Why do bed bugs bite only one person in a family? Budget Brothers Termite

Why do bed bugs bite only one person in a family?


Bed bugs are notorious for the itchy bites they leave on people when they feed. While they’re a problem overall, why do they sometimes only bite certain people and not others? Learn more about these pests and why sometimes it appears that bed bugs bite only one family member.

Do Bed Bugs Bite Only One Person?

When bed bugs are in your home, it might not seem like a problem that affects the whole family. You or another family member might be the only one who ends up covered in bites. Even if you have a spouse in the same room with you, these bugs might seem to only prefer feeding on you during the night. Is that what’s really going on?

While it might seem like this happens, it’s not quite what it seems. You may wake up covered in bites, while other family members seem perfectly fine.

Are the bed bugs in your home really only targeting you?

Is there something about you that attracts these pests?

You might be relieved to know that bed bugs don’t actually target certain individuals in a home. These bugs aren’t picky about who they bite, so you can bet that they’re feeding on everyone in your home. Even though you may be the only person who seems to have bites.

Bed bug bites cause reactions in certain people who are sensitive or allergic to them. These bites leave reddish, itchy bumps on your skin if your immune system treats bed bug saliva as a threat. Other people may not have these reactions. Even though bed bugs have fed on them, they don’t leave these bumps behind as evidence.

This can make it hard to determine if you have a problem. You might think you’re having an allergic reaction to something else in your home if you’re the only one with noticeable bites. If you’re not sure whether or not you really have bed bugs, you’ll need to look for other evidence. This might mean checking your mattress and bedding for signs of these bugs, such as their actual presence or spots or markings left behind.

Bed Bug Problems

Since you now know that all family members are being bitten when you have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to get help. These bugs can be very difficult to get rid of, and they can easily come back. At Budget Brothers Termite & Pest, we find them and ensure that all affected areas of your home are treated to prevent another infestation.

Bed bugs cause other challenges as well. The bites they leave on you can lead to secondary infections if you scratch them too much. This happens when bacteria get into your skin when you scratch frequently at bed bug bites.

Another problem to keep in mind is that bed bugs are able to reproduce often and build up their population quickly. This can lead to a much bigger infestation in your home. Working with the pest control professionals at Budget Brothers will reduce your risk of developing a huge bed bug problem.

If you believe you have bed bugs in your home, contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest for help. Our pest control experts can eliminate them from your Phoenix home, so you don’t have to worry about bed bug bites.

For fast, affordable, and effective service, contact us or call Budget Brothers today at 602-253-2495


Can only one person be affected by bug bites, if two sleep in a bed?

Around spring, every year for the past two years, I get little bites, about 1-2 per night on my leg(s), when I’m sleeping. They itch like bug bites, look like little mosquito bites and look really attractive (note sarcasm) but my husband is not affected! He never gets ‘bitten’ and so he tells me they are not bug bites. Can bugs be selective eaters? And if so, it’s not mosquito season, and I don’t think I have bed bugs as my house is very clean. so can someone tell me whats going on possibly?

6 Answers

I just saw your question today and wish I had seen it earlier. Bedbug bites cause a sore based on an allergic reaction so it is possible that you are allergic and your husband is not but it is highly unlikely that you would only be bit in the spring and then they would leave you alone for the rest of the year.

Instead, I think you may be getting bit by chiggers (aka harvest mites). If you spend more time outside than your husband in the garden this may explain it as they latch onto you outside and then bite you.

There is a product called Kleen-Free that I have seen used for chiggers. i think they talk about it on their website. it is sometimes used for bedbugs etc but I have seen them use it for chiiggers as well.


Pictures of Bed Bug Bites on Kids

Melody is a volunteer for the Center for Disease and Control Prevention. She enjoys sharing her personal experience with others.

Bed Bugs Biting Kids

We seldom use the phrase «Don’t let the bed bugs bite» with children in 2019, year of the bed bug. Instead, parents are asking how to get rid of those bugs. This page contains photos to give you an example of what bed bug bites look like on children. The information about rashes found here is meant to help give ideas about how to deal with a child’s physical and psychological reactions to bed bugs.

