How to Differentiate Between Fleas and Bed Bugs?

Fleas and Bed Bugs are both insects that feed on human blood, but they are yet very different!

Characteristics

Fleas

  • Adult fleas are brown in colour
  • They can reach the size of 3mm in length.
  • They have a flat body with bristles facing back
  • Their hind legs allow them to jump 50 times their body size.
  • They have claws on their legs to give them grip
  • Their adult mouth can pierce through the skin which allows them to suck your blood.

 

Bed Bugs:

  • Bed bugs are brown and sometimes reddish in colour.
  • They are 5mm in length and 2mm in width.
  • They have a flat vertical and oval appearance.
  • They cannot fly.
  • They feed on a variety of sources and even on humans when there is no other prey available.
  • Bed bugs are more resilient
  • can withstand a great variety of temperatures and atmospheres

 

Habitat

Fleas:  

  • prefer damp and dark places.
  • They can be found in places that retain moisture such as cushioned furniture, cracks along the wall and between the floor boarding.
  • The larvae spin a cocoon in which they stay in until they mature and can stay there for up to 5 months.
  • Fleas are activated to mature when they sense a mammal nearby through the vibrations caused by movement or their carbon dioxide emissions.

 

Bed Bugs:

  • Besides living in your bed, bed bugs can live in backpacks, car seats, suitcases, cushioning and even your shoes.
  • Bed bugs love fabric and dark cracks
  • They are resistant to mechanical pressure which allows them to hide in plain sight.
  • They do not stick to their food source like fleas do but instead wait and feed in the night when people are asleep.

Bite patterns

Fleas:

  • generally, prick near the ankle and the leg.
  • The prick can be felt instantaneously and gets red within an hour.
  • The swelling is similar to a mosquito bites swelling but is comparatively smaller.
  • Their bites don’t have a particular pattern but are random.

Bedbugs

  • Bedbugs have the ability to bite you anywhere
  • They bite where the skin is exposed such as the neck, face, arms and the hands.
  • Their bites are rough and may swell
  • There may be a red dot in the centre of the bite
  • Their bites are mainly in a cluster and linear.

 

Consequences

Fleas

  • Continuously scratching a flea bite can cause an infection.
  • Rubbing lavender oil can help soothe your skin and help remove any discomfort.
  • The itching is the skin’s natural reaction to their saliva and not because of the bite.

 

Bed Bugs:

  • Just like flea bites, bed bug bites itch too and can potentially cause infection.
  • Some have reported allergic reactions due to their bites
  • Even though bed bugs can carry diseases study shows that they do not transmit them.
  • Bed bug bites affect sleep and mental health due to disturbance of sleep

 

If you are being bitten contact Sydney’s Best Pest Controls experienced customer service team on 1300 760 045 for free advice and quote