Bed Bugs Bites? Find Out If They Are With This Checklist

bedbugsbites

Steps To Find Out If Red Bumps Are Bed Bug Bites

When you wake up in the morning and see those reddish raised bump, your mind will almost always go straight to the worst thing you can think of….BED BUGS BITES! Assuming you found this post when searching for some answers you’ll be happy to know you’ve arrived at the right place for some. Everyday we get calls, chats and requests asking us to come and inspect for bed bugs in homes and apartments. YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

If you think you may have bed bugs bites, I will always suggest you start an inspection in the bedroom where you’ve been bit. It may take a large amount of time to find any because of the difficulty locating them. This can often give people a false sense of hope. That’s why I usually suggest that homeowners do multiple inspections themselves. Take a look at this guide on how to inspect for bed bugs in your bedroom. You should also inspect your furniture for bed bugs and more specifically you should inspect your bed and mattress.

List Of Detailed Items To Inspect

Bed bugs may turn up in unexpected places, in moderate and large infestations. If the infestation is large, every object in the affected area should be carefully inspected. Bed bugs thrive small cracks and crevices so no item is too large or small for them to find homes in. Therefore, be sure to take your time during a bed bug inspection.

Some Key Spots To Inspect For Bed Bugs

  • Television and other remote controls, in the battery compartment
  • Telephones, cell phones and cordless phones
  • Lamps and alarm clocks
  • Computers and other electronics
  • Cardboard boxes in closets and under the bed
  • Children’s toys and stuffed animals
  • Jewelry boxes
  • Brick walls and “popcorn” or other textured ceilings
  • Books, magazines, newspapers, and files
  • Inside hollow doors
  • Ceiling light fixtures, smoke detectors
  • Heating units, air conditioners and ducts
  • Wheelchairs

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Identification Of Bites, Rashes and Skin Reactions:

A visual identification is the best way to verify bed bugs, but unfortunately this is not always possible. This is especially true in the first few months of infestation and getting bit. Below we are going to breakdown exactly what the questions and approach should be to finding out whether those bites are bed bugs bites or what is exactly going on. If you have done a detailed and thorough inspection and haven’t found any signs of bed bugs, take the time to read through some of these questions and see if it helps you get the answers you need.

Here is a quick list of things that could be causing raised reddish bumps on your body. Please note, we always recommend a doctor rule out some of these issues. We are not a medical resource, but this is our experience with calls and contact from people who are trying to investigate the bites they are getting. I like to break it down to seven (7) categories:

  1. Medical Issue: Itchy Skin, Hives or Rash
  2. Allergic Reaction To Detergent or Bedding
  3. Stress Rash or Hives
  4. Bed Bugs
  5. Fleas
  6. Mosquitos
  7. Mites

This categorization makes it easy to see that we are dealing with either a medical or a pest issues. Are there more reasons that these seven? The answer is yes, but they are so rare that I have seen them (maybe once or twice in my 20 years in this business, so infrequent that they are not worth the trouble describing). Let’s break these down even further.

Medical Issues or Allergic Reactions:

rash from allergic reaction
Rash From Allergic Reaction

Visiting the doctor and ruling out health issues is a key component to figuring out what is going on when you have a rash. You may want to visit a specialist such as a dermatologist or and allergy specialist. You will find that at this point, after 15 years of the bed bugs resurgences, many of their professionals have their own lists for bed bugs. They are often faced with the same issues of trying to find out exactly what is biting them and their patients are always asking about bed bugs.

Medical Checklist

  • Change Your Sheets and Laundry Detergent
  • Change Your Diet, Exercise or Medicines
  • Visit a Medical Doctor Or Specialist

Take the time to watch for symptoms and check with your doctor for medical checklist of rashes or reddish bumps.

