Bed bugs are small blood-sucking insects that live in cracks and crevices in and around beds.
They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin to feed on blood.
Bed bugs don’t carry diseases, so their bites aren’t dangerous, but they can be extremely itchy and irritating.
If you’ve been bitten in your sleep, it could be a sign of a bed bug infestation in your home.
But how do you know if your bites are from bed bugs?
There are two main ways to determine whether bites are from bed bugs or not.
The first is to examine the bites themselves, and the second is to examine your bed.
Bed bug bites cause itchy red bumps on the skin. The most obvious way to distinguish between bed bug bites and bites from other insects is to to look at the pattern and area of the bites.
Bed bugs usually bite exposed areas of skin, such as the face, neck, hands, arms or feet.
If your bites are only on exposed areas, it could mean bed bugs are the culprits.
In addition, as bed bugs are crawling insects, they usually bite in lines across the skin, or in clusters.
Flying insects, such as mosquitos, are more like to bite in random places on the body, which don’t form any particular pattern.
If you notice bites like this, the next step is to check your bed for any evidence of bed bugs.
As bed bugs only come out at night and are very small, it might be difficult for you to spot the bugs themselves.
However, they can leave evidence of their presence in the form of tiny brown or black spots on the mattress or bed sheets. This is their dried poo.
Similarly, blood spots may appear on the bed sheets if you have rolled over and squashed a bug in your sleep, after it has fed.
Bed bugs also shed their skin as they grow, so you may notice remains of their shells on the sheets or mattress.
“Bedbugs tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep – for example, under the mattress or along the headboard,” said the NHS.
If you think you may have a bed bug infestation in your home, you should seek professional help from your local council or pest control firm.