Bed Bug Bites vs Mosquito Bites

bed bug on fabric

At first glance, it seems difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate bed bug bites vs mosquito bites. Once you dig into the details, however, there are some noticeable differences between the two. This is key, because if you’re dealing with bed bugs, you need to know! 

Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

Bed bug bites are small, red, and very uncomfortable! However, you actually don’t notice any discomfort until hours after the bite occurs. Even then, the red bumps will appear before itching starts. Here are some more things to expect from a bed bug bite:

  • Itchiness & burning
  • Arranged in lines on your skin
  • Reactions ranging from nothing to hives or anaphylaxis
  • Bite marks that last for about 2 weeks

What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

The appearance of bed bug bites are very similar to mosquito bites. They are red bumps that are approximately ¼” in size and can itch intensely. Unlike bites from mosquitos, bites from bed bugs tend to be a cluster of 3 or 4 bites close together in a linear or zig-zag pattern. This happens when the same bed bug goes back for multiple feedings in one night in slightly different, close-by locations.

Mosquito Bite Symptoms

Unfortunately, we’re all familiar with mosquito bites. When a mosquito bites, it starts to itch almost instantaneously and then a puffy, red bump emerges. As time goes on, the bite area hardens, but remains itchy. Additional symptoms of mosquito bites include: 

  • Swelling and redness around the bite site
  • Reactions that last for 3 or 4 days
  • Severe reactions including low-grade fever, hives, & swollen lymph nodes
  • The onset of diseases such as West Nile, Zika, and Malaria

What do Mosquito Bites Look Like?

Depending on how long ago you were bitten, bumps from mosquito bites can appear to have a white and puffy center or they can look red and firm. They are larger in size than the typical bed bug bite mark. The skin around the bite may be red and swollen. Mosquitos bite randomly, so there will be only one bite or multiple bites with no set pattern.

Location of Bites

Mosquito bites can be found anywhere on the body, and can even bite through clothing! They often go for bare skin or areas where clothing is thinner. Bed bugs, on the other hand, must be in contact with bare skin to bite. Because of this, their bites are typically found on exposed skin that touches the mattress, such as the arms, hands, face, and neck. They have also been seen on the legs and torso, since they sometimes crawl inside their victim’s clothing.

Signs of Bed Bugs

If you suspect that you have been bitten by bed bugs, you can look for other signs that may point to a bed bug infestation. These include:

  • Living bed bugs in the folds of your sheets and mattress.
  • A musty odor that isn’t from a wet towel or dirty laundry.
  • Tiny polka-dotted blood stains or dark, rusty colored spots on your sheets and mattress.
  • Discarded exo-skeletons and tiny white eggs in the crevices of your mattress and furniture.

Professional Bed Bug Treatment

If you have bed bug bites or have noticed any other signs of a bed bug infestation, you need professional bed bug treatment as soon as possible! If you’re looking for effective local bed bug control, look no further. Here at Beach Pest Service, we pride ourselves in getting the job done right, and offer a satisfaction guarantee on all of our services. Contact us now and save $100 on bed bug treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do mosquito bites itch more at night?

We've all noticed it. Mosquito bites that haven't really bothered us during the day all of a sudden itch like crazy. As our bodies get ready to go to sleep, histamine production increases, which is what causes us to itch. At the same time, cortisol, which is the body’s own anti-inflammatory that helps reduce itching, decreases at night. We also have less to focus on at night, making the itching harder to ignore. This perfect storm explains why mosquito bites itch more at night.

Bed bugs vs flea bites: what’s the difference?

The first difference is the bite location. Bed bug bites appear primarily on the arms, hands, face, and neck. Fleas target feet, legs, armpits, elbows, and knees. Both have red bumps that itch, but there is often a darker red spot in the middle of bed bug bites. Lastly, only bed bug bites have a recognizable pattern to them. Flea bites are in a random pattern.

What do mosquito bites look like on dogs?

Dogs and other pets react to a mosquito bite in a very similar manner as humans do. They can experience localized swelling, redness, and even hives.

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