How to Identify Bed Bug Bites

A Bed Bug on a wall

Bed bugs are nasty little creatures, and they are some of the most difficult pests a person can try to get rid of. But if you wake up one day to find that you have what looks like a bug bite on your skin, don’t freak out, it might just be a spider bite.

So, how do you tell the difference between a spider bite – or any other bug bite for that matter –  and a bed bug bite?

Like many insect bites, bed bug bites may not be painful while the bed bugs are actually biting you, and you may not notice the bites for several hours or even days. Bed bug bites are often circular-ish in shape, and typically leave a flat elevated red mound on the skin. You should definitely not scratch your bed bug bites even though they will almost definitely feel itchy – doing so can cause bleeding and infection on bitten areas, and if you have bed bugs you already have enough to worry about.

Despite their bites being the most well-known thing about bed bugs, there are quicker ways through which you can possibly identify these pests. You can start with examining your bed sheets. Specifically look for blood stains, cast skins, and bug fecal matter in your sheets or on your mattress. Any one of these three things is a good cause for suspicion, and if you see one of them you should check under your mattress.

Depending on how many bed bugs you have, you may also be able to smell them. Bed bugs emit pheromones when disturbed. Some people say that lower concentrations of bed bugs can smell pleasant, but higher concentrations can smell musky. If you think your bed smells different than normal, take a look under the mattress.

A bed bug crawling on an arm

Bed bugs also attach onto clothing, so taking a look through your closet is a good idea.

If you find bed bugs through any of these methods, you’ve solved one problem but now you’ve got a bigger one: finding out how to get rid of bed bugs. Foggers and aerosol insecticides are often ineffective against bed bugs. Diatomaceous earth is also often ineffective in the complete elimination of bed bugs, which if you have a bed bug infestation is a goal that is absolutely necessary.

A homeowner or apartment-owner solution that will kill bed bugs is sustained high temperatures, but unless you are a professional exterminator, you may not be able to keep your rooms heated to 113 degrees fahrenheit for several hours.

If you have a bed bug infestation, don’t fight this uphill battle on your own. Empire Termite & Pest Control has a lot of experience in handling bed bugs, contact us at (513) 267-1264 and we can handle your bed bug extermination needs.


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