Is that mark on your body from bed bugs? Here’s how to tell if you’ve been bitten

Although bed bugs aren’t known for transmitting diseases, you still don’t want to be bitten by one. However, that mark on your body could be a sign of an infestation.

The creepy crawlies pierce the skin with a small tube-like structure, known as a proboscis, to drink your blood.

Medical News Today noted how bed bugs aren’t precious about where they’ll bite you.

The neck, face, hands, shoulders, arms and legs are all fair game for these blood-sucking creatures.

As bed bugs tend to feed while you’re asleep, most people aren’t aware they’ve been bitten until the next morning.

Symptoms of a bed bug infestation include bite marks on your skin – that’ll look like dots – and inflammation, alongside itchiness.

Depending on how sensitive you are to bed bug bites, some people can experience more alarming signs.

For instance, one might notice a raised itchy bump with a dark centre, surrounded by lighter swollen areas of skin.

Whenever there is a bed bug, there is lots of bed bugs, so it’s likely you’ll have a trail of marks.

One particularly recognisable sign of a bed bug infestation is seeing small red bumps in a zigzag pattern or line.

Some bite marks could feel as though they’re burning, and it may be surrounded by blisters or hives.

Look out for small spots of blood on the bed sheets where they’ve pierced your skin during the night.

As expected, bed bugs also share the need to excrete, so watch out for reddish-brown stains on the bedding – they could be bed bug droppings.

Baby bed bugs, known as nymphs, will shed white or clear skins as they mature, so also keep an eye out for that anytime you’re staying somewhere new.

With the global pandemic making staycations the best viable option for a holiday, make sure you check the bedding wherever you’re sleeping.

If, however, you’re unfortunate enough to have been bitten already, the first line of treatment is to clean the wound with soap and water.

To help relieve the itchiness, consider taking antihistamines or purchasing anti-itch creams.

Most bed bug wounds heal on their own within a week or two, and don’t require medical attention.

However, if any of the following apply to you or a loved one, do seek professional healthcare:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blisters
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Swollen tongue
  • Irregular heartbeat

These could be signs of an allergic reaction, which may require epinephrine medication.

What do bed bugs look like?

The sneaky buggers are easier to identify when they’ve just had a feed, as their abdomen is fulled with blood, giving them a reddish-brown colouring.

They have an oval-shaped body, usually as small as an apple seed, with an antenna, unusable wings and short yellow hairs.

In large doses, they will release a musty or stale-sweet scent secreted from the glands on their underbelly.

The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to call in professionals, as they’re notoriously difficult to get eliminate without special measures.

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