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Bedbugs

Bedbugs are tiny insects that often live on furniture or bedding. They can leave itchy bite marks on the face, neck and arms.

Bedbug bites are usually red, itchy and arranged in a rough line or cluster.

You can ease itching from bedbug bites with a cool, damp cloth or antihistamines. Contact your local council about getting rid of the bedbugs.

Read more on the NHS website.

Bedbug bites are usually red, itchy and arranged in a rough line or cluster.

Check if it's bedbugs

Bedbug on end of cotton bud with a ruler underneath showing millimetres.
Bedbugs can be dark yellow, red or brown. Adults are around 5mm long.

Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.

Signs of bedbugs include:

A cluster of red bedbug bites at the top of a person's left thigh.
Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They're often in a line or cluster.

Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.

A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) is also possible but rare.

Read more on the NHS website.

You can ease itching from bedbug bites with a cool, damp cloth or antihistamines. Contact your local council about getting rid of the bedbugs.

Self-care

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.

Things you can do include:

  • putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
  • keeping the affected area clean
  • not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection

Medical treatments

  • using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
  • antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you're unable to sleep

Read more on the NHS website.