Flea Bites VS Bed Bug Bites would be something you want to know more about. Since flea bites and bedbug bites are quite similar at a glance, it can be hard to tell the difference between them. The first thing you need to do is to identify the problem to treat them properly as they are.
Both bugs can carry some diseases human to human. In this post, you will be shown the way to identify the bites or marks and the insects that cause them. We will tell the description of each bug with more detailed information.
One of the easiest ways to know which bugs bite you is when you begin to feel the pain after you are bitten. If you get flea bites, it will be immediately hurt. While bites from bed bug do not hurt until hours later.
To get more information about flea bites vs bed bug bites, keep reading this article. You also will be provided with a detailed explanation about each insect, its symptoms, its treatments, and how to get rid of them.
Flea Bites VS Bed Bug Bites, What Is The Differences?
Fleas and bed bugs need a host with warm blood to feed. Bed bugs prefer feeding on the human while fleas tend to prefer feeding on animals with hair and fur. That does not mean that fleas cannot bite you.
Because of that, the pets bring many fleas from the outside to the house. Bed bugs also come from the outside but people bring them in. Fleas can live for several months even without a host. It is called the pupa stage for the fleas.
The mature fleas can even live up to one year between the feedings. However, bed bugs can only live for about 2 weeks. Bed bugs cannot fly or jump, they need to crawl across the place to get feeding. For the fleas, jumping is an easy task.
Fleas jump almost two hundred times the length of their body, which is about 13 inches. By jumping, they can transfer between hosts to find the food sources.
Physically, both of them are quite similar. Fleas have a reddish-brown color just like the bed bugs. However, fleas have a more oval shape that looks longer and skinnier than bed bugs. While bed bugs are flat and have a shape like an apple seed.
Both of the insects are nocturnal. Bed bugs can be found in bedrooms while fleas are mostly found on pets from the outdoors.
Lets jump to the main topic, flea bites vs bed bug bites, shall we?
Fleas Bites and the Symptoms
Fleas are the tiny insects that suck blood to feed. Many of the flea population live on hairy and furry animals. Fleas through the pets bite humans. Even though fleas cannot fly but they can jump for up to 18 centimeters high. They will immediately bite the host when they latch.
There are common symptoms a human can get from flea bites. That includes small red marks on the skin and itching. Sometimes, the flea bites grouped in three marks. Most of the marks from flea bites are found on or near the ankles, waist, feet, armpits, knees, elbows, and other skin folds.
For those who are allergic to fleas, they can get hives or a rash on their skin. Sometimes, the affected areas can get a blister and swell. It may also lead to an infection if the blister breaks. If you scratch too hard on the area and break the skin open, there will be a secondary infection from flea bites.
This insect can also infest your skin. For instance, burrowing fleas can lead to an infestation called tungiasis. Most of that infestation occurs around the toes and feet. Burrowing flea is a tropical or subtropical bug that can dig under the skin to get feeding.
The flea will be dead in two weeks. However, it is guaranteed to leave you having a complicated skin infection afterward.
Bed Bugs Bites and the Symptoms
Just like fleas, these bugs also suck blood to live. They are oval-shaped, small, and reddish-brown. You may not be able to see bed bugs during the day or in a bright area. That is because bed bugs tend to hide in dark spots.
Unlike fleas that will bite every time they want, bed bugs like to bite us when we are sleeping. The reason is that bed bugs like the heat from a human’s body during the sleeping. The carbon dioxide that we produce when we exhale in our sleep attracts the bed bugs.
Bed bugs like to hide in a dark spot like in between mattresses, bed frames, carpets, and box springs. They tend to be found in public places like hotels and hospitals.
Bed bugs tend to bite you on the upper half of the body such as arms, hands, neck, and face. The bites from bedbug will leave you some raised areas of the skin with a dark red spot in the middle. The bites may appear in a line. When scratching the marks, they can get worse.
Some people with sensitive skin may have a serious reaction to the bites from bedbug. The bitten area may get irritated or swell that becomes a blister. They can even get worse like a more severe rash or gives.
According to research, bedbug bites do not appear to transmit or cause any diseases. That is the part where bed bug is less dangerous than fleas’.
The Characteristics of the Bites and Ways to Treat Them
Here is a more detail explanation about the flea bites and bed bug bites. This will be very helpful for you to identify the bites correctly and know what to do next.
Bed Bug Bites
As said before, you may find the bite marks of a bed bug on the exposed skin like neck, arms, and shoulders. You will get a little bit of burning sensation before the raised skin appears. Then, the red welts that are so itching develop 24 to 48 hours after the bug bites.
The bite marks would be groupings or in lines. Sometimes, the bite can cause swell or blister-like inflammations. If your skin is so sensitive and you are allergic to the bites, you should seek medical attention when the bites are infected.
How to Treat Bedbug Bites
Usually, bites from bedbug will vanish after a week or two. However, if the bites do not go away after a few weeks, you should go to your doctor. Besides, if there is a secondary infection from scratching and some signs of allergic-like hives, you should also call your doctor.
To treat the bedbug bites on human skin, you can use a topical steroid. For people who have an allergic reaction to the bites, they should take oral steroids or antihistamines. In case of infection, you can contact your doctor and he may prescribe an antibiotic.
If you are quite sure that the bites come from the bed bug in your house, your living space is the one you need to treat. There are ways to remove the bedbugs; here are some of them:
- You can try vacuuming and cleaning your floors and all the furniture.
- Do the laundry with your bed linens and other stuff. You should use a dryer to kill the bugs.
- Take some stuff out of the room to set them in the temperature below freezing for days.
