Bed bug bites are actually painless. What causes pain, itchiness and irritation is the person’s allergic reaction to the anticoagulants and other enzymes injected by the bed bugs into the skin as they begin feeding.
Oftentimes, bed bug bites are mistaken for some other skin irritation like a rash or scabies and even mosquito bites.
How Big is a Bed Bug Bite?
Bites from bed bugs are relatively small, less than one centimeter in diameter. However, if they get irritated and infected, the bites can grow and the surrounding area will become reddish as well.
To distinguish these red, itchy welts from a mosquito bite; check to see if there is a pattern to their appearance. Colloquially referred to as “breakfast, lunch, dinner,” the bites usually come in a straight pattern about less than one centimeter apart from one bite to the next.
There are however individual bites as well – or those that do not come in any pattern – but you will hardly ever find one single bed bug bite on your skin as these come in numbers.
Bed bug bites are also more itchy than a mosquito bite, for those who have allergies to the enzymes that they have injected through the skin.
Furthermore, mosquito bites appear rather immediately after the mosquito has fed on a human host whereas bed bug bites appear several days after a human host has been fed on.
In most cases, the bites appear nine days after being fed on by the bed bugs.
Bed Bug Bites Treatment
In cases where itching is severe, doctors may prescribe antihistamines to control the allergic reaction and over-the-counter pain relievers if the pain becomes unbearable as well.
Anti-itch lotions and creams may also be applied on the affected areas to relieve itching. Bed bug bites do not disappear as quickly as mosquito bites and it is important that the bites are not scratched as this can lead to infection and it will further aggravate the symptoms.
Once you have been bitten by bed bugs, it is important that you eradicate them immediately from your surroundings. Although bed bugs are commonly found under mattresses, they pretty much inhabit any dark corner around the house.
Check all upholstered furniture, crevices or cracks. It is also important to wash all beddings and clothing items immediately after discovering the bites. Air the mattresses out and vacuum carpets and draperies. In cases where infestation is severe, pesticides should be used.
There are likewise bed bug-sniffing dogs that can help homeowners locate infested areas around the house.