Bed bugs hide during the day and feed at night. Their diet? Your blood. Discover the signs of a bed bug rash and what to do if you've been bitten.

bug bites 

Bed Bug Rashes

Wake up with an itch that won't go away? Bed bug bites may be to blame. Since they cozy up where people lounge and sleep, bed bugs can make the sweetest slumber a real-life nightmare. So how do the bloodsuckers get away with it? Injecting a natural anesthetic, they go unnoticed as they suck blood from their sleeping victims. Everyone responds differently to their bites, but here’s a list of common reactions to help determine whether you’ve fallen prey to the unwanted bedmates:

Marks on Exposed Skin

Inspect your arms, hands, neck and face. If you see any red bumps, bites or rashes on your skin, they may be from bed bugs. That said, bed bug bites are often confused with the bites of other pests. Most often, this includes mosquitoes and fleas. What’s the difference? Flea bites often occur around the ankles, whereas bed bug bites can occur anywhere that skin is exposed at night.

Painless Bites, Often Painful Effects

When bed bugs bite, it’s unlikely that you’ll notice. This is because they bite when your body is still (often when you’re sleeping). Not to mention, the saliva they inject upon biting numbs the skin, making it painless. That said, it is also the saliva that causes people to suffer future reactions. The effects of a bite can vary from person to person. Sometimes, an allergic reaction to bed bug saliva produces red, itchy welts.

Two for One: Bites and Rash

Small, raised bumps may develop into a red bed bug "rash" surrounding the bites. An individual's reaction — sometimes an allergic reaction to bites — determines the appearance of the affected area and the severity of the reaction.

“Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner”

Bed bugs may feast on human blood in a "breakfast, lunch and dinner" pattern. Look for raised bumps in a line or clustered row, particularly in groups of three or more. Bites may appear in a line, since bed bugs feed on exposed skin while their host is dormant. As so, they may feed along the sheets where it meets the skin.


Refrain from scratching bites and bed bug rashes, as it only makes matters worse. Intense scratching can lead to bleeding, infection and swelling.

Increase in Nightly Bites

People often mistake bed bug bites for rashes or other insect bites. If you suspect you may have bed bug bites, monitor whether nightly bites increase over time.

Allergic Reactions to Bed Bugs

So how do you know if you have an allergic reaction to bed bug bites? Unfortunately, there may be no way to know for sure until you’ve been bitten. Reactions include pain, itching and discomfort at the site of the bite. It’s important that you do not scratch the bumps, as it may lead to a bed bug bite rash. If you’ve been bitten and are concerned about your side effects, consult a health care professional immediately.



Want bed bug rashes and bites to stop? You’ve got to kill the culprit, their eggs and the rest of the infestation. You've heard the saying "Goodnight, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite." This year, fight back when you schedule an appointment with Terminix®. Our trained technicians can help rid your home of bed bug infestations. That means you can wake up knowing your home, health and restful sleep are safe and secure.