Bed bug bites are one of the first indicators that you may have a bed bug issue. However, there are a few things to know before you panic!
Bed Bug Bites Can Appear Very Early
A single bed bug that has come into your home can begin to leave bites, and can be an early indicator of a problem. Bed bugs first introduce an anesthetic like effect onto your skin allowing them to feed without you feeling it and subsequently waking you, and allowing you to unconsciously swipe them away. This anesthetic like property in the bed bug saliva causes increased blood flow to the area allowing them to feast more efficiently and effectively.
One bed bug can begin to feed and thus leave behind bed bug bites. Now is a great time to strip all beds, wash and dry all bedding (High heat for at least 30 minutes). Vacuum thoroughly in all cracks and crevices of the mattress, baseboards around the bed, furniture near the bed, etc.
While you are cleaning, keep an eye out for live bugs, signs of bed bug droppings, shed skins and nests of eggs or babies. Check couches and chairs that are used frequently as well! If you do happen to have a single bug (or a few) at the very beginning, these house keeping tasks can go a long way to preventing a major problem! Call and schedule an inspection if you find anything concerning.
Not Everyone Will Show Signs of Bed Bug Bites
The caveat with bed bug bites is not all people show a reaction to them. For instance, in a family of 4, 1 family member may have a reaction to bed bug bites and the other 3 members do not.
In a couple, one person may show bites and the other person does not. This can often lead to time passing, attributing the bites to something else, and letting the bed bugs get established.
Not All Bumps Are Cause for Panic
A few red flags can be helpful in narrowing down the odds. For starters, in the cold months, it’s uncommon that a bite is from another insect. It is also indicative of a bed bug issue if you are getting bit on areas that are not exposed normally (like on your belly for example).
There are also a variety of different things that can leave a reaction on our skin. For example, changing your soap or laundry detergent can leave a rash like problem.
In the Summer months, we are wearing less clothing and can be exposed to many more insects. We are also wearing short sleeves, shorts and swim suits so we are more aware of bumps or bites on our bodies.
Bed Bug Bites Have a Pattern
Typically, bed bug bites have a pattern we call “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner”. It’s a pattern (As seen in the photo) where the bites are clustered together.
We are not medical professionals and cannot diagnose a bed bug issue or bed bug bites, based on skin conditions. If you have concerns about your skin or your family, please contact a physician. This is simply general helpful information to be shared.
In situations where there may be a very small bed bug population and little evidence, a K9 Inspection is a great way to provide peace of mind or pinpoint an issue. As always, If you find evidence of bed bugs sharing YOUR home, call us for your free inspection and treatment estimate.