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Picture of bed bug bites on a woman's legs
Victims of bed bugs send in pictures of bites on their skin
What do bed bug bites look like? When you're trying to determine if red itchy bumps on your skin are bed bug bites, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. These pictures were sent in from victims of bed bug who shared the photos (and their stories) to help others identify the bites.
Bed bug bites typically appear in groups of three, called the "breakfast, lunch and dinner" pattern. Depending on your body's individual reaction to the bites, they may blend together in a rash, making it difficult to identify individual bites. You can read more about what bed bug bites look like on Is This a Bed Bug Bite?
You can also learn what bed bugs are and how to avoid them when traveling.)
Picture of bed bug bites on legs, submitted by Anna. Anna says, "I stayed at Beachcomber Island in Fiji in February of this year (2009) with my boyfriend and we both received terrible bed bug bites. I was very unlucky and got them twice as the bed... bugs were living in my clothes. They were painful and meant that we were unable to sleep due to itching and worrying that we would continue to get bitten. The bites took over a week to heal and luckily left barely any scars."Continue to 2 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on Elbow
Picture of bed bug bites on a woman's elbow, submitted by Alicja. She says, "Thank you for very useful information on this site! I got bitten in London last month, during three days in a hotel. It lasted more than two weeks and was very painful.
"On arrival beck home in Rome I went to the IR...couldn't figure out how mosquitoes could bite like this in London. I did pass by a pharmacy there, but they guessed mosquitoes and gave me 'after-bite.' At the IR they could not tell me anything, just gave me antihistamines and antibiotics. So, I went on the internet and found your pictures. So...that was it! Could not believe that 'sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite' would ever become something else than a saying..."
"Upon my complaint to the web site where I booked the hotel, they were very nice...but then when they contacted the hotel...I got back a very incorrect and absolutely ignorant mail regarding knowledge about bed bugs."
See more pictures of the bed bug bites Alicja suffered,... including a closeup of the bites on her skin, a bite that caused a blister, and pictures of bites on her throat, her elbow and her arm.Continue to 3 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on Woman's Face
A picture of bed bug bites appearing on a woman's face, submitted by UW. She says, "Bed bugs ravaged my face, neck, hand and arm last week in Hobart, Tasmania. Good that people can see what the bites and lesions look like. They throbbed and were very painful for three days afterwards. Icepacks certainly relieved the swelling and throbbing, and also antihistamines and Panafcortelone were prescribed by the doctor for me. Has been a very harrowing and emotional time for me. Now eleven days later they are beginning to disappear."
See more pictures of the bed bug bites this woman suffered from, on her neck and her hand.Continue to 4 of 28 below.
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Size of Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites on David's leg, with a ruler to show the size of the rash. He says, "Thanks for trying to help someone else. Anything to avoid the horror and pain I've been through for the past week. I would still recommend the [hotel], just be careful and call ahead. On a good note, I believe that there were about 30 others from our group who stayed at the [hotel] on the same night and no one else got hit but me as far as I know. I spoke with the [hotel's] headquarters and they were helpful in making sure the hotel took my concern for other potential future quests seriously. I would recommend calling the [hotel] and ask for a room that has been deep cleaned or something like that.
"I don't want to hurt the [hotel]'s business, just help avoid someone else going through this, so please do not paint a bad picture on the hotel since these things can be out of their control."
See more pictures of David's bed bug bites on his legs and one picture of a bite that blistered and caused a rash.Continue to 5 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Rash Picture
Mariusz spent the night in a San Francisco hotel. He reports he "woke up at 4 am with a rash. After inspections found and killed three bedbugs. Management was good to waive the room fee (thank you)."
