Perhaps you’ve been there — you look at your legs and arms and see some new and itchy bite marks. Is it a rash? Do you have bed bugs? Did a mutant spider come in and attack you in the middle of the night?
While you are more than likely safe from a mutant spider, it can be hard to rule everything else out. Oftentimes, you either have a case of bed bugs or have fallen prey to mosquitos. Since the two bites look similar, it can be easy to mix them up.
Let’s take a closer look at bed bug bites vs. mosquito bites.
Perhaps the best way to identify bed bug bites vs. mosquito bites is to notice the timing and appearance of the bites themselves. While to an untrained eye both bites can look similar, there are certain clues that give the answer away.
When you’re bitten by a mosquito, the skin tends to swell up minutes or sometimes seconds after the initial bite. Once the skin is puffy, it will usually turn bright red and then turn a darker red and sometimes scab over in a few days.
While mosquito bites flare up at first and then gradually ease, bed bug bites are the complete opposite. Many times, bite marks don’t show at all. If they do show on the skin, then eventually the skin can become raised in red blotches. Days later, skin can become itchy and even burn.
Look for Clues on Your Sheets
Fun fact: bed bugs have eyes bigger than their stomachs. They’ll often take a large bite out of their prey but won’t be able to consume and digest all of the blood from the bite. After a few minutes, they will excrete excess blood on your sheets.
On the other hand, mosquitos will keep slurping until you swat them away. Therefore, if you find little blood marks on your sheets, you may have bed bugs.
Because mosquitos fly and bed bugs crawl, the bite patterns are another great way to differentiate bed bug bites vs. mosquito bites.
When you suffer from mosquito bites, the marks you find will be unorganized, random, and non-linear. With bed bugs, most of your bites will be in one location or will form a trail or circular pattern.
Mosquito bites swell up and become noticeable faster, but they also heal faster. When a mosquito bites you, you’ll generally recover from the bites within a few hours or a day.
Alternatively, bed bug bites can last much longer; sometimes they can take multiple days to fully heal and disappear. Also, if you’re living with bed bugs, your body won’t have much time to recover before you get another bite the next night. If your body constantly endures bites, it’s most likely due to bed bugs.
Sensitivity Increasing or Decreasing?
Another way to identify bed bug bites vs. mosquito bites is gauging your sensitivity to determine whether your body is becoming less or more sensitive.
When a mosquito bites you, your body can build up a tolerance and become less and less sensitive to them. You could reach the point where your skin may not even swell up at all.
With bed bugs, however, the opposite is true. In fact, you may not notice the first few bites or have any symptoms. As bed bugs continue to bite you, though, your body will show more signs by way of puffy, red marks.
Who’s Been Bitten?
Strangely enough, bed bugs will often bite one person all over while they sleep and leave the other person — sleeping mere inches away — completely alone. Mosquitos, on the other hand, bounce around from host to host.
Therefore, if you wake up in the morning and find that both you and your sleeping partner are covered in bite marks, that adds to the chances that you have a mosquito in your midst. Alternatively, if you awake to find that only one of you has any marks, that may indicate that you have bed bugs.
Ask for Help!
Regardless of if you’re being plagued by mosquitoes or bed bugs, continually waking up with bite marks and irritation is not normal and should be rectified immediately.
If you’re plagued by irritating bite marks and you don’t know where they’re coming from, call for assistance. Make sure to get an exterminator out to your property if the problem lingers too long.
ESS Universal manufactures and supplies high-quality, cost-effective commercial grade beds, mattresses, and furniture to camps, hostels, shelters, dorms and more. View our entire line of furniture products including our popular waterproof foam mattress for institutional use, single metal bed frames, single over single bunk beds, single over double bunk beds, and triple bunk beds. Download our catalog for detailed information on our complete product line.