Tick vs Bed bug: Same look, Different Bite

Tick vs Bed bug: Same look, Different Bite

Tick vs Bed Bug… aren’t they the same?
If you question a person off the street about ticks and bed bugs; after a puzzled look, they may tell you “aren’t they the same?”. But, that’s where the misconception lies.

What Are Ticks?

As mentioned above, ticks are arachnids (the class of spiders!) that are wingless, tiny ectoparasites; which mean they attach to a host, climb to the end of leaves, and attach themselves on any passing host. Ticks typically have eight legs and can be easily found hiding in leaves, shrubs, and plants due to their parasitic nature. Like any other arachnid, there are many different types of ticks such as the cattle tick or deer tick; they are classified into three families: hard ticks, soft ticks, and Nuttalliellidae.

How do Ticks Bite?

All ticks similarly feed on their victims; by inserting their pincers into the host and secreting an anticoagulant to prevent blood clotting; giving rise to bumps. Ticks move so easily and precisely due to their Haller’s organ; a sensory organ that allows ticks to detect odor and chemical changes.

You can probably guess by their name, that the most common place to find bed bugs is…the bed. But more specifically, they hide in the crevices and cracks of couches, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. Bed bugs can survive in any type of furnitures such as a bed table, dresser, or any place from where they can get to their victim easily.

If you notice that the bites on you are mostly arranged in a line pattern or a cluster, chances are they are from bed bugs. If you find them on your face, neck, arms, and hands more than other places, that’s more evidence for bed bugs. Most bed bug bites itch and can lead to allergic reactions, but this depends on the individual.

Tick vs Bed Bug – Difference Table

Feature Tick Bed Bug
Appearance 8 Legs, No antenna
Size 1-2mm 3-5mm
Habitat Outdoors, high grassland Indoors, bed area
Food Human and animal blood Typically human blood
Bite Appearance Single bite Multiple bites around the host’s body
When they are active All the time Early morning, late night

Difference between Tick and Bed bug

There is a handful of differences between ticks vs bed bugs as outlined in the table above, but the two major differences are the following:


When we talk about the habitat of both these microorganisms, there is a huge difference in their home of choice. Ticks are typically found in outdoor environments such as high grasslands, leaves, plants, shrubs, and weeds. If you are trying to locate them on a victim or your own body, focus on areas such as arms, stomach, hair and the area behind the ears.

On the other hand, bed bugs are predominantly found in pieces of furniture such as bed cracks, frames, and side tables. They can also be found in furniture close to the bed or cluttered areas. Basically, any place where they can conveniently hide and travel to their host from.

Bite marks

But they all look like spider bites?…well..

Another major difference between ticks and bed bugs is their bite marks. If you notice a single bite which is itchy; it is probably from a tick as they typically stick to one spot until they are fully gorged. Tick bites are red but small and are close to one another.

Bed bug bites typically involve multiple bites, whose bites are usually in a pattern all over your body, and are more swollen and hard looking.


There are few similarities between the two, mostly restricted to the choice of hosts and appearances.

  • Both are flat, wingless parasites that are reddish-brownish in color and are considered microorganisms due to their microscopic size, and are oval and flattened creatures.
  • Ticks and bed bugs both feed on animal and human blood, bed bugs prefer human blood over animals and the opposite is true for ticks, but they feed on the same species.

Symptoms of Ticks vs. Bed Bugs Bite

Appearance of Bites

When we talk about tick bites, they are characterized by a small cluster of dots that are incredibly itchy and are predominantly found on the legs and ankles. As mentioned earlier, ticks are known pathogens, which mean they can cause an infection. Tick bite marks are small and are light red in color.
Bed bugs bites are deep red, hard, and appear to be very swollen. They are itchy, but unlike ticks; the bites can be found all over the body in a pattern. A Bed Bug bite doesn’t result in an infection.

  1. Severe irritation and discomfort can be felt by the victim,
  2. You may also feel stiffness in your neck, persistent headaches, nausea, weakness, fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes alongside weakness when the tick-borne disease rises in severity.
  3. Tick bites often develop into rashes, which is why people mistake them for flea bites or bite from some other insect. They may develop into blisters early, but they fade away and are softer.

If you suspect a tick infestation coming from your pet or a nearby garden, they are most likely to be soft ticks and should be treated accordingly.
When bed bugs bite, the swollen bites turn into a dark red spot which usually stops itching after a while. It is also interesting to note that bed bugs can live more than a year without feeding; this allows them to be highly selective about their victims.

