, prescribed antibiotics can work well if there’s any infection from the bug bites. If you discover that your home or bedroom is infested with bed bugs, call a professional for pest control services immediately. A professional pest control service will exterminate both the bed bugs and their eggs to ensure no further infestation occurs.

How To Tell If You Have Been Bitten By A Bed Bug 

After going through the guide, we hope you have a better idea about bed bugs and how to identify and treat these bug bites. We understand that it can be a lot of information for you to process.

So, we will suggest that you take some time to do your own research. And, if you’re facing any of the signs and symptoms as discussed above, consult a doctor to get proper treatment. 

On that note, we’re signing off. Hope you stay healthy and take care! 

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