A bed bug bite is becoming a fairly common occurrence in homes and hotel rooms.
Bedbugs are flat oval shaped reddish-brown insects that are about 5 mm in length at full maturity and look like ticks. Bed bugs survive by feeding on the blood of humans or any mammal. After they feed, the bodies become rounder. When they bite, bed bugs inject their saliva into the skin. Like mosquitoes, this saliva contains an anticoagulant to keep the blood flowing freely as the insect sucks and an anesthetic agent to keep the victim from feeling the bite. Consensus is that bedbugs do not spread any diseases to humans like mosquitoes are known to do.
A bite from a bedbug or series of bites create small hives usually in an orderly row or clustered pattern. Skin redness and itching are also very likely and are a reaction to the bed bug’s saliva. Over time the hives are reduced to only red marks on the skin and these generally disappear over a period of a few days. Bed bugs are active and bite at night, and will bite all over a human body, especially around the face, neck, upper torso, arms and hands. Any exposed skin during sleep is a target area. During the day bed bugs will hide in a variety of dark and isolated places. Favorite hiding sites include the bed frame, mattress and box spring, cracks, and behind loose paint or wallpaper.
Because of the itchiness of the bite, scratching is a problem. Too much scratching will lead to open skin with infection becoming a possibility.
Treatment of a this kind of bed bug bite is similar to a mosquito bite. However, in cases where allergic symptoms occur, then medical treatment is required. Allergic symptoms include: much larger hives that can be up to 20 cm in diameter and the development of large puss-filled blisters. In rare cases, anaphylactic shock may occur.
Bites from bed bugs are often mistaken as flea or mosquito bites. However, bed bugs emit a certain odor (an intense, sweet odor) and leave dark fecal spots on bed sheets or mattresses. If these signs are noticed, then the marks on your skin when you wake up are likely due to a bedbug bite.