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What Are Bed Bugs? How To Identify Bed Bug Bites in 10 Steps

August 13, 2019 Vinx Pest Control Bed bugs
What Are Bed Bugs? How To Identify Bed Bug Bites in 10 Steps

If you’re wondering how to identify bed bug bites, you’ve come to the right place. We get how frustrating it can be to look down at your skin and see bites. But, if we’re talking about bed bug bites, you don’t even need to look down—you can feel them because they itch like crazy! You’ve probably been googling like crazy, trying to figure out what is going on with your skin. Is it chickenpox? Mosquito bites? Flea bites? The list goes on and on. The deeper into Google you get, the more you begin to itch. You may even feel like there are bugs crawling on you as you read!

Believe us—we’ve been there. It’s the worst feeling in the world, and we don’t wish it upon our worst enemies. Because we like you, we’re going to help get you to the bottom of your bite problem. By the end, you’ll know whether or not it’s those pesky bed bugs you’re dealing with. But before we get into how to identify bed bug bites, if you read this and realize you’ve got bed bugs and live in the DallasFort Worth area, fill out the form below or give us a call for to get a quote. 

What are bed bugs?

Even the name is gross: Bed bugs. It’s as if your literal nightmare was created in a small, oval bug. If you’re anything like us, your bed is your safe haven. As it should be! It’s the place where you rest and recharge. It’s where you dream big and cocoon yourself in endless warmth. It is not a place for bad things to happen to you.

If we could, we’d take the problem away from you. Oh, wait…we can! We’re bed bug experts, so let’s break it down:

  • Small bugs that are parasitic
  • Drink blood, like ticks and fleas
  • Repopulate extremely fast
  • Love dark places (like your fave pillow!)
  • Infestations are very common by the time you find them

Did we scare you? We’re not trying to. Basically, bed bugs are no bueno. They’ll bite you and your loved ones, leaving itchy welts that can scar if you scratch them! If you’re noticing bed bug bites and you aren’t sleeping in a hotel or someone else’s home, there’s a good chance there are other signs of the bed bugs that you aren’t seeing. And because bites often mean you can have an infestation, let’s look at the signs that you may have a bed bug infestation.

Signs of a bed bug infestation

Everyone wishes they could have an infestation of money or free candy or something good! Instead, we’re stuck with the bothersome infestations of creepy crawlies that like to suck our blood. And unlike Bella and Edward, these creepers aren’t vampires but bed bugs. However, they will watch you while you sleep just like in Twilight.

So, if you’re not into that (we don’t blame you), let’s make sure you know what to be on the lookout for. The first thing you usually see with bedbugs are the bites. But, we’ll talk about that later. Here’s the thing: Bed bugs can live up for a year. In that year, they can lay up to 500 eggs. Now imagine those 500 eggs laying an additional 500 eggs each. We’re not going to make you do math, but it’s a lot of bed bugs! 

When there are that many bugs, there is usually a musty-like smell. So, if you’ve been sniffing something strange these past few months and blaming it on your husband or the dog, it’s probably not them. Or, at least they shouldn’t be completely to blame. That sweet, slightly musty, almost like your grandma’s house type of smell could be from bed bugs. They have these (not so) awesome smell glands that excrete this unappetizing smell all over their (your) home. It can be in your furniture, your sheets, your pillows, and even your clothes!

Beyond smelling like a wet or moldy home, there also may be strange rust-colored stains that pop up wherever bedbugs are. We hate to be the ones to break this to you, but it’s not rust. That would be the bed bug’s stool. You are what you eat, and since they eat blood—well, you get the picture.

Another thing that you may see around your house are bed bug sheds. And no, this isn’t where they hold all their extra gardening tools. Their sheds are their old skin that they molt out of as they grow. Remember, bed bugs are tiny. They are tinier than an apple seed! These sheds may not look like much to you. They may seem like little white bugs that look nothing like bed bugs. People often think they are small gnats or tiny beetles. But, alas, they are not. If you have seen any sort of white “bugs” dead around your house, it could be bed bug casings.

The best way to find out if you have an infestation is to check. Take a flashlight and leave the room light off. Bed bugs love the dark, so it’s best to surprise them with your flashlight. Check your furniture, and especially your bed. You’ll want to lift up the cushions or mattresses and check the edges with the flashlight. You can see bed bugs with the naked eye, but you should also be able to see molt, eggs, or feces. You may even see blood spots from where your bites have bled.

