What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? – Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are a growing problem worldwide as they can easily be transmitted as they hitch hike on clothes, bags, and other belongings. So do you have bed bugs? Have you been bit? What do bed bug bites look like? I’ll go over some symptoms you will get along with pictures of bed bug bites to help you find out whether you have bed bugs or not. Remember to take action IMMEDIATELY if it turns out you DO have bed bugs because the more time you give them the more they will spread and the more difficult it will be to get rid of them.

Read About How to Kill Bed Bugs

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bed Bug Bites

If you’ve been bitten by a bed bug, you’ll most likely experience a small red swollen area and a dark red center.  The bites are usually grouped together or in a line close together or in a zig-zag pattern. This usually happens when the bed bug is disturbed while feeding so they walk a bit then start feeding again. Some people may experience blisters or hives at the bite site while others may not have any symptoms at all.

Bites can happen anywhere on the body but are more common around exposed areas such as the face, arms, legs, and hands. The marks don’t always appear right away and usually takes a few minutes or even days before you notice it because the bed bugs inject their saliva into your body which acts as an anesthetic to numb the area so they can feed without being disturbed. Different people have varying symptoms.

Bed bugs bites are super itchy and usually won’t go away for a couple of weeks. You can infect the area if you scratch it and expose it to bacteria which may cause it to swell and bleed.

Other Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

Like I mentioned, the symptoms vary from person to person. For some it may just be small red dots but for others they can develop a rash or the bite areas may become swollen.

Bed Bug Bite Foot

Bed Bugs Bite HandBed Bugs Bite ShouldersBed Bugs Bite Arm

Bed Bugs Bite Face

Bed Bugs Bite Hand

Bed Bugs Bite Arm Bed Bugs Bite Back Bed Bugs Bite Back Bed Bugs Bite Back


How to Treat Bed Bug Bites?

Now that we know what bed bug bites look like, let’s look at some ways we can treat them.  I know first hand how incredibly itchy and annoying bed bites are so having multiple options at easing the itch is very important.

First off, you should confirm that you do indeed have bed bugs and it’s not something else like a rash. If you don’t find any evidence of bed bugs you should go see a doctor to see if he can identify whether it’s a bite or a rash. They may also prescribe a topical corticosteroid ointment to help relieve itchiness and inflammation.

Use Soap

If they are indeed bed bug bites you should wash the bites with soap and water. Lather the soap on your hands then rub over the bites and DO NOT rinse it off. Let it dry and it should provide you relief from the itching.

Cortisol Creams

Cortaid - Maximum Strength Itch ReliefAs mentioned above, you can buy creams to provide relief as well. Creams such as Cortaid which contain cortisone will help stop the itching. There are varying strengths and the ones at the drugstore or pharmacy are 1% hydrocortisone creams.

You can also get a stronger dosage with a doctor’s prescription but let a doctor see the bites and see if they can provide you with any other recommendations.

Make sure you follow directions on the label so you can apply the cream correctly for maximum effectiveness.

Oral Antihistamine

Benadryl AllergyIf you are getting an allergic reaction such as swelling or a rash, take an oral antihistamine like Benadryl to reduce the reaction.

Make sure you follow the package instruction and do not go over the recommended dosage. Take note that Benadryl may make you drowsy so you shouldn’t drive right after taking it.

This works great for other allergies such as hay fever as well as cold symptoms like itchy eyes and runny nose.


Polysporin - Heal FasterIf you scratch the bites and you open the wound it may cause scarring on your skin. Use Polysporin to help heal the wound faster and prevent scarring.

I use Polysporin every time I get a cut and it definitely reduces the healing time. It helps prevent the effected are from getting infected as well as promoting quick healing.

Final Thoughts

Bed Bug Mattress CoverIt’s a horrible feeling when you get bumps on your skin when you wake up and realize you have a bed bug problem. Once you identify that those are indeed bed bug bites take immediate action. You can get a bed bug mattress cover that will trap and starve any bed bugs already in your mattress as well as prevent any new ones from getting in. This is great because you don’t have to throw away your expensive mattress anymore.

Just looking at those bed bug bite pictures make me itchy. Hopefully they give you an idea of what bed bug bites look like and I hope you learned some techniques to relieve the itchiness. Best thing to do to get rid of them is to hire a professional but unfortunately not all of us can afford it. Read on for some tips on how to kill bed bugs.

How to Kill Bed Bugs



9 thoughts on “What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? – Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

  • Interesting article with a lot of information! It bring back bad memories from my Camino, a pilgrimage I did in Norther Spain 5 years ago. The trip lasted 6 weeks and in this time I walked 1200km carrying everything I needed in my backpack. I spent nights at type of youth hostels meant for people doing the pilgrimage, called refuges.
    It was after 1 month of traveling my legs really started to bother me. I used one of the blankets this place had and folded it under my legs to elevate them. At night time I woke up, because I was itching all over! The next few days I noticed the red marks, like the ones in the pictures all over my body.
    I finally confided to someone who told me about beg bugs! We washed my sleeping bag, got me some antihistamines and chamomile cream for the itch and in few days the problem went away!
    I am so happy I have not encountered them afterwards!

    • Bed bugs are definitely a problem when backpacking and hostels are notorious for them. Travelers should check their bed before sleeping in them to ensure there are no signs of bed bugs.
      If there’s any signs then request to change rooms immediately. You’re lucky that you didn’t bring any along with you. They are experts in hiding into little nooks and crannies and are very hard to get rid of.

  • Thanks for the post, definitely worth knowing about, This post covers everything, from the cortisol cream used as itching, even has a bed bug resistant air mattress, you really know what you’re talking about when it comes to protecting yourself from bed bugs, I hope people see your content whenever someone has bed bugs and does some googling! Cheers:) -Schilling

    • Thanks! Just want to share what I learned when I had the unfortunate task of dealing with my own bed bug situation. It was a nightmare to deal with so I hope to provide info for others who might be suffering as well to quickly get rid of the problem and get back to normal life.

  • Wonderful article here. I remember sometimes back when I was in college bedbug became a major challenge in the institution prompting the administration to buy a very expensive electronic device to counter the challenge. I wish I had came across your site by then. You could have helped a lot. But a soap really help as you say?

    • Bed bugs are a major pest and can spread very quickly especially where there are a lot of people like hotels, college dorms, hostels, etc.
      The soap I mentioned just helps relieve itchiness but does not get rid of it entirely. If you don’t already have any Cortisol creams it is a nice alternative as most people have a bar of soap already in their household.

  • I’ve woken up with some small red marks/bumps on my skin. I’m African so the marks do not look like the pictures that you have. I have always shrugged them off as mosquito bites but they do not raise like mosquito bites do. Also, I have looked for bed bugs but haven’t seen any. Maybe I don’t know what they look like but do you think the little red marks/ bumps could be bed bug bites? Thanks.

    • Bed bug bites are SUPER itchy, way more than mosquito bites. If your bumps are very itchy, chances are they are bed bugs. If not, they may be an allergic reaction or some other pest.
      Here’s some more info of what bed bugs look like and where you should look for them. They are experts at hiding so they are very difficult to find.

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