In this picture of his bites, you can clearly see the three clustered bites typical of a bed bug attack (the "breakfast, lunch, dinner" bite pattern). The picture also shows a rash caused by the bites. Each victim's reaction to bed bug bites is unique. Some may have a slight reddening of the skin. Others may have a more severe reaction, causing a raised, itchy rash. The rash can cause confusion and create difficulties identifying the bed bug bites. A raised rash especially may obscure the individual bites, making identification challenging even for doctors.Continue to 6 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on a Woman's Elbow
C.M. sent this picture of the bed bug bites she suffered on her elbow, received when her New York City apartment become infested by bed bugs. She consulted a doctor, who treated her for a respiratory infection and referred her to a dermatologist for the "mystery rash" she had developed. This is a common experience among bed bug victims, when the doctor they see does not recognize the rash as being caused by a reaction to bed bug bites. See more pictures C.M. sent of the bites on her wrist and ankle. She details her battles with bed bugs in her online diary, Bite Me!.Continue to 7 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on Teenager's Face
A picture of the bed bug bites on a teenage boy's face. His mother says, "Kyle is a fifteen-year-old freshman in high school. We just moved into this apartment about three weeks ago. Prior to moving here we had zero incidents of bed bugs. The mattress he sleeps on is one we have had for over four years. The bites that are shown in the pictures I sent you are after two nights of being in this apartment.
"We had an exterminator come in since that night. We have covered his mattress and box spring with those plastic mattress covers. As a precaution for everyone else in the home (we have five kids) we have covered all mattresses and box springs with the plastic mattress covers. This includes our eight-month-old baby's crib mattress."
"Kyle either had the worst infestation in his room or he reacted the worst to the bites. I am not sure. We are still fighting them though. They hide in the smallest of places. In base boards, behind wallpaper, under screws, etc. I hope this helps."shoulder and... arm.Continue to 8 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on a Foot
This picture of bed bug bites on a woman's foot shows another example of the rash that can develop around bed bug bites if the victim has an allergic reaction. See more pictures of Caitlin's bed bug bites on the inside of her arm and on her elbow.Continue to 9 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on Back
This man, who wished to be anonymous, thought the bedbug bites covering his back were from mosquitoes.Continue to 10 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on Arm
This woman found these bed bug bites on her arm after a brief stay at a hotel in Merrillville, Indiana.Continue to 11 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on Ankle
Cheryl spent a week at a beautiful resort and came back with a souvenir she didn't count on. She says, "Our vacation was wonderful, the villa spotlessly clean, the resort employees very friendly and helpful, the food was good overall and truly excellent in the specialty restaurants for dinner...Bed bugs would be my only complaint! Now I know what to look for BEFORE getting into bed no matter where I may travel!
"The photo shows some of the bed bug bites I received on my ankle while vacationing in a beautiful villa. At first we thought we were getting multiple bites from mosquitoes or sand fleas but once I started noticing that when I woke up, I had bites around my neckline, arms, wrists, and legs in patterns of mostly three (breakfast, lunch, and dinner...yuck!!) I realized what they were. The photo is what some of the bites looked like after 10 days or more.
"I am hoping that I didn't bring any bugs home with me!! I have taken initial steps to determine whether the problem has... followed me home by having my daughter count the bites around my neckline to see if more show up. I also steamed, vacuumed, and sprayed rubbing alcohol all over my fairly new pillow top mattress and box springs; steamed, washed and dried all the bed linens using hot water and bleach; sprayed rubbing alcohol all over my baggage inside and out; and vacuumed my bedroom thoroughly.
Hopefully, I am just doing this as a precaution and there aren't any bugs that traveled home with me. I realize that if there are any bugs I will probably need professional help to deal with them and that I can probably kiss my mattress goodbye!"Continue to 12 of 28 below.
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Bed Bug Bites on Hand
Picture of bed bug bites on a woman's hand, submitted by Alicja. She suffered these bites while staying at hotel in London. On arriving back home in Italy, the bites were mistaken for mosquito bites and treated with antibiotics and antihistamines. Read Alicja's bed bugs story in her own words.Continue to 13 of 28 below.