It doesn’t have to be so scary. It’s a more common issue now, one that is widely overlooked in the current epidemic. Not understanding the facts can cause fear, and that fear creates distress in adults and children.

What to Do if Your Kids Are Bitten by Bed Bugs

  • Learn about bed bugs, feces, and eggs.
  • Know how to identify bed bugs and possible bites.
  • Get rid of bed bugs with an exterminator such as Terminix.
  • Buy supplies such as mattress covers, traps and pesticide from Domyownpestcontrol.com or Amazon.
  • Talk with your children honestly.
  • Treat rashes with baking soda paste or Hydrocortisone cream.
  • Call a doctor if you are worried your child may have a serious allergic reaction.

Children and Bed Bugs

Increased amounts of time spent at school and with friends proportionally raises the risk that kids will be bitten by bed bugs, or even bring them home. You never know when or where they might pick up a rogue pest. This makes it important to know how to inspect children for bites. If you know what to look for, you can identify the problem as soon as possible.

What Does a Bed Bug Bite Look Like?

  • According to the New Hampshire Department of Health, only children who have a serious allergy get true welts from bed bug bites, so you might not see anything so distinctive as a welt.
  • Bed bug bites do not have a bite mark in the center. If the bite is a welt, and/or has a bite mark in the center, it could be a spider, mosquito, or even a flea bite. (As with anything, there are exceptions to this rule.)
  • Some people experience itchiness, welts, or swelling 24 hours after exposure, but the reaction might not be dramatic or obvious for several days, and some never react at all. In other words, the bites might not be itchy or leave any mark at all.
  • If a child scratches a bed bug bite enough, the skin might break, causing a sore to develop. Scratching might also cause the bite to resemble a flea bite with a mark in the center. While bed bug bites are not dangerous, these sores can get infected.
  • Children who have serious reactions to bed bug bites could experience shock, such as with other insect bites.
  • Something else worthy of mention: When a bed bug bites are an area covered with hair, the bite mark might look like a follicle in the skin where the hair grows instead of what it really is.
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Identifying a Bed Bug Bite on a Child

  • The bites might be flat or raised welts. They’re usually small and pink (a severe reaction may cause large, red rashes).
  • Look for rashes in groups of three or more; although they do not always follow this pattern, they often do.
  • The bites may be grouped together.
  • You may see a line or a zigzag of bites.

Bed bug bite symptoms are an allergic reaction. Some children will have no reaction; however, others will react dramatically. I am not going to go in to the science, but every person’s body respond differently to different allergens. Plus, a person can develop an allergy at any time.

Bed bug bites on children tend to be larger and more pronounced than they are on adults. Children are more sensitive, so they tend to have more exaggerated reactions. Some children may also have a delayed reaction.

How to Inspect Children for Bed Bugs and Bites

  • Check kids when they return from a friend’s house, a sleepover, or camp, but remember that it takes about 24 hours for a reaction to develop, and some may not get a reaction for a week or more after being bitten. So, depending on when the child may have been bitten, you may have to inspect again later.
  • In addition, about half of people never develop any visible reaction to the bites whatsoever.
  • If you have cause for alarm, you can place all items in a large zip lock bag before they come in the house.
  • Inspect before the child settles into bed or sits down on the couch. Try to inspect them without making a big deal about it. You can eyeball a child pretty easily—they do not even have to know you are looking.
  • Start with the head, neck, and shoulders. Look at the hairline (but you do not have to inspect hair as thoroughly as you would for lice).
  • Look for small red dots that are often grouped, three or more.
  • Look at all areas of skin that might have been exposed while they were sleeping: arms, legs, torso, hands, shoulders, etc.
  • Whatever you do, don’t alarm the kids. They are looking at you for cues to guide their own reactions.
  • Treat a bed bug inspection with the same care and urgency as a lice inspection. You want to be thorough but calm.
  • You’ll also want to check their beds for signs of infestation.

