What do bed bug bites on humans look like?

Often, bed bug bites on humans appear as a line of red dots, as shown in the photos below. These dots appear as the bug moves along your skin, testing areas for the perfect feeding spot until it settles in and begins a full feeding. It takes about 15 minutes for an adult bed bug to feed on your blood and even less time for a nymph.

The pictures above are great examples of the pattern a bed bug makes when they bite you. They usually feed in a line or move around in a cluster, especially when there is more than one bug.

There are two sections to the mouth part. One injects a mixture of anticoagulant and anesthetic, while the other mouth part sucks up your blood. As a result, multiple bugs could bite your body, which you may not notice until you wake up and discover yourself covered in red bumps!

However, just because you have multiple bites does not mean you were bitten by more than one bug. In many of these pictures, it only took one to do all this damage!

As shown above, some people develop a rash due to the bed bug’s saliva, ranging from small red itchy bumps to large welts.

The first photo shows how these bites can swell and turn red. In the second image, you see intense swelling and reaction to the bed bugs’ saliva.

Take a look at those large painful blisters in the fifth picture! This woman had an allergic reaction to the bites. Always seek the help of a medical professional if you have concerns about your bites!

Many visitors ask us, “What do bed bug bites look like on black people?”; in the photos above, you’ll find people with darker colored skin, be they black, Hispanic, Asian, etc., that have been bitten on the face, hands, stomach, and face.

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

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

Above, you’ll find pictures of bed bug bites on various arms; some are small bumps, while others have large itchy welts.

Image #1 shows Richard’s arm with the bites covered in soothing cream, while the second photo shows an infant’s arm with a line of bites.

The mother of the first photo took her young son to the doctor and confirmed these bites were from bed bugs, and here is what she wrote us:

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 disgusted and freaking out! I still am, and 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.

Another visitor 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 her 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!

The poor baby was helpless to do anything while being bitten. If you see something like this, it may indicate the infestation is close and should be easy to locate. If you need help finding them, look at our pictures of bed bug infestations.

Want to see more bites?

Female doctor holding bed bug sign.