First of all, neither bed bug nor mosquito bites are lethal, however annoying they are. Mosquitoes can spread diseases such as yellow fever, but bed bugs are just harmless blood suckers.
Last night, I had a nap early in the evening, as I couldn’t sleep too well the night before. Went to the hotel gym around 9PM and was back in after 11PM. I had a friend staying in the same hotel and decided to go and check out his suite. I started to feel itchy on my right arm and was surprised to see a lot of bite marks, once I looked at the arm in the mirror.
My first question was, are these bed bug or mosquito bites? Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between these two. If you use Google to search for this info, it will return a number of articles. The main difference is that bed bug bites usually come in clusters and have three bites in a row that well matches the picture of my arm above. I have total of more than 30 bites and quite a few of them are in the three bite straight line as described by CDC:
The individual bedbug bite, Smith says, looks much the same as a mosquito or flea bite with the only discerning identifier being that bedbugs tend to bite in a three-bite straight line, which is often referred to as “breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
I decided to email copies of these photos to a physician. She was 100% sure that these were indeed bed bug bites.
I remember two previous instances that I have come across bed bugs previously, although I am sure that they have fed off of me more often than that. Once in a hotel in Nuku Alofa, the capitol of Tonga, and couple of years ago in small Bed & Breakfast in Koh Samui. Considering that I have spent the most of the past 10 years at hotels, I have been quite lucky.
If you get bitten by a bed bug in a hotel, you must take all precautions that you don’t bring these to your home. You should have hotel to wash all your clothes and your luggage should be sprayed as well. The hotel usually has to treat the room and all the adjoining rooms in the same, upper and lower floors. This is not small task, as you need to usually take 8 to 9 rooms off the inventory to be treated.
There are usually quite a number of sensational news items about hotel bed bug infestations and it is definitely becoming a bigger problem, even at luxury hotels. I guess that I could use half an hour of time inspecting the surroundings of the bed every time I check in to a hotel, but considering that this has happened to me so rarely, it is likely not worth it.