Side Effects of a Bedbug Bite

Bedbugs are approximately 1/4 inch long when fully grown and are flat, oval-shaped non-flying insects that prefer living in and on bedding and sucking the blood of human hosts 1. The side effects of a bedbug bite can be primary or secondary effects, which occur as a result of the unpleasant and frustrating experience of a bedbug encounter or infestation.

Redness and Swelling

After a bedbug makes its mark on you, it's not unusual for a bite to turn red and swell up. While some people may not have any reaction to the bite, others will have noticeable raised, red bumps on their skin. The bumps are close in appearance to a mosquito bite, but often occur in a straight line formation, which indicates that they are bedbug bites.


Depending on the individual, the bedbug bites may be itchy. Some people may experience mild itching, while others may suffer severe itching, blisters and hives. If you have a severe reaction to bedbug bites, you should see a doctor as soon as possible for treatment.

Anxiety and Sleeplessness

As a result of a bedbug infestation in your home or spending the night in a bed infested with bedbugs, you may experience bouts of anxiety and difficulty sleeping 1. The anxiety will stem from worrying about the bugs crawling on you and biting you. This will make it difficult for you to relax and go to sleep.

Secondary Infections or Flu-Like Symptoms

If the bedbug bites that you sustain are itchy, you can develop a secondary skin infection if you scratch the bites vigorously. If you have severe itching, it's important to consult with your physician for his advice and treatment. Some people who sustain large numbers of bedbug bites may experience flu-like symptoms -- body aches, tiredness, fever, headache, runny nose -- due to the saliva that the bedbugs inject into the skin when they bite to feed 1.