Which Bugs Are Biting Me At Night While I Sleep?

woman scratching bug bites in bed

Are you waking up to itchy bug bites after a restless night’s sleep? With warmer weather comes an increase in bugs that bite people and animals to partake in blood meals. We’re talking about pests like mosquitoes, bed bugs, fleas, and ticks.

Below, we’ll provide you with some ways to identify what kind of pest is biting you.


The U.S. and its territories are home to over 200 types of mosquitoes. According to the CDC, about 12 types of U.S. mosquitoes can spread germs, while the rest are described as “nuisance mosquitoes.” Many people are surprised to learn that only female mosquitoes bite. Female mosquitoes bite because they require a blood meal to produce eggs.

What Do Mosquito Bites Look Like?

Mosquito bites typically look like puffy, pink or reddish bumps on the skin. The skin surrounding the bump can also be red. These signs of a bite often appear within minutes after being bitten. These reactions are caused by the mosquito's saliva, which is injected into your skin when a mosquito bites you.

Some people experience more severe skin reactions and cold-like symptoms to mosquito bites. This can happen to children, people with autoimmune disorders, or adults who have been bitten by a type of mosquito that has never bitten them before. People can also experience “Skeeter syndrome,” an allergic reaction to mosquito bites, which can cause the bite areas to become extremely hot and swollen.


Bed bugs travel from place to place by hiding in luggage, clothes, and furniture. These pests hide in the tucks of bedding and mattresses and inside tiny cracks in bed frames and emerge at night to get blood meals from you while you sleep.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Most people don’t feel a bed bug bite when it happens. You’re more likely to notice the bites “appearing” later in the day, when they become red, itchy welts. It might even take days for symptoms to appear. The bites often will be close together, and they’ll be concentrated around areas where your skin was exposed during the night.

Many people mistake bed bug bites for mosquito bites. However, If you see blood stains or rusty-colored fecal spots on your bedding or mattress, then there’s a strong probability you have bed bugs.


Unlike mosquitoes, fleas can be much harder to notice due to their size. These pests aren’t much larger than the tip of a ballpoint pen. Even so, they can inflict irritating bites while feeding on human and animal blood. Interestingly, fleas prefer to bite animals, but if animals aren’t around, they’ll feed on humans to survive.

What Do Flea Bites Look Like?

Flea bites look like small red spots and can have a distinctive red “halo” around the very center of the bite. They often come in clusters or lines of three or four.

People typically experience flea bites around their ankles, although these pests will often bite around the knees, elbows, waist, armpits, breasts, and groin. Flea bites will be itchy and irritating, as most people’s bodies react to flea saliva like an allergen.


Ticks are arachnids that survive by consuming blood meals, usually from mammals and birds. They often perch on blades of tall grass and hitch a ride onto passing animals and hikers, which they’ll bite later for a blood meal. If left undisturbed, an adult tick can stay attached to its host for up to 10 days, depending on the species.

What Do Tick Bites Look Like?

Ticks are different from fleas, bed bugs, and mosquitoes in that they don’t bite and move on right away. They latch on, burrowing and gluing their mouthpiece into your skin so they can feed. While this sounds painful, many people don’t even notice the bite when it happens. They discover the tick later when performing a tick check. Also, once a tick starts to feed, it swells and becomes easier to see.

Once you’ve safely removed a tick from your body, you’ll probably get a small, hard, red lump on your skin. If your body reacts to the bite, the redness can spread up to 2 inches around the bite center. If the redness becomes a rash, this is a warning sign of a tickborne illness, in which case you should see medical care. While a tick can bite you anywhere, they tend to prefer places that are warm and where it’s easy to hide, such as your scalp, armpits, groin, and the areas between your fingers and toes.


If you start to experience flu-like symptoms or severe symptoms like dizziness, disorientation, vomiting, loss of coordination, loss of vision, etc., seek medical attention immediately. These could be signs that you have a pest-borne illness. Typically, the sooner the illness can be treated, the better the outcome. Don’t put your health at risk.

Are bugs biting you at night? At Sage Pest Control, our pest experts are dedicated to diagnosing the issue and helping you get a good night’s rest. Call our team today at (704) 413-3398 for pest control service in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro.

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