Health

Bed bugs: What do bed bug bites look like? How to identify a bed bug infestation


Bed bugs are little blood-sucking insects that live in cracks and crevices in and around beds.

They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin to feed on blood.

“Bed bugs aren’t dangerous and don’t spread any diseases, but some people experience a reaction to their bites and they can be stressful to live with,” said the NHS.

Despite what some people think, bed bugs are visible to the human eye – they can grow up to 5mm in length.

However, as they are nocturnal and good at hiding in cracks and crevices, they can be difficult to spot.

Not being able to spot bed bugs can make it hard to know if you have an infestation, but if you are waking up in the morning with bites on your body, it could be a sign.

What do bed bug bites look like?

Bed bug bites can cause red bumps in the skin, which can be similar in appearance to mosquito or other insect bites.

Bed bug bites are painless, but can be very itchy.

Bites from bed bugs also usually occur on exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands or arms, or any skin that is exposed during the night.

According to the NHS, bed bug bites may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters in more severe cases.

How are bed bug bites different to bites from other insects?

As bed bugs are crawling insects, their bites often occur in lines or clusters across the skin, as they bite you whilst crawling.

Flying insects like mosquitoes are more likely to bite in random places as they fly.

How else can you identify a bed bug infestation?

If you are getting bitten in the night, the first thing you can do to identify an infestation is examine your bed.

Shine a torch into any cracks in the bed frame where bed bugs could be hiding, as well as any furniture next to the bed.

Check the mattress and sheets for tiny brown or black stains, which could be bed bug poo.

The same goes for small blood stains, which could occur if you have rolled over and squashed a bed bug in your sleep.

Bed bugs also shed their skin as they grow, so look out for any mottled bed bug shells.



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