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What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like

With the news being flooded about the rise of bed bugs in cities across the United States most Americans are still “wondering what do bed bug bites look like?” and “how can they be treated?”. Bed bugs are becoming more common in the United States, and bed bug infestations have been escalating since about 1995.

What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like



Somehow bed bugs were apparently common until the 1940s, when synthetic pesticides like DDT were introduced. Common theories as to their resurgence suggest that the cause is a lack of natural predators and species-wide resistance to several classes of pesticides.

Bed bugs are subtle nocturnal feeders that hide in bedding, mattresses/box springs, and furniture. They puncture the skin of their victims and feed on their blood.

Such as mosquitoes and lice, their saliva contains proteins that anticoagulate blood and cause local allergic reactions. The bites themselves resemble small red spider bites that itch.

What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like

This question is asked all the time.  Many people will claim to be able to tell you what they look like.  The fact is, NO ONE can accurately diagnose a bed bug bite by looking at it.  Not even doctors.  Everyone can react to a bite differently.  The amount of redness, swelling and itching have more to do with how your immune system reacts than with the bug that bit you.

Are bed bug bites usually in a straight line?


Occasionally, but certainly not always.  Here’s why.  The bed bug doesn’t necessarily need to climb onto you to feed.  It can travel across the bed to the point where your skin meets the sheet, and bite you while still being on the sheet.

If it bites more than once, or if multiple bugs are feeding in the same area, this could result in bites that are more or less in line.  Does that always happen?  Definitely not.  Does it usually happen that way?  Not necessarily.  Sometimes?  Yes.

Bedbug bites how do they look like?


Other people’s skin is reactive to bed bug bites while others do not react all together. For the later, the following signs are likely to be visible from the bed bug bite.


  1. A red dark center surrounded by red area with a swelling
  2. Small bed bug bite site area with grouped or lined bites
  3. Bedbugs bite area have spots or swellings
  4. Bed bug bites can occur all over the body and specifically along the exposed skin areas such as along the arms, hands, legs and face.

What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like

Final Thoughts on What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?


People will often wonder why only one person, or a few people in the household are getting bites.  It is not  because the bugs like that person better.  It is typically because they are having a reaction to the bites and others in the household are being bitten but not having an allergic reaction to it.

If a person is living with bed bugs but does not have an allergic reaction to the bites, the population can often become quite large before it is detected.  (I call these people ‘feeders’)





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