Bedbugs aren't picky. They'll take a meal wherever they find it, including from your pets. The neck is a more common bite location because it's usually not covered up by clothing and its warmth attracts the pests. Bedbug bites are easily mistaken for acne and other common skin conditions, so if you're experiencing unusual red bumps on your neck, do a thorough inspection of your home just to be on the safe side.
Common Bite Locations
Bedbug bites typically occur on the legs, arms, shoulders, head and neck, according to entomologist Michael F. Potter of the University of Kentucky. Bugs likely chose these locations because they're not covered by clothing. The neck is possibly a particularly attractive spot for bedbugs to bite because the major arteries in your neck release heat. Bedbugs are also attracted to carbon dioxide, which you exhale in close proximity to your neck.
Bedbug bites typically look like small, red dots. They're flat in some people, elevated like pimples in others, and swell to hive-like bites in people who are allergic to bedbugs. The bugs usually bite in clusters, leaving behind the characteristic "stop light" bite pattern of three bites in a row, along a straight line. The bites also appear in any type of cluster or as one single bite. Itching or irritation are possible, but most people don't react negatively to the bites. There's no evidence that bedbugs transmit disease.
Most people only need time for their bites to heal and disappear. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone treatments and allergy medications relieve itching and irritation for people who react more severely to the bites, according to MayoClinic.com. In extreme cases, prescription treatments are needed to stop allergic reactions, or to cure infection caused by repeatedly scratching open the bites.
The only reliable way to prevent bedbug bites is to eliminate an infestation. Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to find and eliminate, but an experienced exterminator with extensive bedbug knowledge is likely able to eradicate the problem after several in-home treatments. Natural remedies like thyme, thick lotions and essential oils haven't been proven effective at preventing bites or deterring bugs from seeking out your warm body in the night.
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