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So you have some bites on your body. It's a surprise you weren't expecting them. You do some googling. Your bites might even be in a line and  you don’t have a cat or a dog. Google says that's Bed Bugs.  You look and find nothing . Google says Bed Bugs hide. The  more you look  the more you become convinced it's Bed Bugs. Google is convincing you it's Bed Bugs. Google has lots of horror stories on Bed Bugs......







Let’s take a step back and have a look at the facts.

Can bites alone diagnose Bed bugs? Unfortunately, Google has this one wrong. Bites cannot tell you what is biting you. This is from Dr Richard Cooper PhD from Rutgers University, and considered to be the USA’s top scientist on Bed Bugs. In terms of research on Bed Bugs Dr Cooper is a world leader.

So back to these bites,  supposedly from an unseen insect. What is causing these bites?  They are called unexplained bites. They can be from a pest insect, BUT can also be from non pest control issues too.

Which biting pest?


You need to find what is biting you and either describe it or catch it.

When you see a bug that you think is biting you, don’t squash it, but take a good look at it and ask yourself these questions,

  • How does it move? Does it Jump,  Crawl or Fly?
  • Shape and size? Oval and the size of a pumpkin seed? Or Thin and the size of a sesame seed?
  • Colour? Reddish brown or Dark Brown or Black?

Consider investing in a trap to catch your  Bed Bugs.  SenSci has an excellent range of interceptors. Some have lures and attract the bed bugs to the trap.  If you can catch the biting insect  put it in a jar. Even though it is tempting to, please don’t squash it. We need to confirm its a Bed Bug.

Here are some general questions answered on biting pest bugs


Bed bugs

Q: I can’t find any bed bugs and they like to hide so it must be bed bugs?

A: Yes, bed bugs like to hide but they are bad at it. If you take a torch and look under the base slats or bed base, you will see them. You will also see black marks that they leave behind, their small white eggs and discarded skin shells.

Q: I don’t have pets so the bites must be from bed bugs.

A: Nope, you have unexplained bites. These that can be from other biting pest insects and NON pest control issues/causes.

Q: I have bites in a line so it must be bed bugs?

A: Nope, fleas can bite in a line. Unexplained bites can also present in a line.

Q: Are there bed bugs in my sheets or pillow cases?

A: Unlikely. Once a bed bug has taken a blood meal they scurry off to the safety of the bed base or under the bed slats.

Q: Are there traps for Bed Bugs?

A: Yes. Traps are excellent for diagnosing Bed Bugs. The best traps are  the SenSci Volcano interceptors  and/ or Interceptors that go under the bed-base feet (posts). You can buy these from Amazon's web site.

Q: What works for treating Bed Bugs?

A:  Click here for Dr Cooper's list of what works and what doesn't for Bed Bugs 

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Q: I don’t have pets so it can’t be fleas

A: Nope. Fleas can exist without pets.

Q: I have bites in a line so it can’t be fleas?

A: Nope, fleas can bite in a line

Q: Is there anyway to catch the fleas?

A: Yes. The hardware shops have a flea trap which some of our customers have shown to be effective. Please note this is a diagnostic tool only.

Unexplained bites

These present as bites from pest insects/ spiders but there is no evidence of any insect or spider.

These can range from medical issues e.g. scabies/anxiety/drug reactions  to some food allergies that can present as bites or welts.

These are issues that pest control services cannot help with


If you still don’t have any evidence of what is biting you, you may choose to ask a pest controller to complete an inspection. If bed bugs are there, they should be able to find them in less than five minutes. While it is possible an initial  infestation may have low numbers  and be harder to find;  if  bed bugs have been biting you, they will have been leaving some evidence. This maybe black marks near where you sleep e.g. under the bed base or bed slats. A professional Pest Controller will find these marks in no time at all.

If there is still no evidence of Bed bugs you are right back to unexplained bites.

By Owen Stobart from ACES pest control. Owen is a certified  Bed Bug FREE technician from Bed Bug Central 


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