If bites or welts are found on the body in the morning, it is sometimes assumed to be bedbugs. Several other insects, however, also bite during the night, including mosquitoes, bat bugs, mites, and fleas. Many of these bites look the same, so it's still a good idea to look for bedbugs in the mattress or other clues to figure out what caused the bites.
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4 Pests That Cause Overnight Bites Besides Bedbugs
- Bat bugs
Most types of mosquitoes prefer to feed at dawn and dusk, but some types bite at night. Mosquitoes are more likely to feed at night if it's warm out and if mosquitoes have a way into the house, such as an open window or a torn window screen. Bedbug bites look similar to mosquito bites; both have a characteristic wheal and flare reaction.
2. Bat Bugs
Bat bugs are similar to bedbugs, but they only live where colonies of bats are found. Bat bugs leave once a colony of bats disperses. These bugs sometimes bite humans, but their real source of food is bats. Removing a bat infestation or sealing off the area between the bat infestation and the sleeping area eliminates bat bugs.
Mites that live on birds and rodents that nest in the building sometimes bite humans at night. Bites from mites usually cause red papules that are very itchy. Trapping rodents and discouraging birds from nesting in the air conditioning units usually eliminates a mite problem.
Fleas live on pets and bite humans in their sleep. Fleas usually leave several bites on the arms and legs. Flea bites have reddened centers, unlike bedbug bites, according to Penn State. Flea bites also tend to be smaller and harder than mosquito or bedbug bites.
How to Find and Identify Bedbugs
Bedbugs leave bites that look like mosquito bites. If it is suspected that the bites are caused by bedbugs, take the bed apart and look for bugs in the seams of the mattress, the joints of the bed frame and underneath box springs. The bugs or the dark spots of their excrement are visible during an infestation. Adult bedbugs are flat, oval bugs about 1/4 inch long. If the bed has bedbugs, the pests are also likely going to be found in furniture and other places throughout the home.
What to Do About Biting Bugs
When you wake up in the morning you'll want to relieve the itch of the bug bites by using an antihistamine cream that's easily available from a pharmacy. The next step is to see how you can prevent the bugs getting into your sleeping area. Treat pets for fleas, install mesh guards over windows if you sleep with the windows open, and use a plug-in insect repellent.
It's also important to get to the root of the problem. If you've done all you can to disinfect the area and prevent bugs getting in, you may need to call in the professionals. Pest controllers know how to eradicate different types of bugs that bite in the night, so it's worth calling on their expertise.