How Long Do Bed Bugs Feed For? It takes roughly between three to ten minutes for a bed bug to feed on you and to become fully engorged with blood. When they are done, they will crawl away from you without you noticing them.
Do Bed Bug Bites Itch?
Yes! Bed bug bites itch and often, it can become an annoyance and cause discomfort for some. Generally, when a bed bug bites, it will not harm you but will leave you scratching for awhile until it disappears.
After being bitten, it is a good idea to refrain from scratching the welts so that they do not become infected or lead to a rash. Some bed bugs do not leave marks on the skin and some do. If the rash continues after a few days, visit your family doctor to ensure it has not become infected.
The area may become swollen and can last for several days until the swelling subsides or welts go away. The reaction is not necessarily from the bite itself, but from their saliva that was injected before feeding. In rare cases, the bites can lead to iron deficiency in children. Overall, the bed bug bites are not painful.
Bed bug bites will only itch for a week or two but depending on the severity it could last up to several weeks before it stops. We will discuss ways of soothing and relieving itching in this article, as well.
How to Stop Bed Bug Bites from Itching
Just as any other bug bite, you will likely start scratching the affected area. Bed bug bites will typically disappear within a couple weeks. To prevent bed bug bites from itching or from a rash developing, here are some home remedies and natural solutions to use:
- Calamine lotion – Relieves itching and will dry rashes to protect your skin. You can find this at your local drug store. Calamine lotion is useful for many types of bug bites and are not limited to bed bug bites.
- Baking Soda and Water – Mix these two substances until it creates a paste. Apply it on the affected area and let it dry before wiping it off with a soft cotton pad.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is typically used to soothe a variety of burns like sun burn. It relieves the itching and burning feeling and is also great to use on bug bites.
- Toothpaste – Not many consider using toothpaste as a method for itching relief but it can actually soothe the itching sensation.
- Lemon Juice – As the most natural liquid with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, lemon juice is considered a good option to reduce redness and swelling.
- Vinegar – Using Vinegar to kill bed bugs is another common method. Using vinegar directly on bed bugs can kill them as it is extremely acidic and will strike their nervous system. Note that this is not a stand-alone treatment for killing bed bugs.
Tip: Soak all of your window sills, mattresses, carpets, and furnishings with vinegar and continue to do this weekly to reduce the infestation.
- Any type of antihistamine, ice packs or antiseptic creams or lotions will help reduce the discomfort and reduce the amount of time it takes to heal.
How Do Bed Bugs Bite?
Bed bugs are so tiny that it’s almost impossible to notice when you are being bitten, especially if you are asleep. These critters will find a way to your exposed skin and attack.
Bed bugs bite with a small beak with mouthparts that are divided into two parts: The mouth that secretes saliva into the host to numb the area with an anesthetic and avoid detection, and the other that will draw the blood. They pierce exposed skin and take three to ten minutes to completely engorge with your blood. After they are finished, they will hide away and return to their nest.
Their bites are not painful and most of the time, people won’t react or notice that they are being bitten at all.
What Are Bed Bugs Most Attracted To?
Bed bugs have an attraction to human blood. That is a given. There are definitely other things that they are attracted to including:
Breathing – Bed bugs will follow carbon dioxide near them. When we inhale, we breathe in air which is oxygen and release it back out as carbon dioxide and water vapour. As we sleep, we do not move so the layer of carbon dioxide floats around our bed, and invites the bed bugs to come and feast.
Temperature – Bed bugs love warm things and that is where you come in. As the living, breathing being you are, you exert warmth. Therefore, they will directly seek you out and feed.
Sheets – Bed bugs are known to love the dark and are most accustomed to it so it is not a surprise that they would prefer black and red coloured sheets over any other colour. If the sheets are white or anything bright, they will feel as if they are being exposed to the light and get caught. Maybe invest in white sheets?
Hair – Luckily, if you have long, thick hair, bed bugs will likely not approach any place with a high concentration of hair since it would be difficult getting to the skin. Is it more likely that a woman who shaves her legs will be more likely to get bitten? Not necessarily. But if any skin is exposed whether you are a male or female, a bed bug will not discriminate and will feed as they please.
Where Do Bed Bugs Bite
Bed bugs do not have a preference of where they bite. Bed bugs bite commonly on the neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and ankles. They are more likely to bite when skin is clearly exposed as it is easier to feed. Yes, the can bite your face as well but they are more likely to bite other body parts before they head right to your face.
Tip: Wear clothing that covers most of your body while you sleep to prevent bed bugs from easy access to biting you. If you tend the sleep without socks, you will be likely to find bed bug bites around your ankles or sometimes your hands.
Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothing?
The simple answer is no. PestSeek.com notes that bed bugs cannot bite through clothing. They will only feed on exposed skin. They can, however crawl under your clothes to get through to your skin and feed. Because of their size and stealth, they are able to find any way to your skin and begin feeding.
bed bugs cannot live on your clothes. For example, if you have a mountain of clothing in your closet, there is a chance these pests have made a home in there, since they are attracted to cluttered spaces and small crevices, but they cannot settle on a piece of clothing that you would wear frequently.
It’s a myth that a bed bug will travel on you while you’re awake. It is also impossible for them to jump from one person to the other beside them since they do not have the ability to jump or fly. Their mobility is limited to crawling.
Bed bugs will not make themselves at home in your clothes because they typically move around a lot. They prefer to find places that are less disturbed and are filled with clutter.
Tip: If you suspect that bed bugs have made an invasion in your closet, you can throw your clothes in the dryer on a high heat for twenty minutes. This should eliminate bed bugs on your clothes as they can only sustain life in high temperatures for so long.