bed bugs bites on back

Bed Bug vs. Mosquito Bites: How to Tell the Difference

April 21, 2021

bed bug bites on skin

Bed bugs and mosquitoes are both insects that love to prey on humans and animals, and they feed on blood to survive. Bites from bed bugs and mosquitoes can look pretty similar at first glance, which makes it difficult to tell which one bit you if you didn’t actually see it happen. By paying close attention to the appearance of the bites and symptoms, you can tell the bites apart. This is important if you want to know the proper treatment for the bites and which plan of attack you need to come up with to rid your home of the biting insects. 

mosquito on skin

Appearance and Location of Bites

Both mosquito and bed bug bites can look like small, red bumps, but with a closer look, you can tell a big difference between the two. Mosquito bites aren’t likely to be a solid red bump. They usually start out puffy and white with a reddish tint to them before becoming brownish-red a day or two later. Bed bug bites are usually completely red and look like pimples, and they can have a red dot in the center where the bug bit you. These bites can also become splotchy. 

The location and pattern of bites also differ depending on which insect they came from. Mosquito bites will be completely random and anywhere you have exposed skin, usually your arms, legs and neck. On the other hand, bed bug bites tend to be in clusters in a linear, circular or zigzag pattern. Mosquito bites will disappear after a day or two, and bed bug bites can last for several days.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites vs. Mosquito Bites

Another commonality between bed bug bites and mosquito bites is that they can itch. However, mosquito bites can feel itchy almost instantly, while it can take hours for bed bug bite symptoms to appear. With mosquito bites, you need to worry about the potential transmission of diseases like malaria, Zika and West Nile. Bed bugs don’t transmit diseases, but they can become infected if scratched and not kept clean.

Finding Bed Bugs

bed bug on sheets

If you still aren’t sure what type of bite you have, look for the source. It’s harder to find mosquitoes since they can exist anywhere outdoors and even in your home, but you can easily rule out bed bugs by checking your bed. You will want to look at your mattress, box spring, bed frame and furniture within a few feet of where you sleep. If you find bugs in these areas, then your bites are likely from bed bugs. If you don’t find any bugs, then chances are your bites are from a mosquito or other insect. 

Mosquito and Pest Control

Mosquitoes, bed bugs and other insects are not pests you want around your home. To get rid of bed bugs and mosquitoes, bring in a trained professional to perform a pest control service. At MosquitoNix®, we offer a range of mosquito control services to meet the needs of your home or property. We also offer pest control services that cover flies, ants, bed bugs, ticks and more. Ready to get started? Request a free quote today.

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