Prevention Tips

To prevent a tick infestation on your body, there are various preventative methods you can take:

  • Try wearing long sleeves and pants while you go outdoors, especially in the woods, gardens, and shrub-concentrated areas as many species of ticks live in grassy areas.
  • Apply a tick repellant especially in your socks and pants and if you are wearing shorts or a skirt, apply the repellent to the exposed parts of your skin.
  • After coming back home from an outdoor event, take a shower or a bath as soon as you can.

To prevent a bed bug infestation, you can take the following preventative measures:

  • It is strongly encouraged that you organize your clothes in vacuum-sealed bags when you travel. Most bed bugs live in hotel mattresses, cupboards, and bed frames.
  • Bed bugs can be easily found by their droppings of black dot-like structures; locate them and vacuum nearby floor and furniture.
  • Eliminate the clutter; especially the boxes you bunched up near the walls.
  • DIY Bed Bug Spray

Infestation Tips

If a tick infestation has already taken hold in your home, there are some added measures you can take to limit and eradicate the nuisance:

  • Try to locate tick-centric locations in your house, and vacuum them up. Ticks, which are not yet attached to your skin, can be vacuumed up.
  • It is strongly advised that you do not smother your skin with alcohol or oil while the tick feeds. These measures can make the tick panic; resulting in it burrowing further into your skin.
  • An added measure is to make the area surrounding your home inhabitable for ticks by weeding out and cutting the overgrown shrubs.
  • Keep a check on your pets as they roam around in grassy areas.

If the bed bugs have already started to bite, take a deep breath. You can still handle a pest infestation by taking the following infestation handling tips:

  • First things first; keep the outbreak from spreading by removing unaffected items from the room and vacuum it.
  • Use foggers which are bug bombs, but use them with extreme care as negligence can result in fire or explosion. The only drawback is that they cannot reach cracks and crevices.
  • Use bed bug monitors that can be placed under the feet of the bed frame to prevent bed bugs from reaching your bed effectively.
  • Identify early signs of bed bugs mentioned above and get help immediately.
  • Call an exterminator


Tick Bites Treatment

Firstly, call or visit your doctor immediately if you observe the symptoms discussed earlier in this article. To elucidate further, the most defining symptom is a rash and then a rising fever.
Many other symptoms to look out for are vomiting, chest pain, abdominal discomfort, sore throat, severe rashes, and cough. These are all signs of a bacterial disease transmitted by ticks.

Most people infected with Lyme disease don’t develop the bull’s eye rash or a very distinctive spotted rash; they may go through the symptoms mentioned above. If detected earlier, these severe diseases can be subsided with an antibiotic course.

Treating Infections Related to Bed Bug Bites

It is unlikely that you will develop an infection from bed bug bites as they aren’t pathogens. But you may develop a skin infection from scratching, for which you should consult your doctor and get a prescription for a well-suited antibiotic.

Bed bugs infestations have become increasingly common due to increased travelling and hotel reservations. Compared to bed bugs, tick infestations are relatively less common but are may carry diseases.

Tick vs Bed Bug – Conclusion

To summarize, there is actually a number of differences between bed bugs and ticks, but the one huge thing they share is that if ignored for a long time, they can really take a toll on your peace of mind. By now, you should be able to observe rashes and bumps on your skin, and quickly tell if it is a bed bug or a tick.


Bed Bugs vs. Ticks

Tick or Bed Bug?

While the differences between a bed bug and a tick can seem small, qualities like breeding habits, preferred habitats and the ability to spread diseases distinguish the two pests and make identification crucial. To deal with a tick or bed bug problem, the first steps are to correctly identify the pest and to find the source of the issue.

How to Identify Ticks vs. Bed Bugs

Since ticks and bed bugs are wingless, oval-shaped, and somewhat flat, it can be tough to tell them apart. Upon close inspection, ticks have eight legs, while bed bugs have six. However, because the pests are small, this may not always be the best way to recognize them.

The easiest time for bed bug vs. tick identification is after the pests feed. Ticks full of blood inflate, making them easier to spot. Normally a reddish-brown color, bed bugs appear darker after a blood meal.

Natural Habitat

Bed bugs and ticks can’t jump or fly, so these pests hitch rides on people, pets, and objects to travel long distances. People and pets usually pick up ticks while walking in tall grass or other tick habitats. On the other hand, bed bugs often attach to luggage at infested hotels or hide inside secondhand furniture.

