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One of the first signs that you may have slept in a bed with bed bugs are the bites you see after you wake up. However, it is difficult to tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a bite from any other insect when you look at them in isolation to the other signs.

So, how do you know whether the bite you’ve received is from a bed bug? Here are a few things to look out for.

Bed bug

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

By looking at the pattern of bites, the location on your body and the approximate time they may have happened may help to correctly identify the culprit of your insect bites.

Bite Patterns

  • Bed bug bites are generally small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin. Redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur on these spots.
  • Several bites tend to appear in a line or row along an exposed area, such as an arm or leg as a single bed bug may bite more than once in the same area, if disturbed whilst feeding. Bites found in different parts of the body can indicate being bitten by several different bed bugs.
  • A small proportion of people can react very badly to their bites and develop a skin rash. The red spots which indicate the location of a bite may become raised and very itchy over time.

Bite Locations

Bed bug bites can occur anywhere on the body but are often close to blood vessels near the skin. Check for signs of bites on your:

  • neck
  • hands
  • arms
  • legs

When Do Bites Happen?

  • Bites often occur at night when we are sleeping.
  • Bed bug bites are unlikely to wake the host (victim), as bed bugs inject an anaesthetic whilst drawing blood from the host (victim).

Worried About Your Bites?

Prevention is better than cure! Look for signs of bed bugs as soon as you’ve arrive in a hotel.

However, if you do happen to get bitten by a bed bug or two and they are causing you pain, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Bed bugs are not known to carry any infectious diseases but everyone will react to a bite differently.

Got a Problem with Bed Bugs? Call Rentokil at (65) 6347 8138 for your home or business premise or contact us to schedule a free site inspection to get rid of bed bugs safely and effectively.

FAQ on bed bug bites

How to tell apart a bed bug bite from other insect bites?

As most insect bites are usually swollen red spots that may cause itching, it may be difficult to tell apart bed bug bites from the others. Here are two signs that will help you identify if you have been bitten by a bed bug. The bites appear in a straight line or a cluster as a bed bug tend to feed from the same area. Other insect bites (like mosquitoes or ants) are typically more random. They seem to appear out of nowhere. As bed bugs inject humans with an anaesthetic before feeding, your skin will not immediately react to the bite and you may not even know that you have been bitten until a few days later. In comparison, mosquito and ant bites are instantly itchy and painful.

How do I treat a bed bug bite?

Unless you have an allergic reaction to bed bug bites, you can usually treat the bites on your own without visiting the doctor. Remedies include:

  • Putting a cold compress on the bites to bring down the swelling
  • Applying anti-itch cream on the bites to reduce itching
  • Avoid scratching the bites that may turn into an infection
  • Clean the bites and ensure any bite wound is clean
  • Visit a doctor if condition has worsen

Moreover, getting bed bug bites is a clear indicator of a bed bug infestation. As such, you should also call a professional pest control service so that they can get rid of the bed bugs effectively and prevent possible cases of bed bug bites.

Where are bed bugs found?

With the increase of commercial travel, bed bugs have been found all across the globe in nearly every continent. As their main source of food is human blood, bed bugs are more likely to occur in locations with human activities and presence of warmth including hotels, lodging, transportation, planes, cinemas and homes. Moreover, the hygiene of the place is not a factor in attracting bed bugs, so any premise is at risk of a bed bug infestation if they brought in through cross infestation manner without active detection.

Who can get bed bugs?

While those who travel frequently are more likely to spread a bed bug infestation (as bed bugs can hitch onto humans' clothes and their luggage to move between places), anyone can get them if they visit an infested area and bring back home. In addition, homes or premises with recycled furniture can risk into an infestation and hence, it is important to call a pest control company to check for presence of bed bug activities if unsure.

Are bed bug bites painful?

They are usually painless at first due to the anaesthetic  injected by the bed bugs at the time of feeding. However, subsequent itching might cause it to be painful especially if the bites trigger an allergic reaction.

