Bed Bug Bites VS Mosquito Bites: Everything You Need to Know [UPDATED]

When we are talking about bed bug bites VS mosquito bites, both probably look similar from one to another. For this reason, knowing the small differences between the bites could help you identify whether it is from bed bug or mosquito.

Considering the cues between the bites would then help you determine the right treatments to ease the itchy, irritated skin accordingly.

The Symptoms of Bedbug Bites



Bedbugs are a kind of nocturnal insects that tend to bite when you are sleeping. The bites of bedbug somehow remind you of other insect bites like mosquito or even resemble skin irritations like eczema.

The symptoms of bedbug bites are variable since some may not see any obvious signs at first glance. The general symptoms may include red blotches and inflammation that lead to a burning sensation.

Bites Location

You tend to find bedbug bites on bare skin areas that get in touch with the bed. The bites could be on your face, neck, chest, legs, back, and arms. However, it is not impossible to find the bites on other areas since bedbugs could bite through your clothes.

Number of the Bites

This is one of the most obvious signs to say the bites appear on your skin is from a bedbug. Unlike mosquito, bedbug bites appear in groups. The bite pattern typically appears in a zigzag, straight line, or even circular.

Appearance of the Bites

Bedbug bites typically look like pimple, puffy, and red. In the middle of the irritated area, there usually a red dot, suggesting the place where the bedbug bit you. It is possible to get fluid-filled bites, especially if you are super sensitive to bedbug bites.

Itch Factor

We cannot deny that bedbug bites are highly uncomfortable and itchy. The pain or itching typically gets worse in the morning and feel better throughout the day. Compared to mosquito bites, bedbug bites often heal much longer.

Unfortunately, bedbug bites could lead to an infection. The signs of infected bedbug bites may include severe redness, tenderness, swelling near the lymph node, and even fever.

There is another common sign you should know about the appearance of bedbugs nearby. Bedbugs commonly cannot digest all the blood it takes from someone. As a result, this insect tends to leak some portion of the blood on your sheets.

Due to this behavior, you could say that bedbugs feed on you throughout the night if there are little, round bloodstains on the sheets where you are sleeping on.

Furthermore, similar to mosquitoes, hosts for bedbugs may differ in charm since these insects could only bite a person and completely overlook another one that is nearby.

You should note this behavior as well since bedbugs typically bite one person only even though two people sleeping on the same bed.

The Symptoms of Mosquito Bites



Small, flying, and having six legs are a good way to describe this insect. Mosquitoes typically live close to the water. That is why being outdoors and sightseeing around a lake, pool, or pond could improve your chance of being bitten by mosquitoes.

For your information, the one that bites you is only the female species of this insect. Moreover, mosquito bites are possible to happen anytime during the night, dusk, or even the day.

Bites Location

Different from bedbugs, mosquitoes are not capable to bite through your clothes. That is why the bites are typically found on uncovered skin areas like hands, arms, and legs.

Number of the Bites

In terms of numbers, someone may only get one or a few bites of mosquitoes only. In case you get more than one bite, the pattern would not be in line. Unlike bedbug bites, the pattern of mosquito bites is typically random.

Appearance of the Bites

Red, raised, and small are three typical words to describe mosquito bites. When it comes to size, one bite to another could be different since it depends on your skin’s natural response to the mosquito’s saliva.

Itch Factor

Mosquito bites could make you uncomfortable because of its itchiness. Besides, people may have different degrees of response related to the bites. Some may become very sensitive to the mosquito bites to the degree of blistering reactions.

Even though it is quite rare, a person can suffer from anaphylactic reaction following a mosquito bite. This condition is serious and could be life-threatening that may lead to throat swelling, obscurity breathing, and hives.

Response Time of Bed Bug Bites VS Mosquito Bites



It takes minimally six seconds for a mosquito to bite you on the skin. The bites probably get instantly visible and are followed by itchiness. However, they typically get better and go away after one or two days.

A great thing about mosquito bites is that they usually fade away soon enough even though you do not do anything. The itching sensation and unpleasant red bums caused by mosquito bites will not last long.

