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Why is my partner getting bit by bed bugs and not me?

It can be frustrating and confusing when one partner is getting bitten by bed bugs while the other remains unscathed. There are a few key reasons why bed bugs might preferentially feed on one person over another:

Differences in Attractiveness to Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are attracted to certain chemicals, heat, and carbon dioxide that humans naturally emit. Subtle differences in these attractants can make one person more appealing as a blood meal source:

  • Higher body temperature – Bed bugs gravitate towards warmth and higher temperatures.
  • More carbon dioxide output – We exhale carbon dioxide when breathing, some people naturally produce more.
  • Body odor chemistry – Substances in sweat and on skin surface vary between people.
  • Blood type – Bed bugs seem to favor Type O blood over Type A.

If your partner naturally emits more heat, CO2 or has compounds on their skin that appeal to bed bugs, it could make them a more tempting target.

Blood Type Preferences

Blood Type Bed Bug Preference
Type O Most preferred
Type A Less preferred
Type B Moderately preferred
Type AB Least preferred

As the table shows, bed bugs seem to favor feeding on those with Type O blood. If your partner has Type O and you have Type A, it could explain why they get bitten more.

Genetic Factors

Research has identified certain genetic components that can make someone more attractive to mosquitoes and other biting insects. It’s possible similar genetic differences could also cause some people to be more vulnerable to bed bug bites. If your partner has a genetic profile that bed bugs find irresistible, it would make them a magnet for bites.

Defensive Responses

How your body physiologically reacts to bed bug bites also influences your susceptibility:

  • Immune system reaction – Some people have little to no immune response, allowing bed bugs to bite undetected. Others have heightened reactions that make them urgently want to itch, swat, and stop the biting.
  • Histamine levels – This chemical causes itching and swelling from bites. People naturally produce varying amounts of histamines.
  • Pain tolerance – We all have our own threshold for biting discomfort. Higher pain tolerance could allow bed bugs to bite without notice.

If you have a stronger defensive reaction to bed bug bites than your partner, either through immune response, histamine levels, or pain sensitivity, it may explain why you experience less bites.

Immune System Reaction Differences

Person A Person B
Strong immune reaction Weak immune reaction
Itchy red welts Small bumps
Immediate need to scratch Bites go unnoticed

As this table demonstrates, Person A would likely be alerted quickly to bed bug bites due to their strong immune response. Person B may be getting bitten just as much but having less reaction.

Circumstantial Factors

Aspects of your sleeping habits and behavior could also account for why one partner experiences more bed bug bites:

  • Proximity to infestation – Partner on one side of the bed may be closer to hidden bed bugs.
  • Level of movement – Changing sleep positions less allows bed bugs prolonged feeding.
  • Degree of clothing coverage – More exposed skin gives bed bugs easier access.
  • Use of repellents – Applying bug sprays/lotions can discourage biting.

Your partner may stay closer to infested areas like the headboard, move less at night, have more revealed skin, or use fewer defenses like repellents. This could allow bed bugs to target them more successfully.

Clothing Coverage Differences

Person A Person B
Wears long pajamas and socks Wears t-shirt and shorts
Covers entire body Leaves arms and legs exposed
Harder for bed bugs to access skin Easy access to bite exposed areas

As you can see from the table, more skin exposure makes Person B an easier target for bed bugs to bite.


When one partner suffers from bed bug bites while the other doesn’t, possible explanations include:

  • Differences in physical attractiveness to bed bugs
  • Variations in defensive responses like immune reactions
  • Individual habits that allow bed bugs easier access

To reduce bites, the more vulnerable partner can take proactive measures like:

  • Using repellents on exposed skin
  • Wearing pajamas that cover arms and legs
  • Being aware of skin reactions to identify bite locations
  • Staying away from infested areas like headboards
  • Reducing movement in bed to avoid attracting bed bugs

With vigilance and strategic precautions, both partners can work together to outsmart these parasitic pests.