Controlling Fear

In today’s world (where one in five people polled say they know someone who’s had a bed bug problem), most kids have heard of bed bugs, but they don’t really know how to recognize either the bug or the bites. They also don’t know how to cope with their feelings in regards to these bloodsuckers.

Some parents have become so afraid of an infestation that they are scared to let their kids go to friends’ houses or have sleepovers. This is understandable, but there are ways to allow children to experience life safely.

Safety involves communication. Some people might be so embarrassed that they try to hide the truth of an infestation from everyone, while others might shamelessly blabber the news to everyone. I believe that honesty is the best course of action. Ethically, it prevents others from being exposed and emotionally, it lightens the burden of suffering and shame.

Children will notice your reaction, and if you react with fear, hysteria, or shame, it could cause them grief. Being aware of their feelings and educating them about bed bugs can help reduce some of the stress.

How Long Does It Take for a Bed Bug Rash to Develop?

A lot of people ask this question, but there is no one answer. From what I have seen, a reaction usually develops within 24-48 hours of exposure and fades in 24-48 hours, but not everyone has the same reaction.

Some people swear it takes 9 or 14 days to develop a rash, and that may be true, but it could also be that they stayed at a hotel 9 or 14 days ago and want to blame it on the hotel, not their own home or family members. Or perhaps they brought a bug home, and bites went undetected.

Some children can have severe allergic reactions. For example, one asthmatic child may have no serious reaction to bites, and healthy children end up going to the doctor for steroid cream or a shot. The reverse happens, too.

How long it takes to develop red dots depends on the person. The average time it takes to see visible rashes is within the first two days after the bite. About half of the people who are exposed never develop any reaction at all.

All Pictures Included Here Are Verified Bed Bug Bites on Children

If you find bites on your child, you can use these images as a comparison.

Treating Bed Bug Rashes on Kids

  • As a general rule, children with reactions should always go to the doctor. Prescription strength hydrocortisone cream will likely be recommended. This stuff works great on bed bugs. For most people, it stops itching and makes the redness fade.
  • In rare cases, an allergic reaction to an insect bite may require treatment. Your doctor may prescribe steroid shots or antibiotics to fight infection.
  • If you really do not want to go to the doctor, then get some other type of cream or lotion to treat the itching. Prescription strength cream is the best, but my personal favorite nonprescription product for all types of skin rashes, including bed bugs is Cortisone 10 Maximum Strength Intensive Healing Formula.
  • Check the way your child is feeling. Is he worried others will notice? Reassure him that it’s not a big problem. Is the bite itchy? You want to make sure that excess scratching doesn’t damage the skin and lead to infection.
  • Babies who have bed bug bites should always be taken to the doctor.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Bed Bugs

If you do not have bed bugs, you probably have little reason to talk your kids about them. However, if you do have them, you may be feeling conflicted.

You have a choice: Either talk to your children openly and honestly or try to keep it hidden. Only you will know which is right for your family. Just know that there is a good chance your kids will figure it out on their own.

  • If you decide not to tell your kids, you can explain the marks away as spider bites. If the bites continue over time, you might get away with saying, “Oh, we better spray for spiders, we must have a ton!”
  • Another problem with hiding the truth is that it could interfere with your bed bug plan.
  • Pesticides need to be used safely in homes with children. If you do not tell them about bed bugs, you should at least say you are doing a bi-annual spray.
  • For safety reasons, even if you do not want to talk to your children about the infestation, it is important to alert your children to the fact that you have sprayed. Explain the limits in boundaries to protect them from contamination.
  • The truth is kids are very aware of what is going on around them. If you can get the infestation under control quickly, you may never have to have the talk. If not, then you may have no other choice.
  • The more prevalent bed bugs get, the less stigmatized these infestations will become. As I said before, I believe that honesty is the best course of action, ethically and emotionally. Fear and shame or humor and education: The reaction is up to you. You could even turn this experience into a science experiment and/or enlist your children’s help. Read some books and watch some videos together so you all can learn more.

