Bed Bug Bites Pictures

Pictures of Bed Bug Bites and Bed Bug Colonies

1
Bed Bug Bites on Arm

Bed Bug Bites
Didn't Know What These Were Until an Expensive Trip to the Doctor. (c) Claire Houck

Bed bugs are gaining notoriety in the media for being almost everywhere. These little vampires like to live in dark places and feed on warm blood. Bed bugs cause itching and swelling like mosquitoes. Unlike mosquitoes, bed bugs don't really spread infectious diseases, although they have been discovered infected with diseases from the humans they bite.

These bed bug bites pictures illustrate how bites can look. There are also pictures of the bed bugs and their colonies.

Claire shares this picture taken after mysterious sores showed up. She went to the doctor to figure out what was happening and discovered that bed bugs had infested her New York City apartment.

Bed bug bite reactions are similar to mosquitoes. Bed bugs feed on blood and have a saliva that keeps blood from clotting so they can eat freely, just like mosquitoes. The two species aren't related, but like mosquitoes, the reaction from bed bug bites comes from an allergy to the saliva. Some reactions are very mild, while others can cause significant swelling.

Claire's experience in her own words:

The doc was really useless. I went to a clinic in my neighborhood. He told me that they were bed bug bites, and gave me two prescriptions. One turned out to be a lotion meant to treat scabies (and thus completely non-applicable) and the other was an anti-itch cream which I decided not to buy (I don't like using stuff like that, I just exercised some will power to not itch them). Even without itching them, some of my bites scabbed over, though.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

2
Bed Bug Feeding Frenzy

bed bug bite reaction
Usually Bed Bugs Spread Out a Little but These Don't Have that Option. (c) Lou Sorkin

Entomologist Lou Sorkin feeds his colony of bed bugs by letting them drink his blood through the little mesh top on their jar. Lou was quick to point out that given the opportunity, bed bug would not bite in a cluster like this. When done this way, the bed bugs have a full blown feeding frenzy, climbing over one another to get to Lou's blood.

The next picture shows the bite area 10 minutes after the bed bug feeding frenzy.

Bed bug bite reactions come from human allergies to the bed bug saliva. Bed bug saliva serves a purpose similar to the saliva of mosquitoes, to thin the blood.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

3
Bed Bug Feeding Frenzy After 10 Minutes

bed bug bite reaction
The Bed Bugs are Fed and Tucked In for the Night. (c) Lou Sorkin

Entomologist Lou Sorkin feeds his colony of bed bugs by letting them drink his blood through the little mesh top on their jar. Ten minutes after dinner, the area on his arm where the feeding frenzy happened is swollen.

The last picture showed the bite area right after the bed bug feeding frenzy. The next picture shows the area 24 hours later.

Lou reports that he doesn't itch very much, which is lucky for him. The allergic reaction most of us have to bed bug spit is what causes the swelling and the itching. Luckily, according to the CDC, bed bugs aren't very good at spreading disease.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

4
Bed Bug Bites After 1 Day

bed bug bite reaction
Bed Bug Feeding Frenzy 1 Day Later. (c) Lou Sorkin

A day after letting several bed bugs feed on his arm through the screen at the top of their jar, entomologist Lou Sorkin shows off the irritation.

Lou says he didn't have too much itching, which is lucky for him. Bed bug bite reactions are similar to mosquitoes: some people are very allergic while others have almost no reaction at all. The last photo showed how much swelling occurred in just 10 minutes after the "feeding" was over.

Lou says on his flickr post that the bed bugs would feed for a few seconds then move out of the way for a new wave of bed bugs to take over. There's a special place for people like Lou, because there's no way I'd let these things feed on my arm, even for science. Thanks, Lou.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

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