- Remove the items that have bedbug infestation from your house permanently
- You can hire a professional from a pest control service to get rid of the bugs.
The bite from flea is quite similar to what you get from a bed bug. The bite from a bed bug is usually found on the upper parts of your body while the flea bites tend to appear on the lower part of the body.
Check out your ankle or lower legs and the area nearby. Look at the folds of your skin like in the knee or elbow. The flea bite will look like a group of mosquito bites. The marks have pink color with a dark red center. In a house, the mark will begin to swell.
As said before, the flea bite will be noticed immediately. The welt will appear in an hour or less, unlike the bed bug bites that appear much later. Both flea and bed bug produce inflammations but flea is not as noticeable as a bed bug.
How to Treat Flea Bites
The first thing you need to do when you are bitten by fleas is to wash the infected area with water and soap. You can also apply an anti-itch cream if needed. Another thing you can do with relieving the itchiness you have after flea bites is taking a lukewarm bath with oatmeal.
Do not shower or take a bath with hot water. It could only make the itching more severe than before. For those who have an allergy to the bites, they need to take an antihistamine to reduce the allergic reaction chances.
If you suspect an infection from the bites or they do not clear up after a few weeks, you should see a doctor. The doctor will give you antibiotics to heal them. If you believe the flea bites come from fleas in your house, you should do these following things.
- You have to keep the floors and furniture clean by regularly vacuuming them.
- Don’t forget to clean the carpet with steam at least once a week
- If you have pets that like to spend time outdoors on your lawn, always mow your lawn regularly.
- Because pets bring most fleas, you have to wash your pets with water and soap.
- Keep checking your pets for the fleas
- You can put on a flea collar to your peat to keep fleas away from them. You can buy it online on Amazon.
- You can always use professional help from a pest control service.
Bites from Other Insects
Well, bedbugs and fleas are not the only insects that can bite. People often are mistaken in identifying the bites. Even after reading the entire article, you may get confused because the bites from other insects may be similar to fleas or bedbugs.
- If there is only one single bite mark, it could be a bite from an ant or a spider.
- If there are several swollen bites with pink color in different areas, it could be a bite from mosquitoes.
- If the area of the bite is painful and swollen, it could also be a bee sting or a sting from other insects.
How to Know If You Have Such Bugs in the House
When you realize you get bed bug bites on your skin, it does not mean you have bedbugs living in your house. Bites from bed bugs or flea may occur after a trip to a hotel or other houses that infested with such bugs.
There is a chance you will bring bed bugs from another location that have ones. Well, you need to know how to tell if you have the insects living at home. Here are some signs of a bed bug and flea infestation in the house.
Signs of Fleas
- Visible Fleas: You can spot some fleas on a pet or jumping at somewhere in the house
- Visible Eggs: The eggs are in a form of clear or yellowish flecks that you can spot on the fur of your pets.
- Visible feces: It would look like some dark black specks that can be found on your pet’s bedding or the fur.
- Pet’s health change: After getting bites from flea, your pets may develop anemia. You can see their gums starting to get pale. If this is the case, the pet requires attention from veterinary
- Pet’s behavior change: After the fleabites, the pet may become itchy or anxious unlike the usual.
Signs of Bed Bugs
- Visible Bed bugs: They may appear as tiny dots in the sheets folds, mattress seams, or pillowcases.
- Visible shell: The exoskeletons or shells of the bed bugs may be spotted on the bed.
- Visible feces: You can see the tiny, rust-colored spots on the mattress or sheets.
- Unusual Odor: A sweet and musty odor would be coming from the sheets or mattress when it has bedbugs.
Treatments for the Infestation
You can use flea or bed bug killers to kill them right from the source. There are various sprays for flea and bed bug available on the market. Since the bugs are great at hiding, most spray products are not completely eradicating the infestation.
With the sprays, you probably kill some or most of them. Nevertheless, some of them that are still alive there will come back again stronger. If you use the sprays to kill the bugs, you need to contact the insects directly to get an effective kill.
Therefore, if you still want to use sprays to kill the insects, you need to be extremely diligent to find them in their hiding spots. That is why spray formula products for fleas or bed bugs are considered ineffective.
If you want to try another method, here is something you should try immediately. This is one effective home remedy to get rid of bedbugs. Use a high-powered steam cleaner to kill the bedbugs. You can easily kill the infestation with heat.
You need to be able to force the steam cleaning into all the crannies and nooks to kill the bedbugs completely. Even though this method is very effective, you still need to be so diligent to find all the infestation spots.
For professionals, they use two methods that they think very effective to eradicate bed bugs. They use a machine that has Cryonite technology to freeze all the bedbugs. Moreover, they also use thermal remediation, just like steam cleaning with more power.
Some services of pest management use both the Cryonite and Thermal Remediation method to eradicate the bed bugs permanently.
After all, the question remains, flea bites vs bed bug bites, Which one is more dangerous? The answer would be the flea bites. We now know that bed bugs are generally harmless to human and no research can prove bed bugs spread disease.
On the other hand, fleas can carry diseases like flea-borne typhus and plague. However, both of them can still be a serious inconvenience. Many people would feel disgusted when they see insects.
You can do some simple home treatments to get rid of the insects from your home. If you want to get rid of them completely, you will need a professional or expert to clean the house for you. The best way to prevent having fleas and bedbugs in your house is to keep the house clean.
Remember to check all the places that have the potential to be infested by the insects. When you get flea or bed bug bites, do not get panic. Do a few methods to treat the bites that you already read on some section above.
If you are talking about which one is better (less dangerous), the bed bug is the winner of this flea bites vs bed bug bites explanation.