Home Bed Bugs Do Bed Bug Bites Itch or Hurt?

Do Bed Bug Bites Itch or Hurt?

Bed bugs bites constitute the most annoying effect from these little creatures. Find out if the bites itch or hurt, reason they itch, how long and ways to stop and relief the pain.

Do Bed Bug Bites Itch or Hurt-Why & is it Always?

Bites from bed bugs are in most cases irritating and very itchy. The itchy welts form in a few days.

If the bed bugs bite you continuously, you may have the itchy welts develop in seconds. The itch may however take as long as two weeks before it is felt.

Why do bed bug bites itch and hurt?How to relief and stop remedies
Bites from bed bugs

why do bites itch so bad?

Generally, the saliva from the bed bugs causes an allergic reaction on your skin. It is this allergic reaction which leaves your skin itchy and with a rash. The itching may last for hours or days. When a bed bug bites you, the skin is turned red and the itch begins.

Bed bug bites cause irritation on the skin. This as a result causes itchiness. The bumps forming on your skin as well as the inflammation are also a reason for the itching of your skin.

If you are lucky enough not to have a reaction on your skin after the bite, you will not experience any itchiness.

Is it always? Symptoms

Some people become resistant to bed bug bites and for that reason, they hardly experience any itching following bed bug bites.

In fact, only those people who experience an allergic reaction following the bed bug bite are reported to experience itching. Most people with a sensitive skin will however have to deal with the itchiness that comes with the bed bug bites.

Itching may be shown by inflammation of your skin as well as redness. Other symptoms associated with itchiness of your skin are oozing of a fluid and formation of blisters.

Do they itch immediately after biting or later

You may experience the itch from the bed bug either after a few hours of the bite or even after a week or two. There is no definite time after which you experience the itching. Different skin types will react differently to the bed bug bites.

Do the bites hurt?

Bed bug bites do not actually hurt. However, the irritation they cause can be very disturbing. Most people with bed bug bites report that no pain was experienced either during or after the bite.

When the itching that comes with the bites is too much, you may find yourself scratching your skin.

Excessive scratching of the skin leaves it exposed to infections which may actually result to the bites being painful. Pain following infection of the bites is taken to be an indicator that your bites are pus filled.

How long does bed bug bites itch?

The duration for which the bed bugs itch varies from one person to another. For some people, it will last up to the time the bites are fully recovered.

If you seek treatment, however, whether by application of creams or making your own home remedies, itchiness may take a relatively short period.

There are so many remedies out there that are soothing to your skin and will hence relieve you of itchiness soonest possible.

All the same, if your bites become infected, the itchiness becomes more severe and it may last for a very long time. Scratching your skin as well increases the period that the itchiness takes before healing.

How to make bed bug bites stop itching-Creams & Relief

What to put on bed bug bites to stop itching

You can either use anti-itch cream for bed bug bites, or even some home remedies. There are some oral drugs that may be helpful as well. This is as discussed below.

Anti-itch creams when applied as soon as the itch starts or as soon as the bites are spotted offer excellent results. The most commonly used over the counter cream is hydrocortisone cream. It relieves you of any skin irritation

It is found to work like most home remedies as will be discussed below. Other anti-itch creams include; calamine lotion, Benadryl cream, and cortisone 10.

You can also try oral drugs. Oral anti-histamine like Benadryl or any other oral antihistamine gives an immediate relief from the itchiness. Even that, you are advised to always try home remedies before opting for other manufactured drugs.

Bed bug bites itch & pain relief remedies

Cold compress using tea bags

To treat the itchiness or any other form of irritation that comes with bed bug bites, you are advised to apply a cold tea bag compress on the affected area. This cold compress works in two ways.

First of all, the cold calms the irritated nerve endings. In addition to that, the tea contains astringents which help reduce any itchiness or swelling.

The journal of pharmacognosy and phytochemistry advise that you use either black or green tea bags since they have tannins which play the role of astringents.


