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Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea Bites: Yes, They Are and They Make a Difference

Fleas and bed bugs have traits in common. Both of them are not only small and feed on blood, but also are unwelcome in your business or home. At the same time, these parasites feature certain attributes that differentiate them. They present different problems to their victims.

One of the areas that differentiate them is their bites. The other factors that make them similar and/or different include:

  • Habitat
  • Physical appearance
  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • Infestation
  • Reactions

Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea Bites: Comparison (Differences and Similarities)



Swollen and hard red dots characterize fleabites. Their bites can develop into tiny clusters. Confusing them with mosquito bites is common. A major characteristic of fleabites is the fact that they itch a lot. Mostly, their bites are present on lower limbs and ankles because these areas are easy to access. Fleabites develop shapeless and random clusters.


Fleas exclusively live, breed and develop on hairy mammalian animals such as dogs, and cats. Other furry animals that can host them include chinchillas and rats. So why is their main habitat hair? The main reason is that their body is shaped in a way that hairy surfaces facilitate their movement. Of great importance to note is that while they only live on hairy surfaces, fleas lay eggs almost everywhere. It is possible to find them on upholstery and furniture in a room where your pets tend to spend most of their time.

Physical Appearance

In terms of physical appearance, fleas are wingless parasitic insects. Generally, they are sized approximately 2-3 millimeters in terms of length. Fleas use their long legs for jumping. They can jump 15 inches horizontally and 10 inches vertically. Their other highlight has to do with their flattened and dark-colored body. Although they majorly feed on animal hosts, these parasites can also bite humans.

Their main danger is their ability to easily transfer diseases as they feed.

Beg Bugs


Bed bug bites are commonly present on upper body parts such as the arms, face, back, chest, and neck. Their bites take the form of tiny red spots featuring a darker red spot at the middle. They bite you in close proximity. Another attribute of their bites is that they might form a circle or straight line.


Just as their name suggests, bed bug’s common habitat is bed sheets or places around them. They are mostly active at night because they prefer huge amounts of carbon dioxide that we excrete as we sleep. Some of the other places that bed bugs prefer include:

  • Handbags
  • Second-hand clothing
  • Furniture and upholstery
  • Loose wallpapers
  • Behind paintings
  • Bed creeks
  • Under mattresses

Physical Appearance

Compared to fleas, bed bugs are flat and oval-shaped when it comes to their physical appearance. On top of that, they feature a reddish-brown color. Bed bugs are 2-3mm wide and 5-6mm long. These parasites cannot spread diseases, unlike fleas.


When it comes to both bed bug and flea bites, symptoms vary from person to another. Depending on your immunity and skin-sensitivity against rashes, you may only have minor rashes that will disappear after a while. It is also possible that some rashes might be major which will demand that you eliminate them through proper medications. Bite symptoms might also be different based upon the strength of the parasites in your home.

Simply put, a lot of factors are at play in terms of determining the severity of symptoms from one person to another.

Flea Bites Symptoms

Symptoms of fleabites usually appear within 30 minutes after being bitten. Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Itchiness
  • Swollen and red patches on the skin
  • Secondary reactions are possible if you scratch the affected area

Because fleas can transfer diseases, it’s prudent to ensure you get thorough treatment.

Bed Bug Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms of bed bug bites(You can know more here):

  • Reactions to bites
  • Hives or blisters
  • Strong itchiness
  • Red bumps on the skin

Reactions to Bites

Depending on your immunity and sensitivity against insect bites, here are some of the reactions that you might develop:

Flea Bites Reactions
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • headaches
Bed Bug Bites Reactions

If you leave your bed bug bites untreated and they turn out to be a regular problem, you can have these reactions:

  • Stress and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Infections that result from too much scratching
  • Hypersensitivity and allergies

Treatment and Prevention

Timely treatment of both types of bites is paramount. In addition to discussing effective treatment, we’ll also have a look at some of the efficient prevent techniques you can employ to combat these bugs (You can know more here).

Flea Bites Treatment

The treatment of fleabites is very simple. The only thing you’re required to do is wash the infected area with water and soap. To calm down an itch, apply an ice pack. Antiseptic creams can also be helpful when it comes to fighting rashes from fleabites. Do you have discharge from the affected area? If yes, you need to consult your doctor immediately.

Prevention from Fleas

Prevent yourself from fleas by undertaking the following steps:

  • Consume an additional dose of garlic (fleas hate garlic)
  • Regularly wash your pet
  • Use essential oils such as lavender as they help to ward off fleas
  • Frequently have your pet treated for fleas
  • Occasionally consult professional bug prevention services
Bed Bug Bites Treatment

Once you’ve noticed that you’ve been bitten by a bed bug, the first step you need to undertake is washing the affected area with water and soap. Just like with fleas, apply a pack of ice to calm down the itching. To clear the rashes, apply a paste of water and baking soda and allow it to rest for one or two hours. Doing so prevents bites from becoming hives or blisters. Another strategy that can help reduce itching and chances of infection is taking a warm water bath that’s infused with peppermint oil.

Prevention from Bed Bugs

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Always ensure that your mattress is in a protective coating
  • Cover up any holes on the bed frame or in the mattress
  • Upon your return, ensure your clothes and luggage are free from bugs
  • Thoroughly wash all clothes and luggage once you return from long trips
  • Try pesticides
  • Consult professional bug prevention services


Are you always facing bite problems? Chances are high that your home is infested. By knowing which infestation signs to identify, you’ll manage to remedy the situation in real-time.

How to Identify Flea Infestation

The behavior of your pets can be a telltale sign of flea infestation. Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Pets scratching and biting themselves more often
  • Pets beginning to tear out their fur or hair
  • Because you don’t have pets doesn’t mean that your home is flea-proof. The parasites can still find their way there through your neighbor’s pets or the other passing by animals. What you need to do is put on white socks and then walk around the house. If your home is infested, fleas will jump on the socks. If such a thing happens, you’ll see them easily.
How to Identify Beg Bug Infestation

These signs can indicate that your home is bed bug-infested:

  • Red-brown stains on your sheets, which is an indication of bed bug activities.
  • An offensive and musty odor from their scent glands
  • Shed skins, eggshells or fecal spots where bed bugs hide
  • Rusty or dark spots of bed bug excrement on walls, bedclothes, mattresses and sheets

Final Words

After passing through this detailed primer, we are sure that you now know the difference and similarities between bed bug and fleabites. Now that you’re in the know, it’s time to strategically put measures in place to prevent you and your family from these two stubborn parasites.