Do Bed Bug Bites Itch? How to Stop the Itch of Bed Bug Bites

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If you find yourself waking up in the morning with little red dots or something that looks like a rash, it may be a sign that you have bed bugs. Bed bugs are insects that need human blood to grow and breed. If this sounds familiar, you need to check your mattress and bedding for the insects themselves, or signs that they are there, such as tiny specks that look like tiny dots. If you see the bugs themselves, you can be certain of what is causing the little red dots on your skin. The question is: do bed bug bites itch? In this post you’ll learn why bed bug bites sometimes itch and what to do to stop itching.

Do bed bug bites itch all the time?

Sometimes people ignore bed bug bites because they do not always itch or cause discomfort. Whether they itch or not depends on your sensitivity to them. The redness, swelling, blisters, and usually some itching is your body’s own immune system trying to rid itself of substances that the bug injected into your skin.

A bed bug bite does not always appear immediately. They can appear anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 days after the bite. Sometimes, you may get red patches or bites that appear at odd times when you know you have not been bitten by a bug. This is a delayed reaction and is not at all rare.

Bed bug bites may not always itch at first. There are some people who react to them more severely than others. Some people have allergies to them and their body will respond by breaking out in hives all over the body. If the bites continue long enough they can develop symptoms such as fever and joint pain.

One common reaction is that people are not sensitive to the first few bites, but as the bites continue on a nightly basis, they develop a sensitivity and will begin to itch. The itching will last until the body heals the bite.

Why do bed bug bites itch?

When a bedbug bites, it sticks its mouthparts into your skin to drink the blood. When it does this it injects saliva that contains several different chemical components including different proteins and enzymes. It is an old wive’s tale that you do not feel the bites because the bed bug injects an anesthetic, but examination of the saliva did not find any hint of an anesthetic. You do not feel the bite because they bite when you are in the deepest stage of sleep and because their mouthparts barely pierce your skin.

How long do they itch for?

The itch can last for up to two weeks in a single bite after the onset. However, until you eradicate the problem of bedbugs in your home, you will continue to receive bites that will continue to itch. For some people, the itching may last as long as up to one month after the last bite. Most bites disappear in about 7 to 10 days after the last bite has occurred.

How do you make bed bug bites stop itching?

Scratching bed bug bites makes them worse and makes them more inflamed. The more you scratch, the more you itch. Stopping the itch will prevent you from wanting to scratch and potentially causing an infection.

You may also use home remedies to relieve itching associated with the bites. Here are a few remedies to stop itching:

  • Make a thick paste with baking soda and water, and apply it to your bed bug bites. Allow the paste to dry and leave it on the rash for about an hour. Then you can wash it off with warm water.
  • If you have witch hazel, apply it on the itchy rash with a cotton ball.
  • Apply aloe vera gel to you bed bug bites. Aloe contains antibiotic and anti-fungal properties. It can help prevent a secondary infection due to scratching.

Also, products such as On The Go Stick are an excellent way to stop the itch and irritation of bed bug bites and prevent you from scratching.

What are the Other common symptoms of bed bug bites?

Here are some of the common symptoms of bed bug bites.

Red Patches

These usually appear in cluster on skin that was unexposed during sleep such as the face, arms, neck, shoulders, legs, or feet.

Red spots with blisters

Blisters are usually tiny and may develop a wider red ring around them, but this is not always the case.

Itchy Rash

This can include hives and itching. It can affect one area of the body or appear in patches on different places on the body.

Bites in a straight line

Bites that appear in a straight line anywhere from 3 or more bites on any part of the body are a telltale bed bug sign.

Bed Bug Bites occur at night

Bites or a rash that appear in the morning after you have been sleeping are a good sign of bed bugs.

Bites in a cluster

When bed bugs feed, they send out a chemical signal for others to come join the party. The causes multiple tiny bites in a cluster.

Fever, malaise

If the bites have been occurring for more than a week, these symptoms can develop.

If you’re unsure which insect bit you, check this post!


Bed bug bites can itch for quite some time, but they do not always itch, especially at first. Fortunately, if you have bed bug bites there are some natural things that you can do to relieve the itch. 

If you’re looking for an effective way to get rid of bed bugs, you should use a natural bed bug killer spray (read this post about the best sprays) in combination with Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Here I explain why it’s the most efficient bed bug repellant.

Do you have bed bug bites ? Do they itch? Feel free to share your experience with us!

Bed Bug Bites vs Mosquito Bites: What differentiates Them?

source: bedbugguide.com

J. Beck, Holistic Nutritionist, CNC & Natural Health Writer
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