Where Do Bed Bugs Bite People?

Have you recently found red, swollen marks on your body and wondered if they could be bed bug bites? We sincerely hope not, because bed bug infestations are a nightmare.

Where do bed bugs bite people?

Here are a few facts about bed bug bites:

  • bed bug bites are often found on the face, legs, arms, shoulders, and neck. 
  • Bed bug bites can occur anywhere the body is exposed as you sleep. 
  • Bites from bed bugs lead to itchy welts that usually have a zigzag-pattern appearance. 

You can get bed bugs in all parts of the world in every location, from shelters to dormitories to movie theaters to homesteads and five-star hotels. You can also get them from cruise ships, Ubers, trains, and buses. 

In this article, we’ll go over the details of where bed bugs bite people, and the signs to watch out for.


Bed Bugs 101

A bed bug is a tiny, flat, oval-shaped insect with a reddish-brown color. This insect feeds on a blood meal from animals or humans.

They reside in bed and furniture crevices, clothing, and carpet, among other belongings.

The life span of bed bugs, whose scientific name is Cimex lectularius, is around 6-24 months.

For survival, these insects have to feed for an average of three to seven days. However, they can go for several months without feeding under tough conditions.

Since bed bugs cannot fly, they rely on humans and animals to move from one place to another. They are mostly active during the night and will typically invade your home from infested second-hand furniture or by latching on to your clothing or luggage. Bed bugs can travel from that apartment to yours if you live next to an infested building, though they don’t really live outdoors

Female bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime, which look like tiny grains of rice, the size of a grain of salt.

The high reproduction rate raises the chances of an infestation if your bed bug situation is not immediately addressed. This is why you should take quick action to exterminate them as soon as you notice their presence. 

If you can afford it, hire a professional for assistance. Do you really want to spend months worried that anywhere you, you’ll be spreading your bed bug infestation?

No!


Signs of Bed Bug Infestation

Even though the rhyme goes “don’t let the bed bugs bite”, bed bugs don’t really bite. Instead, they have a needle-like straw through which they suck your blood. Bed bugs come out to feed mostly at night when they will pierce the skin of a sleeping individual and withdraw blood via their elongated proboscis.

They will feed for around three to ten minutes and then crawl back into hiding after becoming engorged. 

Even though the rhyme goes “don’t let the bed bugs bite”, bed bugs don’t really bite. Instead, they have a needle-like straw through which they suck your blood.

Waking up with several itchy areas, particularly after purchasing second-hand furniture or a bed, likely suggests bed bugs’ invasion.

Other signs suggesting a possible invasion include:

  • Stains of blood (either squished bed bugs or bed bug feces) on your pillowcases or sheets
  • Presence of bed bug egg shells and fecal spots in their hiding areas
  • Visible rusty or dark spots of the pest’s excrement on the mattress, sheets, or bedclothes

If you are suspicious of an infestation, remove your bedding and carefully check for these bugs or excrement signs. Inspect the wood-frame seams and areas surrounding your bed, including electrical outlets, carpet edges, closet, radios, and telephones.


How to Identify a Bed Bug Bite

A bed bug bite can go unnoticed, but sometimes it causes minor irritation and inflammation. Hypersensitive people are more likely to develop severe symptoms from the bed bug bite.

In most scenarios, the symptoms appear less or more immediately following a bite but can progress with time.

These symptoms will usually resolve after seven days if the irritation is not severe. 

You should know that almost all bites accompany some degree of inflammation, typical itchiness, and discomfort. Bed bugs increase the chances of a skin infection, especially because the bites compromise the skin’s surface, protecting against pathogen entry.

Here are other signs and symptoms that may manifest on your skin:

  • Small red welts that mostly form a zigzag or line pattern
  • A painful burning sensation
  • Red bumps with hives or blisters surrounding it
  • Papular skin eruptions with inflamed flat or raised patches 

Although rare, some people get severe reactions that need medical attention. They are:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fever
  • Blisters
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swollen tongue
  • Feeling nauseous

Other Symptoms

Living in a residence with bed bug infestation for long periods can lead to additional health issues, including sleep deprivation.

Some people get extremely stressed by the thought of being fed on by bugs.

There’s no escape, and you can’t even sleep comfortably. You’ll be paranoid that you can feel them crawling on you. And you’ll be terrified you could accidentally cause your friends to get infested just by visiting them.

It really is a nightmare to deal with that consumes your life for months.

