Both bed bugs and fleas can leave multiple bites. In many cases, these bites can be intensely itchy and irritating.
Fleas are a common pet care concern. They are particularly common among pets that do not undergo preventative flea treatment. Bed bugs are also common, especially in communal living environments such as nursing homes and hotels.
People with allergies may have intense reactions to bites, and some even develop infections. In most households, however, fleas and bed bugs are an inconvenience, not a real danger.
Being able to tell the difference between fleas and bed bugs is key to getting rid of them. Read on to learn how to identify different bites, and what to do next.
Fleas prefer living on furry animals such as cats and dogs, typically around their neck and bellyTrusted Source areas. However, they may bite people incidentally, after jumping off a host. In humans, fleabites generally appear on the legs and ankles.
Bed bugs preferTrusted Source to eat the blood of humans. They therefore take up residence in beds and other places that give them easy access to human blood. They cannot jump or fly.
The table below shows some key differences between fleabites and bed bug bites:
|Bite symptoms||Fleabites cause small bumps that tend to be very itchy.||Bites may appear as small red spotsTrusted Source that may or may not itch.|
|Bite development||Bites may have a dark red center. They may also develop into blisters. Scratching these bites can lead to infection.||Over time, bed bug bites may produce a hard, white swelling that may bleed.|
|Bite pattern||Fleabites may group into clusters or lines.||The bites sometimes appear in a straight line of three or four bites.|
|Bite frequency||Fleas bite whenever they get the chance.||Bed bugs tend to feed every 3 daysTrusted Source and may be more likely to feed at night. People who have bed bugs in their home may notice a regular pattern to bites.|
Fleas and bed bugs are not the only creatures that can bite. Some signs that something else might be the culprit include the fact that:
- There is only one bite: A single bite could indicate a spider bite or an ant bite.
- There are several pink, swollen bites in different areas: This might indicate mosquito bites. Some mosquitoes, including the species that carries the Zika virusTrusted Source, may live indoors.
- The area is painful and swollen, or it has a stinger in it: This could indicate a bee sting or a sting by another stinging insect.
People who experience bed bug bites do not necessarily have bed bugs living in their home. For example, bites may occur after a trip to a house or hotel infested with bed bugs.
However, there is a fair chance that if a person has stayed in a location with bed bugs, they may have brought some home.
Some signsTrusted Source of a bed bug infestation in the home include:
- Visible bed bugs: These may appear as tiny bugs or dots in the folds of sheets or pillowcases or in the seams of a mattress.
- Bed bug exoskeletons: These crunchy looking bed bug shells may be visible in or around the bed.
- Bed bug feces: These tiny, rust colored spots may appear on the sheets or mattress.
- An unusual odor: There may be a sweet or musty odor coming from the mattress or sheets.
Some signs that there are fleas in the home include:
- Visible fleas: There may be visible fleas on a family pet ………………. ……………… Continue Reading …………… …………….