Are Bedbug Bites Dangerous?

Bedbug bites
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If you've seen bedbug bites, you know they can be pretty frightening. The worst cases of bedbug bites look like a series of angry rashes from head to toe. Worse, if you are sleeping in the same room with bedbugs, they can add more bites to your collection every night. Bedbug bites are itchy, ugly, and frustrating. But are they dangerous?

When bedbugs bite you, they inject a chemical that acts as an anesthesia on the area of the bedbug's bites.

Chances are you won't feel a thing while the bedbugs are feasting on your blood. This explains why you can have multiple, even hundreds of bedbug bites and not wake up.

Chemical Sensitivity

People vary in sensitivity to this chemical injected while a bedbug bites. The amount you suffer from bedbug bites is unique, depending on your body's reaction to them. Some people are very allergic to the chemical, and break out in a rash. The rash (and possibly raised welts that might appear in each spot you received bedbug bites) may last as long as a few weeks before completely clearing up. If you are lucky, you'll only get the raised, itchy welts that disappear in a few days.

It's important not to scratch the bites. Scratching bedbug bites can expose your skin to infection, which can in turn lead to complications like scarring. Treat the bedbug bites with a topical itch relief cream or oral antihistamine to relieve the itching.

See a doctor for something prescription-strength if you are having a lot of difficulty.


Bedbug bites and the accompanying rash are not contagious, although you may get a lot of strange looks from people. (In fact, victims of bedbug bites report the reaction from friends and family to their appearance and their subsequent paranoia about bedbugs is the worst part of the ordeal.) Also, bedbugs do not spread disease by their bites, as insects like mosquitoes do.

You can rest assured that a bedbug infestation, whether in your house or in a hotel, is not caused by dirt. Bedbugs can live in perfectly clean environments, as long as they have a live host to bite.

Get answers to more of your questions about bedbug bites: