Can you feel a bed bug bite when you’re awake?

by | May 30, 2023 | 0 comments

The escalating prevalence of bed-bugs, little creatures that are active throughout the night and sustain themselves by consuming human blood, has emerged as a growing apprehension among many individuals.

These parasites are well recognised for their tendency to invade residential dwellings, hotels, and many other inhabited areas, hence inducing feelings of unease and distress among anyone impacted by their presence.

A often encountered inquiry pertains to the perceptibility of bug bites by individuals when they are in a state of wakefulness.

This article aims to examine the characteristics of bedbug bites, elucidate the elements that impact the experience of these bites, and provide insights into this fascinating inquiry.

Understanding bedbug bites

Let’s become acquainted with bedbug bites before we get into the subject at hand. The primary food source for bed-bugs is human blood, and these tiny insects have a rusty brown colour. They are master hitchhikers who can sneak inside houses in people’s bags, garments, or furnishings. Once inside a home, they spend the day dormant in cracks and crevices or under the bed, emerging at night to feast on the unwary.

Bedbug bites typically appear as small, red, itchy welts on the skin. However, not everyone reacts to bedbug bites in the same way. Some people may develop immediate reactions, experiencing itchiness and irritation soon after being bitten. Others may not show any visible signs of bites or may only experience mild symptoms. The variation in response can make it challenging to determine whether a person can feel a bed-bug bite when they are awake.

Sensation during bedbug bites

The anaesthetic qualities of bed-bug saliva are one explanation for how some individuals might be bitten while awake and not feel it. bed-bugs inject their saliva into the skin when they bite to stop the blood from clotting and make eating easier. The anaesthetic ingredients in this saliva dull the pain of the bite, making it less likely that the victim would be aware that they are being fed upon.

Bedbug bites are notorious for causing delayed reactions. Some people may show symptoms or acquire obvious indications of bites hours or even days after the first attack. This lag in reaction time may add to the widespread belief that bedbug bites are not felt while awake.

Psychological factors

Apart from the physical aspects, psychological factors can also influence the perception of bedbug bites. Stress and anxiety, commonly associated with the presence of bed-bugs, can heighten one’s sensitivity to physical sensations. This increased awareness can lead individuals to scrutinize their bodies for any signs of bites or discomfort, making them more likely to notice the bites when awake.

Moreover, hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to bedbug bites can amplify the physical sensations experienced. In such cases, individuals may feel a stronger reaction to the bites, making it more likely for them to notice the bites even when awake.

Individual variations in bite perception

It’s important to recognize that individuals differ in their responses to bedbug bites. Some people have a higher sensitivity to insect bites in general, while others may be less reactive. This discrepancy can affect the perception of bedbug bites when awake.

Bedbug bites have been linked to allergic responses. Depending on the severity, these responses may cause anything from minor discomfort to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Bedbug bites may be felt whether a person is awake or sleeping, although those who are allergic are more likely to feel the discomfort.

Misidentification and alternative causes

Bite sensations experienced throughout the day may not always be the result of bed-bugs. bed-bug symptoms may seem like hives, eczema, or an allergic response to a chemical other than bed-bugs. In such situations, people may wrongly associate non-existent bedbug bites to the feelings they are experiencing.

A person’s perception of sensations that are not caused by bedbug bites may be altered by the mere notion of an infestation. Fear and anticipation of being bitten may heighten a person’s sensitivity to the slightest changes or sensations on the skin, leading to the false impression of bites even when none are present.

bed-bug prevention and control

Regardless of whether you can feel bed-bug bites when awake, preventing and controlling bed-bug infestations should be a priority. Here are some measures you can take to minimize the risk of bed-bugs:

  • Regularly inspect your living space for signs of bed-bugs, including shed skins, fecal stains, or blood spots on bedding.
  • Encase mattresses and box springs with protective covers to prevent bed-bugs from hiding in them.
  • It is advisable to exercise caution while considering the acquisition of pre-owned furniture or mattresses, since a comprehensive examination for indications of infestation is strongly recommended.
  • Prior to settling into hotels or alternative lodgings, it is advisable to do a thorough inspection of the room to identify any indications of the presence of bed-bugs..
  • If you suspect a bed-bug infestation, seek professional pest control services to effectively eliminate the problem.

By being proactive and vigilant, you can significantly reduce the chances of encountering bed-bugs and the associated bites.


In conclusion, whether you can feel a bed-bug bite when you’re awake is influenced by various factors. The anesthetic properties of bed-bug saliva, delayed reactions, psychological factors, individual variations in bite perception, and misidentification all play a role in shaping the sensation experienced during bedbug bites.

While some people may feel the bites, others may not notice them until visible signs or symptoms appear. Regardless, taking preventive measures and seeking professional help is crucial when dealing with a potential bed-bug infestation.


Can you feel a bed-bug bite when it happens?

No, bedbug bites are usually painless at the time of occurrence. However, some people may develop itchy or red welts on their skin after being bitten.

Will bed-bugs bite while awake?

Yes, bed-bugs are capable of biting while you are awake. They are primarily nocturnal creatures but can adapt their feeding patterns if necessary.

Can you get bedbug bites but can’t find bed-bugs?

Yes, it is possible to experience bedbug bites without being able to find the actual insects. bed-bugs are adept at hiding in cracks, crevices, and other inconspicuous areas during the daytime.

How do you tell if a bite is a bed-bug?

Bedbug bites can resemble bites from other insects, making it difficult to differentiate them solely based on appearance. However, some characteristics may indicate a bed-bug bite, such as:

  • Bites often appear in a cluster or linear pattern.
  • They are usually itchy and can cause an allergic response in some individuals.
  • The bites may develop into red welts or small blisters.
  • Bedbug bites often occur on exposed areas of the body, such as the arms, legs, face, and neck.

If you suspect bedbug bites, it is advisable to inspect your sleeping area and seek professional pest control assistance to confirm the presence of bed-bugs.

Can you tell if a bed-bug is on you?

bed-bugs are little and adept at hiding, so detecting them on your body can be challenging. However, you may notice some signs that indicate the presence of bed-bugs on you, such as:

  • Itchy or irritated skin.
  • Red welts or small raised bumps on exposed areas of your body.
  • Bloodstains on your bedding or clothing.
  • Dark spots or stains on your sheets or mattress could be bed-bug excrement.
  • An unpleasant, musty odour in your sleeping area.

If you suspect bed-bugs on your body or in your surroundings, conducting a thorough inspection and consulting with a professional exterminator is recommended.

Where do bedbug bites show up first?

Bites from bed-bugs often occur on uncovered parts of the body. bed-bugs bite on the arms,  shoulders, face, legs, and neck. However, bed-bugs are not picky about where they bite when feeding.

Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


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