If the thought of checking for bed bugs grosses you out, we get it! That’s why we have certified techs that know exactly what to look for. If you would rather an expert take a look, give us a call. We’d be happy to send someone out to help with your problem.

How to identify bed bug bites

If you’ve found bed bugs, there’s a good chance that you have bed bug bites. But if you didn’t pause reading to play bed bug Inspector Gadget, let’s get to the bites. You’ve got all these bites, you’re frustrated beyond belief, and you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re that light! We have ten ways for you to identify your bed bug bites for good.

1. Didn’t feel it

The first thing that helps you to identify a bug bite may be the strangest thing of all. It’s that you may not have felt it at all! The thing about bed bugs is that they inject an anesthetic that actually numbs the area that they are biting. So, you aren’t able to feel when a bed bug is attached to you. The creepiest part is that they stay attached to you from anywhere from three to ten minutes sucking your blood until they are full! That’s a long time!

2. Looks like a mosquito bite

Another way to identify whether you have bed bug bites is that they are going to look like mosquito bites. Obviously, if you haven’t been in an area with mosquitos, this will be extremely concerning. If these bites look and feel like a mosquito bite, there’s a good chance they are bed bug bites. You can expect for them to be swollen and itchy and especially red!

3. New bites when you wake up

If you haven’t guessed by now, bed bugs are eerily similar to vampires. They only come out at night! That means that you will have bites when you wake up. If you are waking up with bites that you didn’t have the night before, we’ve got some bad news. It’s probably not a spider but bed bugs that are biting you! This is one of the telltale signs that you are dealing with bed bugs and not something else.

4. Bites on anywhere skin is exposed

Bed bugs, unlike fleas, are not picky. Anywhere your skin is exposed, you can expect to see bites. If you were dealing with fleas, you would mostly see bites on your ankles. This is typical to see, but not with bed bugs. If you wear shorts, you could have bed bug bites all up your legs! If you wore nothing—well, let’s not go there. We’ll just say that the result will not be pleasant. If you’re dealing with bed bugs, cover up buttercup!

5. Clear or dark center

There are so many bug bites that it can be hard to determine one from the other. However, a really good way to determine this is what the center of the bug bite looks like. For many bug bites, you will find a hot red center. This is typical because the skin is swelling and reacting to what the toxin in the bug is. 

However, you won’t see a hot red center when it comes to bed bug bites. The most typical center you will see with bed bug bites is a clear center. Other times, there may be a darker center that then fades out to a lighter red color. Bed bugs have a sort of beak that they insert into your skin and drink your blood with. It’s this beak that can often cause these clear centers. 

6. Dried blood spots

Because these bugs leave a larger hole with their beak, you often continue to bleed after they say goodbye to you. If you wake up with dried blood spots on your skin where your bites are, there’s a good chance that this is a bed bug! The dried blood will be small and pinpoint-like, so it can often go unnoticed until the bites start itching severely.

There’s also the possibility that the blood will end up on your sheets rather than stick to you. So, always check your sheets when you wake up!

7. Bites in a line

Perhaps the most telling sign of bed bugs is when there are multiple bites. But, it’s also a known fact that bed bugs bite in a line. It can be zigzagged or straight, but bed bugs are going to bite multiple times in a line. Unlike other bugs, that may just bite once, you don’t usually have one or two bed bug bites. They are out for blood—literally—so if there are a line of bites, pick up your phone and give us a call!

8. Bites in threes

It’s true that bed bugs bite in a line, but, they also bite in threes. Many people refer to this as the bed bug triangle. Unlike the Bermuda triangle, there is no pleasant island point! This triangle is often from a group of bed bugs. Bed bugs are super cliquey, just like your least favorite high schoolers, and they travel around in threes. If you’ve noticed a grouping of bites that then continue into a line, go grab your flashlight—it’s time to check your sheets!

9. Swollen bites

Some bites swell a lot, others do not. If you have swollen bites, you know that something is irritating you. The problem with bed bugs is that everyone reacts differently. Some people’s bites won’t swell at all, but will instead look like flat, red dots across the skin. Other people’s bites will swell up like a mosquito bite and leave behind a large, raised bite.

Perhaps the scariest thing is that, although rare, bed bugs can cause some individuals to go into anaphylactic shock. This is when the airway passages swell shut. It can be life-threatening and happens very quickly. Always keep an eye on your family and how they react to bed bug bites. The last thing we want is for someone to get injured or die from bed bugs!

