Bed Bugs or Dust Mites? – How to Identify, What’s the Difference?


Bed bugs or dust mites? How are these insects different and how will you know if you have them in your home? Whether you have any of the two, it is important that you know which one you are dealing with for you to get the right treatment. 

Getting to know which one you have in your home will also help you to determine if you have bed bug or dust mite bites. Aside from learning the proper treatment to get rid of them, you can find the right treatment for your bites or allergic reactions.


When identifying the differences between the two, the main difference is that dust mites are arachnids whereas bed bugs are parasites. While dust mites are usually found in upholstered furniture, carpets and mattresses, bed bugs can be found wherever you tend to stay for longer periods, such as workstations or beds.

Another reason why you should know how to differentiate the two is because dust mite bites and bed bug bites may look alike. However, other associated risks with the bites are completely different.

When feeding, they differ from what they eat. Dust mites feed on human skin scales or dead skin cells as well as the moisture from human shavings. If you have pets, they can also feed on your pet’s skin scales as well as the moisture from these scales. There are times when they also diversify and eat crumbs, cereal, fungi, and fish food. On the other hand, bed bugs solely feed on blood. Food is the primary difference of each one.

Bed bug vs Dust mite

See below for a comparison chart to help you get an answer if you’re having bed bug or dust mite infestation problems:

  Dust Mites Bed Bugs
Size Microscopic creatures that can measure up to 0.05m Adult bed bugs can measure up to 5mm
Habitat They can live in any upholstered furnishings, mattress, or carpets They can live anywhere, as long as they are near you when you’re sleeping or sitting for long hours
Diet They feed on dead skin cells, house dust, or your pet’s dead skin cells They feed on blood alone
Health Hazards No health hazards, unless you breathe in dried fecal matter as well as the protein from their body. It can cause an irritation to your lungs that may result in asthmatic symptoms. They bite but do not transmit any forms of disease. However, hypersensitive individuals may experience allergic reactions towards the bites.
Visibility to Human Eye Given their microscopic size, you cannot see them with your naked eye. The adult size is enough for you to see them. They create large colonies, which makes it easy for you to see these insects in all life stages.

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