This guide will reveal the mysterious bug bites that your child is waking up with.
You’ll find out what is biting your child at night and why your child has welts and rashes on the skin, despite no signs of bugs.
Plus, there are tips to protect your child from bug bites.
Bed Bugs – The Most Likely Bug That’s Biting Your Child
When there are no mosquitoes in the home, and you or your child wake up with bug bites, then bed bugs are the culprits 50% of the time.
Bed bugs are blood-sucking bugs that feed primarily on human blood.
And over the years, bed bug infestation in the US has increased a lot.
Bed bugs are hitchhikers, and they’re known to hitchhike on clothing and luggage when you spend some time in a bedbug-infested place like a hotel.
Inside your home, bed bugs will hide in places that are at least 6-8 feet away from your bed.
It’s because bed bugs don’t travel or crawl far from where they get their blood meals.
They can spread into other rooms when their numbers increase or when they latch onto things you transfer from one room to another.
Bed bugs will certainly bite your child if your child is sleeping in a bedbug-infested bed.
But what if your child sleeps in the nursery room on a crib and still getting bed bug bites?
Well, the chances are there are bed bugs in the nursery room too.
But how come bed bugs reached the crib and to the crib mattress?
Bed bugs are attracted to body heat and the carbon dioxide that humans exhale while sleeping.
That’s what draws them there.
But there can be other sources too.
Two of the most common sources of bed bugs in your home that aid the bed bugs to reach your baby are dresser drawers and baby car seats!
You’ll find out why and how, but parents can’t even imagine that dresser drawers and baby car seats can be the sources of bed bugs reaching your child.
Bed bugs can be in your car.
People who sit in your car with bed bugs on their clothing or when you keep stuff in your car with bed bugs in it, transfer the bed bugs in your car.
When they’re in your car, it’s only a matter of time that bed bugs will reach your child’s car seat. And from there to your baby’s crib and nursery room.
Bed bugs hide in all sorts of places inside your home. And the dresser drawers are no exception.
There’s fabric and clothing of your child in the dresser drawers. And given the fact that bed bugs prefer cozy places to hide, they’ll hide in your child’s clothing in the dresser drawer.
Bed bugs will also hide on your child’s crib, bassinet, or bed.
Bed bugs will lie idle during the day in the folds of the mattress and the tiny gaps and cracks of your child’s bed frame.
So, when your child is stationary and sleeping at night, bed bugs will bite your child.
And you’ll notice these mosquito-like bites on your child’s body.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look On A Child
There’s no difference between the looks of bed bug bites on a child and an adult.
Bed bug bites look like red chunks or welts in a random cluster.
In some people, including children, bed bug bites take a few days to show up.
On many kids, bed bug bite marks and welts show up after a week or two from the day of bed bug bite.
If you see bed bug bites on your child’s body, then look for the bed bug signs on your child’s bed.
Here are the signs of bed bugs that you should look out for in your child’s bed –
- Live bed bugs in the seams, edges of the mattress, and in the gaps of the bed frame
- Bed bug skin
- Tiny reddish-black dots on the bed sheets and pillow covers.
But what if there are no such signs? Then the culprit is some other bug, and the following section covers it.
Do You Have A Pet In Home? Then The Bites On Your Child Can Be From Fleas
Fleas biting your child? How can that happen?
Well, it can indeed happen. How?
Your pet dog can be the source of fleas to your and your child’s bed.
Let’s get deeper into it.
Outdoors, fleas live in tall grasses and dense bushes near damp areas. And that habitat can be right at your doorstep, in your yard.
When pet dogs and cats walk through these bushes and tall grass blades, the fleas latch onto their bodies.
And when your pet comes back home, it brings the fleas inside.
Some pet dogs love children. And they hop onto your child’s bed.
Some fleas drop off the dog’s body and hide in the bed. And when the fleas need blood meals, they bite your child.
In our post on signs of fleas in bed, you’ll find out in-depth information on what to look for in the bed to confirm if there are fleas.
And most importantly, you’ll also find out how to get rid of fleas in beds.
What Do Flea Bites Look Like
Flea bites are subtly different than bed bug bites.
Flea bites are in a straight line.
It’s because they bite multiple times before they start sucking the blood.
In contrast, bed bug bites are random clusters.
There can also be one single bed bug bite mark that can resemble a mosquito bite.
Another difference is that flea bites have a red ring at the center of the welt.
And most often, flea bites are on the ankles and legs.
But if they’re on your child’s bed, then flea bite marks can be in any exposed portion of your child’s body.
Ants Can Also Bite Your Child At Night
Your baby’s bed always has something in it that can attract ants. From droppings of liquids like milk to food crumbs on your baby’s bed, they all draw the ants.
If there’s an ant infestation in your home, ants will reach your child’s bed.
Some ants are nocturnal, so they’ll begin their foraging activities at night.
Sugar ants, carpenter ants, and sometimes the red fire ants can also invade beds when they can detect any food droppings or sugary stuff.
That’s the time when they leave the bites behind.
Mosquitoes Are Biting Your Child At Night
Mosquito bites are pretty common in children and toddlers.
Despite a home being clean, mosquitoes can be in your home. They can be hard to notice, too, especially when they’re in small numbers.
Do you have conditions in your yard or garden that facilitate the breeding of mosquitoes?