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Blister From Bed Bug Bites
Picture of bed bug bites, showing blistering on a hand, submitted by Alicja.Continue to 14 of 28 below.
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Alicja - Closeup of Bed Bug Bites
Picture of bed bug bites, close up, submitted by Alicja. Read Alicja's bed bug story.Continue to 15 of 28 below.
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Alicja - Bed Bug Bites on Throat
Picture of bed bug bites on a throat, submitted by Alicja. Read Alicja's bed bug story.Continue to 16 of 28 below.
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Alicja - Bed Bug Bites on Elbow, Second
Picture of bed bug bites on an elbow, submitted by Alicja. Read Alicja's bed bug story.Continue to 17 of 28 below.
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Alicja - Bed Bug Bites on Arm
Picture of bed bug bites on an arm, submitted by Alicja. Read Alicja's bed bug story.Continue to 18 of 28 below.
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Bed bug Bites on Her HandContinue to 19 of 28 below.
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Bed bug Bites on Her NeckContinue to 20 of 28 below.
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David, Leg: Bedbug Bites
Bedbug bites on David's leg. David's story continues:
"...Those are just the pictures I took today at the AirCanada lounge of my legs, so it doesn't include the many other areas all over my body. My family doctor also confirmed what happened and gave me multiple prescriptions. I've been taking two baths a day, creams 3 times a day, and taking my medicine just to make it through the day..."Continue to 21 of 28 below.
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David, Trauma: Bedbug Bites
Bedbug bites on David's leg. David's story:
"I'm having a hard time even walking and definitely not sleeping because of the itchy feelings and pain. And when I do finally fall asleep I keep waking up turning on the lights thinking I'm being bit. I haven't found a single bedbug since the hotel incident and I've spent many sleeping and waking hours freaked out that bugs could be crawling on me hence I keep waking up and checking everything around me.
"My wife thinks I'm a nut case because I'm so freaked out over this and she thinks I'm driving myself crazy, which I probably am :) She's kicked me out of the bed until I get over my obsession and its sad that my colleagues that a few steps back when I tell my story as if I'm some contagious freak which just makes matters worse. Oh well, at least I start vacation tomorrow with my family, so hopefully things turn around..."Continue to 22 of 28 below.
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C.M., Wrist: Bedbug Bites
C.M. shows the bedbug bites on the other side of her arm, from her wrist to up past her elbow. She details her battles with bedbugs online in Bite Me!Continue to 23 of 28 below.
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C.M., Ankle: Bedbug Bites
C.M. shows the bedbug bites on her foot and ankle, going all the way up her leg. She details her battles with bedbugs online in Bite Me!Continue to 24 of 28 below.
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Kyle, Shoulder: Bedbug Bites
Bedbug bites on Kyle's shoulder. Kyle's story continues:
"...Kyle either had the worst infestation in his room or he reacted the worst to the bites. I am not sure. We are still fighting them though. They hide in the smallest of places. In base boards, behind wall paper, under screws, etc. I hope this helps."Continue to 25 of 28 below.
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Kyle, Arm: Bedbug Bites
Bedbug bites on Kyle's arm. Kyle's story, continued:
"...We had an exterminator come in since that night. We have covered his mattress and box spring with those plastic mattress covers. As a precaution for everyone else in the home (we have five kids) we have covered all mattresses and box springs with the plastic mattress covers. This includes our eight-month-old baby's crib mattress..." moreContinue to 26 of 28 below.
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Caitlin, Arm #2: Bedbug Bites
Bedbugs attacked both sides of Caitlin's arm. Here's a view of the bedbug bites on the other side.Continue to 27 of 28 below.
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Caitlin, Arm: Bedbug Bites
A self-portrait of the bedbug bites on Caitlin's arm.Continue to 28 of 28 below.
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Male, Back #2: Bedbug Bites
Another picture of the bedbug bites on his back.