Bed bugs are rarely caught in the act because they are nocturnal and usually bite people while they are sleeping. Additionally, bed bugs inject an anesthetic when they bite that prevents the bite from being felt and possibly waking the sleeper. So how do you know if those red, itchy bites you woke up with are from bed bugs?
Recognizing Bed Bug Bites
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
The bitten area may be red, with the surrounded skin appearing swollen or inflamed. Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites do not have a red spot in the center. The skin around the bite may be irritated or itchy. Since a single bed bug may bite multiple times, bites may be found in clusters of three or more. These bites can occur in a straight line or a random pattern.
Where Do Bed Bugs Bite?
While flea bites are usually found near the ankles, bed bug bites tend to be on the face, neck, arms, and hands. Although, bed bug bites can be found on any part of the body that is exposed during sleep.
Other Signs of Infestation
If you’ve examined your bites and you’re still not sure if bedbugs are the culprit, there are a few other signs and symptoms of bed bug investigation.
- Molted Exoskeletons: Bed bugs shed their exoskeletons after feeding as they mature.
- Blood Spots: The fecal material of bed bugs is laden with blood and may leave rusty colored spots on sheets, mattresses, or nearby furniture.
- Smell: Bed bug scent glands produce a sweet, musty odor
If you wake up with bug bites and have any of the above symptoms, you may have a bed bug infestation.
What To Do If You've Been Bitten by Bed Bugs
The good news is that for most people, bed bugs do not cause medical concerns. Symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as painful swelling near the bite, may need to be evaluated by a medical professional.
Contact a Pest Professional
Some pest concerns can be handled by homeowners, but bed bugs are particularly difficult to eradicate and should be dealt with by a professional.