When something unseen bites you inside your house, the culprit may be either a flea, or a bed bug.

While bed bugs and fleas are both arthropods, and both are extremely small, they are remarkably different from each other.

In this short post, we tell you how to differentiate between these two annoying creatures.

General differences


Bed bugs or fleas, they bite you and irritate you. But, they are not the same thing. In general, fleas differ from bed bugs in the sense that they prefer to feed on furry dogs and cats, while bed bugs like to feast on human skin. Adult fleas can live for just about 2 weeks in the absence of food, but adult bed bugs can stay alive for up to 1 year in the same conditions! Other than that, an adult flea can lay up to 300 eggs within just a single week. An adult bed bug, on the other hand, can lay about 200 eggs in its whole lifetime. In addition to that, bed bugs cannot jump while fleas can jump up to about 200 times their length. As far as pathogens carried by bed bugs and fleas, fleas can spread typhus, plague and certain other diseases. Bedbugs are quite harmless in this regard.

Determining the culprit


Basic differences are all well and good, but how do you actually tell whether your bite is from a flea or bedbug?

Well, bed bugs look like flat seeds, and have a reddish brown colour. They tend to be between 1.5mm and 5mm long. Fleas, on the other hand, look somewhat skinnier and longer. Even though they are similar in size compared to bed bugs, they look a bit oval.

Apart from considering the above, you can pay attention to where they are found. For instance, bed bugs are likely to be seen on your mattress piping, box spring, baseboard, and hidden crevices and cracks. But, fleas tend to lurk around carpeting and upholstery, often in an area where pets are present. They can be seen merrily clinging to your pets, too.

In addition to taking into account the above information,taking a look at your bite should help. Flea bites look like mosquito bites,and can be found scattered randomly. If you pay attention, you can find a darkerred centre. As far as bites of bed bugs go, they can be regarded as flat welts that are red and somewhat raised. In most cases, such bites appear lined. Flea bites start itching almost immediately and become swollen, while bed bug bites tend to appear only after a few days, itching more and more as time passes.

Fleas or bedbugs, if you find them bothering you, make sure to take immediate steps to exterminate them!