One way to identify and understand bed bug bites is to know why they pick particular spots to feed.
Bed bugs often bite on or around the same spot. They prefer to stay in the same area because they know it is a good place to draw blood. Thus, you will often notice that bed bug bites appear in clusters.
How Do Bed Bugs Pick a Spot to Bite?
For the most part, when bed bugs travel out of their hiding spots, they go for the first bit of smooth, exposed skin they can find.
Then, they look for a blood vessel.
If the bed bug believes it has found one, it will insert its tube-shaped beak and try to feed.
If it pulls blood from the vessel, it will continue feeding.
However, if there is no blood vessel there, it will move on and bite somewhere else.
That same bed bug will usually bite you two more times in spots right next to each other so that it can feed along the same vein it already found.
Afterward, when another bug comes to eat, it will look for previous bite marks to help it figure out where to stick its beak.
Therefore, bed bug bites usually occur in a cluster or a line.
Will Bed Bugs Bite in the Exact Same Spot?
A bed bug may bite in the exact same spot it did before.
Yet, if you have two bites right on top of each other, they are probably from different bed bugs.
As I said above, bed bugs look for previous bites to help them find a good spot to feed.
Thus, a second bed bug could definitely decide to bite on top of a mark left by another bed bug.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
To ensure your bites are indeed from bed bugs, you need to be able to identify them.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like on Light Skin Tones?
On people with light skin colors, bed bug bites look like small red or pink dots on the skin.
They are also usually redder near the middle of the bite and fade to light pink in the surrounding area.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like on Dark Skin Tones?
If you have dark skin, it could be a bit harder to see your bed bug bites since they usually don’t turn bright pink as they do on lighter-skinned people.
Typically, people with dark skin will find that bed bug bites appear as raised bumps that might be a slightly lighter brown than the rest of the skin.
These bumps could also be pink or purple at the center, or your skin could show no color change at all.
As bed bug bites fade on dark-skinned people, they usually turn dark brown.
Other Ways to Identify Bed Bug Bites
Besides color, there are a few other methods you can use to tell if a sore, or set of sores, came from bed bugs.
One of the primary ways to tell if bites are from a bed bug is if you see any signs of bed bugs in your home.
If you do, the bites you have are probably from bed bugs since they need to feed off you to live and definitely will if they can.
Another indication of bed bug bites is if the sores are in a cluster.
This cluster usually looks like a group of bites very close together or bites that seem to run in a straight line.
Bed bug bites also swell on many, but not all, people.
Furthermore, bed bug bites may hold fluid inside of them.
Where Do Bed Bugs Like to Bite?
Bed bugs prefer smooth, exposed skin.
Therefore, the most common places to get bed bug bites are the face, arms, hands, neck, and legs.
The least likely place to find bed bug bites is the scalp since bed bugs don’t really like to travel through hair.
Yet, bed bugs can technically bite just about anywhere on the body if they choose to do so.
If I Scratch My Bed Bug Bites, Will They Spread?
They also aren’t contagious, meaning that another person won’t develop sores from contact with you.
However, you shouldn’t scratch bed bug bites, no matter how tempting it is to do so.
Scratching bed bug bites can tear your skin and leave you more susceptible to infection.
Also, tearing the skin open from scratching could cause scarring.
How Often Do Bed Bugs Feed?
If this is your first time dealing with bed bugs, you may not know how many bites you can expect to get.
And well, usually, bed bugs feed once every week or two.
During this feeding, they typically bite three times.
So, if you have a small bed bug infestation, you may not end up with new bites every morning.
However, large colonies could leave you with lots of bed bug bites since each insect will feed every ten days or so.
Can Bed Bugs Cause Anemia?
A person becomes anemic when they don’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around their body.
This lack of oxygen can cause lightheadedness, fatigue, dizziness, and other health problems.
And bed bugs can cause anemia.
But, most people who get bed bugs will not develop anemia.
Generally, a healthy person will not become anemic from bed bug bites unless they live in a place with a large infestation.
How Do I Stop Bed Bugs From Biting?
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method to stop bed bugs from biting you.
However, while you are working on getting rid of your infestation, there are some ways to help deter bed bugs from biting.
1) Sleep With More Sheets and Blankets
Bed bugs can not chew through fabric or anything else, for that matter.
So, if you wrap yourself up in a sheet or blanket when you go to sleep, it will help keep the bed bugs from getting to your skin and biting you.
2) Wear Long Pajamas
A similar approach to wrapping yourself in a sheet is to wear pajamas with long sleeves and pants.
Long socks pulled over the legs of your pajamas will also help keep bed bugs from getting under your clothes.
3) Get a Mattress Encasement
As long as your infestation isn’t too big, there’s a good chance all the bed bugs will be living in your mattress.
So, to keep them from getting out and biting you, just zip an airtight mattress encasement up over the whole mattress.
Doing so should trap the majority of the bed bugs.
It will prevent a new colony from getting inside the mattress as well.
Bed bugs do often bite on or around the same spot.
They do this because it is the quickest and easiest way for them to determine where your blood vessels are.
However, you can help prevent these irritating little bites by trying out some of the options above.
Table of Contents
- How Do Bed Bugs Pick a Spot to Bite?
- Will Bed Bugs Bite in the Exact Same Spot?
- What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
- Where Do Bed Bugs Like to Bite?
- If I Scratch My Bed Bug Bites, Will They Spread?
- How Often Do Bed Bugs Feed?
- Can Bed Bugs Cause Anemia?
- How Do I Stop Bed Bugs From Biting?