Flea Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites – What is the Difference

Most of the people find it as a hard task to figure out the difference in between flea bites and bed bug bites. As you already know, both fleas and bed bugs are in need of blood meals and they depend on warm blooded animals.

In fact, they need blood to survive in all the stages of their lives, except the eggs. The mouth parts of both these insects have specifically been designed in a way such that they can pierce the skin and suck blood from the hosts. Here is a detailed comparison of the distinguishable features that you can see in bed bug bites and flea bites. These features would assist you to figure out the exact type of bite and go for the best possible treatment accordingly.

flea bites look like

flea bites look like

bed bug bites look like

bed bug bites look like.Photo Credit:wikipedia

Distinguishable features of flea bites

People who have pets such as cats and dogs in the home will usually have to experience flea bites. Both chicken fleas and human fleas are common, based on the availability of host animals and the area. The flea bites would leave several signs, which can usually be found in your lower legs and arms. If you are a pet owner who experience intense scratching, there is a high chance for the occurrence of flea bites. Fleas tend to bite human beings, especially kids in the absence of host animals. Even though fleas prefer to hide themselves in hairy or furry animals, they are not shy to stay away from human beings.

How can you identify a flea bite?

The flea bites usually include itchy, swollen and raised red colored bumps on your skin. Usually they appear on arms, lower legs or any other part of the body that is exposed to the environment under the edges of your clothes. The red colored bumps or wheels would develop to form blisters along with time. This can take place within a couple of days. People who get flea bites tend to scratch them intensely.

However, intense scratching could create secondary skin infections and open wounds, which could worsen the things. You should also keep in mind that there are individuals who do not show any reaction to flea bites. It entirely depends on the strength of the immune system. On the other hand, there are people who experience nasty reactions from flea bites, which are worsen than the mentioned symptoms.

Treatments for flea bites

You can easily deal with the symptoms of flea bites at your home. Most importantly, you should develop the ability to resist the urge for scratching the place where flea bites have taken place. Otherwise, you will have to deal with worsen symptoms such as open wounds. You need to clean the area with water and soap as soon as you recognize the bite. Then you can dry it using a clean towel. This method would assist you to reduce the degree of infection. You can think of applying some hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion in order to relieve the itching. Or else, you can simply keep a cold compress on top of the infected area. It would be better to keep it several times a day because it can reduce the amount of inflammation and swelling in an effective manner.

Distinguishable features of bed bug bites

People who get bed bug bites will have to experience swollen bumps, red colored welts and rashes on the body parts that are exposed to the environment. Usually people get bed bug bites in their backs, neck, legs and arms. The bed bug bites can be referred to a nightmare in most of the cases. That’s mainly because these insects love to hide themselves during the day time and they only come out when they feel carbon dioxide and warmth generated by people who are in sleep.

Some people do not even realize whether they have been bitten by bed bugs. Only the people who have a sensitive skin would feel it. The sensitive people can develop an allergic reaction after the bites. This takes place because of the enzymes and protein that is present in the saliva of bed bugs. As a result, you will have to experience a variety of symbols. The most prominent symptom out of them is the appearance of red colored spots that are extremely itchy. These spots are surrounded by redness as well.


The bed bug bites can usually be seen in the form of rows or linear bands. As mentioned earlier, they are visible mainly on face, legs, arms and neck. Just like flea bites, some people do not get these symptoms of bed bug bites at all. However, hypersensitive people will have to experience hives, blistering, itching and redness due to bed bug bites.

Treatments for bed bug bites

No specific treatment is required for bed bug bites and the symptoms would go away along with time. However, you need to be careful not to scratch them. In case if you get itchy bites, you can think of treating them with oral antihistamines or tropical steroid creams. Of course oral antibiotics have the ability to treat bed bug bite infections.
Now you have a clear understanding about the distinguishable characteristics of bed bug bites and flea bites.


If you notice these symptoms, you can think of going through the above mentioned treatment methods. The next step would be to take necessary measures so that you will not get any flea bites or bed bug bites in the future. Cleaning your home and paying special attention towards the cleanliness of your pets can help you to stay away from these conditions. If the things are out of your control, you can think of seeking the assistance of a reputed pest control expert.

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