10. See bed bugs

Here’s a shocker—if you see bed bugs, your bites are probably from bed bugs! All kidding aside, the best way to determine if you’re dealing with bed bugs or not is to actually look and locate the bed bugs inside of your home. If you find them, you can talk to a pest control company about coming out and exterminating. Every day counts, so if you know that you have bed bugs, it’s time to call. Bed bugs are extremely resilient. If they are not treated with professional-grade tools and pesticide, your infestation will get worse.

How bed bugs bite

Ready for the nitty-gritty in how bed bugs bite? These small bugs have a strange, elongated beak. However, they aren’t like birds! These beaks will pierce your skin. Once they do that, they will suck up your blood for three to ten minutes. Often times, you won’t notice that they are there. They will inject you with an anesthetic, so you won’t feel a thing! 

Do bed bugs bite in a triangle?

One of the most common questions we get is if bed bugs bite in a triangle. This is often talked about, and our answer is: Sometimes. It’s true that bed bugs bite in three. It’s also true that they tend to bite in a line or a zigzag pattern. However, they don’t always bite in a triangle. While their group’s bites can happen to be a triangle, it doesn’t always end that way. So, you shouldn’t look at your bites and assume they aren’t bed bugs since they aren’t in a triangle. 

That being said, you can expect for your bed bug bites to be heavily focused and in straight angles similar to triangles. We just don’t want anyone thinking that they need to pull out their rulers and protractors trying to measure whether or not the three bites are a triangle!

How to get rid of bed bug bites scars

Unfortunately, depending on how bad you react to the bed bugs, they could leave some scars behind. This is usually when you react to them pretty severely. Some people will itch and scratch at the bites as severely as they do chickenpox, so you can see how it would leave behind some nasty sores and scars! 

If you do find that you have bed bug scarring, there are a few things you can do. First, is wait it out. These small bite scars may prove to actually go away with time. Second, apply some skin oil, like Bio Oil, to the bites. This can help prevent the scars from sticking around. Third, talk to a dermatologist, who may be able to help you with prescription-strength scar cream.

Conclusion: How to identify bed bug bites

Bed bugs are the worst, and we understand that! When you’re wondering how to identify bed bug bites, there are just a few things you need to check. Look and see if the bites are small and red. Are they in a straight line? Do they zigzag? Is there more than one bite? If so, there’s a good chance it’s a bed bug bite. The problem is that until you find the actual bed bugs, it can be hard to know for sure.

You’ll need to check the crevices and spaces in between mattresses, pillows, and furniture. If this doesn’t seem like something you want to do—we get it. Bed bugs can make you feel like there are creepy crawlies all around you, which is never fun! Call us today and we’ll do the inspecting for you. Here at Vinx, we know everything there is to know about bed bugs. Whether you live in the Fort Worth or Dallas area, we’re here to help. Our technicians know everything there is to know about these pesky bugs. Give us a call today or fill out the form below for a free bed bug extermination quote! We can’t wait to hear from you.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

June 13, 2019 Vinx Pest Control Bed bugs
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you’ve been “itchy” for a few days but aren’t quite sure of the root cause, bed bugs might be to blame. I wrote this post to help you learn how to get rid of bed bugs yourself. But, if you can’t do it yourself and you live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, we’d love to do it for you. You can get a free quote on our bed bug extermination service here. As bed bug extermination is one of our specialties, we’ve got plenty of experience ridding homes of bed bugs. But, if you want to get rid of them yourself here are a few DIY methods: you can get rid of them by vacuuming, washing your infected items in the washer with hot water, and for items that can’t be thrown in the washer, you can steam clean them. You can also spray rubbing alcohol where you think they area. 

These hitchhiking nuisance creatures find their way into homes and businesses through all kinds of interesting avenues. From luggage to clothing and even used furniture goods, bed bugs take advantage of every opportunity to penetrate your home and take up residence there. Bed bugs have the ability to make their bodies quite thin, allowing them the advantage of fitting inside tight spaces. This makes them difficult for a home or business owner to detect.

As an insect that thrives in a pack environment, bed bugs most commonly like to congregate in spaces such as mattresses, bedroom furniture, and even bed springs where they have the easiest accessibility to a food source while their victims sleep soundly in the comfort of their beds. If you think you just might be the proud owner of a bed bug infestation, here’s how to get rid of bed bugs. 

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

When learning how to get rid of bed bugs, you have to determine what these crawling creatures look like. Bed bugs are small in size and oval in shape. In color, the hungry bed bug is one of various shades of brown. Once fully mature, adult bed bugs possess a flat outer shell that is similar in size to the seeds found within fruits such as pears or apples. After feasting on their favorite meal of blood sourced from humans or animals, the bodies of bed bugs swell from the accumulated fluids and take on a reddish hue.

Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures, preferring to hide in crevices or soft spaces during daylight hours. Their presence is most often detected when family members develop an itch or rash of undetermined origin for which they are unable to find relief.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs migrate into homes via items that are brought in from outside the residence. Many of them appear innocuously on things purchased at flea markets, consignment shops, or thrift stores, or are carried in on clothing, shoes, or luggage. Once inside a home, bed bugs have the ability to move quite quickly to a more permanent housing situation that is closer to a food source.

Born with the capability to traverse ceilings, floors, walls, and more, bed bugs have no difficulty getting around largely unnoticed. Since these stealthy creatures move at a rapid pace, they are very difficult to detect when in motion and on the rare occasion they are spotted are often mistaken for common harmless household bugs.

Once firmly entrenched in a home, bed bugs easily multiply. Each female possesses the ability to lay several hundreds of eggs during her lifetime. These eggs are so microscopic in size that they appear as only a particle of dust to the naked eye. Each tiny egg will reach maturity in approximately one month and will begin its own reproductive cycle which will yield more bed bug nymphs up to three times yearly. Armed with this knowledge, it is not difficult to see why these bugs are so difficult to get rid of once inside a home or office.

What are Some Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

If you think you may have bed bugs in your home, it is only natural that it will be your top priority to get rid of them. Though many people do opt to hire a professional pest control company to make their bed bug woes go away, there are some home remedies you can attempt to restore your home to its former bed bug-free existence.

Among the top home remedies are:

  • Vacuuming

A vacuum with an excellent sucking mechanism is an excellent means to remove bed bugs from your mattresses, headboard, or bed frame. For best results, be sure to thoroughly vacuum all furniture that could harbor bed bugs every few days. If your vacuum contains a bag, dispose of it immediately to prevent recontamination of your home.

  • Thorough laundering of clothing, towels, and bedding

Hot water and the heat from your dryer are your allies in the war against bed bugs. Carefully read the labels of all towels, clothing, and bedding prior to laundering these items to ensure it is safe to wash them at such high temperatures. Laundering fabrics on high heat settings are an effective means to kill bed bug gatherings.

  • Steam cleaning

Unfortunately, not everything in your home can be tossed into your washer. That’s where a steam cleaner comes in handy. Bed bugs and their eggs cannot survive heat in excess of 140 degrees F, making the steam mop an ideal means to eliminate colonies in hard to reach places.

  • Perfumed dryer sheets

Though fragrant dryer sheets will not kill bed bugs, they are an excellent means for keeping them at bay. The perfume in the sheets will send bed bugs scurrying to find a new home. This method is a great way to drive bed bugs to a new locale but is ineffective for completely eradicating them from your home.

  • Spritzing rubbing alcohol in suspected gathering places

Bed bugs hate rubbing alcohol as it kills them within minutes of coming in contact with the substance. For the greatest efficacy, fill a spray bottle with undiluted rubbing alcohol and spritz any affected areas with it. Your bed bug problem will be speedily resolved if you are able to source all of the insects’ favorite gathering spots in your home.

  • Essential oils

There are a number of different essential oils which are natural repellents for many different insects. Among the most popular oils with known bed bug repelling qualities are peppermint, thyme, lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, and clove.

  • Cayenne pepper

Due to its natural heat-giving properties, cayenne pepper is a natural when it comes to eliminating bed bugs. However, when combined with powerful natural herbs and spices such as oregano and ginger, cayenne pepper packs a powerhouse punch that kills bed bugs within seconds of them coming in contact with it.

To make your own cayenne pepper bed bug remedy, simply mix cayenne pepper, ground ginger, and oregano oil in equal parts. Strain the mixture to remove any lumps and sift into a spray bottle. Add water and shake well to mix. Generously spray all affected areas. All resident bed bugs should be eliminated on contact.

  • Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth has gained a reputation as a miracle product. Its effects include the elimination of all types of insects including fleas and ticks.

Diatomaceous earth is formed when rock is ground to create a sandy substance. Its recommended use is as a powder that is sprinkled in crevices and areas where bed bugs might find refuge within a home. Diatomaceous earth is not a quick fix, but it is highly effective. Maximum results may take up to ten days.

It is not recommended for use on mattresses or other furniture as the powder contains tiny particles of rock which can be inhaled, causing damage to your lungs. For best results, keep diatomaceous earth to areas that can easily be vacuumed up when its purpose has been achieved.

