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Bed Bug Bites vs Flea Bites: The Key Differences Explained

Published May 26th, 2020 by Vision Pest Control

You've been itching like crazy lately. When you look at your arms and legs to find out the cause, you’re met with the sight of little red bumps. This leaves you tearing your bed apart on the hunt for the dreaded bed bugs. 

Take a deep breath. Your problem may not be rooted in the worst-case scenario. If you have any pets that come in and out of the house on a normal basis, you might be dealing with fleas.

So, bed bug bites vs flea bites, how do you tell the difference? The two bugs have different bite symptoms, developments, patterns, and frequencies. Keep reading to learn more about how to tell them apart.

Bite Symptoms

The first thing you have to look at is your symptoms. If you're dealing with bed bugs, you won't know for a while. Most people don't experience itching or burning until 48 hours after they've been bitten. 

There are some people that never feel anything at all from it. Flea bites on the other hand, are a different story. 

When a flea bites you, you'll start to experience swelling and itching within an hour at most. 


Flea bites and bed bug bites look quite similar but they do have a few different characteristics. Flea bites are dark red in the center. Over time, they may turn into blisters, and if you scratch them you'll risk infection. 

Bed bug bites appear as a small red rash. It might swell after a few days and will produce blisters and bleeding in severe cases. 


When fleas bite you, you'll notice a cluster of red bumps. They may form a line which is when identifying what bite you have gets confusing. 

Bed bug bites also form a line. The difference is that with bed bugs, it's more spaced out. They bite you, walk forward a little bit, and then bite you again. 


If you're dealing with fleas, you'll notice the little red bumps appear on you a lot more often. Fleas bite and feed whenever they are presented with the chance to do so. 

Bed bugs only feed every three days or so. They also don't really come out during the day to feed, so it's easy to spot a pattern. 

How to Look for Them

If you're still not sure if you're facing flea bites or bed bugs, there is one surefire way to tell and that is to look for them. 

Fleas are going to prefer your pet a lot more than you. Run a flea comb through their fur and look for bugs and eggs

As the name suggests, when looking for bed bugs, start with the bed.  Check your sheets for brown, rust-colored stains. These result when you roll over them in your sleep. 

Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea Bites: What's the Difference? 

Bed bug bites vs flea bites, how does someone tell which one they're dealing with? While the two are quite similar they do have different bite patterns and frequencies that will allow you to ID them and get rid of them pronto. 

If it's bed bugs you're having a problem with, we specialize in removing them. Contact us to find out more about what we can do for you.  

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