How To Identify Bed Bug Bites – A Pest Expert’s Guide

The following explores why and how bed bugs bite, how to decipher between bed bug bites and flea bites, and 9 tips to avoid bed bug infestations in your home.


Bed bugs have been around as long as beds. According to archaeological evidence, these parasitic insects that can make our sleeping lives utter hell date back almost 4,000 years.

Barely the size of an apple seed, they are very hard to kill and their bites are often very itchy, red in color and found in a line formation.

They do disappear in time, aided by hydrocortisone creams and anti histamines, but they will return, time and time again, like taxes and seasonal allergies until they are finally confronted with an enemy they cannot contend with; namely, our pest control and pest-maintenance specialists at Pestco Professional Services.

Avoid bug bug bites

Why And How Do Bed Bugs Bite?

For bed bugs, human blood is their only source of nutrition, and without it, they die. They must gorge themselves at least once during each of their growing stages. 

Adult females cannot produce eggs without blood, which is why down through time, their presence is always linked to the proximity of human contact.

In addition to people, they also bite pets, such as dogs and cats, and bites all have a striking similarity in appearance.

Even though bed bug bites look more or less the same on our beloved pets, caretakers may mistake a bed bug bite for that of a flea or mosquito.

In addition to the bites themselves, a dog or cat’s skin can also show signs of bed bug feces, which cause scratching and other signs of irritation.

Pestco pest-maintenance and pest-control experts advise caretakers to carefully inspect pet bedding and groom their animals more frequently. 

A person or pet is rarely if ever bitten just once. Feeding begins instantly upon the insertion of mouthparts into a fitting blood vessel.

This may require more than one injection into the skin, and if a sleeping person moves while the bug is feeding, the insect will withdraw and seek another part of the body to satiate its needs.

The number of bites received do not indicate how many bugs have fed upon that one particular person or pet. 

Bed bug bites are often grouped together in linear or zigzag patterns, and they are usually found on those body parts that are most exposed during sleep.

This includes: hands; face; neck; shoulders; arms and legs. They resemble very small, flat or raised spots that can become inflamed, itchy, red and sometimes even blistered.

Although usually small, the size of the bite can vary due to a number of factors. It can depend on the effect of the anti-coagulant that bed bugs inject into their prey along with their saliva. It can also depend upon the human reaction to the bite.

The number of times a person is bitten can also influence both bite size and reactions.

Symptoms Associated With Bed bug Bites

Itching, swelling and red welts on the day after being bitten are common symptoms. Sometimes, however, it may take a few days for these to appear and in rare instances, they are not noticed at all.

Bed bugs can also cause a burning sensation, which often leads to red bumps known as papule or wheals (rash). If a rash develops, avoid scratching, and if it persists or becomes infected, visit your family physician.

How To Decipher Between Bed Bug Bites And Flea Bites

While they may look similar, they can be easily differentiated. They also require diverse strategies by the pest-control and pest-management experts at Pestco to eliminate.

Flea bites resemble mosquito bites, as they are pointed and haphazardly placed within a center that is often dark and red. They itch almost immediately and become less swollen with time.

Bedbug bites, on the other hand, are red and flat and often found in a straight row. Symptoms, as mentioned above, are not always immediate.

What Kills Bed Bugs Instantly?

There are many approaches pest control companies have taken over the years to prevent and eliminate bed bugs, but nothing has proven more effective than a recently-invented biopesticide called, Apprehend.

This revolutionary product is composed of non-toxic fungal spores. Surprisingly, direct spray contact on the bed bugs isn’t necessary, rather the spores are strategically applied in narrow bands where bed bugs are known to walk. The fungal spores germinate within 20 hours of contact, penetrate the cuticle of the bed bug and colonize inside them.

Bed bugs are killed while they rest, feed or mate – restricting their ability to reproduce and form colonies. As a result, the bed bugs are eradicated within 4 to 10 days.

But How Do You Avoid Bed Bug Bites? Here Are 9 Tips

The following suggestions can help in preventing a bed bug infestation both while traveling and at home.

If one occurs, however, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Pestco for immediate professional help in dealing with this situation, which will only get worse if left unattended.

Bedbug infestations are NEVER a do-it-yourself fix.