  • Baking soda

Baking soda functions in a similar fashion to applying salt to a slug. Baking soda is not only an agent that absorbs unpleasant odors; it also removes excess moisture from damp or humid environments. Since bed bugs possess moist bodies, a simple sprinkling of baking soda in known areas of infestations will dehydrate the insects, causing death.

This method requires vacuuming and reapplication for several days to ensure the problem has been properly eliminated.

How Big Are Bed Bugs?

One of the things that makes a bed bug problem so difficult to determine is their size. Bed bugs are extremely small. Their eggs are so tiny that they resemble a speck of dust, making it nearly impossible for a homeowner to detect. Once a bed bug reaches the adult stage, it is still only the size of an apple seed. Since bed bugs like to make themselves scarce during daylight hours, they are even more difficult to find since they prefer to be active only at night when their food source is in a deep slumber. Between their size and their habits, it can be very challenging for a home or business owner to come to the conclusion that it is a bed bug infestation that is making them itchy!

Can You See Bed Bugs?

Though it is possible to see bed bugs, most people do not recognize them even if they were to see one in the light of day. Bed bugs are very small and resemble common household things such as dust, dirt, or small pieces of sand, rock, or gravel. This built-in type of camouflage is part of the bed bugs’ greatest defense strategy as it keeps the insects shielded from being exposed and eliminated in the environment they select as their home.

Do Bed Bugs Fly?

Since bed bugs do not possess wings, they are not capable of flight. This does not, however, mean that these wing-less creatures don’t know how to get around. Bed bugs are able to travel great distances at a rapid pace. Though flight is not one of their skills, they are able to climb walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture to reach new heights in your home.

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

Not only do bed bugs not fly, but they also lack the ability to jump. Their mobility comes primarily from crawling from space to space. Since bed bugs are born with six legs, they are able to move around very quickly. Though they lack the ability to jump, they can crawl from host to host almost completely unnoticed, making it easy for bed bugs to travel from person to person or from one object to another for transport out of your home and into another locale via their human or inanimate object transportation system.

What is the Difference Between Bed Bug Bites and Mosquito Bites?

Both bed bug bites and mosquito bites are the banes of most homeowners’ existences. These nuisance critters both definitely like to leave their “mark” on the people they prey on for their nutrition.

Both bed bugs and mosquitoes subsist on the blood of humans or animals with both also preferring to feast on human blood whenever possible. Yet, these blood-sucking insects affect people in distinctly different ways.

Here is a comparison of bed bug bites vs mosquito bites:

Bed bugs:

  • Primarily bite people during their sleep
  • Nourish themselves by piercing the skin of their victims and absorbing blood through a long beak
  • Feeding is accomplished in three to ten minutes
  • Pain-free bites
  • Symptoms of a bed bite infestation include itchiness and red skin welts
  • Will bite any area of the body that is left exposed
  • Leave behind feces and eggs in mattress crevices
  • Bites appear in a systematic pattern such as a row or line
  • Will crawl under bedding and clothing to find a food source
  • Bites are not immediately apparent


  • Prefer warm, damp, and humid environments
  • Bite in random areas on exposed patches of skin
  • Will not bite through clothing
  • Begin to itch immediately after a bite
  • Appear as raised white bumps with a red surrounding boundary
  • Resolve within a few days
  • Will bite sleeping or awake hosts
  • Feeding is nearly instantaneous

Conclusion: How to get rid of bed bugs

When going the “how to get rid of bed bugs” DIY route, you first need to determine if you actually have them. If you do, try vacuuming out the infected area, washing your sheets, towels, and any other potentially infected item. You can also steam clean the area or spray rubbing alcohol on it. 

If you think you’ve got a bed bug problem at your home or business, chances are you’re not alone. Since bed bugs are frequent travelers, it’s likely your neighborhood may be full of them. And if one of your neighbors has them, there’s a good chance you have or could have them as well. 

Many people worry that a bed bug infestation means their home is not clean. But bed bugs do not feast on dirt, their nutrition comes from a live blood source, preferably human but an animal host will also do. This means they are equally as amenable to living in a clean environment as a dirty one.

If you live in the Dallas area and can’t get rid of the bed bug infestation yourself, give us a call or fill out the form below to get a free quick quote. 

Lastly, do you have any questions or suggestions on how to get rid of bed bugs? If so, we want to hear them! Please comment below and we’ll answer your questions.