How To Distinguish Bed Bug Bites
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How to Tell the Difference Between Bug Bites
Bites from different types of bugs often present similar symptoms.Some are painful, some leave distinguishing marks and others leave nearly no visible signs. While many are harmless, it can be helpful to determine which kind of bug you have encountered.You can usually deduce this by thinking carefully about several aspects of your bug bite, learning more about the natural world and your body in the process.
Analyzing Your Bite
Determine the size of the bites. Spider bites are largest, and on average are about the size of a dime. Mosquito bites are small, generally the size of your pinky fingernail. Fleabites are the size of the head of a pin.If you’ve been bitten by a tick, you won’t be able to locate a bite, but you will find a small black fleck that resembles a mole.
Examine the appearance of the bites.Spider bites are often red bumps, though they can sometimes be white, and usually have a visible mark in the center, like a pinprick.Mosquito bites are pink bumps, although some people develop hard lumps about the size of a quarter, which is a sign of a mild allergic reaction.Flea bites are small pink bumps.
Count how many bites you have and establish their location 2. If you’ve been bitten by a spider, you may have as many as 10 bites in a single region, as spiders usually bite as they walk over your skin while you sleep. These bites can be anywhere on your body, even beneath clothing. Mosquito bites usually occur a few at a time on exposed skin, such as the arms.Mosquitoes can even bite through thin fabric.Flea bites occur in great frequency on skin such as your legs, which is closer to the ground, pets and furniture, where fleas live. As for ticks, you’ll probably only pick up one at a time, most likely in a skin fold.
Consider when you got the bite. Most spider bites occur while people sleep as spiders forage for water. If you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors near bodies of stagnant water, you are likely to incur mosquito bites. Flea bites usually happen in homes with pets, in parks and at beaches. Ticks attach to your body when you walk through tall grass or spend time in a wooded area.
Monitor the course of the bites. Spider bites become larger, redder and increasingly painful for several days before they begin to shrink. Mosquito bites will itch for a while and gradually disappear. Flea bites get increasingly itchy before they heal, and if your home is infested, you will notice recurrent bites. Ticks must be physically removed. You may have to hold a match up to the skin, not close enough to burn yourself, but close enough to heat the tick until it drops off. If you use tweezers to pull the tick out, make sure you grab it as close to its head as possible, so that the tick is removed whole.
Most discomfort from bites can be treated with over-the-counter topical disinfectants and antihistamines. Avoid scratching bites to prevent infection, and keep your fingernails clean and trimmed. Keep your hands clean and wash bites with warm, soapy water. Apply a cold compress or a washcloth to stop itching and shrink inflammation.
Most insect and arachnid bites are harmless. However, see your doctor if a bite becomes infected and you see no decrease in redness and puss after several days of careful hygiene. Also, see a doctor if you develop shakes or if you have been bitten on the ear, as cartilage is easily infected. Be careful about applying Neosporin to bites that have been scratched open; this may cause scarring. Some spider bites are dangerous. See your doctor if you are bitten by a brown recluse, which is a spider with a violin shape on its back. A brown recluse bite looks like a purple blister ringed in red. Without treatment your flesh will begin to ulcerate, leaving a infected hole in your skin. You must also see a doctor if bitten by a black widow spider. These spiders are about the size of a quarter, with a fat abdomen and a red hourglass shape on the stomach. They build unusually sticky webs. Rarely are these bites fatal. If you believe you have been bitten and begin developing severe flu-like symptoms, go to the hospital immediately. While most ticks are harmless, two types carry potentially deadly diseases Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. If after spending time outdoors you develop flu like symptoms that do not run their course in a week, see your doctor, even if you cannot find a tick on your body.
Bites from different types of bugs often present similar symptoms. You can usually deduce this by thinking carefully about several aspects of your bug bite, learning more about the natural world and your body in the process. If you’ve been bitten by a tick, you won’t be able to locate a bite, but you will find a small black fleck that resembles a mole. Examine the appearance of the bites. Spider bites are often red bumps, though they can sometimes be white, and usually have a visible mark in the center, like a pinprick. Flea bites are small pink bumps. Mosquitoes can even bite through thin fabric.
How To Tell Bed Bug Bites From Other Insect Bites
There are a lot of insects in the world. It is estimated that insects outnumber humans 200 million to one. 200 million! That’s a lot of bugs. Fortunately, not all insects bite humans. If they did, we’d all be covered in bites. All the time. From head to toe. But, there are enough insects that do want to bite us–enough to make it difficult to figure out which bites are from which insect. This is especially troublesome if you’re trying to figure out if you have bed bugs. Hopefully, this article will shed some much-needed light on the issue, and help you square things away.
Characteristics Of A Bed Bug Bite
Bed bugs are interior insects. They live almost exclusively with humans. This fact is helpful to know if you want to figure out whether or not you’re being bitten by bed bugs. If you haven’t been out camping recently and spent any time in wet, outdoor areas, all of those insect bites are probably from an interior bug.
Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal. If you wake up in the morning and you have two dozen more bites than you had when you went to bed, it is likely that you have bed bugs. It is important to note, however, that some individuals are more resistant to bed bug bites than others, and bites may not become noticeable for a day or two.
Bed bugs feed multiple times. If you’re being fed on by bed bugs, it is likely that you are going to find numerous bites on your skin. But, what is unique about bed bugs is that each individual bug will feed more than once during the night. Some entomologists, who fancy themselves comedians, refer to bed bug bites as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But, if you’re being feasted on by these blood-eating pests, you know that there is nothing funny about it. This is a good fact to know, however. If you have bites that come in sets of threes, or look as if they follow a trail up your body, it is more likely that those bites came from bed bugs rather than several individual, single-biting, insects.
Bites worsen over time. When an infestation of bed bugs takes root in a home, bites start off fewer in number. But, there is another, more interesting characteristic of new bites. They are usually less noticeable. Immature bed bug nymphs inject less anticoagulant into a bite wound than adult bed bugs. This leads to less irritation, less swelling, and less of a rash. Over time, bites get worse. When adult bed bugs bite, they inject more anticoagulant. And, over the course of several exposures to this anticoagulant, the allergic reaction increases. Bites that start out as tiny dots that can become painful, itchy, swollen welts.
There Are Several Bugs That Can Bite You In Your Home
Here are some traits that help to distinguish them from bed bug bites:
Flea bites often happen around the ankles and on the lower legs. They are also associated with a terrible itch. This can cause a flea bite to have a scab in the center of an inflamed bite wound.
While mosquitoes are an outdoor pest, they are also a flying pest, which makes it possible for them to get inside our homes. But inside bites from mosquitoes will be limited. If you’re being bitten by a mosquito, or two, you’ll have one or two bites that will probably have a puffy look to them. This depends on your skin type, and your age.
Mite bites can be numerous, just like those bed bug bites. They can also look like bed bug bites. The important difference is the pattern mentioned above. Mite bites will be random, not in a trail or series of three bite marks, like bed bug bites.
The best way to know if the bites you’re finding on your skin were caused by bed bugs is to actually see a bed bug. If you have bed bugs in your South Portland home, they are definitely biting you. For assistance with a bed bug infestation in New England, contact Big Blue Bug Solutions. When it comes to protecting homes and businesses from bed bugs, you can trust Big Blue Bug Solutions.
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What’s the Difference Between Flea Bites and Bedbug Bites?
If you notice a group of small dots on your skin, they could be either bedbug bites or flea bites. It can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Flea bites are usually found on the lower half of your body or in warm, moist areas like the bends of elbows and knees. Bedbug bites are often on the upper half of your body, around the face, neck, and arms.
Keep reading to learn about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatments of each type of bite.
Fleas are tiny, blood-sucking insects. Five percent of the flea population lives on pets, which is generally how humans get flea bites. Fleas can’t fly, but they can jump up to 18 centimeters. As soon as they latch on to a host, they begin biting.
Common symptoms of flea bites include small red marks on your skin and intense itching. The bites are sometimes grouped together in threes.
Flea bites generally occur on or near the:
- feet and lower legs
- elbows and knees (in the bend)
- other skin folds
If you’re allergic to fleas, you may develop hives or a rash. The affected area may also swell and blister. If a blister appears and breaks, it may lead to an infection. If you scratch the affected area and break open the skin, you may also get a secondary infection from the bites.
Fleas can infest your skin. For example, burrowing fleas can cause an infestation called tungiasis. It almost always occurs around the feet and toes. This tropical or subtropical flea can dig under your skin to feed. The flea will die after two weeks, but it often causes a complicated skin infection afterward.
Bed Bug Bite Vs. Mosquito Bite
In addition to skin reactions to bites, the primary ways to differentiate bed bug bites and mosquito bites include the differences in bite location on the body, the pattern of bites on the body and the estimated time when a bite occurred.
GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF BITES
Mosquito Bites:Usually appears as puffy white and reddish bumps that begin a few minutes after the bite and become a reddish-brown bump a day or so after the bite. In some instances a host may have small blisters and dark spots that look like bruises in extreme cases.
Bed Bug Bites:Symptoms are variable and may result in no visible symptoms at first. However, symptoms of reddish bumps on skin, inflammation and red blotches that can become areas of raised, itchy bumps that eventually cause a burning sensation.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Sensitivity to Bites:
- Mosquito Bites:Generally, sensitivity to mosquito bites tends to decrease as the number of times someone is bitten increases. This may partially explain why children are usually more sensitive to mosquito bites than adults.
- Bed Bug Bites:Generally, the opposite relationship to number of bites and sensitivity occurs with bed bug bites. Often someone who is bitten by a bed bug doesn’t even realize the bug has fed, but as the number times they are bitten increases, the sensitivity to those bites also increases.