Infestation Size

The difference between ticks and bed bugs that becomes most obvious over time is their breeding habits. Because few species of ticks reproduce in homes, residents with mass numbers of pests indoors are likely not dealing with a tick problem. In contrast, bed bugs breed rapidly in bedrooms and living spaces.

Tick Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites

Identifying a tick bite vs. a bed bug bite by sight alone is difficult. Since bites often affect each person differently, the look or location of bumps on the skin is not a good way to determine the pest responsible. A much more dependable differentiation regarding bites is the fact that while ticks attach themselves to the skin of their host, bed bugs will take a blood meal and then retreat to their nesting site. Regardless, the results of these pests’ feeding can be serious and should not be taken for granted.

There are no scientifically proven diseases that are transmitted by bed bug bites to humans, though some people are allergic to the insects’ saliva. On the other hand, ticks carry a variety of illnesses, including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis spotted fever, and Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI). .

How to Handle an Infestation

Homeowners should act at the first sign of a tick or bed bug problem. DIY control may reduce the number of these pests, but a professional is often required to end an infestation. Call the trained technicians at Orkin to deal with ticks and bed bugs.


Difference between Flea Bites and Bed Bug Bites

Are you questioning whether those bites you discovered on your hands and feet are from bed bugs or fleas? Learn more about difference in between flea bites and bed bug bites, treat these annoying bites, and prepare your home against future infestations.

Difference Between Flea Bites Vs. Bed Bug Bites

How to differ Bed bugs Fleas
Appearance Small, flat, reddish-brown Small, long, red, or brown
Size 4-5 mm long and 1.5-3 mm wide 1.5-3.3 mm long
Disease transmission Does not spread disease Can spread disease
Reaction Itchy, can lead to a rash Bite can be felt, swelling
Identification Dark spots on bedding, eggs and rust stains on sheets Visible on pets
Location Near cracks in bed frame, piping, and seams of mattress On pets and upholstery
Treatment Heat articles of clothing and bedding, use pesticides Vacuum upholstery, beat rugs outdoors, treat pets
Prevention Reduce clutter, use protective casing on mattress, check secondhand furniture before bringing into home Wash pet bedding each week. Vacuum daily.

Have you ever gotten out of bed wondering if that red, itchy spot on your leg was from a flea or bed bug? Although it can be difficult to compare flea bites and bed bug bites there are some ideas that will help you distinguish between the two. Before we examine the distinctions between the two bites it is important that we start by taking a separate look at each bite.

Flea Bites

Characteristics of Flea Bites

Fleas are parasites that obtain nourishment from the blood of their host. Flea bites can quickly be puzzled with ant bites, spider bites, or skin allergic reactions. However there are some clues these bugs leave to assist determine the origin of the bite, according to iytmed.com. One simple method to differentiate in between bites is to take a look at the bite itself. A bite with two puncture marks is more than likely from an ant or spider; whereas, a bite with one leak mark in the center of the bite is most likely from a flea.

There are a number of symptoms connected with flea bites. Here are the most typical symptoms:

  • A red, swollen area appears on the skin about half an hour after the preliminary bite.
  • The infected area reddens and begins to itch. The itch is irritating and constant.
  • Within two days of the bite, the wound can turn into a blister.
  • The constant itching can cause the area to bleed or end up being infected.
  • In uncommon cases, people will have an allergic reaction to the flea bite that can lead to difficulty breathing, chest pain, and hives.

Treatments for Flea Bites

The majority of flea bites can be quickly handled at home. The most important part in handling flea bites is having the ability to resist the desire to scratch the bite. Treat flea bites at home in the following ways:

  • As quickly as you determine the bite, clean the area with soap and water and pat the area dry using a tidy towel. This will help decrease the risk of infection.
  • Apply calamine cream or hydrocortisone cream to ease the itching.
  • Place a cold compress over the affected area, a number of times a day, to decrease the amount of swelling and inflammation.

Preventing Flea Bites

The secret to preventing flea bites is to eliminate the source of the problem. To do this, pet owners have to treat all family pets with flea shampoo or flea spot on treatment liquids. Eliminating fleas from your home can be hard because of the following reasons:

  • Fleas replicate at a worrying rate.
  • Flea eggs can take up to two weeks to hatch.
  • Fleas can live up to 3 months.

To manage fleas, treat all carpeted areas and animal bedding with flea insecticide sprays, foggers, or powders. Because flea eggs can live for weeks inside the home or family pet bedding, a 2nd treatment is frequently required.

