Do Bed Bug Bites Spread if You Scratch Them

Do bed bug bites spread if you scratch them?

Do bed bug bites spread if you scratch themBedbugs do bite, and they can cause significant discomfort. While people react differently to bed bug bites, the typical reaction is scratching. In severe cases, rashes may develop and cause the skin to wheal and swell.

Incessantly scratching a spot where you were bit by a bed bug will only make things worse. You may end up peeling off your skin if you keep at it. As hard as it may be, resist the urge to scratch. If the bed bug bite feels overwhelming, apply an anti-itch cream or balm to the affected spot.

Now, some people worry that bed bug bites will spread along the skin when scratched. Well, the truth is that bed bug bites don’t spread as they’re non-contagious. However, the welt caused by the bug may swell due to constant scratching –that’s where it all ends.

How Bed Bugs Feed

Bed bugs are predominantly night feeders. It’s rare to see this insect crawling around during the day. Bed bugs find their food source, unconscious humans, when they’re sleeping. The parasites track exhaled carbon dioxide and people’s body warmth before biting. You can be sharing your apartment with bed bugs and see no tell-tale sign of them.

After a food source is located, the bed bug crawls up to the skin and feeds by biting. The blood-sucking parasites pierce through the skin with their tube-like mouths. Bed bugs continue to bite and feed until they’ve had their fill. When the sly critters draw blood, they inject their saliva into the feeding spot on a human’s skin. Believe it or not, the fluids from their mouth work like a painkiller. Yet, at the same time, the saliva causes irritation. It’s the bed bug bite on the skin that leads to scratching.

How to Identify a Bed Bug Bite

Itching and scratching aren’t exclusive to bedbugs. Other blood-sucking insects like ticks and fleas also cause skin irritations. However, bedbug bites are pretty distinctive.

Here’s how to tell a bed bug bite:

  • If a rash forms and appears in a row, it’s a bedbug bite. Say a flea was responsible; the skin would have uneven red blotches spread in different areas.
  • Bed bug bites form painless bumps on the skin. If you develop a painful rash, it’s because the spot has been scratched incessantly. Even though bed bug bites are completely pain-free, they might be itchy.

What to do After Noticing a Bedbug Bite

If you leave a rash caused by a bedbug bite alone, it will take a long time to fade away. The duration of the skin irritation variesDo Bed Bug Bites Spread if You Scratch Them depending on each person. As a matter of fact, failing to treat the bite can lead to other allergic reactions.

Consulting a dermatologist should be the very first thing you should do. Self-medication is usually frowned upon when dealing with allergic reactions. Seek medical attention if you notice a bed bug bite and have a rash. If you can’t make it to a dermatologist, get calamine lotion or Alka-Seltzer. Then, apply to the solution the affected spots on the skin. Antibiotics may also treat bed bug bites. No matter what, always consult with a doctor before taking any medication.

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Stop infestation by disinfecting your home regularly with Nature Mace Bed Bug Killer. Our product is harmless to humans and pets yet lethal to bedbugs!

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Nicholas is a partner and co-founder at Nature's MACE. Nicholas received his Bachelor's in Business Administration from Penn State University. His mission is to create and promote natural substitutes for toxic pesticides. He hopes to prevent people, pets, and the environment from being negatively affected by potentially harmful pesticides.


  1. Steven Graham on April 29, 2022 at 4:09 am

    Can a bite be infected with Mesa bacteria turning into abscess with pain to the touch and burning sensation black colored scab and black colored discharge spreading bacteria causes more bacteria infections besides the original bite

    • Sarah Rinaldi on September 8, 2022 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Steven, we are not medical professionals so we unfortunately cannot say for sure if this is possible. However, if you have signs of an infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible!

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