Continued lack of quality sleep has been associated with low immunity function and feelings of anxiety, depression, and general fatigue. This will likely result in decreased well-being.


Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Here are some tips to avoid getting bed bugs.

1. Be careful with luggage

When traveling and exposed to bed bug colonies, you should make sure to decontaminate your belongings, luggage, and clothes upon getting home. Those little luggage stands common in most hotels? Use them. Keep your luggage off the floor.

Mechanical methods involving washing, freezing, brushing, heating, and vacuuming are the mostly used decontamination methods. 

Due to modern technology, frequent travelers can get a gadget that raises the heat in the suitcase to temperatures enough to kill all bed bugs. You can even use a blow dryer.

Following your return home from a long trip, keep the suitcase you had with you at some distance away from your bed and run clothes through the dryer before you put them away.

2. Screen second-hand goods

When buying any second-hand clothing, linen, or furniture, inspect them thoroughly before you carry them to your home. 

3. Take care with laundry

Also, if you share a laundry room with other people in your apartment building, try to carry your clothes in a sealed plastic bag and avoid folding them until you get home. 

Use vacuum-sealed bags to store the clothes you’ve already anytime you travel.

Keep your place clean by clearing up all clutters. Also, it would be best to avoid leaving clothes, magazines, and papers discarded on the floor. Bed bugs are attracted to dirty clothes.

4. Mind the Gaps

Ensure all seal cracks surrounding electrical outlets, baseboards, and light sockets to prevent the bugs from sneaking in. 

Wash and vacuum your bedding, carpets, furniture, and curtains, and cover your sleeping mattress with a special bed bug cover. 


DIY Bed Bug Control Guide at Home

If you’ve got an active infestation, you should call an expert if you can. It’s worth the money. These infestations are incredibly hard to deal with, and can last for months. You need some help and support.

But if you can’t swing the cash to hire a pro, here are some home tips to help clear, control, and prevent bed bug infestations.

Here is a step-by-step guide to bed bug control:

1. Identify the infested areas 

Your key goal is to catch them early before the females start reproduction. The setback here is how smaller infestations are sometimes hard to detect, which provides the insects with ample time to grow in numbers.

The bugs have small narrow bodies that make it possible for them to live in tiny spots such as the seam of a couch or mattress. 

Have a magnifying glass and flashlight to improve your vision during the search.

2. Keep the infestation contained 

Once you confirm that bed bugs are in your home, you will have to keep their numbers contained so that you easily exterminate them. Using a vacuum is the easiest and quickest way of trapping bed bugs. Try running your vacuum over your carpet, electronics, dresser, and bed. Vacuumed contents should be disposed of in a sealed plastic bag and discarded. 

If it’s almost impossible to clean an item of furniture infested with bed bugs (particularly mattresses), discard it, but first label it with the word “bed bugs” so that nobody tries to bring it home!

Set clothes in a dryer and washer while setting the highest temperature if you suspect they are invaded by bed bugs. Put anything else that is impossible to treat in the dryer or washer in a sealed plastic bag and if possible, keep it there for several months to a year to allow the bugs to die. 

3. Kill the parasitic bugs

The first approach normally used is the non-chemical approach that tries to kill the bed bugs with freezing temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius or high heat – 115°F. One such method is soaking bedding and clothes in hot water before washing them and then putting them in the dryer for around 30 minutes with a high heat setting. A steamer can also be used for couches, mattresses, and other areas harboring bed bugs. 

Once you clear out all the visible bugs, use bed bug-proof covers for your mattress, zipping them up. This cover makes these areas inhospitable, killing the trapped bugs and preventing new ones from getting in. 

If non-chemical treatments fail, then you should call pest control so that they come to fumigate your house with insecticides to wipe out all bed bugs. 

Bed bugs also feed on family pets, and the bites on a cat or dog look much similar to those on humans. Frequent inspection of your pet’s bedding will help you stay vigilant for signs of the bug’s presence. 


Conclusion

Bites from bed bugs are normally painless, but they later form itchy welts on exposed skin. Usually these bites are on the ankles, shoulders, neck, and arms.

If you do not realize that your residence is infested with bed bugs, you’ll likely attribute the welts and itching to other causes, like mosquitoes.

To be sure you have a bed bug infestation, you will have to identify evidence that suggests the existence of the bugs. Check for blood and feces stains, and for bed bug husks around your bed.

We hope you don’t find any. Good luck.