Mosquito bites and bed bug bites have common traits that sometimes make it difficult to tell the difference. Similar to mosquito bites, bed bug bites aren’t actually “bites.” The mosquito, like the bed bug, feeds on blood. Therefore, what may think are bites are actually an allergic reaction that results from having an anticoagulant injected into the blood, used for feeding. This allergic reaction may result in an itch and raised red marks on the skin.
There are, however, several differences to look out for and distinguishing between mosquito bites and bed bug bites is key to identifying the presence of bed bugs in your home. Bed bug bites look and feel different from mosquito bites. For instance, mosquito bites start itching faster than bed bug bites, but they go away sooner. Bed bug bites usually come in clusters, whereas mosquito bites are usually single red welts. Bites from bed bugs can cause some people to have a rash around the site of the bite—not a mosquito bite trait. And finally, bed bug bites also leave a disgusting “calling card” of spots of digested blood on the sheets. Nevertheless, you can use some context clues to decipher which insect is your culprit.
Here are some things that will help you determine if you’re dealing with bed bugs or mosquitos:
1. Bed bug bites occur in clusters.
One of the best ways to tell the differences between bed bug bites vs mosquito bites is to look at where the bites are occurring on your body. Mosquito bites usually occur on their own in random and isolated spots. They also typically occur on exposed skin. On the other hand, bed bug bites appear in clusters. Because they can crawl under your clothing, bed bug bites can occur anywhere on your body. The pattern of bites from bed bugs usually appears in a straight line.
2. Mosquito bites don’t last as long.
As much as you might despise mosquito bites, the great thing to remember is that they will disappear soon if you leave them alone which makes telling them apart from bed bug bites easier. So while the mosquito bit begins to itch almost instantly, the unsightly red bumps and the itching sensation that come along with the bites can only last hours or days. Most bites from bed bugs will heal within one to two weeks of appearing and not cause any long-term problems. Those with stronger sensitivities to insect bites may take up to three weeks or longer to heal.
3. WHO they bite.
Mosquitos don’t typically limit their bites to humans. They will feed off other animals, unlike bed bugs, who prefer easy access to their food supply. Bed bugs don’t like having to go through hair, fur or feathers. That being said, mosquitos come in several different species. Those different species of mosquitoes have different preferences for where they get their meals, and some of them prefer humans over other animals.
4. Bed bugs may leave a surprise on your bedsheets.
Have you noticed any red stains on your bed sheets? One tell-tale sign that you’ve been bitten by a bed bug is when you find bloodstains on your bedsheets. If you discover stains and bite marks on your body, it’s a pretty good indication you’re dealing with bed bugs and not mosquitoes.
5. Bed bug bites may be accompanied by a rash.
Visually, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish between bed bug and mosquito bites – especially since everyone reacts to bed bug bites differently. Depending on how allergic you are to the anticoagulant bed bugs inject into your skin, you may see a rash around the bite sites. BED BUG PRO recommends that if your skin does develop a rash, you should avoid scratching the affected area and contact a medical professional before it becomes infected.
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