Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites: pictures
Last updated 15 August 2012
Bed bug bites look very different from one person to another. Some bedbug bites are larger, some smaller, some have a red dot in the center, or a scab, others don’t, some look like mosquito bites or pimples. Some bed bug bites are in groups of 2 or three (a pattern known as “breakfast, lunch, and dinner”), or in a line, or in a circle. Others are always single bites.
I’ve heard from experts that whether you get multiple bites in a pattern may have to do with whether the bed bug is disturbed while feeding (if you move, they may move and start over) and also whether your veins are easily accessed by the bed bugs (if they are, they need pierce only once).
Dermatologists and PCOs cannot identify a bed bug bite or distinguish it from something with another cause.
A dermatologist can test a skin reaction and determine it’s an insect bite, but cannot be certain it’s from bed bugs.
For this reason, you can’t be sure you have bed bugs unless you find visual evidence (bed bugs, a cast skin, bed bug eggs, or fecal stains). See this gallery for pictures of bed bugs and signs of bed bugs.
However, people still do ask what bed bug bites look like, so here are some examples:
The caption to this one mentions bigger bites that did not itch:
Note the shape of a devil in this one also from Bassommeijer (couple bitten in Argentina):
BBsBlow’s photos are here.
For some background on bed bug bites, here’s a post from October 2006 about doctors (not) diagnosing them, which links to a number of photos of bed bug bites that do, and don’t, look typical. Also, see this series of articles (with additional photos) about S’s experiments with intentionally being bitten to see how nymph and adult bites compare, and to see if apparently unbitten G reacts when bitten.
To see additional bite photos, click on any of the following DermAtlas, APictureofMe’s Bite Photos, Caitlin’s photos. Also, additional bite photos can be found at the bed bugs / bedbugs photo pool on flickr.com. And these are photos of entomologist Lou Sorkin’s arm after he is bitten by many bed bugs at once.
If you want me to post your photo of bugs, bites, or mattresses on flickr.com and link to them from Bedbugger, please post them on your flickr.com account and send me the link, and I will add them here. You can start a free, anonymous flickr account by going to http://flickr.com
We also have a new flickr group for bed bug bite photos that anyone can view and anyone can join to share bed bug bite (and other) photos. Please remember that other people will be able to find and link to the photos on flickr.com as well as here. However, my flickr settings are such that no one should be able to download them or print them. If you have your own flickr account, please join the bed bugs / bedbugs photo group, and post your bedbug-related photos there (I can link to those photos here if you let me know!)
Thanks for helping people see the variety of ways bed bug bites can manifest themselves on people.