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Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

It can be difficult to distinguish bed bug bites from other insect bites. In general, the sites of bed bug bites usually are:

  • Red, often with a darker red spot in the middle
  • Itchy
  • Arranged in a rough line or in a cluster
  • Located on the face, neck, arms and hands

The bed bug rash begins with a red, small and round (from being inflamed), bump that looks more swollen than a mosquito rash. When you suspect a bed bug rash, examine it for a few days. The rash can cause prolonged itching for days. Also, a bed bug rash doesn’t heal as quickly as mosquito bites and can remain swollen for weeks.

The bed bugs insert the fine stylets from their beaks directly into the skin of the victim in search of a tiny blood vessels, they may move and bite repeatedly until they find the right spot, or they may also move if disturbed by the movement of the host. At each bite point the beak releases saliva that contains anticoagulants and anesthetics. Usually, bed bugs only bite exposed parts of the skin, not covered by clothing so the face, arms and legs are the most common places for bites to occur.

The reaction that people experience from bed bug bites will vary widely from person to person – with some experiencing no reaction at all while others have small itchy red or white bumps, even blisters or pustules. The bed bug rash can take a few minutes or as many as 14 days to appear. This is determined by the body’s response to the chemicals secreted by the bugs.

Because bed bug bites are very similar in appearance to bites by other insects, people very rarely suspect bed bugs to be the culprit of their rash, which gives the bed bugs more time to reproduce and spread throughout the home – and possibly into surrounding structures. This is why it is imperative to do an inspection of your sleeping quarters as soon as you begin experiencing the appearance of insect bites or rashes.

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