ABC Blog

Getting Bitten at Night But No Sign of Bed Bugs

closeup single bed bug crawling on mattress

Have you noticed red spots on your skin but you aren’t sure where they came from? It’s possible that you were bitten by a bed bug while you were sleeping.

For some, bed bug bites cause no reaction; however, others experience itchy red spots and symptoms of an allergic reaction.

If you suspect your bites are from bed bugs but haven’t noticed the signs of an infestation, it’s possible that they snuck in under your nose. Bed bugs are tiny insects that are excellent at hiding and can go unnoticed for a long time. Understanding the signs of an infestation and the side effects of bed bug bites can help you identify your problem.

There are several suggested home remedies for bed bugs, such as spraying them with rubbing alcohol, but most of them do not work. The most effective and thorough way to deal with a bed bug infestation is to call in a professional pest control service. 

Getting Bitten at Night But No Sign of Bedbugs

It’s never fun to wake up with bug bites, and sometimes it can be challenging to identify the perpetrator, especially since some bug bites can look similar. 

Bed bugs are tiny insects that are great at hiding, especially during the day. You will likely see signs they leave behind instead of seeing the actual bed bugs. However, even the signs of bed bugs can be discreet if you don’t know what to look for. 

The best thing you can do is be proactive and look for the signs of bed bugs right away. Once you identify them, don’t wait to call a professional pest control service to take care of the infestation for you.

Here are the most common signs of bed bugs:

  • Red or rust-colored spots on your sheets from recent bed bug bites 
  • Bed bug feces which can show up as red, copper or black spots
  • A musky odor
  • Discarded pale yellow skins shed by nymphs

You should also investigate common bed bug hiding places. They like to hide in folds and seams of bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture and curtains. You may also find them in your bed frame, nightstand or dresser. Bed bugs are even known for hiding on or behind picture frames that hang on the wall. You can use a playing card or credit card and probe into any small cracks and crevices to see if any bed bugs come crawling out. You can also use a card wrapped in tape to see if you pull out any live bed bugs or their shed skins. 

Bed bugs are oval-shaped tiny bugs that are only the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs are golden brown or reddish brown in color, and they do not have wings. They have six legs and two antennae. When they have recently eaten, their bodies expand and grow darker in color. When they haven’t eaten, their bodies are flat.

If you are still unsure whether or not you have a bed bug infestation, call a pest control service. They can identify an infestation.

close up of red bug bites on skin

Side Effects of Bed Bug Bites

If you do determine that your bites are due to a bed bug infestation, it’s good to understand the potential side effects you may experience. You will not feel the bite when it happens, and it can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks for any symptoms or side effects to show up. It’s also important to know that bed bug bite locations and reactions will vary from person to person. One person’s reaction to bed bug bites can look very different from another person dealing with these pests.

The first thing you may notice is the appearance of the bed bug bite. They might show up on the parts of your body that are exposed while you sleep, like your arms, legs, neck, hands and feet. You may find them in a cluster on one area of your skin or spread out.

The bites can be red in color and look similar to a common rash. Sometimes the red spots are raised and other times they stay flat. The size of the bites varies on a few factors, including your body’s sensitivity to the bites. Some people may not even react at all! 

Should I Be Worried If I’ve Been Bitten?

Bed bugs are not known to spread diseases, but extreme itching of bites could lead to infections if the skin is broken. Some people react to bed bug bites in the same way as an allergic reaction. For example, they may experience burning, itching, swelling or red welts on their skin.

If you have mild or no symptoms, bed bug bites will go away in one to two weeks. To relieve any pain, itching or burning, you can try applying an over-the-counter or prescription steroid cream. Common pain relievers can also help with pain and swelling. Consult with your doctor if your symptoms worsen or your bed bug bites become infected or inflamed. 

The main toll that bed bugs can have on a person is the mental toll. People with bed bugs report experiencing nightmares, insomnia and anxiety. 

Bed bugs need to feed every few days, but can go as long as a few weeks between meals, making it even harder to know if you have bed bugs. Furthermore, some people stop reacting to bed bug bites over time, which may lead you to believe that the bed bugs have gone away. Do not assume the problem went away because you haven’t been bitten recently. If you have bed bugs, call a pest control service right away to control your bed bug infestation.  

bed with light wood headboard and white sheets next to matching night stand and white lamp

Does Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

When you search the internet for ways to get rid of bed bugs, several home remedies will pop up. Unfortunately, most of them can only provide partial relief. To fully eradicate a bed bug infestation, you need to call in professional help.

For example, using rubbing alcohol is not an effective way to get rid of bed bugs. While alcohol does kill bed bugs, it has to come in direct contact with the bugs to work. Bed bugs are tiny insects that are excellent at hiding and difficult to find. It would be impossible to get rid of the entire colony using only rubbing alcohol.

Even if you do spray the bed bugs you can see with rubbing alcohol, research has proven that it’s not entirely effective and usually only kills half of the bed bugs that it comes into contact with. Since bed bugs reproduce rapidly and hide in out-of-sight spots, these results are not effective enough to make rubbing alcohol a reliable solution. 

Using rubbing alcohol on your bedding, upholstered furniture, carpet and other fabrics can also create a fire hazard. Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable and even a small candle could spark a dangerous fire. Avoid the fire hazard and hire a bed bug professional instead.

What Can I Do Before Professional Treatment?

Instead of relying on home remedies, the best way to get rid of bed bugs is to call a professional pest control service. They have professional-grade solutions, tricks and methods to effectively control bed bug infestations. In the meantime, there are things you can do to prepare for treatment.

You should wash and dry all bedding, clothes, pillows and shoes in the highest possible setting. Once the items have been washed, put them in plastic bags or bins so they can’t be reinfested. For any items that can’t be washed, put them in sealed plastic bags or bins until a pest control professional can treat them. 

Another effective method is to steam vacuum your floors and mattress. You can also vacuum inside drawers of nightstands and dressers, and any furniture. Be sure to pay extra attention to any creases or folds in the furniture.  Afterward, put the contents of the vacuum in a plastic bag and dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin right away. 

When you contact an expert pest control specialist, you can get rid of bed bugs effectively. A professional will have multiple tools at their disposal to control your infestation. 

ABC Can Get Your Bed Bug Problem Under Control

Bed bug problems can take a toll on you and your family. If you notice an infestation, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. We have the tools and expertise to control bed bugs, so you and your family can be comfortable again.

Russell Jenkins

Russell Jenkins is the Chief Communications Officer for ABC Home and Commercial Services in North Texas. Russell has been working as part of the ABC Family since he was 12 years old under the direction of his father, Owner Dennis Jenkins, and has since held several leadership roles at ABC. Russell holds a degree in Agricultural Leadership from Texas A&M University, and is a Food Safety Specialist. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and two children, playing tennis, and gaming.

Learn More

Comments are closed.