If you choose to treat fleas naturally, begin by washing all clothes, bedding, and family pet bedding in hot water. Then dry the materials in the clothes dryer on high heat to help get rid of the insects and kill the eggs. Next sprinkle borax on the carpeted areas, mattresses, and outdoor areas. Enable the borax powder to sit for numerous hours and thenremove with a vacuum. It is exceptionally crucial that you empty the vacuum bag and eliminate the vacuum bag from your the home of prevent reinfestation. Continue this treatment each week approximately one month.

Bed Bug Bites

Characteristics of Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are small, non-flying insects that acquire nourishment from the blood they remove from humans or animals. Although bed bugs can reside in furniture and upholstery, they choose to gather together in beds and bed frames where they feed at night. Bed bugs bites are commonly found on the hands, neck, face, and arms because these areas are most likely to be exposed during sleep. The bumps appear on the skin as flat, small, or raised areas that can become swollen, itchy, red, or blister.

Treatments for Bed Bug Bites

Frequently no treatment is needed for bed bug bites. However, if the bites itch, you can treat them with topical steroid creams or oral antihistamines. A course of oral antibiotics might be prescribed to treat an infection that develops at the bed bug site.

Preventing Bed Bugs

Usually an infestation of bed bugs will need a pest-control specialist due to the fact that bed bugs are highly versatile insects that can live for up to a year without feeding.

You can attempt to spray or dust insecticides to get rid of bed bugs from your home however these products need to be used to all areas where bed bugs gather together consisting of cracks in the furnishings, holes in the walls, and other crevices discovered throughout the residence.Since it is practically difficult to eliminate all bed bugs from a bed or mattress you will need to dispose of all bed mattress and bedding infected with bed bugs.

Pest-control specialists can determine areas in your house where bed bugs conceal or crawl. These specialists can help avoid future bed bug invasions by filling out cracks in the tile, wood floors, and crown moldings and enclosing all mattresses with protective bags.

So the next time you get up with a red, itchy bite on your leg there are some ideas to assist you identify whether the bite was from a flea or bed bug. Here is a fast guide you can describe the next time you get bitten!


Ticks vs. Bed Bugs

Differences between Ticks and Bed Bugs

Though they look similar at a glance, there are several ways to tell the difference between ticks vs. bed bugs. Upon closer inspection, you may recognize some key markers in appearance, behavior, and habitat. It’s important that you know which one you have due to the potential health risks each can cause.


Both pests have flat, brownish bodies that expand after they eat. During a tick’s nymphal stage, it can closely resemble an adult bed bug. However, unlike bed bugs, ticks are not insects. These pests have eight legs, which makes them arachnids.


Hikers, groundkeepers, and children playing in tall grassy fields may encounter ticks. These pests might also hide in brushy areas or leaf litter, so homeowners need to use caution when doing lawn work. They attach themselves to humans and animals, but the host may not notice its presence right away.

Alternatively, bed bugs can enter homes on secondhand furniture, clothing, and bed or bath linens. Travelers can also bring back bed bugs in their luggage if they stay in a hotel with an infestation. Bed bugs prefer human blood, unlike ticks, which will feed on wildlife, people, and pets.

Health Risks

Ticks and bed bugs are most active during the warmer seasons in the Mid-Atlantic, increasing the risk to residents during this time. Bed bug bites produce irritation, itching, and burning near the site, though the pests do not spread disease. Ticks, however, can transmit several pathogens that can cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and babesiosis.

Once inside, these pests can go undetected for some time. You should take action as soon as you suspect an infestation. If you believe you have ticks or bed bugs, call our team of professionals at Western Pest Services.


Difference Between Flea Bites and Bed Bug Bites

When you first notice a bug bite on your body many things come to your mind. The first thing that you must do is to identify the source of the bug bite to ensure that you treat it properly and can remove your home of any bugs that caused the bite. Flea bites and bed bug bites are the most common bites to occur within your home, but you must know how to distinguish the two types of bites. The differences between flea bites and bed bug bites might be slight, but they are evident.

What Are Flea Bites?

Fleas often come into your home from pet carriers like both dogs and cats. They are small and will try to suck blood out of your skin with their jaws that can penetrate flesh with ease. Flea bites can cause allergies in some individuals and are especially harmful to young children. If the flea bite wounds are not treated properly it can lead to infection that only worsens. Common characteristics of flea bites include being small in dimension, itchiness, redness and mostly found on legs and ankles.

What Are Bed Bug Bites?

