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Bed Bug Bites vs. Mosquito Bites

In addition to skin reactions to bites, the primary ways to differentiate bed bug bites and mosquito bites include the differences in bite location on the body, the pattern of bites on the body and the estimated time when a bite occurred.

General Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites vs Mosquito Bites

Mosquito Biting Skin

Mosquito Biting Skin

What are the symptoms for mosquito bites?

Mosquito bite symptoms may include:

  1. Usually appears as puffy white and reddish bumps that begin a few minutes after the bite and become a reddish-brown bump a day or so after the bite.

  2. In some instances a host may have small blisters and dark spots that look like bruises in extreme cases.

  3. Moderately painful, very irritating, itchy and leave round, red or pink mark on the skin.

  4. Mosquito bites may occur anytime during the day, at dusk or at night.

  5. Generally, sensitivity to mosquito bites tends to decrease as the number of times someone is bitten increases. This may partially explain why children are usually more sensitive to mosquito bites than adults.

Picture of bed bug bites on skin

Bed bug bites on skin

What are the symptoms of bed bug bites?

Symptoms of bed bug bites may include:

  1. Can be variable and may result in no visible symptoms at first. Can be almost painless at the time of the bite. In fact, much of the time a person does not even realize they were bitten unless they notice the bite welts.

  2. Reddish bumps on skin, inflammation and red blotches that can become areas of raised, itchy bumps that eventually cause a burning sensation.

  3. Generally, the opposite relationship to number of bites and sensitivity occurs with bed bug bites. Often someone who is bitten by a bed bug doesn’t even realize the bug has fed, but as the number times they are bitten increases, the sensitivity to those bites also increases.

Healing Time of Bed Bug Bites vs Mosquito Bites

How long for bed bug bites to heal?

Bed bug bites may persist for a few days or even longer after being bitten.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Overnight

Getting rid of bed bug bites can vary from person to person and may not completely heal overnight but you can take steps to help in the process of healing by:

  1. Cleaning and washing the area bitten with mild soap

  2. Apply topical treatments or talking with your doctor on taking oral antihistamines to help with itching and inflammation

  3. Try not to scratch the bitten area

  4. To help with swelling and discomfort, use an ice cube or cold compress

How long for mosquito bites to heal?

Mosquito bites usually clear up and “heal” within a few days to a week after being bitten.

How to Get Rid of Mosquito Bites Overnight

Getting rid of a mosquito bite can vary from person to person and may not completely heal overnight but you can take steps to help in the process of healing by:

  1. Cleaning and washing the area bitten

  2. Apply topical treatments to help with itching and inflammation

  3. Avoiding scratching the area bitten

  4. Use an ice cube or cold compress to help with swelling and discomfort.

Bite Sites of Bed Bugs vs Mosquitoes

Where do mosquitoes bite?

Mosquito bites are generally distributed in a random manner over parts of the body that are not protected by clothing (legs, face, back neck, etc.).

Where do bed bugs bite?

Bed bug bites are more clustered and often occur in a distinct bite pattern that can be described as being multiple and arranged in a linear or circular fashion. Common locations include the neck, face, back, chest, arms, legs and around the crotch.

Signs & Characteristics of Bed Bug Bites vs Mosquito Bites

Small Rust Like Stain on Bed Sheets

In many instances a bed bug is unable to digest all of the blood meal it takes from a host, so it may actually excrete a portion of that blood meal onto the sheets the host is sleeping on. Therefore a sign that you have bed bugs is if you see small, round bloodstains on your sheets, chances are good that a bed bug fed on you during the night.

Check and Compare for Bite Marks

Hosts for both mosquitoes and bed bugs vary in attractiveness to the insects, which points out that both of these insects may bite one person and almost completely ignore someone else who is nearby. This behavior is very important to recognize since bed bugs are known to bite one person who is asleep and not bite another person who is asleep nearby.

Lifecycle Difference Bed Bugs vs Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes develop by complete metamorphosis, which means they go through four stages in their developmental cycle that is entirely different – egg, larvae, pupae and adults. Only the female mosquito adult bites and feeds on blood.

Bed Bug Lifecycle

Bed bugs develop by incomplete metamorphosis, which means they go through only three life stages – egg, nymphs and adults – and both the male and female nymphs and adults feed on blood.

Bed Bug vs Mosquito Disease Transmission Potential

  • Mosquitoes are known transmitters of many diseases that affect people or animals.

  • Bed bugs are not proven transmitters of any known diseases to people or animals.

  • If someone continues to scratch either mosquito or bed bug bites and does not keep the bite clean and medicated, there is a risk of a secondary infection.

Schedule Pest Control Services for Bed Bugs and Mosquitoes

Should either mosquitoes or bed bugs become a pest issue, the best course of action is to contact your pest management professional. It is important to request an inspection, plus an integrated management plan that includes science-based information, recommendations, products and methods to be used.

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