Dampness caused by overwatering your yard, water holes, tires with water in your yard, dirty trash bins with wastes in them, and even uncovered swimming pools attract mosquitoes.
On top of that, places like catch basins and clogged drains are also causes of mosquito infestation in your home.
But what if there are no mosquitoes? Then what is biting your child at night?
Well, here, things tend to become a bit complex and hard to figure out.
But as you read along, things will get clearer and easier for you to understand.
In the following sections, you’ll find the bugs that are responsible for leaving mysterious bite marks on your child.
What If There Are No Signs Of Bugs And Your Child Has Got Bite Marks?
We’ve seen it happen many times. There are no bugs, but still, the people living in the home have bite marks.
Why does that happen?
Well, the first reason is there are bugs, but you can’t see them.
These bugs are microscopic bugs that bite. Different types of mites like bird mites and rodent mites, and even scabies are quite a few of them.
The presence of dust mites that don’t bite is also one of the reasons for the rashes that sensitive people, like children, develop on their skin.
Dust mites are at their peak in the fall months, and they’re impossible to see with a naked eye.
Dampness and high moisture levels inside homes attract dust mites. And they’re responsible for allergic symptoms in many people.
Dust mites are pretty lethal for asthma patients because they can trigger asthmatic attacks.
Another mite, which you can’t see that can be responsible for bite-like marks on your child’s body, is the mold mites.
Mold mites can come from HVAC systems. But they don’t bite.
The hair on the mold mites’ body causes rashes on the skin that make it look like bite marks.
The second reason is that there can be skin conditions in your child that look like bite marks.
Children who are sensitive and have allergies can develop skin conditions that look like bite marks.
It’s known as urticaria. Symptoms of urticaria include itchy, red, swollen chunks on the skin in the form of hives.
It’d be best to consult a doctor if you see the symptoms and no signs of bugs in your home.
How To Prevent Bugs From Biting Your Child
Now that you know what is biting your child at night, it’s time to find out how you can stop these bugs from biting your baby.
Here’s what you can do right now.
Hire An Exterminator To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
You should only take this step when you’re sure that there are bed bugs in your home.
Is it only your child that is waking up with bed bug bites, or you and other members of your family are also getting the bites?
Suppose the answer is yes, and you’ve noticed the signs of bed bug infestation. In that case, you should undoubtedly hire an exterminator.
DIY ways of getting rid of bed bugs don’t work, and it’s because bed bugs are challenging pests to kill.
They hide in the hard-to-reach corners of your home, which you, at times, might not be able to inspect.
That’s why taking professional help is always the right choice.
Getting rid of bed bugs can be expensive.
But if you’re under budget, then check out our guide on how to get rid of bed bugs under a tight budget.
Steam Clean Your Child’s Bed To Kill Any Hidden Bugs
A steam cleaner is the most reliable pest killer that you can ever have. Why?
It’s because steam cleaners produce heat. And the heat kills the bugs, their eggs, and their larvae hiding in the mattress.
And steam cleaners are most effective in killing bugs in soft furnishings like couches, upholstery, and mattresses.
So, steam clean your child’s bed mattress, headboard, and bed frame. If there are rugs or carpets in your child’s room, steam cleans it too.
Don’t miss out on steam cleaning the floor, especially when it’s a hardwood floor. Fleas can hide in hardwood floors. And ants too.
Change The Mattress, Bed Sheet, And Pillow Cover
Keeping the mattress, bedsheet, and pillow cover clean on your child’s bed is an important step.
If there are any food and beverage droppings on your child’s bed, then they’ll surely attract biting bugs like ants and crickets.
Keep them clean. And if there are unremovable stains on any of these, change them.
It’s because the stains have a residual smell that attracts bugs that’ll feed on the stained portion of the bed furnishing.
Use A Mosquito Net To Stop Mosquitoes From Biting Your Child
Some seasons, especially summer, are mosquito seasons. And when it rains, mosquitoes get active.
The best way to protect your child from a mosquito bite is to make your child sleep under the mosquito net in the mosquito season.
Install Window Shields On The Windows To Prevent Bugs From Flying Inside
Let’s face it. Light attracts bugs.
Light attracts bugs from destructive termites to carpet beetles and even biting bugs like biting midges and kissing bugs in your home.
You don’t want them inside your home.
So, it’s always a wise idea to install window shields in your child’s room’s windows to prevent any type of biting bugs from sneaking in.
Use Essential Oils Around Your Child’s Bed To Repel Bugs
Essential oils have insecticidal properties that repel bugs. And the most effective ones are peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.
Mix either of them in water and spray it around in your child’s room.
You can also apply pure essential oil to your child’s skin, and that’s an effective way to prevent bugs from biting.
If there are any itchy bite marks on your child’s body, apply any soothing balm like Calamine lotion to stop the itching.
If your child is waking up with bite marks, then five potential bugs are biting your child –
- Bed Bugs
Another reason for bite marks on your child’s body is a skin condition that looks like bug bites known as urticaria.
Urticaria is an allergic symptom that looks like welts and rashes on the body.
In this guide, there’s a 6-step process that you can take right now to stop bugs from biting your child at night.
We are Mark and Jim. We dabbled with bugs and pests for most of our lives. And we provide information and hacks that work in making your home pest free.