Common Types Of Insect Bites

Pest Related Bites Are 95% Bed Bugs Bites:

Bed bugs bites are the most common type of insect bite. This is especially true if you are getting bit during the evening. I can’t explain how many people try to rationalize that they are not getting bit by bed bugs. Or they develop an idea that there is some magical new insect that that arrived at their property in New York State and is biting them. Maybe it’s the vampire movies. If it bites like a bed bug and it happens at night while your sleeping, chances are you’ve got bed bugs.

Flea Bites: Identifying and Ruling them Out:

Flea Bites

Fleas are not discriminate biting insects. They will come out all the time and anytime to get a blood meal. They are going to bite the lower parts of your legs and ankle only because they are closet to the ground. Fleas also need pressure to be pushed out the egg and will want a blood meal immediately. They are easier to spot and see in the early stages after egg development. Most of these bites will not happen in the evening while your in bed. Also, fleas will live in the carpeting open areas so they can be seen while cleaning a vacuum cleaner or other obvious ways to inspect for them.

Bird Mites: Are These Biting Me At Night?: Mites will causes rashes, and they bite hosts like any other blood based feeding insect. There are varieties of mites, but we find dust mites and bird mites are the most common. The bites will be very small, almost hard to see and the rashing can be more reddish with very, very small raised bumps (almost unnoticeable). Sometimes if a bird nests in the walls or soffits, mites will start to enter the property.  This can happen often in bedrooms just because they are close to the attic which provides good nesting sites for birds. Check your attic or soffits for bird mites.

Dust Mites: Baseboard Dwellers: Dust mite bites are small and have the same look as bird mites. We often see these types of mites in homes with hardwood floors. They breed in the dust that collects under the baseboards and areas that are hard to clean. Best way to check for mites is to place a glue board under the bed and check it. They will look like small grains of sand. Very hard to see without a magnifying glass or microscope.

3 Factors Indicating Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bugs Don’t Come Out Until Its Dark: Just because you don’t see them when tearing your bed apart doesn’t mean they aren’t there. In fact, not finding anything and getting bit is actually a, indication that it is bed bugs. This is because of their strong ability to remain hidden. This can lead to large and long gestation with huge infestations before we are even called in to address the issue. Bed bugs are extremely hard to find and also very good at hiding (especially during the day), so chances are they are not going to come out and start waving.

Bed bugs are not even visible to the naked eye until months after development. They have been taking blood meals on you before you have even realized it because their mouthparts are some small they draw blood without the host noticing. You probably won’t see them during the day, and they get into the smallest areas so inspection can often result in failure to identify.

Timing Of Bites: When populations are small, or in the early stages, they are not consistent. As populations increase you will see bites become more regular. Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide but will only come out in the dark. This means that if you are not always sleeping in the infected room, they will be very active once you return from vacation or wherever you have been sleeping. Once they take a blood meal, they won’t need one for a while so that specific bed bug will not bite again until it’s preparing for its next development stage.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Bed bugs will often bite in groups of three. That’s where the saying breakfast, lunch and dinner come from. This is not always the case and very often they won’t bite. Anyone who has been in the industry for a while knows that this is common. In fact, scientist are still trying to understand why this is happening. They have been focused on research trying to understand the pest and issues surround bed bugs bites. This will happen around the arms, neck shoulders of the host. Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide so this is the primary area your exhale will attract them.

Call A Bed Bug Pro

Any indication of the above should be a case for contacting a professional pest control company. Remember, the bed bugs have likely been in your home for months before you realized it so anyone handling your situation should have a long warranty (we recommend at least a year). Also the exterminators should focus on residential treatments. Many large national firms are more focused on commercial properties and warehouse treatments. We know what to do in someone home and how to do it right.

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ABOUT ME: Being in the pest control industry for over 20 years, sometimes it feels like we have seen it all. I feel a passion in sharing our pest feedback, tips and making your lives healthier. Feel free to give me a call directly at our office and let me know if I can help you, your family or your business with any bed bugs bites pest control needs.

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