Bed Bug Bites Vs Flea Bites

Bed Bug Bites Vs Flea Bites

Differentiating insect bites can be a struggle especially if you are not aware of any pest infestations in your home. Among the common bug bites that are somehow alike are bed bug and flea bites. Waking up in the morning with red patches on your skin is never an exciting sight, so you will have to determine what bit you and how to stop them. 

Aside from these two, the red itchy patches can also be due to spider bites or sometimes fire ants. You will never know what is causing these bites unless you identify which insect is in your home and getting rid of them completely. 

Flea Bites Vs Bed Bugs 

Many mistake fleabites for bed bug bites and vice versa. However, what they do not know is that they cannot confirm which bit them if they are not aware of the current pests inhabiting their home.  

If you are one of these people, you must learn how fleas differ from bed bugs. Some of the things that you should know first are the physical attributes and characteristics of each pest. Let us get started with fleas. 

Fleas are small blood-sucking insects that are mostly found on pets. Generally, this is how humans are getting bitten by these insects. They cannot fly but they can jump up to as high as 18 centimetres. Once they can latch on to any host, they will immediately start biting. 

Some of the things that you can do to reduce the chances of having flea infestations are the following: 

  • Use steam when cleaning your carpets 
  • Vacuum your floors and furniture to keep them clean 
  • If your pets are spending time outdoors, make it a point to mow your lawn 
  • Wash your pet with water and soap 
  • Examine pets for fleas 
  • Use a flea collar on your pet or treat them with preventative flea medication 
  • Use pest control services 

On the other hand, bed bugs are reddish-brown, small, oval-shaped insects that also survive by feeding off the blood. They are nocturnal insects and would hide during the day. Unlike fleas, they only bite and feed on humans when they are sleeping. The carbon dioxide and heat that the body releases when sleeping is what attracts them to you. 

Common hiding spots of bed bugs are box springs, bed frames, mattresses, and carpets. They are mostly found in heavily used public places and apartments and homes as well. 

The following are things you can do to help control the bed bug infestation in your home and stop getting bitten by these pests: 

  • Clean and vacuum your furniture and floors 
  • Launder and dry your beddings and other upholstery in the hottest setting to kills bed bugs. 
  • Heat-treat infested items from your rooms with a portable bed bug heater. 
  • Permanently remove infested items and dispose of them properly to avoid the spread of bugs to others 
  • Call pest control experts for uncontrollable infestations 

One way to stop getting bites is by treating the problem from its main cause. Regardless if you have a flea or bed bug infestation, you must get rid of the pest first to stop getting bites. 

Flea Bites Vs Bed Bug Bites on Humans 

There are some differences between flea and bedbug bites. You must know these differences to have an idea of the things that you must do to prevent the bites and infestations from getting worse. 


  • You will notice a flea bite immediately. A welt will start developing within an hour after getting bitten. 
  • Bite marks are often found on the lower part of the body 
  • They bite in warm and moist areas of the body like bends of the knees or elbows 
  • Bites can be in groups 
  • Produces inflammations 
  • Can be very itchy 

Risk factors of flea bites include the development of rashes or hives. The affected area may also start swelling and develop a blister. When the blister breaks, it can cause an infection. Secondary infection may also happen if you keep scratching the bitten areas that may cause the skin to break open. 

Tungiasis is a flea skin infestation caused by burrowing fleas that usually dig under the skin to feed. Though these types of flea die after a week or two, they leave a complicated skin infection that would require medical attention. 

The treatments for flea bites include washing it frequently with water and soap and application of anti-itch topical cream. Avoid showing with hot water as it can make the itching worse. If you suspect that you are developing an allergic reaction, you can take an OTC antihistamine or seek the advice of your doctor if the bites are infected. 

Bed Bugs 

  • The appearance of red bumps 
  • Bites from bed bugs appear hours after getting bitten 
  • These are usually found on the upper body or exposed parts of the skin while sleeping 
  • Bites are often in a line or a zigzag pattern 
  • Bites produce inflammations. These usually develop into larger welts that become very noticeable 
  • It can become very itchy as well 
  • They become worse with consistent scratching 

Risk factors when bitten by bed bugs include serious allergic reactions in bitten areas. It may become irritated or swollen and develop blisters. Hives may also develop or severe forms of rashes. 

Bite marks usually go after a week or two if you are not allergic to the bites. However, for those who are sensitive to their bites, you should seek medical advice if the bites do not go away after a couple of weeks and secondary infection develops. 

Treating the bites can be done by using topical steroids or oral steroids or antihistamines for those allergic to the bites. 

Bed Bug Bites Vs Mosquito Bites Vs Flea Bites 

Aside from flea bites, bed bug bites and mosquito bites are also difficult to differentiate. However, the main difference between the two is that mosquitoes tend to transmit diseases while bed bugs do not.  

Mosquitoes and bed bugs are both blood-sucking insects, but the bite marks are usually different from each other. Get to know more about their differences in this article. 

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