Why do bedbugs tend to bite certain places or people?(8 posts)
I may or may not have the beginnings of a bedbug problem, and I've been doing some research on them.
One thing I have noticed in my research and my own experience is that sometimes bedbugs will bite one occupant of the bed exclusively or more often, and that they will often only bite in a certain area, like the legs. Is there any reason for this? Could it be that "hot sleepers" tend to attract them more, or that their attack comes from a certain direction, resulting in one person or area of a person being bitten, but not others? I guess it isn't important with regard to getting rid of them, but I was just curious. My wife seems to get bitten less often than I do, and the bites seem to bother her much less, while mine swell up and drive me insane with itchiness. I don't scratch them, but any clothing or anything rubbing on them makes them swell up and itch worse. Also, they seem to only bite my feet and legs. Any thoughts?
Bed bugs will generally only bite exposed flesh or areas that they can get to easily. This is usually limbs and upper body. The reason for this is that they are not able to bite through material.
When they appear to bite only one of the occupants of the room it may literally be that. One person responds and the other does not. I have seen this with identical twins int he same room, both beds infected and only one responded. The bite response is simply more complex than first thought and an area where a lot more research is needed.
If biten you shoudl avoid scratching, avoid getting over heated (exercise or hot baths/showers) and avoid where possible areas of high pollution as these will all set the itch off.
There is anti itch medications available in some countries but you need to see your doctor about such things.
Hope that helps a little.
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It is also possible that the bugs may be on one persons side of the bed and not the others. I would inspect extensively.
Look into screw hole and in crevices and seal with encasements.
I also seem to be a mosquito magnet. Maybe I'm just tasty?
david, you mentioned that pollution could be a factor in reaction to bedbug bites. this is interesting! is this an observation from working with infestations (and thus skin reactions) in various locations, ie. a more polluted location vs. one that is less polluted? what other environmental factors beside pollution and pesticides do you think might account for varying skin reactions to bites? (i realize the possibilities are endless here, but your thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated!)
At one time I was leaning in the direction that skin reactions that continue months after fighting a bed bug infestation could be contributed to old bite flare ups but I now am going in the direction that one may still have a bed bug infestation of some magnitude. These creatures are so stealth and your PTS is in high gear that I do believe at times it is hard to think straight.
Lou's image of bed bugs and eggs in the screw hole of just one side of the plastic chair illustrates just how stealth bbs are, so many places that they could hide that it makes it almost impossible to find on inspections, you miss one little area and you missed the find.
I first observed this several years ago. I was treating a property where the occupant only reported bite responses when he arrived at work suspecting that it was a vehicle based infestation.
After expensive searching I found they were only present in the master bedroom and that he worked in a location of notoriously high hydrocarbon pollution. For legal reasons I can give the name or type of location but since then I have spotted a trend between some peoples responses and locations that they travel.
Another classic was a heavily infested property in the southern suburbs of London. Despite having an infestation for 9 - 12 months producing a lovely colony of some 3 - 5,000 bed bugs the main bite responder had only had bites for 5 days before we arrived. When asked what had changed int he last 7 days the answer came forward as a change in job. The old job was based in the countryside around London and the new job was in the city center.
The redness of a bite and the swelling is an immune system response which is one of the reasons why the bite response varies so much from person to person. If you think of a bed bug bite as a small hole int he surface of your skin and nothing more than that you start to see why the environment can play a significant role.
As I have said before bite responses are notoriously unreliable indicators of an infestation due in part to the above reasons.
Its clearly an area that more medical research is needed.
Yesterday Lou told me something about his recent bite image. Lou I hope that you don't mind and I hope that I got this correct.
Lou never had a bite response like the one he showed in the recent image although he has fed bbs hundreds of times.
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