Preventing Fear, Anxiety, and Shame Caused by Bed Bugs

  • One great way to head-off or eliminate fears is to create a safe zone. Give each child a zippered mattress and pillowcase cover and a bed bug resistant backpack for use during sleepovers. You can find bed bug bedding products in some stores, on Amazon Prime, and from USBedbugs Protection & Prevention Products.
  • If you tell your kids about the problem and then let them help you fix it, they will experience more control over the situation. Involving them in the process will help them control their fears.
  • If the child knows they have a bed bug-free place to go, they are more likely to cope well.
  • You can also get zippered bed tents or dresser drawer liners.
  • Provide a supportive and caring environment where kids can talk about their worries and get help.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Can a child develop a fever after severe bites?

Bed bugs do not spread disease or inject venom or poison that are known to cause a fever. It is difficult to tell what would cause the fever in this situation. It could be an allergic reaction, an infection from the wound itself, or something else entirely. In this scenario, doctors recommend seeking medical care for the child.

Are bed bug bites small or large?

Bed bug bites are small. However, on kids they might look bigger than they are because a child has scratched them, increasing irritation.

Will a scar from a bed bug bite clear up after the child has scratched and caused bruising?

Children are very resilient. Their bodies heal faster, and more efficiently than that of an adult. I can’t tell you if it will clear up or not. However, kids are less likely to scar than an adult.

There are some things you can do to increase the chances that the bed bug bite will not fade into a permanent scar.

1. Clean wound with warm water and use antibacterial creams. Neosporin is a great choice, They have new products that are even made to prevent scars.

2. Use Calamine lotion to prevent the itching.

3. Buy a scar removal cream. There are real products, usually made with Vitamin E and other active ingredients, that reduce the appearance of scars. I use Mederma, but there are lots of great brands out there.


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Hi, my son gets bit all over his

Cheat and arm, they bother him a lot. He seems to have had a reaction of sorts them, he only gets bit in his room, we never get bit by anything and our daughter doesn’t either. Just him. I’ve checked his bed and the room

And I’ve seen none of the traditional markings of bed bugs, any advice would be appreciated as I have no idea why this is happening

crystal gerard

my daughter got them to when she came home from her cousins house but she only had them on her hands she did not get a fever from them but we did not know what they were


Hello: A few months ago my daughter started to get what appeared to be bug bites. We thought they may be mites, spider or mosquitos or even some sort of rash. They did’t look like pictures of what I’ve seen bedbug bites to be. Also, my son is in the same room and gets nothing. She’ll get 3 or 4 usually on her hands, arms or face and then they clear up and in a couple of weeks she gets more. They don’t see to itch. We searched for any signs of bugs and as a precaution, my wife sprayed with an over the counter bedbug spray, vacuumed well and washed/heated all bedding and stuff animals etc. She is still getting the marks. I’ve made an appointment for a dermatologist and allergist, but am really at a loss. Don’t want to spent tons on extermination for something we may not have. Any advice would be appreciated. THANKS

alyssa a

my son is breaking out on back and but. looks like bed bugs but i see no other sign and the boys have been sleep on the couch all summer together and the other isnt breaking out. he also misbehaved which is unlike him inless sick and grabbed his ear so know im not sure if it is bed bugs. what shoukd i do?

Melody Collins

2 years ago from United States

Phillip: I agree. There should be more restrictions on selling bug infested furniture. It is unlikely that bed bugs will cause any long term damage for your 8-month-old. However, the discomfort could be great.

Since you have a baby, if you have or get bed bugs, I would call a professional. It may cost you $1000 or more.

Also, know that there are lots of bed bug products sold on Amazon designed for babies. There are crib mattress covers and netting that can be used to protect your child.

Sometimes these products are sold as bed bug products. But mosquito netting can double for bed bugs in some cases, as long as it seals.

Phillip cox

I’m worried that bed bugs might hurt my 8 month old I think people should not b allowed to sell cloths/beds/and couches that are used they should be fined and forced to burn all used products


im getting bitten by bed bugs and i keep on itching them but i put cream on it and it works a little and sometimes it don’t work when i put it on sometimes


A mother that sharing information about bedbugs is r the right thing to do.My chid want to school on Friday and came home with bites on her.

