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The bed bug inconspicuously bites its victim, injects its saliva filled with an anticoagulant to ensure blood flow, and ingests the host’s blood through needle-like mouthparts. During the three to five minutes it takes to complete feeding, the bed bug elongates and becomes more reddish from the feeding of the blood. It then retreats to its hiding place to digest it’s meal, and will return to feed 3 to 10 days later. Depending on whether or not the bed bug was able to complete its feeding will determine the amount of days between feedings.
Video of fully fed adult bed bug
Reactions to bed bug bites vary among individuals. Many persons show no signs of bites. Others show lots of irritation to the anticoagulant quickly. Some don’t realize they’ve been bitten until redness and swelling appear around the bite, sometimes with intense itching. Some exhibit inflamed swollen spots that may occur in line, in a circle or have a rash-like appearance. Bed bug bites may appear in succession due to a pheromone “safe” trail left by an adult female for other bed bugs to follow and feed safely. Such bite marks, when they appear, may not show for several days after the person is bitten. This is the case in a majority of the population of humans.
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