Bed Bugs

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Bed Bug Bites

One of the first signs that you may have slept in a bed with bed bugs are the bites you see after you wake up.

However, it is difficult to tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a bite from any other insect when you look at them in isolation to the other signs.

So, how do you know whether the bite you’ve received is from a bed bug? Here are a few things to look out for.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

What do bed bug bites look like? By looking at the pattern of bites, the location on your body and the approximate time they may have happened, may help to correctly identify the culprit of your insect bites.

Bite Patterns

  • Bed bug bites are generally small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin. Redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur on these spots.
  • Several bites tend to appear in a line or row along an exposed area, such as an arm or leg as a single bed bug may bite more than once in the same area, if disturbed whilst feeding. Bites found in different parts of the body can indicate being bitten by several different bed bugs.
  • A small proportion of people can react very badly to their bites and develop a skin rash. The red spots which indicate the location of a bite, may become raised and very itchy over time.

Interestingly, adults can survive approximately 1 year without feeding, and immature bed bugs (nymphs) can go 3-4 months without feeding.

Bite Locations

Bed bug bites can occur anywhere on the body but are often close to blood vessels near the skin. Check for signs of bites on your:

  • neck
  • face
  • hands
  • arms
  • legs
  • torso

When Do Bites Happen?

  • Bites often occur at night when we are sleeping.
  • Bed bug bites are unlikely to wake the host (victim), as bed bugs inject an anaesthetic whilst drawing blood from the host (victim).

How To Treat Bed Bug Bites

If you only have a few bites, treatment is often not necessary. However, if the bites start to cause you distress, become itchy or turns into a more severe rash, you should consult a medic for professional treatment.

The majority of people do not develop a bad reaction to bites and there is no need to worry about transmitted diseases.

Medical Treatment

Treatment will completely depend on the individual and the severity of the bites and may include:

  • mild steroid cream applied to skin
  • antihistamine tablets taken orally to relieve itching
  • antibiotics - these are only offered to people, who may have developed a rash of fluid-filled blisters, which can become infected if scratched

Emotional distress, resulting from the fear of bed bugs and their bites, is often more difficult to treat than the bites.

Worried About Your Bites?

Prevention is better than cure! Look for signs of bed bugs as soon as you arrive in a hotel.

However, if you do happen to get bitten by a bed bug or two and they are causing you pain, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Call Ehrlich at or contact us online for a FREE bed bug inspection and immediate treatment.