Bed bug bites look very similar to both flea bites and mosquito bites. This makes it difficult to differentiate them from others. In many cases, bed bug bites are commonly mistaken for allergies or rashes. However, beg bug bites often have unique patterns and will most likely bite only in the dark. Bed bugs are bigger than fleas, so they are easier to see. However, they normally only bite in the dark to avoid being visible. These types of bites are red, itch and often have a linear pattern.

What Makes Them Different?

The main difference that you can see is redness. Flea bites and bed bug bites both look like swollen dots, but bed bug bites are redder in appearance. This can be a huge clue when you are trying to differentiate the two. However, once you itch flea bites they can also become red.

Another difference that you should be on the lookout for is a linear pattern. Flea bites often appear in clusters, but bed bug bites have distinguishable linear patterns that you can easily spot. Once you have determined the type of bite you can then get the best available treatment and find out the most effective way to remove that bug type form your home.


Bedbugs and ticks are parasites; they depend on their hosts for survival. In most cases, hosts are not harmed by parasites; the relationship is usually neutral. However, this is not the case with bedbugs and ticks. Bugs and ticks cause adverse effects on their host. If not dealt with instantly in extreme cases, these effects can lead to death.

There are two main categories of parasites, ectoparasites and endoparasites. Ectoparasites refer to parasites that are found outside the body of a host. Since they live on the skin, they cause itchy skin, bumps and rashes. Bedbugs and ticks are in this category of parasites. Endoparasites are parasites found inside the body for example in the brain or blood system. Examples of other endoparasites are tapeworms and flatworms.

What is a Bedbug?

A bedbug is a brown, flat and oval-shaped blood-sucking parasite; it is mostly likened to an apple seed. They belong to a specific family of insect known as Cimicidae. There are several species of bedbugs; however, Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus, are the most common species that infest humans.

Bedbugs live on the cracks of beds, bed frames and headboards. They live on the bedside because they usually feed on humans when they are asleep. Their bites are painless hence the attacked person notices the attack way later. The bitten skin turns red and has a darker spot in the middle. They are known to bite the neck, hands, arms and face of a human. In some people, the bites cause allergic reactions, for instance, severe itching. Bedbugs do not, however, transmit or spread any human diseases. Bedbugs are tough to get rid of since their population grows fast. It is therefore advisable to invest in a professional pest controller once you detect their presence.

What Is a Tick?

A tick is a tiny and wingless parasite. It belongs to the Arachnid class. There are various types of ticks for instance cattle tick, American deer tick and sheep tick. There are three families that ticks can be classified into:

• Ixodidae (hard ticks)

• Argasidae (soft ticks)

Ticks mostly thrive in areas that are warm and humid. For metamorphosis to take place, they need air that is moisturized at a certain percentage. Ticks stay at the end of leaves of both plants and shrubs as they wait for their hosts. Once the hosts come to feed, the ticks drop on them.

The tick bites cause bumps and itching on the host due to the anticoagulant. Since ticks cannot jump or fly they usually crawl around. Using their legs, they can detect changes in the host’s skin using a sensory organ called Haller’s organ.

Ticks are dangerous because they quickly spread diseases to the host since they feed on multiple hosts during their lifecycle.

Differences Between a Bedbug and a Tick

1) Type of host

Bedbugs feed on human only while the tick feeds on both human and animals.

2) Habitats

Bedbugs are found in the indoor environment, on the other hand, ticks live outdoors.

3) Health risks

Bedbugs only cause bumps and itches without spreading any disease. Ticks feed on different hosts hence spread infections like tularemia and Lyme disease.

4) Number of legs

Bedbugs are insects they, therefore, have six legs. On the other hand, ticks are arachnids like the spiders and therefore have eight legs.

5) Prevention

To prevent bedbugs, you need to be cautious when unpacking before, after and during a trip. You also need to check for bedbugs in used furniture and clothing before taking them home. For tick infestation prevention you need to avoid going to tick-infested areas. Wear protective clothing if you must go to the infested areas.

6) Method of attacking

Ticks only feed on a host and then drop till next metamorphosis while bedbugs feed on the human every night.

7) Complexity of elimination

Bedbugs are tough to get rid of because they hide in dark areas that are hard to see and they attack you at night. Ticks, however, can be seen crawling on you making it easier to eliminate them. You also got an option of wearing protective clothing when visiting infested areas.

8) Duration of feeding

Bedbugs are clever creatures they know that you can pick them off, they therefore only feed for a few minutes and get back to their hiding areas. Ticks, however, can feed for days on the host before dropping from them.


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