Bed Bugs vs Fleas: How to Identify the Difference

If you've discovered an infestation of pesky insects in your home, explore how to identify the differences between bed bugs vs fleas.

Parasitic insects can be a source of annoyance where you end up wondering where the itching and lesions come from. Especially while you mind your business at home.

Notorious for these annoyances are fleas and bed bugs. While they give the same number of reasons to want them gone, there is a difference between the two. Finding the difference between the two can help you figure out the measures you need to take.

Today, we will look at these differences. Knowing that the difference goes beyond the name, let’s work out the comparison between bed bugs vs fleas.

The Common Notes and Similarities

When looking at the differences between fleas vs bed bugs, we first look at some common points between them. In this case, they have two things in common: their source of sustenance and their means of entry.

When it comes to the means of entry, they can slip by unnoticed when these bugs latch on clothing or other materials. They can also be on your mattress or your luggage. Another likely source would be from pets that roamed about outside. 

You would notice these curious notes on how they get to you. You can click here to know more in full detail.

As for what these parasites are after, they subsist on blood. They go for human or animal blood as their source of food. Getting rid of bed bugs and fleas would need a good deal of purging, which we will go into detail about later.

Differences in Appearance and Habitat

This time, we look at the differences between the two. For this, we start with their appearances as these could tell you the distinguishing points between the two insects.

First, we look at bed bugs. These small insects tend to be flat-bodied and are reddish-brown. You can find them in various areas aside from your mattress. You see them between cushions, curtain folds, chair seams. and couches. 

Meanwhile, fleas tend to be small when compared to bed bugs. While bed bugs can range from 1 to 7 mm in size, fleas tend to hang around 1.5 to 3.3 mm. They tend to be dark-colored and have long and narrow bodies, making them look flattened from top to bottom.

As for where you find them, you would usually find fleas among your pets. When you have lesser or no pet exposures, you encounter fleas far less.

What Their Bites Look and Feel Like

This time, we look at the bites and how each bite would help you determine which of the two you are up against. At first glance, they are hard to differentiate due to how they look similar in color and size. Even so, there are notable differences between the two that can help you determine which of these two parasitic insects you are up against.

Bed Bug Bites

First, we look at the bed bug bite. A key factor to note in bed bug identification is the pattern and positions of the bites. You would notice the bites target the face and neck, as well as the arms and hands.

As for the appearance of the bite, they tend to be small and would have this dark red spot in the middle of the raised area. In general, the appearance of the bite resembles that of a mosquito bite. What makes it different is how these bites tend to go for a linear pattern or in a cluster.

Flea Bites

In comparison, we look at the flea bite. Like the bed bug bites, you would notice the dark red spots. A key pointer to flea identification when you look at the bites is that instead of a cluster, you notice the bites in groups of three. 

The flea bites tend to occur in the creases of the body, which would be the armpits and the bend areas of your elbows and knees. The bites also target the waist, ankles, and feet. 

An interesting note with the appearance of the bites is how both bed bug bites and flea bites tend to have a close resemblance to mosquito bites. The factor on this would be the rash that develops.

Other Notable Signs and Pointers

You can also differentiate the bugs by the other signs of their presence. With bed bugs, you would notice the bloodstains on your sheets or pillowcases. You would also notice shed skins, eggshells, and a musty odor.

As for fleas, you would notice this on your pets. They tend to itch that your pets would either scratch, bite, or lick their fur. In this case, a bit too much than they ought to.

What to Do?

When dealing with the bites, you would need to monitor your bites for any signs of infection. You can address the inflammation and irritation using anti-itch cream. Just in case, check with your doctor when the symptoms continue or get worse.

For dealing with the infestation, you need to find ways to remove the fleas and the bed bugs. Notable actions when dealing with them involve a more dedicated clean-up. Pets need a flea shampoo and flea comb to help you get rid of the fleas on the pets.

As for bed bugs, you also need to do some cleanups as well. In this case, target the beddings and other furniture. Eliminating both fleas and bed bugs may require chemical treatments.

Bed Bugs vs Fleas: Identify and Eliminate

Knowing the differences between bed bugs vs fleas, you can figure out how to eliminate them. You can also see the signs as to which one you are up against. The best way to combat them is to clean up both in and out of your home.

Did you find this useful? You can check out our articles for more information. We cover a wide variety of topics that you may find helpful and interesting to delve into.