Bed bugs are sneaky. Really sneaky. They get into our homes and feed on us for months without being seen. When an infestation begins, these tiny insects crawl out of their hiding places while we are sleeping and finish their feeding before we wake up. Often, the only sign of their presence are the bite marks they leave on our skin.
All Bites Are Not Equal
It is quite a mystery how bed bugs can grow a significant infestation in a home, considering the fact that bed bug bites turn into painful and itchy red lumps. Well, the truth is, they don’t always turn into painful and itchy red lumps. When an infestation begins, the bed bugs that come out to feed are tiny, immature nymphs. These insects don’t require as much blood, and don’t inject as much anticoagulant into the bite wound when they feed. If you’re not familiar with what anticoagulant is, it is basically a blood thinner. This allows bed bugs to draw blood from us without causing discomfort. This anticoagulant is also what leads to bite irritation.
Not All People Have A Reaction To Bed Bug Bites
Studies indicate that as much as 30% of those bitten by bed bugs show no reaction, even when they have been bitten repeatedly by these bugs. This percentage is even higher for elderly people. That means, there may be people in your home giving a blood meal to bed bugs without any discomfort at all.
All Bites Are Not Bed Bug Bites
There are a lot of bugs that bite us, and, to a certain extent, we don’t pay too much attention when little red welts appear on our skin. This is especially true of children. On average, kids are outside a lot more than adults, and they get a lot more bites than adults do. If bed bugs are feeding on children, it can make detection of an infestation more difficult.
How To Visually Identify Bed Bug Bites
It can be difficult to distinguish bed bug bites from other bug bites. Here are a few traits to look for:
- Bed bug bites are usually in a pattern. These insects usually feed three times during the night. Entomologists jokingly refer to bite wounds as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you see a group of bites that show a pattern of 3 bites in a line, it is likely that those are bed bug bites. Most other insects leave random bites on the skin.
- Bed bug bites are usually a hard bump surrounded by a rash. This rash can be minor or significant depending on allergic reaction to the anticoagulant.
Location, Location, Location
Since bed bug bites can look quite different, depending on skin type, allergy, the age of the victim, and the age of the bug, it is important to understand other ways to identify those bugs. One helpful clue is the location of the bites on the skin.
- If you find bites around your ankles, but not on the rest of your skin, those bites are more likely to be flea bites.
- If you find bites where your belt line is, they are more likely to be chigger bites.
- If you find random, puffy welts on your skin, those are likely mosquito bites, especially if you’ve been camping recently.
- If you find bites only on exposed skin that would not normally be covered by your clothing, it is likely that those bites are from a flying insect.
- Bed bug bites can be found anywhere on the body. Look for the three bite pattern. Or a trail of bites.
If you are being bitten by bed bugs, you’re likely to find secondary signs on your sheets, pillowcase, or bedding. These include:
- Brown blood stains.
- Black streaks or tiny black dropping.
- Shed insect skins that are tan to brown in color.
- Tiny white eggs.
- Tiny, six-legged bugs that are pale, tan, or rusty-brown in color.
Bed bug bites can be a pain, quite literally. And it is a pain to get rid of bed bug infestation. This is the kind of pest infestation that can plague a family over and over for months or even years. When bed bug bites, or signs of these bugs, appear in your home, reach out to Nozzle Nolen for immediate assistance. You don’t have to let those bed bugs bite.