Do Bed Bugs Bite People? Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

Picture of Two Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Bites

Though not known to carry or transmit diseases, bed bugs are nonetheless considered significant nuisances or pests because of the bites the parasitic insects inflict on sleeping humans and other animals in order to ingest blood meals necessary for growth and egg production. Bed bug bites often serve as the first sign of a serious infestation, as the bloodthirsty insects typically remain hidden during the day and, when inhabiting indoor structures, tend to emerge only at night and feed on the sleeping residents.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Picture of Bed Bug Bites on Skin

When bed bugs bite, the saliva often produces an allergic reaction that causes welts to form on the skin of the victim. Itchy and red, the welts caused by bed bugs frequently resemble the bites of fleas or mosquitoes. Multiple bed bug bites sometimes produce welts arranged in straight lines or clusters.

The exact allergic reaction to a bed bug bite varies from person to person. Some people end up with no visible reaction to the bites, while others may react more severely than normal and develop swelling, blisters, or hives. Bite marks sometimes take up to two weeks to appear. Despite the unpleasant appearance of a typical bed bug bite, the bite itself is actually painless and often goes unnoticed by the sleeping victim.

Bed bugs produce an anesthetic, which the insects use to numb the bite site when they feed. The biting parasites also utilize inherently produced anticoagulants that thin the blood of the host and make the bite even harder to detect. Feeding sessions typically last about five minutes.

Bed Bug Bite Treatment

The treatment of bed bug bites rarely necessitates professional medical attention. Victims of bed bug bites should avoid itching the bites and wash the bite sites with soap and water before applying any type of antiseptic or topical steroid creams that help alleviate itchiness and prevent infection.

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