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Bed Bug Bites on Suu's Arm showing bite pattern
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Vee was terrified after repeatedly being bitten by bed bugs.

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There are two bites here; if just one bug is biting, the pattern of bites will be close together but if you have multiple bed bugs biting, the pattern may be spread out.

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She found that her arm was near the location of the bed bug’s nest.

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She didn’t feel any of these bites because the bed bug injected its saliva to numb the area bitten.

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These bites had been occurring for a long time before she found the nest and eliminated them herself.

Often, bed bug bites look like a line made up of red dots as shown above. From the time the bug sticks its mouth-part into you and begins feeding, to the time its done, is only about 15 minutes, and for a nymph, it’s less.

There are two sections to the mouth-part, one is used to inject a mixture of anticoagulant and anesthetic, while the other is used to suck up your blood. There could be multiple bugs biting your body and you would never notice until you wake up and discover yourself covered in red bumps!

The pictures above are great examples of what the bed bug bites look like! This bug often bites in a line as it moves along your skin while feeding; notice the red bite marks that form a pattern on Monica’s side and also the seven bite marks in the picture of her hand?

Just because you where bitten seven times does not mean you have more than one adult bug – because they move around while feeding, it’s possible that only one could have caused all that irritation!

If the bites are from nymphs of a new nest, you may have multiple smaller bumps, as in the picture above showing Richard’s arm covered with bites. In fact, his whole body was viciously attacked while sleeping and his arm alone had more than 50 bites! His thigh, calf, legs, back, and face had multiple bites.

Adam’s bites were from a new infestation only 30 days old. Obviously, the nymphs were ready for their first feeding. The grouping of bites are circled in black.

Here is what bed bug bites look like on legs, arms, black skin, children, and other parts of the human body.

As shown above, some people develop a bed bug rash as a reaction to the bed bug’s saliva which can range from small red itchy bumps to large welts.

Take a look at those large painful blisters in the first picture! Her hand had an allergic reactions to the bed bug’s bites.

Julio’s arm was badly bitten and developed a bright red rash on his bicep which took a long time to heal!

Ross stayed at a cabin with a nest of baby bed bugs that feed on his forehead and in the other pictures, you can see swelling and welts on the arm and leg.

People ask us all the time what bed bug bites look like on people that have darker colored skin, be it black, Hispanic, Asian, etc. In the images above, you can see bites on the face, hands, stomach and face.

As you can see, bites on black people don’t look that different from bites on light skinned people.

These are pictures of bed bug bites on various legs, some are small bumps while others have large itchy welts.

The first photo shows a serious skin reaction to the bite area. Photo #2 shows bright red welts that are raised and very painful, the Karina’s photo shows dark skin and scarring. Jonisha show the line of bites while Vanessa’s leg has raised swelling in all the bite areas.

These are pictures of bites on various arms, some are small bumps while others have large itchy welts.

The first photo shows a serious skin reaction to the bite area. Photo #2 shows bright red welts that are raised and very painful, the Karina’s photo shows dark skin and scarring. Jonisha show the line of bites while Vanessa’s leg has raised swelling in all the bite areas.

Vanessa took her young son to the doctor and had confirmed these bites were from bed bugs. Look at the damage they did to his face! It’s important not to scratch the area or scabbing may leave a scar. Vanessa explains what happened:

I am so glad I found your website. My family and I just returned from vacation two days ago, and my youngest children are covered with bed bug bites. At first, we did not know what they were. The bites started after the first night of staying there. They increased in number and became worse over the week. We had no clue. Bed bugs never crossed our minds. I took them to the doctor as soon as we got home and we got the news, BED BUGS!

I was totally disgusted and freaking out! I still am! I can’t sleep at night. I worry that we brought them home and feel my children’s pain, they are pitiful! The bites do not seem to be clearing up and itch like crazy. My husband and I only have a few each. I will never go on vacation again!

Another visitor, Ava, had her neck badly bitten by bed bugs. For many months, her baby boy had bite marks which doctors initially suggested might be scabies or fleas.

A few months later when Ava’s older son complained of his skin crawling in the middle of the night, she checked on the baby and found his bed frame and mattress covered with bed bugs with many in the process of feeding!

This poor baby was helpless to do anything while being fed upon. If you ever see something like this, it may indicate the infestation is close and should be easy to locate.

More pictures of bed bug bites

Yes, that first image below is of a small bed bug that crawled into a woman’s nose and lodged itself in a hard to reach spot. She could feel it moving but nothing she tried could dislodge it, so she used a hydrogen peroxide nasal irrigation technique, causing the bug to turn into the white mass you see hanging from her nose. She was then able to remove it with tweezers.

