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Do I Have Fleas or Bed Bugs?

We hope that you’ll never have to wonder whether your home has fleas or bed bugs, but we also realize that dream can be a bit improbable depending on whether you have pets or have been exposed to bed bugs unknowingly (such as from recently purchased, used furniture or luggage). Luckily, there are a few ways you can figure out whether the bites you have are from a flea or bed bug. fleas or bed bugs

Their Appearance                    

Although the descriptions of these two pests sound quite similar, especially with regards to their coloring, it can be difficult to tell if bites are from fleas or bed bugs.

fleas appearance Economic Exterminators


Fleas are reddish-brown, anywhere from 1.5-5mm in length, and flat, which is the important keyword here.


bed bug appearance Economic Exterminators

Bed bug Economic Exterminators

On the other hand, bed bugs are slightly oval, skinner, longer, and bigger, but with the same color of reddish-brown. Bed bugs have been characterized as being similar in look and shape as an apple seed.

The Bites

The first thing to remember when examining your bites is that everyone’s body reacts differently to bug bites, so it’s important to not only consult a pest control professional but also seek medical help if the bites (or any side effects you might be experiencing) become more serious, as some individuals may have allergic reactions to these bites.  

Fleas – In with Your Pets

It’s also important to remember that roughly 5% of the adult flea population lives on pets (cats and dogs), so keeping an eye out for their behavior (before, during, and after you see any bites) is critical. Pets with fleas may also experience clumps of fur/hair loss as well as excessive biting and scratching. To help prevent fleas from settling into your pet’s fur and feeding off your family, wash pet bedding regularly and check pets’ fur with a flea comb (especially after long walks or a long period outdoors), in addition to any preventative flea medication you might give them.

Now, on a general note, there are some noticeable differences in the bites of fleas and bed bugs.

Since fleas are jumping critters, their bites typically appear in the lower region of the body, such as the feet, legs, and waist. However, since they can jump up to 18cm, it is possible to find bites in the creases of your elbows and even in your armpit (perhaps if you have a larger dogs who has fleas).

Flea bites Economic Exterminators

The bites may be grouped in a set of three, but they’re “small red marks on your skin” that may be swollen and are definitely accompanied by “intense itching,” according to this article by Healthline.

Bed Bug Bites

bed bug bites Economic Exterminators


Bed bug bites may be itchy, but the bites’ appearance varies from that of fleas’. Bed bug bites are “small, hard, swollen lumps” with a red dot in the middle. They usually appear on the upper body, since they are nocturnal pests and roam about at night, lured by the smell of your breathing, and search for any exposed areas of skin. The bites will also be in a cluster or line, since bed bugs will gorge until they’re full.

The Good News, We Eliminate Both

Despite the fact that your skin may be crawling, the good news of all of this is that you have the aid of professional exterminators on your side. We have the extensive knowledge, experience, and tried-and-true methods to treat and eliminate both fleas and bed bug invasions.

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(912) 355-4066