Why does bed bug bites itch and what to do with it?

Why does bed bug bites itch

This is the last post on the ultimate guide on how to get rid of bed bug bitesBed bug bites tend to be itchy and you are not supposed to scratch them because it can lead to an infection! But why does bed bug bites itch? The simple answer to this is in the saliva that the bed bug injects onto your skin before feeding!  That saliva is packed with anticoagulants and anesthetics that cause different reactions on different people’s skins.

Why does bed bug bites itch? Bed bug feeding habits

Why does bed bug bites itch?

Bed bug biting

Bed bugs tend to feed at night, more so in the wee hours of the morning. They are drawn to warmth and the presence of carbon-dioxide. Just because bed bugs tend to feed at night however doesn’t mean that they won’t feed at any other time of the day. As long as they are hungry and there is blood to be drawn, they will come out and feed.

When a bed bug finds its host, it makes use of its mouth to perform two tasks simultaneously with the help of two hollow tubes. The first task will be to inject its saliva into the host’s body. This saliva contains anticoagulants and anesthetics. That’s the reason why you don’t feel the bed bug on your skin as it feeds.

The second task is to draw blood from the host with the help of the second hollow tube. When the feeding is done-this usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes, the bed bug will return to its hiding place. The bed bug can then take five or seven days without feeding then it repeats the same process. Bear in mind however that bed bugs are capable of staying over a year without feeding and still survive.

Why does bed bug bites itch? The reaction

When bed bugs are done with feeding, some hosts may not notice that they have been bitten until hours or days later. Other hosts may not even know they have been bitten because they don’t end up with bite marks. Those that end up with bite marks however may have different reactions. Some may end up with itchy red welts while others may get blisters.

No matter the reaction however, it is important not to scratch the bite mark as this can lead to secondary infections.

What can influence itching?

The level of itching depends on one’s skin and its reaction to the saliva left behind by the bed bug. Some people are more sensitive to this saliva than others which is why one person may experience serious itching from the bites while another may not.

For those that experience serious itching, there are a number of natural remedies that can help relive the itching. You can make use of Aloe Vera gel for example and apply to the affected area. You can also make use of pure witch hazel to help relieve the itching. If natural remedies fail however, there are creams or medications that can be used to help solve the problem.  For example, you can make use of hydrocortisone cream or oral antihistamines to help relieve the itching. In such cases however, you might need to seek medical attention in this case.

One of the first remedies to help relieve potential itching is to make use of soap and water. You should thoroughly wash the affected area with soap and water to not only help prevent a skin infection but to also reduce itchiness.

Why do bed bug bites itch so much?

Because of the saliva injected to the skin, the bed bug bites may itch. The skin reacts to the saliva and its anticoagulants which is why it may itch so much. In case itching becomes unbearable then it is very likely that you are hypersensitive to the bites. Instead of over-scratching the affected area, it is best to visit a dermatologist.

You should seriously consider seeking medical attention if the bite marks turn into blisters or if they end up with pus or discharge. You should also consider visiting a medical professional if the red welts on your skin turn into hives or if there are so many bites on your skin.

Get rid of the cause

When all is said and done, it doesn’t make sense to treat the bed bug bites and not get rid of the bed bugs. In order to kill bed bugs fast and easy, you should make use of powder named Diatomaceous earth.  Whenever bed bugs come into contact with the powder, they dehydrate and die. The effectiveness of powder that contains diatomaceous earth is that it will continue working days or even weeks as long as it remains dry.

Another way to get rid of bed bugs fast and easily is to steam a given room, mattress, couch or furniture.  Be sure to thoroughly vacuum the room or furniture before introducing steam to the equation. You could also consider washing clothes and beddings in very hot water in order to kill majority of the bed bugs.

If you feel that Diatomaceous earth, steaming or vacuuming is not helping with the bed bug problem, then you could consider any number of chemicals on the market. Be sure to investigate the chemical you intend to use as you have to take care of your health and that of those around you. You could also consider hiring a professional bug exterminator to get rid of the problem.


Bed bug bites itch as a result of the saliva deposited by the bed bugs when they feed. Different people get different reactions to the bed bug bites. While some bites may be successfully treated at home with natural remedies, there are instances where medical assistance is called for. In case you are hypersensitive to the bites then it is important to seek medical assistance. Otherwise, you should not scratch the bites as this may lead to an infection.


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