Q: How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?

A: Bites heal within 14 days but scratching can extend that time to a month and cause infection. Depending on a persons resistance levels, may not show any symptoms for 14 days after the bite, so it is very possible the whole process, from the time you are bitten until the bumps go away, will 30 days.

People who have been living with an established infestation and have been repeatedly bitten may have immediate reactions to the bites.

For those that have been bitten for the first time, there may be no reaction at all, or it may take up to 14 days before the person begin to react. Two weeks is a long time, and if you slept in multiple locations, it might be impossible to figure out where you were bitten.

Q: Do bed bug bites itch?

A: Yes, a bite from a bed bug can cause a very strong desire to itch, and that is the worse thing you could do. Infection, scarring, and a whole host of other problems can come from itching.

The more frequent the bites, the more sensitive your skin becomes, and the stronger the desire to scratch.

Whatever you do, do not itch these bites, it will only make it worse, can lead to infection and scarring making the bite last even longer!

Q: How are bed bug bites treated?

A: Baking Soda paste is the best home treatment for bites; mix water with baking soda to make a paste that you then place on the area and let dry. Here are the instructions:

  • Make sure to wash the bed bug bites with soap and water.
  • Make a thick, sticky paste with the water and baking soda, not too runny and thick enough that it will stay.
  • Let the paste stand until completely dry and then wait an hour or so. Some let it stand for hours while others find that an hour or less is fine.
  • Gently wash the paste off and pat dry.

Natural remedies for bites include:

  • Witch hazel, St. John’s Wort and Lemon juice – all work by removing the desire to itch (Astringents).
  • The gel from the Aloe plant is how many treat bed bug bites and contains anti-fungal and antibiotic properties that work great! Just trim a tip and apply the exposed area to the bite.
  • Handed down from generations is a bath with a half cup of peppermint oil to relieve the itching.
  • Claude suggested a “hot as you can stand it” shower or bath to treat the bites. The itching will intensify for a few seconds, but then there is the relief which lasts for many hours. Some believe that the heat from the water overloads the ends of your nerves and prevent them from telling your brain to itch. Some think that the heat causes your body to release more histamine than usual and thereby less histamine around the bite. Whatever the reason, it’s commonly used as a solution to itching caused by bites.
  • Lemon juice on a wad of tissue placed lightly over the swollen area to reduce itching
  • Chrissie said that a dab of Essential Oil of Basil with a cotton bud on each bite brings the ‘poison’ the bug has deposited to surface (she lances her bites with a sterilized pin (flame heat/wiped clean)). She then dabs the bed bug bites with lavender oil and her itching subsides.
  • Sam uses crotamiton creme followed by lotrix creme for 15 days to stop the itching and clear things up.

Over the counter medication for bites:

  1. Cortisone cream (from Amazon) to stop the itching
  2. Calamine lotion (from Amazon)
  3. Just about any topical anesthetic containing pramoxine
  4. Hydrocortisone cream (from Amazon)
  5. Naproxen or Ibuprofen or a anti-histamine like benadryl to help reduce swelling
  6. Light paste of aspirin and water like you would do if using baking soda and water

In Richard’s case, the itching was so bad that he ended up at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Urgent Care where the doctors prescribed Calamine Topical Suspension USP, Cephalexin and Hydroxyzine HCL for the bed bugs bites.

  • Calamine helps to keep the bite area from oozing
  • Cephalexin helps with bacteria of the infection bit
  • Hydroxyzine helps with the itching that some people experience after being bitten.

These medicines and tropical location were prescribed for bed bug bitesRachel had a doctor prescribe her betamethasone valerate to relieve the itching. She says it works but doesn’t get rid of the bites.

Bridget’s Dr. prescribed a topical cortisone cream to stop the itching and told that diphenhydramine (Benadryl) would halt the itching too.

Julie’s Doctor suggested using teatree oil as a repellent and fucidin H on the spots. He suggested that I should spray everything with the green baygon even the mattresses.

Rob’s Doctor prescribed locoid lipocream and found it to be most effective. He tried a sample of foaming medication in a small can which didn’t seem to work.  He treated his swollen bites 3x the first day with the lipocream and by morning it was 100x better with significantly reduced redness and swelling.

We have an entire page of home remedy and treatment discussions shared by our visitors if you would like to learn more…

Want to see more? Check out these pictures of bedbug bites

Hundreds of Victims Discuss their Bed Bug Bites!

Bed Bug Bites and discussions: Pg1, Pg2, Pg3, Pg4, Pg5, Pg6, Pg7, Pg8, Pg9, Pg10, Pg11, Pg12
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