Bites from bed bugs and mosquitoes are both red and itchy and may seem similar. However, they come from separate creatures and have a few different characteristics. Differentiating mosquito vs. bed bug bites can be tough to settle.
That’s why it’s necessary to consider the little hints and clues that can help you discover which insect bit you.
Having the knowledge to distinguish between bed bug vs. mosquito bites can equip individuals to aid appropriately to the bites they get and to take extra precautions to prevent getting bites again.
With the proper information, you can examine which treatment suits to aid your bites to eliminate the itchy and irritating feeling.
Don’t wait any longer for the itch and irritation to worsen!
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny, oblong, brown bugs that survive the blood of human beings or pets. This bug cannot fly. However, they can move quickly over ceilings and floorings.
Women bed bugs can lay thousands of eggs – each of which has a size of a bit of dirt. Bed bugs need to eat at least every 14 days to be able to mate and generate eggs. But they can also endure or survive approximately a year without eating.
Bed bugs do not have nests like as ants. But they tend to reside in clusters in hidden areas.
They usually hide in cushions, box springs, bed frameworks, and headboards where they have easier access to individuals to attack in the evening.
Bed bugs are generally active during the night and while individuals are resting. They feed by taking out and puncturing the skin blood with a long beak.
Bed Bug Bites
Just as with other bites, individuals react differently to bed bug bites. It can take hours or days for these reactions to show up. Some individuals react to bed bug bites bothersome and itchy, while some people would have worse and painful reactions to bed bug bites.
Individuals usually get several bed bug bites at a time, often in groups of three to five. The bites themselves are itchy, irritating, and red. In some cases, bed bug bites have a sore or blister on the top.
Bed bugs live on blood and are primarily active at night, so bites tend to show up where the skin is exposed at night.
Bed bugs’ infestations can also be seen by finding bed bug molt skins in the bed – even their eggs, empty eggshells, or the pests themselves. They are still noticeable to the human eye, although small in appearance.
Bed bug molt skins along with their eggshells show up light white after emerging from the eggshell.
What Are Mosquitos?
Mosquitos are part of the “fly” family. Although mosquitos are tiny and have a short span of life, they can harm human beings.
From their itchy bites to the diseases they carry, mosquitos are usually annoying and occasionally downright dangerous.
Mosquitos inhabit the lawns and shrubs located near areas where people live. Their preferred breeding place is standing water.
They can spread out sickness in human beings and animals too. Mosquitos select their human targets based upon the scent of carbon dioxide and other chemicals in your sweat.
Women mosquitoes possess long, tubular mouth parts that permit them to puncture your skin and feed on to your blood. They infuse saliva into your body while siphoning your blood when they attack you.
Female mosquitoes are the only mosquitoes that bite, and the contact must last for at least 6 seconds for enough mosquito saliva to enter the bloodstream and cause a reaction.
Mosquito bites resemble red bumps with a puncture wound in the center. Occasionally, if a person is very sensitive, they can produce welts, or larger raised areas.
The bites itch because of the way the immune system responds to mosquito saliva.
Mosquitoes are most likely to bite in the dark, between sunset and sunrise. Carbon dioxide, human sweat, and warmth may attract mosquitoes.
Differences Between Bed Bugs Bites and Mosquito Bites
Bites by mosquitoes and bed bugs have different characteristics on a person’s skin and in several other ways.
Bed bug bites usually occur in a cluster and often in a distinct pattern, such as a line or a zigzag. Typically, bites tend to occur in areas that an individual exposes during sleep.
Mosquito bites, on the other hand, are generally isolated and appear randomly over parts of the body that clothing does not cover.
People typically do not feel bed bug bites and reactions may present hours or days later. Without further irritation, symptoms typically resolve after a week or so.
Conversely, mosquito bites may be instantly itchy and visible. Typically, they get better after 1 or 2 days.
In addition to itching and irritation, mosquito bites can spread serious diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these diseases kill more than 725,000 people around the world each year.
Although they transmit many diseases, common mosquito-borne diseases include:
- West Nile fever
- dengue fever
Unlike mosquitoes, bed bugs are not believed to spread deseases.
The symptoms of bed bug bites and mosquito bites can be distinguishable, which may help people identify which type they have.
Bed bug bites
Symptoms of bed bugs include:
- small, raised, red bumps in groups of three to five
- bumps often appear in a zigzag pattern on the hands, arms, shoulders, neck, face, and legs
- bumps are itchy and may come with a blister
The symptoms of mosquito bites for most people are itchy, red bumps with puncture wounds in the middle. They usually appear within a few hours or days after the bite.
People who are allergic to mosquito bites may also develop:
- swollen joints
- anaphylaxis in those with severe allergies
Keeping a bite or bites clean and dry can help them heal. While it’s tempting, you shouldn’t itch or scratch. This increases the risk of infection and only irritates the skin more.
You don’t typically need to treat mosquito bites. Ones that are especially itchy may be soothed by applying a topical antihistamine cream. Applying a cloth-covered ice pack and keeping the affected area clean with soap and water can help.
Bed bug bites
You can treat most bed bug bites without a doctor’s prescription. Treatments include:
- applying a cold compress
- applying a topical anti-itch or steroid cream to the affected areas
- taking an oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl
Treating bed bug bites also involves getting rid of the bugs from your home, if you think you were bitten at home. Bed bugs can live for up to a year between feedings. As a result, it’s important to call a professional exterminator who can get rid of bed bugs. This should be followed by cleaning a bedroom free of papers and covering up crevices that bed bugs can live in.