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Bed bugs' bites

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  1. mrbill0626

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 20:45:37
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    Anyone here know what bed bug bites look like on the skin? Or are there any pictures available here or elsewhere? I've seen some places (welts, or bumps, you could say) on my skin that itch, but don't think they are bites, maybe blisters or something.

    Also, has anyone ever used one of those hand held DE applicators that are supposed to be for precision application, getting into tight areas, such as under baseboards, where there is wall-to-wall carpet? I saw it on a web site but can't find the site. The best way I can describe it is as a cylindrical pump that looks like you hold it in your hand and squeeze it and the DE shoots out the bottom through a straight tube that narrows at the end and becomes flat like a chisel or a flat screwdriver so it can deliver the DE into tight places.

    Thanks

    Mr Bill

  2. bugobsessed

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 21:06:56
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    Hi Mrbill,

    Here's a link to photos of bites: http://bedbugger.com/bed-bug-bites-photos/

    From what I gather, though people's bites can be different. I know my bites didn't look anything like these. Mostly, mine were on my hands and were small, red, and pimple-like. I thought it was a rash. I did have a few that were about 1 cm in diameter and were pink, slightly raised from the skin like mosquito bites. But mostly I had the pimple-like kind.

  3. Bites44

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 23:05:02
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    From all the reading I have done, and some experience, it appears that bites are so varied. Sean at Bedbugresource stated that he let a bunch of bugs bite him in the arm, and then went to 5 dermatologists, and none of them knew what the bites were.

    My nieces bites are red welts, and they itch, some more than others. Hers do not get large and infected. She gets bites on the neck, and also on her back.

    Mine are small pin pricks mostly on my inner arms, they only itch at first instance when they appear on the skin, and once in a while I get a itchy sensation where the bites are, but this does not last more than 1/2 minutes. Many of the bites I have are in a series of 3's, usually in a neat row.
    The pin pricks stay for a long time, weeks actually.

    Now other persons have stated on forum boards that the itch they get is very intensive, and some other's bites are swollen and red. Hope that helps.

  4. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 23:29:25
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    My husband's bites look similar to those shown on this site. Mine look more like pimples, as do my son's. They seem to bother my son more in the itchiness factor, but my husband and I only notice a slight and temporary itchiness.

  5. (deleted)

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 19:16:58
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    This is an old article on bedbug bites (2004) that is useful because it describes the sheer variety of manifestations. And it's not even that comprehensive! It's important, very important, to remember that bites will not always be very itchy or will not always have a red dot in the center or will not always be in a group or in a line or you-name-it.

    From Diagnosis and Management of Bedbugs: An Emerging U.S. Infestation:

    "Bedbugs can produce four types of rash: 1. papular lesions with a central red punctum, often grouped in a linear fashion; 2. large pruritic wheals up to 20 cm across, sometimes with a central punctum; 3. groups of small vesicles produced by a single bite in a 3 cm diameter area with erythema, swelling, and may or may not have a central punctum; 4. unilateral bullous lesions of the hands and feet may resemble erythema multiforme and may be associated lymphangitis."

    If you browse the medical/dermatology literature on bedbug bites, you'll see similar descriptions.

    Quick and dirty definitions:

    papules: think pimples, but without pus
    punctum: point/small spot (these elsewhere described as hemorrhagic puncta so, also, small spots that bleed)
    pruritic wheals: itchy welts
    vesicles: small blisters
    bullae: larger blisters
    erythema: redness of the skin

    As far as old bites flaring up, we've linked other articles before. Also, there are people who will have immediate reactions, others who will have immediate plus delayed reactions, and yet others who will have delayed reactions. You can imagine the chaos that prolonged exposure can create, with new bites reactivating old bites and who knows what other combinations of bite fun.

    Bedbug bites are an allergic reaction and as such will manifest in a different way for each person. Further, because it's an allergic reaction, it changes over time. For example, a lot of people report their first bites being large itchy welts. These may give way to lesser reactions. So, you can expect your bites to be different from each other and different over a period of time as your infestation progresses. Some days will be less itchy than others. Some bites will look bigger than others. Some bites will not look like "bites" (whatever you think that is, i.e., they may not have that small red dot in the center).

    So, whatever you think bites look like, or however many pictures you see, it's better if you keep your own bite diary to record your own reactions and how they progress or change or get better over time.

    Given that you have new itchy blisters and that you only had 1 or 2 treatments (I'm sorry if I'm misremembering) I would advise you to investigate. Look for non-bite evidence that the bugs are still there. If your bed is not isolated (I don't recall), you may see some evidence on your white sheets or white sleep clothes. If not, where else are you sitting or resting in your home? See the many new discussions about inspecting and see if you can borrow some ideas.

    If you judge that you are still getting bites, get the PCO back in, of course. As we've discussed before, few people are so lucky to require so few treatments.

    Good luck.


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