Travel with Duffel Bags Rather Than Suitcases

The advantage here is that duffel bags can be washed and suitcases cannot. Never store suitcases under the bed or in a closet. The basement or attic of your home are more pro active choices.

Wash Everything After Returning From A Trip

This includes clean items as well. According to entomologist, Jeffrey White, MS. it is best to undress inside your doorway, then wash and dry all of your clothes.

Bedbug-Proof Bags For Bedsprings and Mattresses

These special bags trap both bugs and eggs. Their light color makes bedbugs much easier to see. Consider spending a bit more for a high quality cover that will resist tearing and check it regularly for holes.

Even if the bed is headed for the garbage dump, such a covering will help the situation because it will prevent bugs from falling onto a couch or another piece of furniture on their way out the front door.

Vacuum Carpets And Rugs Often

Home owners should vacuum their carpets and rugs at least once a week and every day if bedbugs have been observed. Vacuum contents should be disposed of immediately after being carefully sealed in plastic bag. Failing to do this only helps the trapped bugs spread. 

Beware of Second-Hand Goods

No one ever knows where a second hand piece of furniture or clothing was before it arrived in the store, and because of this precautions should be always be taken before bringing things home or wearing them.

Bargains are fine as far as they go, but it may cost you a lot more if you fail to inspect seams and crevices in furniture for small reddish brown spots or wash all clothing on the highest heat setting possible.

Never remove furniture or mattresses from the trash, as it was placed there because something was wrong with it. Don’t take the chance, as dealing with the price of a bed bug infestation, even with an initiative conducted by the cost effective pest-control and pest-maintenance specialists at Pestco, can far outweigh any potential savings. 

Inspect New Clothing As Well

While many may not be aware of the fact that new clothing can also be infested by bedbugs, it is nevertheless true that this can easily happen with retail store contact with other shoppers or parcels that have become infested during shipping.

All clothing seams should be checked for red spots before purchase and beware of placing your own clothing on dressing room seating areas. Always use the hooks provided instead.

Clear Out Clutter In Your Home

Even if you are not a neatness freak, you should still try your best to eliminate as much clutter as possible form your home. Bedbugs love to hide in it and this makes it easier for them to infest your residence. Remove at least any debris or clutter that lies within eight feet of sleeping areas to prevent their spread.

Be Mindful Of Your Coats At All Times

Outer wear to bed bugs is an effective means of transport to new infestations. Think of your jackets as handlebars on a bike or hand straps on a train that bedbugs can easily grab hold of and do what they do best; namely, hitch a ride. Always hang up your coat in someone else’s house and never leave it on someone else’s bed or couch.

Hire A Professional Pest Control Company

Next to last but far from least, do not stop there. The best pro-active prevention tip is to call the pest-control and pest-maintenance specialists, and if you happen live anywhere throughout Greater Pittsburgh and its environs, that would be Pestco Professional Services!

As a final side, do not stop sleeping in your bed until they can come and clear out the problem. Your body heat is the attraction, and bed bugs will follow wherever their next meal is, which means other areas and pieces of furniture in your home will become infested as well.

In Conclusion

Call our teams today, and by tomorrow hopefully, that old rhyme about sleeping tight and not letting the bed bugs bite will be a woeful tale of times past and eliminated forever.

Pestco Pest Control Pittsburgh


Photo Credits: Pixabay


You May Also Be Interested In

How To Rid Groundhogs From Your Pittsburgh Property

The woodchuck, which is also known as the groundhog or whistle pig, is widely distributed throughout the state of Pennsylvania and Wildlife Removal Services are often relied upon to deal with the destruction they can cause to yards and surrounding landscapes. While groundhogs do have a big day named after them in early February of […]

5 Scents To Boost Sales For Pittsburgh Auto Dealerships

While ambient scenting services for almost any industry under the sun are beneficial to consumer traffic and establishing brand loyalty, their use in the realm of the automobile industry and particularly, auto dealerships, is both unmistakable and outstanding. In Pittsburgh, PA, this is most clearly illustrated by the increasing demand …

How To Have A Pest-Free Summer Barbecue

The following provides 5 key summer pests to watch out for when grilling outdoors along with 9 simple actions you can take to have a pest-free barbecue throughout the warmer Pittsburgh months — the most important of which (obviously) is to call us, your local, trusted, tried and true pest control company for regular, ongoing pest management …