What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are a clever bunch of blood sucking bugs, and in Bristol, populations are on the rise.
Getting rid of biting bugs at night and eliminating their spread without professional guidance can cost you a fortune, disrupt your sleep and even risk your families health. Some individuals go for months thinking they have a skin condition, not realising it's hundreds of bedbug bites!
Imagine for a moment you have a piece of paper - well if that piece of paper can slide into a gap, then so can our little friends.
Bedbugs like to feed on warm blooded animals like us, and are often brought into our homes in Bristol on clothing, luggage, second hand furniture and ourselves etc, but most commonly of all, on return from trips away from home.
Severe Bed Bug Bites and Scaring - seen on an adult females arm.
A Bed Bug Bite - seen on an adult males arm
The bed bug bite on the lower arm of this male customer, living in a heavily infested renal property is quite angry looking.
The signs of his skin reaction, to the bed bugs bite are clear to see. This was accompanied by one of the common symptoms of bed bug bites, intense itching. Due to an infection and scaring caused by previous bites he was trying hard to resist the urge to scratch.
From the photo, the localised reaction is clearly quite angry. The surrounding tissues to the left of the main bite, feature a reddening of the skin and slight inflammation.
Bed Bug bites on adults thumb
This man's thumb shows us a fairly representative cluster of Bed Bug bites. When the bed bug is searching for a suitable place to acquire a blood meal, it is attracted by among many other things, the heat emitted by our bodies.
Once on our skin, it quickly picks up on the vascular signature and warmth of blood vessels close to the skins surface and attempts to harvest its blood meal from that point.
More often than not the bites appear to follow the path of larger blood vessels, and as such, these clusters or more accurately lines/rows of bites are very common.
Bed Bug bite on a child's arm
This male child was unlucky enough to be staying in a heavily infested home where he was being bitten multiple times on a nightly basis. Scabbing of the skin was caused as a result of the bites symptoms - intense itching, resulting in scratching, skin trauma and infection.
Blistering Bed Bug bite
This bite caused a very nasty blistering reaction to the skin.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Getting rid of Bed bugs and eliminating the spread of bedbugs can be very difficult as they are about the size of a lentil and very, very flat so fit in the smallest of gaps imaginable.
Bedbugs like to feed on humans and are often brought into our homes in Bristol on clothing etc, on return from trips away from home.
Are bed bug bites dangerous?
When these insects are abundant they can take so much blood form an infant during a nights feed that over a short time the child will show signs of iron deficiency or anaemia.
Tests have been carried out that have shown bed bugs crossing a ceiling, then dropping onto a persons bed to feed - so even protecting your bed might not prove enough protection against bedbugs.
Over the past year we have helped our Bristol bed bug pest control customers to wipe out bed bugs in their homes and businesses.
You can often spot that you have a problem with bed bugs simply by looking around the edges of your mattress, under the folded Seams. If you find small, oval, flattened insects and you have dark speckles around them or near by then you need to get things treated.
Two huge infestations we tackled last year in Bristol presented a huge challenge, but as usual we succeeded in taking control and eliminating them.
When are bed bugs most likely to bite me?
They are most active at night especially in the early hours, but this is variable. If you work nights and sleep all day, then a darkened room is just as preferable. We have also seen them biting during the day, where opportunity arrises.
Bedbugs like all animals will make the most of any opportunity to feed if they need too.
How can I stop bed bugs biting me?
A combined, integrated and professional approach is normally the only thing that will crush a colony of bed bugs. Sprays, creams and other barrier protection is available, but won't always work.
The best, most barrier protection can achieve is a reduction in the likelihood of being bitten or minimise the number of bites.
What's The Difference Between Bed Bug Bites and Flea Bites?
The main difference is easily spotted with bites from adult bedbugs. Flea bites won't bleed and rarely have an obviouse puncture mark in the centre. Bed bug bites regularly continue to seep blood immediately after feeding and have a very obvious puncture mark.
The real challenge is with juvenile bedbugs where the bites are almost identical to flea bites. This is where we need to see the bedbugs or other evidence of them before we can give a reliable diagnosis and prescribe a suitable course of treatment options.
Where diagnosis is not possible with any clarity, we would normally treat proactively for fleas and for bedbugs with residual insecticides together with fumigation for a comprehensive level of control of almost any insect species.
If you are deeply concerned about your insect bites, it is always worth visiting your doctor for advice.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
It depends on a number of factors, but if carried out properly a single treatment should suffice, however multiple treatments may be needed in established infestations.
Most modern homes contain large amounts of furniture and other items. This means meticulously going through and checking every item before you can say with any certainty that the area is clear.
It is our experience that with the proactive involvement of the customer (daily checks of beds etc) it is almost always impossible to eliminate bedbugs in one treatment, and control will take months or simply won't be possible. Many people simply move! With our help though, this doesn't have to happen to you.