Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

If you have suffered from random bites in the middle of the night it could be bed bugs. The bed bug is a small insect that likes to wreck havoc on people sleeping in their beds at night. If you think you might have suffered from bed bug bites it is important that you consider the following information.
The actual bed bug bite is a very normal looking bite.  Most people mistake these bites for mosquito bites or allergic reactions. The bed bug bites themselves are not painful, but the after effect of the bite is what usually irritates most people.  When you get bit by one of these bed bugs, you might not realize that you have been bit at all until later on. Usually bed bugs are the last thing that comes to people’s minds.

One of the best ways to differentiate the bed bug bite from other bites is the actual pattern of the bite. The following information will help you distinguish the bed bug bites from other bites that you might experience.

bed bug bitesBite Patterns

Most bed bug bites are in a linear bite pattern.  You will usually find them biting in straight line with at least 3 to 4 different red spots.  While they can bite in one spot at a time, they prefer to bite in a row.  Looking at bed bug bit pictures can give you a good idea of a normal bite pattern.

If your pattern doesn’t correspond with the typical bite pattern it doesn’t mean you don’t have bedbugs.  The pattern is simply the easiest way to immediately know if you are being bitten by bed bugs or not.  Obviously the best way to know if you have bed bugs is to actually find the critters.

The bed bug bite marks are very easy to identify if you know what to look for. Most of the bites will usually be around the arm and the forearm.

Misdiagnosis of Bites

One of the biggest reasons why bed bugs are often misdiagnosed is because everyone reacts differently to the bites.  Some people have welts that will swell up and become itchy for longer time than mosquito bites.  However, other people may have no reaction to the bites at all.  This explains why a husband may feel the bed bugs at night while the wife sleeps comfortably beside him.

Another reason why a bed bug bit can be tricky to diagnose is because of the period of time between the bite and the symptoms.  Some of the symptoms of these bug bites can take up to 9 days to show.  You might have stayed in a hotel a week ago and just start feeling the effects now.  If you were bitten many times you will start to see the symptoms much faster.

A lot of people who experience these bug bites often mistake them for allergic reactions.  If you see your arm has a full rash it can be quite confusing.  People who see the doctor regarding these bumps are often surprised to hear that it can actually be bedbugs.

Having personally been affected by bed bugs, I know how easy it is to misdiagnose the bite marks. I took me over 2 weeks to finally realize that I was sleeping in a bed that was infested with bed bugs. This delayed reaction was mostly due to denial, but also due to my lack of information on the bed bug topic. If you are abroad in a hot climate like Southeast Asia or Australia, the chances of getting bitten by these bugs increases greatly.

Bed Bug Inspection Tips To Prevent Bites

Taking the proper precautions can be a lifesaver in avoiding these bugs. Using the following tips can help ensure you don’t ever run into bed bugs.

  1. Mattress Inspection – I can’t stress this enough. Anytime you are sleeping in a new hotel or hostel (even a home that you feel isn’t properly kept), it is essential for you to do a quick inspection of your sleeping arrangements. Quickly flip the mattress over and check the under seams of the mattress. You should ensure that you have proper lighting and explore the different corners of the mattress. If you see any dark shapes on the bottom it could be a bed bug. A mattress inspection is your first line of defense when trying to protect yourself from a bed bug bite.
  2. Do Your Research – Before you decide to stay in a new hotel or hostel you should look up reviews. If a place has had a bed bug infestation in the past you will likely see comments that are posted on various forums. Always check and make sure that your new hotel has a good reputation for cleanliness. There is even a registry that is available for people who are interested in seeing places that have been flagged for bed bugs.
  3. Protect Your Luggage – The number one way that bed bugs go from point A to B is through luggage. A patron will check into a hotel infested with bugs and have the insects hop into their luggage to be taken back to their home. If you put all of your clothes in sealed bags that are air tight they will become bug proof. Placing your luggage on a storage rack that is elevated is another good way to prevent the bugs from joining you on your journey.
  4. Wash Your Clothes – Extreme hot and cold temperatures will kill these bugs. If you return home from a trip you should immediately wash all of your clothes in hot water. This will help eliminate any potential bugs that you might have. Another step you should take is to deep freeze your suitcase if you suspect their might have been bugs. This will eliminate these bugs overnight.

Final Thoughts

The best way to avoid getting bit by a bed bug in the first place is to take preventative measures. Taking extra precaution while you are a traveling abroad can ensure that you don’t end up in any unfortunate situations. While it is always fun to talk about things that went wrong while you were away, bed bug bites are something worth skipping.

Anytime you believe you might have suffered from bed bug bites it is important to eradicate the problem.  There are a number of treatment options that are available such as bed bug spray or steam cleaning.  These bugs can rapidly multiply in a short amount of time, which is why you should work to kill them off immediately.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris K May 30, 2011 at 12:13 am

Absolutely right about looking for the bite patterns. If you have a series of bites on your arm that are in a row, chances are you have bed bugs.

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