How to Tell the Difference Between Fleas and Bed Bugs

Fleas and bed bugs are very similar in shape, size, appearance, and annoyance. The bites are both itchy, red and inflamed. Their comparability makes it difficult to know which one you’re dealing with. It’s important to be able to distinguish between the two pests so you can properly eradicate them as they each have unique methods of extermination. These two types of insects may look the same but there are a variety of methods to figure out which one is which. Here’s how to tell the difference between fleas and bed bugs:

Pest

Bites

Bites that come from fleas are typically found on:

  • Legs
  • Feet
  • Waist
  • Armpits

However, flea bites can really appear whatever body part the insect has access to. The bites are red, blotchy and extremely itchy. They appear in small clusters of reddish dots. Fleas often randomly bite but typically target the legs, ankles and feet as they are the easiest body parts for them to get to while you’re walking through tall grass. You can usually distinguish flea bites from bedbug bites because they have a rash-like appearance. Fleas prefer preying on outdoor pets like dogs and cats or farm animals like cows and pigs.

flea bites

On the other hand, bedbug bites appear on the:

  • Hands
  • Neck
  • Arms

They are small, hard lumps and closely resemble mosquito bites in both appearance and itchiness. In fact, they are often mistaken for bites from other bugs which causes people to be unaware that they even have bedbugs. These bites appear on humans in areas that are exposed while they’re sleeping. Bedbug bites often appear in lines unlike the clusters made by fleas.

It’s important to note that some fortunate people will not react to bites from either fleas nor bedbugs. This lack of reaction makes it crucial to be proactive when searching for the bugs via their appearance.

Bed bug bites

Identification

Fleas often target pets as they are closer to the ground and an easier target than humans. You can identify if your pet has fleas by checking them for any patches of lost fur. For extra precaution, use a flea comb to further check their fur for fleas, flea eggs or flea bites. Just be mindful because the fleas may jump onto you in the process. Fleas have the ability to jump approximately 200 times their body length which amounts to about 33 centimetres. If you don’t have pets, you can wear long white socks tucked into your pant legs while walking around on your property to both protect yourself from flea bites and to see if you have fleas in your grass.

Bed bugs prefer tiny, cavernous spaces inside the home. Yes, they’re called bed bugs so although they inhabit mattresses and bed frames but they can also be found in other furniture like armchairs and couches as well as inside outlets and cracks in the wall or floorboards. When identifying bed bugs, be on the lookout for tiny rust-coloured stains that may be caused by crushing a bug in your sleep or by their feces. Live bed bugs are slightly larger than fleas which makes them easier to spot. However, they are nocturnal so they obviously can not be seen crawling around during the day. Quickly turn on a flashlight or lamp if you feel one crawling on you at night. However, if you think you have an infestation, it’s crucial to contact a professional extermination service like Bed Bug Exterminator Pro immediately as they will help you not only identify them but get rid of them promptly.

Appearance 

Bed bugs are flat and oval shaped with a reddish-brown colour. Adult bed bugs are approximately the same size and shape as an apple seed.

Bedbug

Fleas are similar in appearance but have long hind legs used for jumping. They are typically 2.5 mm in width which is smaller than bed bugs.

flea

Lifetime

In the pupa stage, fleas can survive for a few months without a living host to prey on. Fully grown fleas can only survive approximately two weeks without a host. On a weekly basis, fleas can lay about 150 to 300 eggs individually.

Adult bed bugs live a lot longer. These pests can survive for up to a year between feedings, that is, without a host. However, unlike fleas they don’t multiply as frequently. Bed bugs only lay 200 eggs in a lifetime.

Danger Levels

Fleas are a lot more dangerous as they can spread diseases such as typhus, plague and cat-scratch fever whereas bed bugs can’t pass on human pathogens.

Just because bed bugs are less harmful than fleas, they are still a nuisance that needs to be dealt with. Contact Bed Bug Exterminator Pro today to help you determine whether or not you have an infestation and then an affordable bed bug heat treatment. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

 

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