Lou Sorkin has some interesting new close-up photos of first instar bed bug nymphs feeding on his hand.
If you look closely, you can see one of the bed bugs before and after it feeds.
Lou’s description of this photo:
First instar nymphs feeding. Some bugs are almost full and ready to leave. On the right is a group of 3 nymphs, the one in the center has not yet begun to feed. It is very pale colored. The light colored raised areas on the left side of the hand have resulted from bed bug feeding within the last hour. These marks will disappear and within a few hours only a red mark pinpointing the bite site will remain. Bite reactions vary from person to person. The red area below the feeding bed bugs is a nevus, a birthmark.
Lou’s description here reads:
On the right is a group of 3 nymphs, the one in the center has begun to feed and it is now red (blood shows through its pale skin) and partially full of blood.
Update (8/23): Lou has provided an additional photo of his bite reactions (described in the comments that follow this post):
Lou writes, describing this photo,
Bed bugs will crawl along hairs and crawl down to skin surface to feed. Hours after bed bug feeding, red marks appear at site of each bite. Welts had preceded the red marks but first disappear. Red marks severity lessens with age and in a week are gone. Microscopic brownish areas remain but are very difficult to clearly see.
It’s important to remember that people react differently to bed bug bites (and even to bites at different times or on different parts of their bodies). Your experience may be quite different from Lou’s.
Note: you can click any of the photos above to go to Lou’s flickr photo page, and view them in more detail.
(Photos used with permission of Dr. L. Sorkin, All Rights Reserved.)
Thanks to Lou Sorkin for sharing his knowledge and photos of bed bugs so generously with all of us!