What Resembles Bed Bug Bites?

Bed Bug on sheet

Bed bug bites are often mistaken for many other types of insect bites. Mosquito, spider, and flea bites all look similar to the infamous bed bug, but treating each bite can be different per insect. So how can you tell if you've been bitten by one of these pests when you cannot find any signs of bed bug activity? In this blog post, we'll discuss the signs and symptoms of many insect bits, including bed bugs, as well as how to treat them.

Common Insects That Bite Humans At Night

A lot of insects you will encounter, around 75-85% are most active during the nighttime. This leads to pests finding ways into your home, and then into your bedroom to investigate. Insects will bite humans solely for two reasons: They are either looking for a quick meal, or they feel threatened by any means necessary. So what kind of biting insects can you expect to find in your home besides the bed bug? The most common will include: 

  • Spiders
  • Mosquitos
  • Fleas

Spider Bites

The appearance of a spider bite can vary depending on the species of spider. However, most bites will cause red, swollen, and itchy bumps on the skin. In some cases, blisters or ulcers may form. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting, or fever with a spider bite (depending on the species of course.) If you are bitten by a venomous spider, such as a black widow or brown recluse, seek medical attention immediately as these spiders have much higher toxicity levels. Spiders will not feed on human blood, unlike bed bugs, so you can only expect to see one major bump if it is a bite from a spider. Common species of spiders that can find themselves in your California home can include:

  • Southern House Spider
  • Yellow Sac Spider
  • American House Spider
  • Brown Recluse 
  • Domestic House Spider
  • Daddy Longleg

Mosquito Bites

Mosquito bites are by far the most common type of insect bite. Unless you have a window or door open, you should not expect to get bitten by these pests throughout your night of sleep. A bite can occur when a mosquito pierces the skin with its mouthparts to suck blood. Mosquitoes are attracted to human hosts by their carbon dioxide and body heat. A mosquito bite can cause an itchy, red bump that looks similar to a pimple. As we mentioned with bed bugs causing a cluster of bumps, mosquito bites will look more sporadic and this is because of humans swatting them away, but these annoying pests always want to come back for more. Usually, a mosquito bite will just go away after a couple of days of being itchy, but there are cases of bites that turn into diseases including Malaria, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus. If your property is overrun by mosquitos, look to a pest control company to help rid the issue!

Flea Bites

If you have pets in your home, flea bites can be very common. Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals and humans. These types of bites are most commonly mistaken as bed bug bites as they are both small, red, itchy, and they are usually very hard to see, but their bites are easy to spot. Flea bites will often show up in a line or cluster (similar to the bed bug) as the flea moves around when feeding. The bites can be itchy and uncomfortable, but they are not dangerous. One common indicator that you have flea bites instead of bed bugs is the location of the bites are in. Fleas will usually target your lower body, including your feet, legs, knees, and elbows, as bed bugs target the upper body. 

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

If you have clearly distinguished the difference between bed bug bites and other insect bites, it's time to figure out how you can eradicate any infestation. For a refresher, bed bug bites are red, swollen bumps that will show up in clusters. They can also resemble hives or welts. Although they are not known to transmit disease, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers them a public health issue. Bed bug bites can cause mild to severe allergic reactions and infections. The EPA also warns of anxiety, insomnia, and other mental health issues in people who live with bedbugs. But how do you know if you even have a bed bug problem? In addition to the seams of beds, bed bugs can hide in sofas, electrical outlets, and even under loose wallpaper. Contrary to popular belief, they can be seen with the naked eye, and usually appear as small brown dots, around the size of an apple seed, clustered together.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

There are basic precautions you can take to avoid bed bug infestations, such as washing your clothes in hot water and thoroughly cleaning your entire home to eliminate any clutter and debris. However, if there's a full infestation, you're better off calling in a professional for bed bug treatment. The bugman offers a no-cost inspection and uses state-of-the-art technology to eliminate bedbugs from homes. We service areas throughout Southern California and have been helping the local community for over 60 years now. 

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