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Can you see bed bugs?

(18 Posts)
kangaroo73 Sun 01-Nov-20 17:19:43

When I go to bed at night I have extremely itchy skin, particularly on my back. Sometimes I lay awake for hours because of it. I also discover spots of blood but that’s most certainly where I’ve been scratching. It also itches during the day especially if I get hot, but less so. I’ve tried searching my mattress for signs of bed bugs but can never see any. If I can be certain that’s the cause I’d buy a new mattress and don’t want to spend money on one only to discover nothing’s changed. Has anybody experienced this problem and are bed bugs visible to the human eye?

petra Sun 01-Nov-20 17:27:52

I grew up with bed bugs. I lived in what was so eloquently called the London slum clearance
Yes you can see them. You must look in the creases of the mattress as they're sneaky little critters.
Also look behind pictures on the wall because they hide behind the frames.

kircubbin2000 Sun 01-Nov-20 17:31:51

Sounds more like fleas or even a spider. I stayed in an hotel in Edinburgh recently and when I came home I had angry red itchy spots across my tummy. Minor Injuries nurse said bed bugs.

AGAA4 Sun 01-Nov-20 17:32:57

You could try antihistamines and emollient creams first in case you just have an allergy problem.
If that doesn't help maybe ask a pest control company to check for you.

Framilode Sun 01-Nov-20 17:34:18

I have the same problem with itchiness and blood spots on the sheets. We definitely don't have bedbugs as it is a new bed and mattress. I have many allergies as well as psoriasis and I take 1 or 2 anti histamines when I go to bed to control it. I also find drinking plenty of water helps. Some nights I have no problem but other nights it is unbearable.

I don't have an answer for you but I have seen bedbug bites when my sister in law was bitten badly in a hotel in France. They are definite red blobs and I don't think they itched.

MamaCaz Sun 01-Nov-20 17:34:43

Have you changed your laundry detergent or toiletry products recently, kangaroo73?

That would usually be the first question that a doctor would ask if you have suddenly started itching, so worth considering, especially if you don't have any visible bites.

Barmeyoldbat Sun 01-Nov-20 17:36:20

After spending 4 months every year in SE Asia for ten years I always checked the beds for the darling little creatures, they hide as already said, in the creases of the mattress. The ones I saw were red in colour. Good luck

PamelaJ1 Sun 01-Nov-20 17:44:20

We stayed in an hotel near Gatwick. I normally put my suitcase in the attic but we were going away again so I put it under the bed.
Bed bug bites are really itchy and I seem to have the most desirable blood ever.
After a few days when we had decided to burn the house down as a last resort I pulled the covers back very, very very slowly and there it was! Thank goodness we only had one and I got it.
The pesky little things can live for ages after a big feed.
Lesson learnt, never put your suitcase on a hotel bed. Always on that thing they give you. If your hotel hasn’t given you a suitcase thingy put the case on top of the wardrobe or,if all else fails in the bath!
They don’t make you itchy all over though, you would know where they had been.

BlueBelle Sun 01-Nov-20 17:45:56

Sorry to say but fleas leave little blood marks on your skin or sheets
Do you have a pet ?

Davidhs Sun 01-Nov-20 18:30:41

Travelling in Africa accommodation is always suspect, not just bedbugs but mosquitos and other creepy crawlies. Always strip the bed and spray the whole room with ordinary insecticide aerosol about 2 hours before bed time. Bites on the legs of other hotel residents is a good clue too.

Hetty58 Sun 01-Nov-20 18:41:29

I'm very allergic to fabric conditioner and perfumes (amongst many other things) and just use a laundry egg (no detergent) to wash bedding.

Toadinthehole Sun 01-Nov-20 18:42:46

Itching is a symptom of menopause, could it be this? I think you’d see bugs, and you wouldn’t itch during the day probably.

Fuchsiarose Sun 01-Nov-20 18:47:41

I vacuum the mattress every week. This means any dustmites go up the HOOVER and i empty it and clean it out. Bagless is best. Also there is a spray in the ironmonger s that I use on the mattress to make sure those critters struggle to return. They love munching on our shed skin. I saw them once under a microscope on a TV programme. They look horrendous, when blown up to the size of a beetle.

Fuchsiarose Sun 01-Nov-20 18:49:19

Itching during day might be bio washing powder stuff
.I use non bio, no enzymes

M0nica Sun 01-Nov-20 19:32:50

As others say, it sounds more like an allergy, probably to some chemical in washing liquid, softener. It could also be an allergy to a toiletry or cosmetic.

I strted to itch all over when the compaany, which made the body lotion I used, changed the formulation. Once I changed it and got the other stuff out of my system the itching disappeared.

In the unlikely event it is bed bugs, just changing the mattress is not enough because they can hide in the cracks and crevaces of furniture, curtains and caprpets. You would need to get professionals in.

Hetty58 Sun 01-Nov-20 19:38:42

I think a check up with your GP is in order, too. Itching could be a symptom of so many ailments.

Elegran Sun 01-Nov-20 19:47:37

There is a difference between bed bugs and the mites that eat the flakes of dead skin that we shed. The mites are invisible to the human eye, but bed bugs are about a quarter of an inch across.

A traditional way to catch bedbugs is to hold a damp cake of soap in one hand while slowly turning back the bedcovers with the other hand. If you see a bedbug, swiftly bang down the soap onto it - the soap will trap it and it can be disposed of.

There is an articlew about dealing with them on the NHS website at but What the original poster describes sound to me more like an allergy. The GP will prescribe something for it. Meanwhile you can buy Anthisan cream over the counter to calm down the itching.

Alexa Sun 01-Nov-20 20:04:29

You really need to lie to sleep on a white sheet, naked. Then if bed bugs do bite you little spots will show up on the sheet. I don't believe flea bites bleed unless you scratch them. If it's bed bugs you need a specialist to get rid.