Flea Bites vs Bed Bug Bites: What’s The Difference?

Have you noticed painful, itching red bumps on your skin when you get out of bed in the morning? While there are a number of possible causes, the two most likely scenarios are flea bites or bed bug bites. Both of these tiny blood-sucking parasites feast on the blood of a warm host, leaving you, your family members, and your pets all vulnerable to their feeding behavior. But how do you know which predator is to blame for your painful red bumps?

Based on their appearance alone, it’s oftentimes difficult if not impossible to distinguish between flea bites and bed bug bites. You can check out photos of actual flea bites by browsing around our site here at FleaBitesOnHumans.com. When you compare them to bed bug bites (see photo below), you’ll notice the two are very similar.

Flea Bite and Bed Bug Bite Characteristics:

  • Typically small, red bumps that appear in patches.
  • Leads to swelling and inflammation.
  • May itch (severity of itching varies depending on the individual’s reaction to the bite).
  • Bites are oftentimes painful, although the person may or may not feel them if they are sleeping at the time.

How To Tell The Difference Between Flea Bites and Bed Bug Bites

The only sure-fire way to determine which blood-sucking parasite is to blame for your itchy, painful red bumps is to perform a little investigative work. Thoroughly check your home to see which one of these parasites are living alongside you. Fleas prefer to stay near pet bedding, whereas bed bugs enjoy bed sheets, comforters, pillows and throw pillows.

In terms of appearance, the main difference between a flea and a bed bug is the shape of their body. Bed bugs have a somewhat round, flat shape, whereas fleas are larger and more narrow. A typical bed bug is about 2-3 times larger than the average flea.

Bed bug bites: photo by Japharl.

Bed bug bites: photo by Japharl.

Both fleas and bed bugs can make life miserable for families. It may start off with a bite on the leg every couple of nights, but once their numbers grow, you’ll notice multiple bites every night. Don’t assume the problem will go away by turning a blind eye. Ignoring the infestation of bed bugs or fleas will only make it worse. This is why it’s important for homeowners to immediate action to eradicate these blood-sucking parasites from their home.

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