Becky Katz

7 years ago from Hereford, AZ

We had three months of torment with these things. My daughter had a friend spend the night and I guess she brought them. It took a while for them to get to the point where we noticed them and then they were everywhere. We had Orkin come in and spray two months in a row, as well as getting rid of all mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture. We also had to dry every item of cloth in the house for 20 min. in the dryer. I sew and have lots of material. It cost me $30 in quarters to dry all of that.

Melody Collins

7 years ago from United States

Great comment, thanks for the info. Bed bugs only bite once a night, and they do not eat every night. So yes, most of these pictures are from homes with more serious infestations.

I am glad you mentioned garage sales, I forgot that one. You used to be able to get good stuff people left by the curb, and now you have to avoid that at all costs. You are right, buying at garage sales can be just as risky! Thanks for reading!

Pamela Dapples

7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

This is a great hub you’ve written.

There is quite a growing problem of bed bug infestation on the islands of Hawaii, so I attended a free class on it last year. Bed bugs especially like to travel by air on the airplanes in coach or First Class. They also love to travel from one hotel to your destination via your luggage which you set up in the hotel you are visiting.

I’m not sure if you have mentioned in one of your hubs that a bed bug only bites once a day. So in the photos of the bites on the children’s bodies there were a LOT of bed bugs coming out to dine at night. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide human beings expel from their mouth when sleeping. This is why a new infestation of bed bugs begins with just one or two camping out at the top of your mattress. You can see the little brown dots of feces there near the rolled seams of the mattress. Later, the bed bugs travel to different parts of the mattress and different areas of the room such as the dresser drawers.

See also:  Florida woman has live cockroach removed from her ear

Buying used dressers at a garage sale? This can be a way to bring bed bugs into your home. The bed bugs hide very well in different components of the dresser drawers and frame — even under the drawer handles.

Voting your hub up and across.


7 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

Thanks for sharing this information. I once experienced these disgusting pests and learnt how to counter them the hard way. I won the battle, never to see them again. I realized recently that infection can recur through public transport, a visit to infested localities or from a visitor. I’ve not seen the bug for several years. Voted up and useful.

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Bedbugs: How to Know When You’ve Got Them, How to Get Rid of Them, and How to Get Over the Distress They Cause

Medically Reviewed by Ross Radusky, MD

Good night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.

The popular children’s rhyme gets it right: Bedbugs do most commonly feed on humans at night while they’re sleeping (though they can sometimes bite during the day), and they’re the type of pest you really don’t want to have to deal with. (1)

Bedbugs (or Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus, their scientific names) are blood-feeding parasites that can be found all around the world. You mostly hear about them in urban areas or places with a great deal of occupant turnover, such as hotels, apartment buildings, and college dormitories, because that’s where they spread most easily. (2)

Bedbugs were nearly extinct after World War II thanks to the use of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). The United States banned DDT in 1972 because of its negative environmental effects, and the less-effective pesticides that came after it, along with a rise in international travel and immigration, has contributed to the bedbug resurgence we’re experiencing today. (3)

Most Recent in Skin and Beauty

What Do Bedbugs Look Like and How Do I Know I Have Them?

Bedbugs are reddish-brown insects that feed on blood, primarily blood from humans. (4) Bedbugs crawl, but cannot fly or jump like many other insects do. (1) Also unlike cockroaches and flies, bedbugs have no relationship with cleanliness and can be found in the cleanest homes and hotel rooms, says Scott Svenheim, an entomologist with Truly Nolen Pest Control in Tuscon, Arizona.

“Many people believe that bedbugs are too small to see with the naked eye,” adds Jerry Lazarus, the owner of the Massachusetts-based Braman Termite & Pest Elimination. Not so: Adult bedbugs range in size from 1 to 7 millimeters. But they’re very good at hiding. To spot them, you’ll have to catch them moving to or from their hiding spots, which can be hard to do, since they’re most active while people are sleeping. They have six legs and their bodies are small and flat, which makes it easy for them to hide within the cracks and crevices of your home.

