Bed Bug Bites vs Flea Bites: Know the Difference With 3 Interesting Points

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Bed bug bites vs flea bites
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Insect bites are quite an important area of discussion. But, the major challenge lies in detecting the type of insect bites like bed bug bites vs flea bites. A small insect bite could pose many risk factors.

The majority of the insect bites have a similar look. So, it isn’t easy to distinguish one from the other.

Bed bugs and fleas fall in the category of insects, the bites of which are hard to differentiate. Both of these bites also resemble mosquito bites very closely.

But, it is necessary to understand this difference because the types of diseases they cause are different. They need to be treated accordingly.

We’ll clear out your confusion today. Stay tuned to know about the nitty-gritty of bed bug bites vs. flea bites!

1. What Do a Bed Bug and Its Bite Look Like?

An important aspect of bed bug bites vs. flea bites is this. Yes, bedbugs are biting insects. And, These feed on human blood to live. Before knowing what bedbug bites are, let me introduce what a bedbug is.

An interesting thing to note about these insects is that they can live up to 70 days without taking in blood. This makes its removal quite difficult.

Bed Bug Structure

Firstly, the size of bedbugs can be compared to that of an apple seed. Bed bugs do have a similar color to cockroaches. So, you might mistake a cockroach for a bedbug from a distance. Its color ranges from light brown to reddish-brown. With this, we get into the depths of bed bug bites vs. flea bites.

The structure of a bed bug tends to be oval and very flat. This flatness helps them get inside the nooks and corners of your house. The bed bugs also shed their shell-like skin through a process called ecdysis.

The bed bugs never fly. These are blood-feeding insects that prefer to crawl to their host during the night.

Bed bug bites vs flea bites
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This is when the host is asleep and produces carbon dioxide due to undisturbed breathing. It is easier to spot live bed bugs, for these are larger than fleas.

Bed bugs find themselves attracted to the body heat of the animals and the carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide and body warmth are clear indicators of a living animal.

It is to be noted that bed bugs are nocturnal insects. Bed bugs bite only during the night when you are sound asleep! This is the reason the bed bugs follow it.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites look pretty similar to mosquito bites. But, these are not exactly similar. The bites have some unique features that can not be missed:

Painless Bites at Initial Stage

The bed bug bites are painless at first. This is because bed bugs inject a sort of anesthetic into your bloodstream. This leads to the temporary numbness of the affected area. Now, isn’t it different from any common insect bite?

The Reaction of Bedbug Bites After a Long Time

The bug bites are felt after quite a long time. Some people do not even face any reaction even after getting bitten. The website of Pest Control Technology states that approximately 60 percent of the population does not suffer from any reaction.

One of the significant points for bed bug bites vs. flea bites is this: The reaction of bed bug bites may be felt pretty late. Flea bite reactions are quite immediate.

But, the bites of bed bugs tend to affect hypersensitive people. The bed bug bites appear with a dark red center in these cases. The actual bite of the bedbug occurs with a point in the mid area.

At times these tend to look like a hive of red bumps. If treatment methods are not applied at the earliest, these bumps may develop into blisters.

One needs to keep in mind to avoid scratching the bed bug bites. This would only aggravate the situation.

Itchy welts are these raised, red bumps that tend to hurt a lot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) mentions that bedbug bites do not directly lead to any disease. It might elevate the chances of secondary infections.

People generally scratch the affected area due to extreme irritation. This leads to an open wound. An open wound is the entry point of several bacteria, which ultimately leads to infections.

Biting Spots of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs do not have a specific area of biting. Bed bugs tend to bite humans wherever they find exposed skin. The upper body is the preferred spot for bed bugs to bite.

They begin biting here, for this area is easier to target because of its exposure.

Face, arms, and neck are frequently affected by bed bug bites. If you get up from your sleep and find bite marks on these spots, it is quite likely that a bed bug has bitten you.

This marks yet another highlight for bed bug bites vs. flea bites.