  1. Into a cup of boiling water, add a tea bag. Leave it for a few minutes then allow it to cool.
  2. For approximately 15 minutes, hold the tea bag against the itchy skin.
  3. For faster relief of the symptoms, repeat the procedure two to three times.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Raw but diluted apple cider vinegar has been found to be an anti-itch remedy. ACV contains acetic acid. When applied on the skin, this acid lowers the pH levels of your skin and as such reliefs you of the itchiness.

Apple cider vinegar for bed bug itch
Apple Cider Vinegar

This acid also kills any bacteria and germs that come into contact with your skin and are likely to worsen the itchiness by causing infections.

In summary, ACV not only relieves you of itchiness but also prevents possibility of bacterial infections.


  1. Make a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 1:1.
  2. Apply this solution on the parts of your skin which have been bitten by the bed bugs.
  3. Leave the skin to dry then later rinse it with warm water.
  4. You are advised to repeat this procedure two to three times a day.

Where you cannot access apple cider vinegar, you can use lemon juice in its place. Like ACV, lemon juice is acidic and will equally relief you of the skin itchiness.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is praised in the skin pharmacology and physiology journal as being better than hydrocortisone gel in relieving skin irritation.

Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties. It nourishes the skin and stops the itching. You can either use fresh juice squeezed from Aloe vera plant or an aloe vera gel containing other ingredients.


  1. Massage the aloe vera gel gently on the areas with bed bug bites.
  2. Allow the gel to dry up so that it makes full effect in relieving you of the itchiness
  3. You may or may not rinse it off.
  4. To make the healing process faster, repeat the procedure several times in a day.


Oatmeal is another powerful natural remedy which comes to your rescue when you are bitten by bed bugs.

Oatmeal has healing properties and hence relieves your skin from itchiness, inflammation and any other form of irritation.

You can either make a paste using oatmeal or simply add it to your bath to enjoy its anti-inflammatory properties.

A study in 2005 revealed that oatmeal has antioxidant properties in addition to anti-inflammatory properties.

These properties explain why it reduces both mild and moderate itching on your skin after a bed bug bites you. You can use oatmeal alone or mix it with yoghurt for more fulfilling results. This is as discussed below.


  1. Make a paste using oatmeal and plain yoghurt
  2. Apply the paste on your skin that has the bed bug bites.
  3. To allow for soothing of the skin, leave the paste for twenty minutes.
  4. For long lasting relief from bed bugs, repeat the procedure twice a day.[1]

Witch hazel

This is another natural astringent which will quickly relief you of the itchiness and inflammation caused by bed bug bites.

Like the green and black tea, witch hazel has tannins as well. As stated in the journal of inflammation, witch hazel has both antioxidant and antiseptic properties. It reduces the irritation after bed bug bites.


  1. Take a fresh cotton ball and dip it into witch hazel. It is best when pure.
  2. Hold the cotton ball against the irritated skin.
  3. Let it remain in contact with your skin for about ten minutes. This allows the astringents to work and hence reduce the itching and inflammation.
  4. To speed up the healing process, you are advised to use the witch hazel twice a day.

Baking soda

Baking soda has soothing effects. Dr. David Derrer on WebMD explains that baking soda has anti-inflammatory properties and hence it soothes itchiness, swellings and redness caused by bed bug bites. Baking soda the bump size as well.


  1. Make a thick paste using baking soda and water.
  2. Apply this paste on the area of your skin where you have been bitten.
  3. For effective reduction of the itchiness and inflammation, leave the paste for fifteen minutes on your skin.
  4. Rinse your skin with warm water. Repeat the procedure two times a day.


Honey has strong antibiotic properties. It the best in the cases where your bug bites have been attacked by bacterial infections.

Honey has soothing effect and will hence calm skin itchiness consequently preventing the likelihood of scratching. As stated by Mayo clinic doctors, honey is an excellent topical anti-itch treatment.


  1. Apply a small amount of honey, preferably Manuka honey, on the irritated skin.
  2. To help relieve your skin from itching and inflammation, massage the honey gently on the affected skin.

Repeat the procedure as indicated

Further Reading


[1] http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/how-long-do-bed-bug-bites-last/