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Flea Bite or Bed Bug Bite?

Need to get rid of fleas? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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Bites on Ankles and Feet

If you’ve ever woken up in the morning with bright red, itchy bumps on your legs, feet or ankles, you may have wondered if you are suffering from flea or bed bug bites. Both fleas and bed bugs can infest your home and munch on you while you are asleep. And being bitten in the dark while you aren’t awake makes it tough to know just what pest might be making your life and skin unmanageable. So how can you tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a flea bite?

What Is A Flea Bite Like?

Flea bites appear on the skin as red spots on the legs and ankles and resemble other insect bites. They typically show up as small bumps with a point in the center, marking the spot where the flea attached to your skin. They sometimes present in rows of 3 or 4. Some individuals experience halos around these red spots, hives, rash, and swelling around the bite site. Bites commonly occur where skin is exposed, often around the ankles, feet and legs where fleas have access as you walk around your home. Fleas are also attracted to hair, so you may find bites on your scalp or genital areas.  

Severe allergic reactions to flea bites leading to medical emergency are possible, and include shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue or lips, nausea, dizziness and chest pain. Excessive scratching can lead to infection at the site of the flea bite. Additionally, fleas carry several diseases including plague, typhus, tungiasis and tapeworm. 

What Is A Bed Bug Bite Like?

Bed bug bites are similar to flea bites in that they will also show up in clusters of red bites or welts. These bed bug bite clusters often show up in 3 to 5 bites arranged in a zig-zag fashion. Like flea bites, bed bug bites also show up on areas of exposed skin, however, since this exposure is occurring in bed, exposed skin can mean hands, neck, legs and face. One tell-tale sign that you are experiencing bed bug bites is finding their trademark specks of blood (which may appear as small, dark-brown smears) on your bedding. 

Not all individuals react to bed bug bites, meaning some people can be bitten by bed bugs and never present any symptoms. Several people may live in the same dwelling with the same bed bug infestation and not all will exhibit the typical red, itchy bites. Those who do have reactions to bed bug bites will experience them as intensely itchy spots that may develop into welts. Bed bug bites, additionally, heal with a blue-brown hue. 

Whether you have fleas or bed bugs, living with critters that make a meal of you is a terrible way to live. The best, most effective remedy for your bites is to rid your home of your pest infestation by calling a pest control specialist to eradicate any parasites living in your home.

Find A Pest Specialist For Flea Control

If you are concerned about flea control for your home, please give us a call or fill out the form on this page. is a team of experts who are highly qualified to provide the best recommendations for you and your home, no matter which part of the United States you live in.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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