Waking up to reddish and itchy spots on your skin can be pretty upsetting, especially once these bites become infected or inflamed when scratched too much.
Bed bugs are often the culprit for these pesky bites. You can find these tiny intruders in the cracks of your bed or along the seams of your sheet. Apart from your mattress, these bugs can take refuge in your couches and even your curtains.
“What if there are no signs of bed bugs, but I still have bites?”
If that’s the case, other creepy crawlies might be hovering around your bed, or the cause could be something else entirely.
Knowing how to check for bed bugs properly is one way to confirm whether these tiny creatures are causing discomfort, and we’ll teach you how.
We’ll also cover other possible sources of bites and how you can distinguish a bed bug bite from insect bites or rashes.
Signs of Bed Bugs Bites
It’s tricky to differentiate a bed bug bite from a rash or other insect bites, especially that of a mosquito. While the appearance of bed bug bites can vary per person, here are distinct characteristics that can help you identify them:
Red Itchy Spots
Bed bug spots can be flat or sometimes swollen. These bumps can sometimes appear with a tiny blister and are very itchy. Regarding the size, bed bug bites can be less than 12mm in diameter.
Trivia: Bed bugs can produce a pain-numbing compound as they bite through your skin. That’s why you don’t wake up in the middle of the night due to the stingy or itchy sensation.
Bed Bug Bites are More Persistent and Don’t Appear Instantly
Another notable characteristic of bed bug bites is that they usually persist longer than mosquito bites. On average, it can take several days to weeks until a bed bug bite resolves.
Moreover, bed bug bites don’t appear immediately. It can take several hours to days for red patches to become visible after getting bitten.
Lack of Puncture Mark
Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites rarely have a dark red puncture dot in the middle.
Other Insects or Bugs That May Cause Skin Bites
Like bed bugs, most insects like spiders, chiggers, and mites are active at night, so these creatures could be causing the problem.
Meanwhile, here are other critters that may cause itchy bites on your skin:
- Mosquito bites usually appear as reddish, swollen welts scattered around your body. They’re incredibly itchy and sometimes painful.
- Flea bites usually occur in your lower extremities, like your feet and ankles. They also target your elbows and armpits.
That’s why seeing red blotches with puncture spots around these areas is most likely because of fleas.
- While spiders don’t feed on human blood, the possibility of being bitten at night isn’t unusual; these creatures are nocturnal and fond of weaving webs under your bed. Spider bites resemble a mosquito, except welts sometimes appear purplish and painful.
- Lice bites are intensely itchy and may sometimes have traces of blood. These bites are usually prominent on the back of your neck or behind your ears.
- While carpet beetles don’t bite, they can cause allergic reactions to human skin with their hairy legs. Their larvae often invade fabrics such as organic fabric clothes, carpets, curtains, and even woollen mattresses. Very often, people mistake carpet beetle rashes for bed bug bites.
Is It a Bed Bug Bite or Rashes?
Bites but no signs of bugs?
Sometimes, bed bugs aren’t to blame. Heat rashes, for example, are common during summer. They’re reddish spots, sometimes with itchy blisters, and usually scatter around sweaty areas in the body.
On the other hand, allergic reactions due to food and other allergens can be mistaken for bug bites. They usually appear as welts that are larger in diameter, accompanied by other symptoms like difficulty breathing.
Bed bug bites appear as red, itchy spots that are sometimes flat or swollen. However, if you keep getting bitten at night or when you sleep but have no signs of bed bugs, you can call a professional bed bug control company to inspect your home.
Meanwhile, clean your room regularly to prevent insect and bed bug infestations. Don’t forget to wash and iron your bedding to keep bed bugs out.