- Mosquito Bite Symptoms:Moderately painful, very irritating, itchy and leave round, red or pink mark on the skin. Mosquito bites may occur anytime during the day, at dusk or at night.
- Bed Bug Bite Symptoms:Usually are generally unnoticed and can be almost painless at the time of the bite. In fact, much of the time a person does not even realize they were bitten unless they notice the bite welts.
- Time to Heal:Mosquito bites usually clear up and “heal” much quicker than bed bug bites, which may persist for a few days or even longer.
- Mosquito bites are generally distributed in a random manner over parts of the body that are not protected by clothing (legs, face, back neck, etc.).
- Bed bug bites are more clustered and often occur in a distinct bite pattern that can be described as being multiple and arranged in a linear or circular fashion. Common locations include the neck, face, back, chest, arms, legs and around the crotch.
- In many instances a bed bug is unable to digest all of the blood meal it takes from a host, so it may actually excrete a portion of that blood meal onto the sheets the host is sleeping on. Therefore, if you see small, round bloodstains on your sheets, chances are good that a bed bug feed on you during the night.
- Hosts for both mosquitoes and bed bugs vary in attractiveness to the insects, which points out that both of these insects may bite one person and almost completely ignore someone else who is nearby. This behavior is very important to recognize since bed bugs are known to bite one person who is asleep and not bite another person who is asleep nearby.
LIFE CYCLE DIFFERENCE
- Mosquitoes develop by complete metamorphosis, which means they go through four stages in their developmental cycle that is entirely different – egg, larvae, pupae and adults. Only the female mosquito adult bites and feeds on blood.
DISEASE TRANSMISSION POTENTIAL
- Mosquitoes are known transmitters of many diseases that affect people or animals.
- Bed bugs are not proven transmitters of any known diseases to people or animals.
- If someone continues to scratch either mosquito or bed bug bites and does not keep the bite clean and medicated, there is a risk of a secondary infection.
Should either mosquitoes or bed bugs become a pest issue, the best course of action is to contact your pest management professional. It is important to request an inspection, plus an integrated management plan that includes science-based information, recommendations, products and methods to be used.
5 ways to tell the difference between a bed bug or mosquito bite
Mosquito bites and bed bug bites have a lot of traits in common.
What makes it even more challenging to identify the two, is that not everyone has the same reaction (or reacts at all) to bed bug bites. (In fact, some people don’t even know what a bed bug bite looks like.) The bites might look like red welts on one person, rashes on another, and raised blisters on the next person. Due to the wide range of reactions, it’s not visually easy to determine if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug.
But nevertheless, you can use some context clues to decipher which insect is your culprit.
Here are five signs to look out for that will help you determine if you’re dealing with bed bugs or mosquitoes.
Bed bug bites occur in clusters.
One of the best ways to tell the difference between mosquito and bed bug bites is to look at where the bites are occurring on your body.
Mosquito bites usually occur one their own in random and isolated spots. Bed bug bites, on the other hand, pop up in clusters. The pattern of bed bug bites often appear as a line or zigzag, aligning with the edge of a sheet or mattress , according to the pest control company Terminix.
Mosquito bites don’t last as long.
As much as you might despise mosquito bites, the great thing to remember is that they will disappear soon enough if you leave them alone. The unsightly red bumps and itching sensation that come along with the bites can only last so long.
Compared to bed bug bites, mosquito bites typically subside and heal much faster , according to the pest control company Orkin.
Mosquito bites become itchy quicker.
If you’ve gotten even just one mosquito bite in your life, you know that they start itching almost immediately. Often, you’ll even feel an itching sensation before the red bump pops up.
When it comes to bed bug bite, however, you’ll typically see the bump or rash from the bite before it begins to itch, according to the blog pestseek.com.
The American Academy of Dermatology says that some people develop itchy welts within a few days of their first bites, but it can take up to 14 days for others to feel the areas itch .
Bed bugs may leave a surprise on your bed sheets.
One tell-tale sign that you’ve been bitten by a bed bug is when you find dark red or black stains on your bed sheets. If you discover stains and bite marks on your body, it’s a good indication you’re dealing with bed bugs and not mosquitoes, according to the blog pesthacks.com.
Disclaimer: Put down your lunch if you’re eating while reading this.
The dark black or red stains found on the sheets are actually digested blood. After bedbugs feast on their host (i.e. you), they may excrete some of the digested blood onto the sheets. Gross, yes. But the upside is that the stains offer you an easy way for you to tell what kind of bug you’re dealing with.
Bed bug bites may be accompanied by a rash.
Visually, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish between bed bug bites from mosquito bites – especially since everyone reacts to bed bug bites differently. Nonetheless, one difference you might find is that some bed bug bites are accompanied by rashes.
Depending on how allergic you are to the anticoagulant bed bugs inject into your skin, you may see a rash around the bite sites.
Experts recommend that if your skin does develop a rash, you should avoid scratching the affected area and contact a medical professional before it becomes infected.