The bed bug infects one out of five American homes, according to a survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Bed bugs are tiny, flat insect with a reddish-brown, oval-shaped body. The adult bed bug is about equal in size to an apple seed. Bed bugs are parasitic, feeding on the blood of humans and animals.
How to Identify Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs typically bite at night and usually live within eight feet of where a person sleeps, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s common to find bed bug bites on parts of the body that become exposed during sleep like your neck, face, shoulders, hands, arms, feet and even legs. Bites also may appear on the back and abdomen as bed bugs can find their way under loose clothing.
To identify a bed bug bite, consider the following:
Location of the bite
Bed Bug Bite Pattern and Characteristics
Bed bug bites generally appear in patterns or clustered together in a group of about three to five bites. Sometimes the bites look like a straight line or a zigzag pattern. The bed bug pierces the skin when they extract the blood. They may stick your skin more than one place, looking for a tiny blood vessel. Each time you’re stuck, the bed bug releases its saliva into your skin. The saliva contains proteins and enzymes that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The reaction may cause the bite to appear reddish, bumpy, welt-like or even blistered with a pustule. A bed bug bite reaction may occur minutes after being bit or may take as long as 14 days to appear.
Is a Bed Bug Bite Dangerous?
Every individual and animal reacts differently to a bed bug bite. According to the CDC, “Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction.” The CDC affirms that in general, a bed bug bit is not dangerous; however, multiple bites plus an allergic reaction may require medical attention.
Bed Bug Bite or Other Insect: Common Misconceptions
Unfortunately, bed bug bites can resemble other insect bites and often are mistaken for flea, mosquito and spider bites. Mosquitoes thrive in warm and moist environments so if your bites have appeared when the temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s unlikely that it was a mosquito. Spider bites can cause localized pain, while flea bites tend to be concentrated on the arms and legs. The best way to determine if the bites are from bed bugs is to conduct a bed bug search in the room.
How to Search for Bed Bugs
Begin looking for bed bugs in and around the bed. Evidence of bed bugs include tiny specks of blood or black specks (excrement) as well as shell-like remains as bed bugs shed their exoskeletons. Look for these signs on all the bed linens, especially in the seams and on the upholstery of any furniture in the room. Inspect the folds of shades, curtains and other window coverings. Look under bedside alarm clocks, lamp bases and in the lamp shade folds. Don’t forget to inspect the headboard, footboard, any stuffed animals and any luggage or items stored beneath the bed.
Bed bugs are a problem and if not properly removed, the infestation will grow and spread. Rely on a professional team like All Bed Bugs Be Gone to effectively remove bed bugs from your home. All Bed Bugs Be Gone offers a 100-percent green bed bug removal operation that’s safe for your family and pets.