Moreover, once you find mosquito bites, the itching tends to start soon after the insect goes away. You could even feel the itching sensation although the red bump has not come out.

Different from mosquito bites, bedbug bites are not always followed by a skin reaction. In case a reaction occurs, it may take hours or even days until you feel it.

That is why bedbugs are usually more difficult to treat since you probably will not know if they are around until some days later.

You might not realize that the bug has fed at first. However, as the bedbug bites you, even more, the sensitivity to the bites often improves. It is different from mosquito bites since the sensitivity to this bite typically diminishes when you are bitten even more.

When it comes to itching sensation, you tend to find a bump or rash first following the bedbug bite before it starts to itch.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some people could have itchy welts in several days after the bites while others probably take over 14 days to feel the itching sensation.

How to Know Bedbug Bites by Comparing to Other Bites



Insects that could cause such bites are not only mosquitoes and bedbugs. Some other insects are capable to cause similar bites as bedbugs do. From these other bites, you could tell if a bite is indeed from a bedbug.

Fire Ants

If fire ants have ever bitten you, you would know that this insect could cause painful, tingle, and itchy bites. You typically see fire ant bites on the feet or legs after stepping in this insect mound and get it bites your skin.

A burning sensation that occurs as soon as you are bitten is one of the symptoms of fire ant bites. Moreover, you may also find raised and itching welt-like spots on your skin. The next day after the bites happen, a tiny, fluid-filled blister may develop.

The symptoms of fire ant bites may occur more than a week and they could be very itchy.

Kissing Bugs

If you have ever heard Chagas disease, kissing bugs are one of the common reasons why someone could develop this condition. This is because a parasite that causes the condition could contaminate kissing bugs.

These insects typically bite you around your eyes or mouths and they do it several times within a similar spot. The bites of kissing bugs could be red, round, and small.

If a kissing bug bite causes Chagas disease, it could lead to a severe problem since the disease is capable to cause intestinal and heart problems.


Depending on the type of spider that bites you, spider bites can come out with different symptoms and appearances. Mostly, the fangs of spiders are not powerful enough to bite through your skin.

Some spiders that could do it include a black widow or brown recluse spider. This kind of spider typically causes serious symptoms when biting you.

Nausea, breathing issues, swelling, red welt, and muscle cramping are some of the common signs appear in someone who has been bitten by a spider.

Severe spider bites are strong enough to cause infection and illness. When it happens, you need to look for urgent medical considerations, especially if you think that the bites are caused by a black widow or brown recluse spider.

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites VS Mosquito Bites



Your information about bed bug and mosquito bites will not be complete without learning how to treat them. Generally, you need to keep the bite or bites dry and clean so that they could heal as soon as possible.

We cannot deny that scratching the bites is quite tempting, but you are not recommended to do so. This is because scratching the bites may only irritate your skin even more and improve the risk of further infection. Moreover, here are the special treatments for each of the bites.

The Best Way to Treat Bedbug Bites

You generally do not need to have a doctor’s prescription to treat bedbug bites. You could try applying a kind of steroid or topical anti-itch cream to the infected spots. You could also use a cold compress to ease the bedbug bites or consume an oral antihistamine like Benadryl.

Occasionally, bedbug bites can lead to an infection called cellulitis. To lessen the infection risk, you should wash the bites with water and soap. For further treatment to ease bedbug bites, read on.

Home Remedies for Bedbug Bites

Aside from over-the-counter medications, some home remedies including particular kinds of essential oils could help relieve bedbug bites. Even though more studies are required for this case, it is suggested that chamomile oil and camphor oil could ease bedbug bites.

Moreover, a little paste of water and baking soda is considered useful for dealing with bedbug bites. However, you need to stop using this paste if any allergic reactions follow.

Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in lemon juice are also considered powerful to help itchiness and dry rashes caused by bedbug bites. Some also said that witch hazel could help calm itching sensation after bedbugs bite you.

