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What Do Bed Bug Bites Look LIke?

Advice From Moyer Indoor | Outdoor

We'd like to say it is easy to identify bed bug bites but, sadly, it isn't. The problem is, there are a lot of bugs that can bite us, and what those bites look like depends on several factors. Let's see if we can unpack this in a way that will give you clear guidance in determining what bug you're dealing with.

Ruling Out Other Bites

The first step in determining whether or not you have bed bug bites is to rule out other bites. Here are some bites that can sometimes look different from bed bug bites:

  • Mosquitoes generally leave bites that are puffy in appearance and associated with a light rash. These bites will appear randomly on the skin, and usually in locations that would normally be exposed when going outside. If you haven't been in an area that has a lot of mosquitoes, there is no reason that you should have multiple bites from this insect.

  • Flea bites are very itchy For this reason, you are likely to see a scab on the head of a flea bite. They should be dark red in coloring and appear random on the skin. You're also more likely to find flea bites around your ankles than above your waist.

  • Chiggers leave red welts on areas of the skin where clothing is pressed against the skin, like the waistline. They are also likely to feed on your ankles and legs. But, this is an outdoor pest. You shouldn't expect to have chigger bites if you haven't been hanging out in the great outdoors.

  • Spider bites come in many forms. Many spider bites look like flea or bed bug bites. When ruling this pest out you have to look at quantity. Spiders don't have any reason to bite people They don't eat blood. Bites from spiders occur when a spider is startled. If you have several red welts that look the same, it is highly unlikely that those are spider bites.

  • Tick bites usually have a tick attached to them. These insect feed for a day or more. Bites from a deer tick--which is associated with Lyme disease--may have a bullseye rash associated with it.

  • Gnats and tiny blood-eating flies. These bites look like flea bites, but they will be on areas of the skin that are usually uncovered by clothing. If you have tiny, random bites on areas that would be exposed while you were sleeping, like your back, those could be gnat bites. The key word is random.

The Anatomy Of A Bed Bug Bite

Now that you have an idea of the kind of bites you could get, let's look at the ways bed bug bites stand out from other bites. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Are there a lot of bites? Bed bugs come out in groups when they feed. If you have bed bug bites, you're likely to have several.

  • Do your bites follow a path? Bed bugs usually feed three times during the night. Some entomologist call these bites breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you see a three-bite pattern within your group of bites, or your bites follow a larger path up your skin, it is likely that you were bitten by bed bugs.

  • Do your bites have a rash? Bed bug bites can have a significant rash associated with them. Most often, the rash is isolated to each individual bite wound.

  • Do you have painful welts? Bed bugs can sometimes cause red, swollen welts. These welts can be very uncomfortable, especially if there are several in one localized area.

  • Do you have bites on your shoulders or above? These insects are drawn to carbon dioxide. This can lure them to bite your neck, face, or head.

Sometimes bed bug bites are hardly noticeable. When newly hatched bed bugs feed, they leave smaller bites that usually go undetected. Over time, and after several bite events, bite wounds usually become worse, but 30% of people have very little reaction to bed bug bites, even over time. This percentage is even higher for seniors.

If you're seeing bites you can't explain, give us a call. Whatever bug is biting you, you can be sure that the team here at Moyer Pest Control has seen it before. We've been protecting homes and businesses from bugs since 1869. We'll help you take care of what's eating you.

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