Person in a bed pulling back bed sheets to show a cluster of bed bugs - Florida Pest Control, Gainesville FL

Thinking about bugs crawling around your bed is already bad enough. To make things worse, these pests are also known for biting. While the bites aren’t necessarily dangerous, they certainly aren’t something you want to deal with. Knowing how to identify bed bug bites could help you spot and treat infestations, so here’s what you need to know. 

Do Bed Bugs Only Bite at Night?

Bed bugs typically wait until their victims are resting before they feed, which usually means feeding at night. These pests are nocturnal and most active between two and five in the morning. That said, bed bugs can also alter their schedule to match yours; if you routinely sleep during the day, they may start emerging during that time to feed while you’re resting.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

As they bite, bed bugs inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant into your skin. This allows them to feed silently without you waking up or noticing, so you probably won’t discover bed bug bites until the morning afterward. Most bites appear within a few hours or days, and they usually look like very small, slightly swollen bumps. Many people also experience itchiness and redness. 

Bed bug bites can look an awful lot like other insect bites. However, the tiny welts usually appear in a zigzag pattern on skin that is exposed during the nighttime. The zigzag pattern can help you tell them apart from other types of bites. 

Do Bed Bugs Spread Diseases?

There are tons of rumors that bed bugs spread a plethora of dangerous diseases, from Chagas disease to leprosy or Q-fever. However, bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases while biting. There are currently no reported cases of bed bugs spreading illnesses to humans. 

While they’re not known to transmit diseases, bed bugs are capable of carrying various pathogens and bacterium. This can increase your risk of a secondary infection following a bite, especially if you don’t wash it or open the wound by scratching. Most of the time, though, this isn’t a major cause for concern.

Can Bed Bug Bites Be Dangerous?

Just because they aren’t known for spreading disease doesn’t mean that bed bugs are totally safe to have crawling around. For some people, the bites could trigger major rashes or allergic reactions. Touching or scratching the bite could also lead to blister-like welts that aren’t just painful, but difficult to heal.

The physical side effects aren’t the only concern, either. Having bed bugs can lead to mental health concerns like anxiety, insomnia, and other sleep conditions even after the insects are gone. Getting professional bed bug removal can offer some peace of mind, but the longer the infestation has been around, the harder it may be to recover mentally. 

Should I See a Doctor After a Bed Bug Bite?

Most bed bug bites are harmless and resolve on their own with simple home treatments. The typical symptoms—itchiness, redness, and slight swelling—are usually manageable without medical intervention. However, there are certain circumstances where you should seek help from a doctor:

  • Excessive swelling, especially of the face or lips
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pus or discharge from the bite
  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent or worsening symptoms

Do Bed Bug Bites Itch?

Yes, bed bug bites often become itchy after a few hours or days. Some people may also feel a bit of tenderness near the bite marks, making them a little painful to the touch. While it can be hard to resist the urge to scratch a bed bug bite, it’s important that you do; doing so could worsen the wound and leave you vulnerable to infections. 

Tips for Treating a Bed Bug Bite

Itching and skin irritation is a major problem for a lot of people who have been bitten by bed bugs. Proper treatment can help alleviate the symptoms and prevent further problems such as infections from scratching. If you have a bed bug bite, try following these steps for relief:

  • Wash the area with a gentle cleanser and water. 
  • Apply an antiseptic lotion or cream to reduce the risk of infection. 
  • Use an ice pack on the bites to reduce itchiness. 
  • Consider taking an over-the-counter antihistamine to counteract allergies. 
  • Wear loose and breathable clothing over the affected areas. 

What To Do If You Have Bed Bugs

The bottom line is, bed bugs and their bites aren’t pleasant. While they aren’t as dangerous as some types of pests, they aren’t a guest you want spending the night. If you suspect you have bed bugs, the best thing to do is contact your local pest control company. Bed bug removal experts can quickly identify infestations and build a plan of attack to eliminate the pests as quickly as possible. 

At Florida Pest Control, we know how stressful bed bugs are. You deserve peaceful rest at night without the fear of parasitic insects crawling around. That’s why we offer fast appointment times and state-of-the-art treatment options that get rid of bed bugs fast. If you want to learn about our process or schedule an appointment, call us today.

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