2. How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs? Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea Bites Must Know

One needs to consider certain precautions to avoid these bedbugs that cause sleepless nights.

  • The best way is to get in touch with a pest control agency that would help disease control in the best way possible.
  • A flea infestation can be checked by vacuuming flea dirt and flea eggs.
  • Identifying the bed bug infestations would help greatly. These tiny insects are present in the joints of furniture, baseboards, etc. You can understand bed bug infestation by looking at the reddish stains on your furniture fabrics. These are bed bug excrement. A hotel room is likely to suffer from bug problems for it has a high population of hosts.
  • A pest management professional or a flea control agency can be consulted.
  • To eliminate bed bug eggs, one can consider washing the pet’s bedding with hot water for nearly 30 minutes.
  • Pyrethrins and Neonicotinoids are some popular anti-bug chemicals. These are helpful for bites of both fleas and bed bugs.

Pets and other animals transport bed bugs indoors. It is advisable to bathe them with an anti-bug shampoo before entering the house.

3. Treating Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug faqs are loaded with questions regarding the treatment of bed bug bites. It is important to treat bed bug bites to prevent associated infections or allergic reactions.

To relieve itchiness caused by bed bug bites, one can apply some of these treatments. So, why wait? Let us delve into it!

  • First of all, excessive scratching of the bed bug bite should be avoided.
  • It is possible to treat bed bugexpertvillage bites by applying a topical steroid cream.
  • Using oral antihistamine also helps in combating any allergic reaction.
  • Some home-based remedies can also be trusted. An ice pack would help in soothing the bitten spot temporarily.

Lastly, medical attention is the preferred advice. The doctor would help to provide medical advice regarding an effective antihistamine that would be well accepted by your system.

1. What Do a Flea and Its Bite Look Like?

Just like bed bugs, fleas are tiny bloodsucking insects. Flat bodies and rock-like shells characterize fleas. But, they differ from bed bugs in their structure. We are introduced to another segment of bed bug bites vs. flea bites with this.

Another thing to distinguish between fleas and bed bugs. Fleas are much smaller than bed bugs. Some fleas feed mainly on rodents.

Now, when these fleas target humans as their host, it leads to the actual problem. When fleas feed on rats suffering from bubonic plague, these can transmit the disease to human blood. Fleas are more active as a carrier of diseases than bedbugs.

Flea feces can help you detect fleas. If these are scratched into your wound, the results can be fatal.

Fleas generally thrive in temperate regions. Did you know that flea bite was the one that caused the Black death…

Flea Structure

It is important to know what a flea looks like. These are as small as the tip of a pencil. This would help us to distinguish between bed bugs and fleas.

And, instead of crawling to its host, fleas prefer to jump. Its color ranges from light to deep brown. These mark the unmissable feature of bed bug bites vs. flea bites.

Unlike the bedbugs that can live up to 70 days without any blood, fleas only tend to live for nearly two weeks.

These are insects without wings. These are pretty flat. This allows them to find hiding spots in any cracks or corners of your house. The adults grow up to 0.32 cm.

The rat flea and the mouse flea are quite common.

Bed bug bites vs flea
Wikilmages/ pixabay

Flea Bites: The Abstract of Flea Problem

Flea bites cause Flea-borne diseases. This, we all know. But, are you aware of the nature of flea bites? If not, stay tuned to know about it!

Not So Painless Bites

Unlike bedbug bites, flea bites are painful at the initial stage too. Skin irritation is caused as and when bitten. Now, let us know why the bite is painful. This is the cause of the chemical called Histamine.

The nature of the bites helps us understand the topic of bed bug bites vs. flea bites.

As the flea bites you, its saliva is injected into your blood. As a reaction to this injection, the body provides a signal for histamine production.

This chemical comes to the area of the flea bite and causes swelling. Also, it leads to pain.

