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Bed Bugs vs. Scabies

Differences Between Scabies and Bed Bugs

Since they both rely on human hosts for survival, scabies and bed bugs are spread in a similar fashion. However, they use humans differently.

Bed bugs are insects that hide in mattresses and headboards, sucking blood from unaware hosts at night. After feeding, they go back into hiding. Though they usually take regular blood meals, the pests have been known to go over a year without eating. The rashes they can leave behind are blotchy and itchy, appearing on the exposed skin where the bug has bitten.

Scabies mites don't feed on blood, but they cannot live for more than three days without a human host. They burrow under flesh in order to lay eggs, which take about 10 days to hatch, and stay there for up to two months. Scabies rashes tend to look streakier and scalier than those of bed bugs and commonly affect the armpits, stomach, and genital regions.

Scabies vs. Bed Bugs: How Do They Spread?

Scabies and bed bugs have lived alongside humans for thousands of years. Close contact with infected individuals, such as hugging, is enough to spread both of these pests. Shared towels, clothing, and bedding also puts people at risk of infestation, and the pests can travel to homes from hotel rooms by latching onto luggage and personal items.

While bed bug infestations are difficult to contain, scabies can be eliminated in a few days with a topical cream prescribed by a doctor.

Identify Scabies vs. Bed Bugs

While the marks created by scabies can be hard to see, bed bug rashes are more easily to noticed. Unfortunately, they can also be confused with a number of other skin-related issues.

Scabies mites die within days if not latched on a human, but bed bugs can go months without feeding. This is the main reason why bed bugs are generally tougher to get rid of than scabies.

If you suspect scabies, please consult with a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. If bed bugs are causing problems in the home, call Orkin for professional and effective pest control assistance.


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