If you want something easier to find, consider using toothpaste to ease bedbug bites. The menthol involved in toothpaste’s formula is known to be a great anti-itch remedy.

Simply apply enough amount of toothpaste to the affected area to soothe the itching and burning sensation caused by the bedbug bites.

Getting Rid Of the Bedbugs

Keep in mind that dealing with bedbug bites not only about treating the infected areas of your skin. You need to get rid of the bedbugs for long-term convenience. This is especially crucial if you think that you were previously bitten at home.

You could help to reduce the infestation of bedbugs by vacuuming your mattresses, floors, and appliances. Then, laundering your drapes, linens, and clothes with the hottest settings of your dryer and washing machine could help too.

For your information, bedbugs are capable to live for more than a year as long as they are fed. In some points, you may need to consult with a professional exterminator that is capable to remove bedbugs from your home.

This action would affect the problem better if you follow it by cleaning your bedroom, especially the mattress since it is the most likely spot for bedbugs to live. You should also consider keeping your bedroom free of papers and wrapping up crevices since bedbugs may live in there.

The Best Way to Treat Mosquito Bites

Similar to bedbug bites, you do not need a particular treatment to get relief from mosquito bites. If you feel that the bites are very itchy, consider applying a topical antihistamine cream on the affected area.

Besides, you could also use a cloth-covered ice pack to ease the mosquito bites. Another treatment you could do to relieve mosquito bites is retaining the affected spot dirt-free with water and soap.

Then, some home remedies are also considered helpful when it comes to stopping the itch of mosquito bites.


First, you could consider taking oatmeal to deal with uncomfortable mosquito bites. Containing anti-irritant agents, oatmeal could relieve swelling and itching caused by mosquito bites.

You could simply mix some amount of oatmeal and water to create a paste. After that, take some of the paste on a washcloth and put it on the affected area approximately 10 minutes before wiping it clean.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is an ordinary household plant that has various benefits, including relieving mosquito bites. The gel’s anti-inflammatory abilities are good enough to calm infections like one caused by bug bites.

You just need to cut open a small part of Aloe vera and apply the gel to the affected area. If you do not have any Aloe vera plant around, consider using the ready-to-use gel that is offered on the market.

Baking Soda

From cleaning up drains to baking bread, you could use baking soda for various functions in any life scenario. More interestingly, this remedy could also give relief from mosquito bites. You just need to make a baking soda paste and apply it to the affected area.

Other Remedies

Aside from the remedies mentioned above, basil, vinegar, onion, and honey are considered useful to ease mosquito bites. When it comes to basil, a chemical compound named eugenol in this remedy is suggested to help scratchy skin.

Moreover, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents in honey are considered helpful for relieving mosquito bites as well. You just need to drop a small amount of honey on the itchy bite to lessen your temptation to scratch.

When You Should Contact a Doctor



Even though the treatment of both bedbug and mosquito bites could be easily done at home, there are particular conditions when it is recommended for you to see a doctor.

You are supposed to contact your doctor when suffering from infection because of a bug bite. The infection could appear with some symptoms like fever, streaking, extreme redness, and severe swelling.

Moreover, if you believe that you have been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider, it is highly recommended to see a doctor immediately. As mentioned above, the bites from these spiders could lead to serious infections and may come with severe side effects.

Bedbugs are known to not transmit any diseases to humans or animals. On the other hand, mosquitoes are famous transmitters of various diseases that influence both humans and animals.

Thus, when your mosquito bites are followed by symptoms of other diseases like malaria, chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue, or yellow fever, you should see a doctor immediately.

The Final Thought of Bed Bug Bites VS Mosquito Bites

In some cases, bedbug and mosquito bites may resemble each other, but there are some ways to determine the dissimilarity. For instance, a bedbug typically bites its host in a straight line while a mosquito tends to bite randomly.

You could also tell a bite is from bedbugs or mosquitoes by comparing it with bites from other bugs. In the end, by knowing further about bed bug bites VS mosquito bites, you are hopefully capable to determine the right treatment to deal with the bites.