Why do bed bugs bite?

As they feed on human blood, bed bugs have to bite humans in order to get bloods supply. They usually pierce the skin and withdraw blood using an elongated beak. Being extremely small and good at hiding, the best way to prevent bed bug bites is to get a professional pest control service, as they will have expert solutions to get rid of them quickly.

What attracts bed bugs?

Carbon dioxide

It’s not you, it’s what you exhale. Bed bugs are generally attracted to human beings simply because we produce carbon dioxide. They tend to find the largest concentration of carbon dioxide in a room and hang out there.

Most bed bugs climb your bed when you are sleeping, and basically, set up a camp. When you sleep, you only have minimal movements which trap the carbon dioxide around you in a cloud. This attracts bed bugs more than anything else. And since they come out at night, it makes it even harder to identify them and we could get bitten unnoticed.

It’s recommended to introduce fresh air around the room with good ventilation. A plant that also releases carbon dioxide should be place in the garden or balcony instead. You can also cover your expose skin with a quilt or a blanket. In this way, you won’t be an instant target.


High temperature makes them comfy. More than dirt and grime, these night crawlers are more attracted to warmth. And since human beings generate heat and warmth, bedtime is like a gold mine of warmth for bed bugs. This also explains why the surroundings of our beds, especially the head board, have the highest risk of bug infestation are in the room.

However, high temperature can help eradicate bed bugs. You can use heat when washing your bed sheets and pillow cases as additional protection to ensure no bugs are left Scott-free. Lethal temperatures for bed bugs range from 117 F to 122 F. It’s important to make sure that adequate and proper treatments are used, heat steamers, and spray with high efficacy chemical.

Dark bed sheets

Bed bugs are accustomed to a dark environment. Most bedbugs are attracted to dark colours because it mimics the darkness that they prefer. They tend to prefer red or black colours, not because it has the color of blood but because it looks like other adult bed bugs after a blood meal. The colour red has become their security blanket.

Using light colors for your bed sheets like green, yellow, and white not only helps to brighten and freshen up the room, but also help minimize as an attractant to these hungry bugs. Tip: It is also easier to spot potential signs of bed bugs with the contrasting colour between the light sheets and blood stains or physical presence of bed bugs!

Dirty laundry

Big, small, dark, or light – it doesn’t matter. For as long as there is a pile of dirty clothes in your hamper (or on your floor), it attracts pests by crawling under these stacks.

In the absence of a human host, bed bugs tend to seek soiled laundry as a hive. The mountain of laundry on your bedroom floor can be the starting point of a bed bug’s journey across the entire room. In any case, dirty laundries carry germs and bacteria which are harmful for your health and unhygienic for you to sleep and rest in at night, so it’s good to kill these bad housekeeping habits.

It is possible to have bed bugs even in the clean home, read here to find out why.

Ways to prevent bed bugs

There are plenty of reasons and ways to get rid of and prevent bed bugs, like protecting your bed and mattresses, avoiding buying used clothing or furniture, vacuuming as much as possible, maintaining proper ventilation, and cleaning out the clutter in your home. It’s also best to be familiar with the common hot spots where bed bugs are likely to appear. Early detection and prompt actions minimize risk impact level!

One example is also to detect and identify you are getting bed bug bites.

It is also helpful to learn on how they may get transported back to your home after a work or leisure trip. In this way, you can prevent the infestation of these sneaky pests in your home.

Seek professional bed bug control services

And just like deterring other pests, there are numerous DIY ways to eliminate bed bugs through sprays and deterrent tools. Bed bugs are not only the most-challenging pest to control but they are also the most stubborn. They reproduce in volumes and an infestation can turn into an outbreak quite easily and quickly.

It is still best to have a professional conduct proper inspection and deliver the right and adequate treatments to remove them to avoid further damage to your health. After all, everyone deserves to sleep tight without the bed bugs that bite.

Call (65) 6347 8138 or click here to find out useful Facts to Know before You Explore Bed Bug Treatment

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