Bed bugs are one of the most common household nuisances in the world. They feast on our blood, are hard to evict, and don't serve any purpose. Just as many have, I've fought bedbugs firsthand and this inspired my journey to help eradicate them from as many homes as possible.
But why do bed bugs only bite me and not everyone? When you notice a bed bug bite, you do so because of the skin reaction caused by the bites. While a couple can both be bitten, only one may react to the bed bug bites.
Keeping that in mind, just know that you're not singled out by any means. Another worthy piece of information is humans are often curious as to why they're animals aren't targeted by these foul guests and only they are. This answer is simple too, a bed bug will only go after animals if they're starving.
Are bed bugs visible to the human eye?
The answer is yes bed bugs are visible to the human eye. Oftentimes, they're often confused with other types of insects such as fleas, lice, or swallow bugs. On average they're about ¼” (a quarter-inch) long and are even bigger when they just got done devouring one's blood. Here are the various stages and what they look like.
- Eggs: These white, pear-shaped eggs are about 1 millimeter thick. This is about the thickness of a dime which is still visible to the naked eye.
- Nymphs: Starting their life with a ” see-through” appearance, the nymph bed bug is similar in appearance to adults but on a smaller scale. They do start to appear red as they devour blood from their human targets.
- Adults: About a quarter of an inch long and with an oval shape, it's hard to not see bed bugs at this stage of their lives. It's safe to say that these bugs resemble that of an apple seed, with them getting longer as well as fatter after they have feasted on blood.
How to look for signs of bed bugs
As far as how you can tell whether you have bed bugs in the home, here are a few of the telltale signs to look for:
- Bed bugs do shed their skins. The shed exoskeleton is left behind which reveals their existence.
- Brown stains on your bedding or headboard are common signs of a bed bug problem.
- Discovering blood stains on your sheets or nightclothes that can't be explained.
- Seeing the bugs themselves which are brown and leave blood behind when squished.
- Waking up in the middle of the night with numerous swollen, itchy red spots.
Do bed bugs only bite one specific person?
The truth of the matter is that everyone acts differently to a bed bug biting them, and while it may seem that one has a stronger reaction, everyone in the area is getting bit.
Some people might see the bites swell up or be redder than the bites with others (that may seem “invisible”). A lot of this depends on a variety of factors including, but not limited to age and skin sensitivity. Those who are younger may be more prone to seeing a reaction when bitten by a bed bug.
Whether there's an issue with seeing a reaction to bedbugs, anytime that one is sighted, it should be a top priority to eliminate them. This will ensure that anyone in the household won't be at risk of seeing any reactions and it will also help keep things tidy. Nobody likes waking up to blood spots on the sheets anyway, so the best solution to this is elimination.
Do bed bugs only bite in one specific place?
Any exposed skin of a human is the target of bed bugs. However, you'll find that some of the most common areas include the arms, face, hands, legs, and neck. As you can see, you can't put on body armor where they like to bite the most, but this doesn't mean all hope is lost.
This simply gives you more reason to eliminate bed bugs from your home by targeting the areas that they frequent the most. Attention to detail coupled with an effective pest control solution tailored to exterminate bedbugs is the best way to do this.
How do I treat a bed bug bite?
Not all bites from bed bugs require formal medical treatment. Instead, you can usually wash the bites with soap and water. As hard as it may be, you don't want to scratch the itch, as it could lead to worsening the bite.
There are times when bites could cause a secondary infection. Telltale signs of this are increased swelling, the bites feeling like they're warm, and the infected areas becoming sensitive to the touch. A fever is also a common sign of a secondary infection. Should it come to this point, seek out a medical professional so that you can get your hands on the antibiotics needed to overcome it.
Do bed bugs only bite humans?
For the most part, the answer is yes. Only when in starvation do bed bugs target animals specifically which usually occurs at times of vacation or when humans aren't present within their home regularly. Usually, bedbugs won't enter this mode until after several months (5+).
This is what's considered as a pest that targets humans specifically. How long does it take for bedbugs to start wanting to go after the blood of humans? This remains unknown at the current time, but there is one thing you can do if you find your pets to be victims of bed bugs. A simple bath and grooming session outside will usually eliminate your pets as their targets. Simple enough, right?
What attracts bed bugs to bite you?
You might think that certain scents or certain blood types will attract these nasty pests the most, but this isn't the case. Carbon dioxide and body heat are what attracts bed bugs.
Bed bugs are warm-blooded, making it a natural trait that they're attracted to the human body. While they do like to feast on one's blood in the middle of the night, there's not a specific time that you're safe from them. This is yet another reason that it's critical to always keep your eyes open and be aware.
Do bed bug bites always swell up?
Some people might not experience any reaction from a bed bug bite. Others may have a severe allergic reaction. It all depends upon one's chemistry and what their body is susceptible to.
Most of the time bed bugs will bite and cause certain areas to swell up. This is simply a reaction to their saliva which they use to numb the area that they're feeding on while they're attacking.
Do bed bugs have a blood type preference?
This used to be a hard question to answer until universities spent time researching this subject. Bed bugs like heat, the hotter one's body, the more likely they are to attract bed bugs. Those with an “O” blood type are known to be hotter than others, making them more susceptible to bed bugs.
This isn't something set in stone just yet but using what we know about bed bugs it's a safe assumption to make. The research is still ongoing.
Does washing before bed stop bed bugs?
There's a myth that's been becoming more popular recently, and that's if you want to keep bed bugs away just take a shower before you go to bed. Sadly, it's just a myth.
When it comes to these kinds of pests, the only thing a shower will do is get them off your body and down the drain. Nothing more, nothing less. So before you go believing what everyone says, keep this in mind, the best thing you could do is wrap yourself tightly in a thick pest-free blanket, but that's not even the most comfortable way to prevent bed bugs.
Ultimately, the solution that you'll want to embrace is to exterminate your home. Whether it's going about it with the do-it-yourself approach or calling in the professionals to get the job done.
Will I always notice a bed bug bite?
As it was mentioned earlier, absolutely not! Sometimes a bed bug bite can go unseen, depending on how your body acts to the saliva they emit during feeding time.
Those who are more sensitive to things will see a reaction whereas those who aren't as susceptible might not. It all depends on how one's body reacts. Therefore, many people think that just because their partner doesn't have visible signs, that there might not be a true bed bug problem. However, this has done more harm than good in the past.
Can I wear a bed bug repellent?
This may seem like a crazy question, but believe it or not, it's a fair one to ask. Essential oils such as cinnamon, peppermint, thyme, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and clove are oils known to repel bed bugs naturally. If one is to go this route, these are the oils one should embrace.
Keep in mind that while these may repel bed bugs, it's not the solution that will seal the fate of a bed bug problem for good. Preventive measures and extermination are the true ways to eliminate an infestation for good. Even then, you still have to be proactive in order to ensure lasting results.
Win the war against bedbugs, once and for all!
Now that you know everything there is to possibly know about bed bug bites, this leaves one more thing for you to do. Seek out the best bedbug products available online.
Our experts have reviewed countless products to help reveal what is truly the best of the best. From the ingredients that they use to the results that they've produced; no stone is left unturned. It's time for you to take true control of your home and live a bug-free life once and for all. Instead of getting stuck asking “why do bed bugs only bite me” over and over again.