Female bedbugs produce about one egg per day. The eggs are white and are very hard to see without magnification, Lazarus says. The eggs take about one week to hatch in rooms that are between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The nymphs that hatch from those eggs look like adult bedbugs, but they’re smaller and are translucent until they have their first blood meal, Svenheim says. (1) The nymphs take about five weeks to mature, and during those five weeks they shed their skin five times, each time after feeding. (5)

Everything You Need to Know About Bugs and Disease

Bedbug Bites Can Be Intensely Itchy — or You May Not Even Notice Them

Bedbugs are sneaky insects. They bite in the middle of the night (usually about one hour before dawn), injecting an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that makes it painless and unlikely that you’ll feel a thing. After feeding for about five minutes, the bugs will retreat back to their hiding places.

For most people, the first sign of bedbugs is bites on the body. The bites will show up in any place that’s exposed while you sleep, such as the arms, legs, back, and neck.

More on Bug Bites

Bites can look different from person to person. “In some people, they can cause allergic reactions, although some people don’t react at all,” Lazarus says. In most cases, a bedbug bite looks a lot like a mosquito bite — a red, itchy bump on your skin that appears within 24 hours of your being bitten. You may notice a line of bedbug bites, though it’s also possible to see just one bite on its own.

Though the idea of having bedbugs in your home can be troubling, the bugs themselves don’t pose a threat to your health (nor do their bites). (1) “These bites can’t spread disease to humans, but they can be itchy and uncomfortable,» says Steve Durham, the president of EnviroCon Termite & Pest in Tomball, Texas.

You likely won’t need to visit a doctor as a result of getting bitten by a bedbug. (6) Usually, the bites will heal within two weeks on their own, though you may want to apply an anti-itch cream or corticosteroid cream to the area to relieve itchiness. (7)

If you experience an allergic reaction or the area shows signs of infection, such as if the area oozes pus, it may be time to visit a dermatologist. He or she will likely prescribe an antihistamine and corticosteroid to treat an allergic reaction, or an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment for an infection.

Other Bug Bites

Bedbugs Are Notoriously Tough to Get Rid of (but You CAN Do It)

«One of the main reasons people fear bedbug infestations more than most other pests is because they are notoriously tough to get rid of,” Durham says. That’s why many people turn to professionals for help. “Most do-it-yourself attempts end in failure and frustration, since over-the-counter products can be misapplied and infested areas can be easily missed,” Lazarus says. “Oftentimes, this means spending a lot of your own money and time and still having a problem.” (Plus, failure to correctly use DIY extermination products can be dangerous to your health and those you live with.)

If you decide to go the professional route, there are three common treatment options the pest control expert may take:

  1. Insecticide application Use of insecticides is the most common route to get rid of bedbugs. Treating bedbugs this way requires preparation, such as washing bedding and clothing and placing items that can’t be washed in garbage bags out in the hot sun. Sometimes, a few rounds of insecticides are needed to get rid of the bedbug population entirely.
  2. Heat remediation A pest control professional will heat the infected space to temperatures that kill bedbugs, usually between 120 and 130 degrees F. This method requires much less prep work than insecticide application and usually will successfully eliminate the bedbugs and the eggs on the first treatment, so there’s likely no need for a follow-up visit.
  3. Fumigation This option is less commonly available. It works by injecting a vacated building with a gas that kills the bedbugs inside.

You can also try to apply insecticides yourself, though the products available to professionals are usually more effective than those available to consumers. When choosing a product, look for one that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and specifically lists bedbugs on the label. (8) You’ll likely need to do a few rounds of treatment, because it can be very difficult to find and kill bedbug eggs.

To successfully get rid of bedbugs, you need to be extremely thorough. “Bedbugs are excellent at hiding and will be in places where most people wouldn’t check — behind peeling wallpaper, in the rails of drawers, in hollow curtain rods, and in electronics,” Lazarus says. If even just one bedbug is left behind, you’ll still be in trouble, Durham says.


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