Fleas are tiny black colored bugs which can cause painful bites. It is difficult to control them without the help of professional team. You are more prone to flea bites if you have pets at home than others. These tiny black or brownish insects about 1/12 inches long but can jump easily to any height and are capable of reproducing in no time. They mainly live on cats and dogs in your home and can easily bite you without your knowledge.
Flea bites can be itchy and painful and you may have signs of red spots on the affected skin, rashes, and swelling around the bite. Flea bites can cause distinctive reddish halo in the site. Apart from these problems fleas can easily transmit diseases like plaque and typhus. Often, your legs and ankles are vulnerable places of flea bites apart from wrist, armpits and groin.
If you observe your dogs/cats licking and scratching a lot, it could be due to flea bites. Mild flea bites can be managed with home remedies like Aloe Vera gel, ointments and ice packs but severe forms have to be treated medically if hives are formed in the skin. It is true that fleas are able to store volumes of blood measuring about 15 times of their weight.
When compared with fleas, bed bugs would not have wings and both are tiny oval shaped insects. Color of both bed bugs and fleas are of brownish black or reddish black. Bed bugs feed on humans and animals like that of fleas. The symptoms of flea bites and bed bug bites are similar. Bites of both these insects would produce swelling on the skin with tiny red spot on the affected site. It can also cause hives and blisters in severe cases. Like fleas, areas like arms, legs and face and other exposed parts of body, are highly vulnerable for bites of bed bugs.
Both fleabites and bed bug bites have similar symptoms of itchy feeling and tiny red blisters on the skin.
Symptoms Of Flea Bites :
- Very itchy
- The skin becomes sore and painful
- Red spots with a halo is seen
- Rash or hives on the skin
- You cannot control scratching of skin if you are attacked by fleas
- Swelling of skin in the place of bite
Symptoms Of Bed Bugs Bite :
- Symptoms are mild and many times it gets unnoticed
- Bed bugs bite resemble mosquito bite in many cases
- Mild itchy feeling several days after getting bitten
- Tiny red lesions looking like welt or raised bump
- Scarring of skin after repeated bites
- Disturbed sleep since bed bug bites you only during night.
- Symptoms of bed bug bites may take many days to appear.
Flea bites can cause itching almost instantly and they appear in clusters. Bed bug bites are often found in rows and not in groups. Both can trigger allergic reaction in your body causing swelling and rashes.
Where Do They Live ?
- Fleas are commonly found in pets in your house. If there is no pet in your house, fleas grow on the yard where you have tall grasses and piled blocks of wood.
- Bed bugs are largely found in cots, pillows, mattress and the place where you sleep.
Read more on Insect Bites
Which Is More Harmful ?
Fleas are obviously more harmful than bed bugs, because it transmits disease by injecting bacteria and other micro-organisms during their bite. Bed bugs generally do not carry any parasites and they bite only to suck your blood.
- OTC antihistamines are effective in controlling the symptoms of flea bites.
- You can apply calamine lotion or Caladryl liberally on the area of flea bite. In case of severe itching, you can take diphenylhydramine like Benadryl for a day or two.
- Bed bug bites often needs no treatment. It can cause itchy feeling on the skin which can be managed by antihistamines.
Home Remedies :
- Apply ice packs to reduce swelling and control itching.
- Use Aloe Vera gel on the affected area daily to reduce itchy feeling.
- Alternatively, you can use Witch hazel or white vinegar on the affected skin.
- Avoid scratching of skin since it may worsen the irritation.
- Home remedies like application of ice packs are effective in getting relief from itching. Any antiseptic cream will do the job to control itchiness from bed bug bites.
- Unless you are severely bitten by bed bugs no medical treatment is needed.
- For persistent itching, you can consult your doctor to take strong antihistamines. Benadryl and similar drugs are useful in controlling itching and skin irritation.
- In severe cases hydrocortisone cream is prescribed for bed bug bites. For some people, if the doctor suspects secondary infection, antibiotic ointments are given for topical application.
Ways To Prevent Flea Bites & Bed Bug Bites :
Firstly you need to check the health condition of your pets. Get it checked with a Vet who can give suitable medication to control fleas in them.
- If your dog or cat is seriously scratching then it can be a sign of fleas.
- You can seek help of professional pest control team if you have large number of fleas at home.
- Fleas are known to cause plague, bartonellosis, Typhus and tapeworm diseases, and hence you should take enough care not to get fleas at home.
- Bed bugs are known to hide in places like upholstery, furniture, box springs, bed frames, clutter and sofa. They are also found in unclean hospitals, hotels, shelters, military barracks and in apartments. They often hide in small places and even if you are shifting your house it bites you even in the new place.
- You can identify bed bugs presence by checking for their droppings which are nothing but tiny black dots.