Our customers often like to talk about bites, but in fact bedbugs are stinging at them in search of a blood vessel. But what do these bedbugs stings actually look like?
Bedbug bites are similar to other insect bites, such as mosquito or flea bites. They are mainly found on uncovered body parts such as arms, legs and hands as well as in the neck.
All good things come in threes: Usually you will find several punctures in a line or group, which is colloquially referred to as the “breakfast, lunch and dinner” of the bedbug.
If the bug has been disturbed while eating, there are usually several stings in the same area that resemble a skin rash.
Each skin reacts differently to stings. It is possible that one does not see any reaction or – in the other extreme – notices several red spots on the skin, slight swelling and itching. Even people who sleep in the same bed can react differently to bedbug stings although they have both been stung.
The best way to find out if you have been bitten by a bed bug (and not another insect) is here: Safe signs of bedbug bites.
Dietary Habits of Bedbugs
Bedbugs suck blood every 5 to 7 days and only leave their shelter when the host can no longer provide them with sufficient supplies. They are nocturnal, but also look for a host during the day if they need food. Especially if the host tends to sleep nearby during the day.
Bedbugs crawl over the bed linen and usually sting where the body touches the sheet. They only need 5 to 10 minutes to suck blood and spend less than 20 minutes feeding on their host. They then return to their shelter and spend most of their time there.
Bugs are attracted to heat, carbon dioxide and various chemicals. This means that bedbugs have a pretty strong sense of which host is best for them.
Researchers have discovered a wide range of messengers that attract bedbugs. A study by the State University of New Jersey and Purdue University, Indiana, describes that a mixture of green mint, Egyptian coriander oil and some organic chemicals (including nonanal, 1-octen-3-ol) are suitable for attracting bedbugs. They also found that bedbugs prefer black surfaces.
Can Hairy Skin Protect Against Bedbug Stings?
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have found that hairy skin does indeed produce fewer stings than smooth skin. Volunteers had one arm shaved and the other left naturally hairy. Finally, the time was measured until a sting was made by the bed bug. It turned out that hairy skin showed stings only clearly later and the test persons could feel the crawling bugs also rather. However: hairiness alone does not prevent bedbugs from stinging when sleeping.
Why do Bedbugs Itch?
Bedbug stings itch because the host body reacts to the saliva that is injected with the sting. Bedbugs – like other insects – have a complex mouth area with a needle-like extension that pierces the skin and saw-like devices that cut through the flesh.
The bedbug also has a blood-absorbing channel and a salivary channel that transmits anticoagulants and anesthetics. The anticoagulant keeps the blood liquid for better absorption. The anaesthetic secretion ensures that the sting cannot be felt and that food intake can continue uninterrupted. Pretty clever!
The human immune system, however, recognizes the foreign bodies and releases histamine in the body as a protective mechanism. This causes local inflammation and itching.
How Long Does It Take For The Sting To Become Visible?
People react very differently to bed tail stings. This mainly depends on the sensitivity of the immune system to the toxins. Reactions from 30 minutes to several days are possible. But the human body is capable of learning. In the case of multiple stings, it recognises the foreign substances in the body more quickly and can also break down the reaction much more quickly.
How do Bedbugs Nest in my Body?
Bedbugs like to travel in their luggage; preferably from their hotel room to their own four walls, where they can reproduce and go in search of food. They don’t care about the duration of the journey or the temperature. In a cooler climate they can even survive for up to a year without food!
But their preferred means of transport is not just luggage. They also like to get through beds and furniture to other rooms, crawl through holes in the walls or use sockets and pipes to get from room to room. Once bedbugs have established themselves undisturbed, they transmit pheromones to their nets to ensure that their area is safe, which – as you already suspect – attracts more bedbugs.
Bedbugs like to hide. A thorough inspection by an expert is necessary to determine where and how large the bedbugs infestation is.
What do I do With Bedbug Stitches?
Bedbugs are parasites. It leads to skin rash and itching. Many people don’t react to the stings and don’t need to be treated, while others unfortunately suffer from allergic reactions. How the skin reacts to the stings and heals varies from person to person in the course and duration.
If the stings develop into itchy swellings, it is advisable to buy a suitable remedy in the pharmacy for relief. If the puncture site becomes inflamed, you should consult a doctor.