The Reaction Caused by Flea Bites

One needs to notice flea bites and treat them. The flea bites are noted by small bumps. Reactions are important to know for his objective.

The spot where fleas typically target to suck blood is the waist, ankles, armpits, groin, and other skin folds. They generally choose the lower legs of their host to feed upon.

A Flea bite can spread disease much more frequently than a bedbug bite.

An article in Medicineplus mentions that fleas prefer to hook themselves to the furs of dogs and cats rather than humans.

Both fleas and bedbugs get to live indoors. Domestic animals are the main source of flea transportation.

Fleas are responsible for causing diseases like Typhus and plague in humans. Typhus is a typical spread disease.

Allergic problems like Anaphylaxis and Asthma are common symptoms of flea infestations.

Flea infestations might cause secondary infections like bed bug bites. After 2 days of extreme itching, the blister ought to form. In such cases, scratching is to be avoided. This is one of the most notable factors in bed bug bites vs. flea bites.

Biting Spots of Fleas

Well, there is no particular place where a flea would bite you. A lack of wild hosts would lead the fleas to bite you in any exposed part of your body. But, generally, these parasites tend to target the lower part of the body, like the feet and ankles.

There is no such specified space as far as these bitings are concerned. It is just a fact that flea bites are rare in the upper portions of the body.

2. How to Get Rid of Fleas? Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea Bites Must-Know Facts

Flea removal is quite similar to the precautions followed in case of bed bugs removal. Since both are parasitic insects, how they can be exterminated is similar too. So, let us not wait and note down these simple steps!

  • Yes, fleas are hard to control. The fleas produce nearly 50 eggs every day. This keeps one increasing their infestation. But, do not fret. You can reduce their chances of staying. Vacuuming the carpets and furniture might help. Using steam for cleaning carpets is also great!

These are the perfect hiding spots for these insects. It keeps them close to the host.

  • These are the places where the fleas tend to thrive the most. You can also use vinegar or lemon spray. Fleas can’t stand it!
  • Pest control agencies are undoubtedly the best option. Their modern equipment would help get rid of fleas very effectively.
  • Fleas are present mostly on animal furs. So, it is highly advisable to clean your pet with a strong anti-bug shampoo. Using a flea collar is also something that cannot be missed.
  • One can consider using Lysol. It’s a great disinfectant for fleas.

3. Treatment For Flea Bites

An important point to consider in bed bug bites vs. flea bites is the modes of treatment for these bites. Bed bug bites need treatment, and so do flea bites. If serious, medical help should be sought at the earliest.

  • The easiest way to treat flea bites is by applying a topical anti-itch cream. If the bite is not very serious, the application of this ointment would be enough as a treatment.
  • Another thing to consider is avoiding using hot water to shower. The affected area is already troubled by a burning sensation. Hot water would aggravate it even more.
  • A special form of treatment is oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal is well-known to help with itchiness. So, add some amount of oatmeal to tepid baths. This is a home remedy one might use to kill fleas!
  • Treat your dogs and cats! Wash them regularly with anti-bug shampoo. Take them to a vet if they appear irritable. This could be a sign of Flea Allergy Dermatitis(FAD)

Bed bug bites vs flea bites
Laureettaawilliams/pixabay

Endnote on Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea Bites

Now, you know the similarities and differences between bed bugs and fleas. So, it will not be difficult for you to distinguish one from the other.

Yes, these are insect bites. But, keeping them in the dark would not help. Continual cleaning of the house is most recommended. If one sees blisters forming around the affected area, it calls for immediate medical supervision. Home-based remedies are quite useful as well.

Fleas are well-known plague carriers. According to WHO, infected fleas spread the plague to animals and humans through biting. Fleas are more prominent in the spreading of diseases. The fleas generally feed on animal blood. This makes their potential to carry animal-based diseases amplified. But, precautions should be taken to get rid of both these insects.

Giving your local pest management team a call would be a great option. So, what are you waiting for? Follow these guidelines and make the most out of it!

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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