The bite is painless. The salivary fluid injected by bed bugs typically causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed, although individuals can differ in their sensitivity. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bite. This is accompanied by severe itching that lasts for several hours to days. Scratching may cause the welts to become infected. The amount of blood loss due to bed bug feeding typically does not adversely affect the host.
Negative health affects are minimal, with some individuals respond to bed bug infestations with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Fortunately, bed bugs are not known to transmit disease. Additional adverse affects can include skin rashes, allergic symptoms, and psychological impacts.