When bed bugs bite, they inject an anaesthetic into their host, initially preventing a reaction. If bitten, you will not feel a pinch or nip because of this and a reaction won’t often occur for a few hours, if at all.
As adult bugs can grow to the size of your small fingernail – and therefore become fairly noticeable – bed bugs tend to feed at night. The pests sense your warmth and co2 in the breath you exhale whilst sleeping. Fortunately, bed bugs aren’t known to transmit any harmful diseases, but will reproduce rapidly if left to do so.
What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
People react differently to bites, which makes it difficult to define what a bed bug bite should look like. Some people develop angry rashes, or experience bumps and swelling, whilst others will not experience any symptoms. Just because a mark or reaction hasn’t occurred, however, doesn’t mean you have not been bitten. It can be difficult to decide if the bite was caused by a bed bug or another insect, like a flea or beetle, but there are ways to rule out other insects.
A key identifier is the time between being bitten and noticing the bite. If you feel a nip when the bite occurs, and are mainly bitten on your ankles or lower leg, it’s likely the problem is fleas rather than bed bugs. Bites noticed later and appearing on your torso, neck, hands, arms or upper legs are more likely to be bed bug bites.
Bed bugs are known to bite several times in a single feeding session, often in threes. If you notice more than three bites, especially in different areas of the body, this could suggest more than one bed bug has fed.