There’s nothing worse than the itching and irritation of bug bites all over your body. The only thing worse than being bugged by bug bites is the misery our kiddos feel when they get bit. It’s hard to watch them be uncomfortable, and we want to help them get relief fast.
One of the biggest ways to ensure that they receive relief is to find out what type of bug everyone is getting bitten by. Today, we want to help you decipher between bed bugs and mosquitoes.
These bites can be similar and cause similar symptoms, but there are ways to know the differences:
What’s a Bed Bug?
A bed bug is a small, round, brown bug. These guys like to live in your bed as well as any furniture that you may have in your home. They feed on blood and their most popular or frequent feeding time is at night while you sleep.
What’s a Mosquito?
Mosquitoes are light, small flying insects that live near water. Only female mosquitoes bite and feed on blood and only do so when they need to lay eggs. While mosquitoes generally live near water, that’s because they lay eggs on water, so they will also live in tall grass or in organic debris near your home where moisture can collect.
What’s the Difference Between Bed Bugs and Mosquitoes?
You’re looking for the differences in the bites, of course, but there are many differences between bed bugs and mosquitoes, so we should go over them all. You can’t prevent bites from various pests if you aren’t armed with the information to stay away from them.
Let’s look at all the differences next:
Where They Live
Bed bugs will exclusively live inside your home. They will hitch rides from the outdoors, but only when they can burrow inside pockets or luggage. In fact, animals very rarely are the reason you have bed bugs, so know they don’t like to be outside at all.
Mosquitoes generally live outside, but if they can find a safe refuge inside your home, they will take advantage. They can live anywhere on your property and like to be near a water source at all times (for laying eggs). But this doesn’t mean it needs to be a lake or large body of water; a small pale of water you leave in the yard is ample space for laying eggs.
Where They Bite
Here is where bed bugs and mosquitoes are the most alike. Both pests will bite you anywhere they can. Unlike fleas and ticks that can’t fly, so they only bite your ankles or what they can reach by jumping, bed bugs and mosquitoes can bite you anywhere.
Bed bugs can’t fly, but they bite you most frequently while you’re asleep. Because of this, you can get bed bug bites anywhere on your body.
Mosquitoes can fly, and they find you most often while you’re enjoying time outdoors as a family. If you planned a fun hike this weekend, you can bet that there will be mosquitoes out there looking to sink their proboscis into your extremities.
What They Eat
Bed bugs live exclusively off of the blood they drink from your body. This is why they don’t leave the home unless they need to. They can’t survive without you, so they will stick as close to you as they can. If a bed bug gets desperate enough for a meal, you can catch these pests on your bedding or furniture during the day.
Only female mosquitoes that need to lay eggs will bite you and drink your blood. Male mosquitoes live solely on nectar and pollen from plants and flowers. Of the tens of thousands of mosquitoes that exist, only a small few will bite humans. Even those that bite humans will use you as a last resort, as they prefer blood from animals.
How They Leave Their Mark
Both insects will leave you with a red welt-like bump that will itch. These bites will look similar to a mosquito bite, as they will both itch or cause mild pain and irritation but will differ slightly.
Bed bugs feed in clusters, so you can expect to have a few bites that are in a line or in a group as opposed to one isolated bite mark. These bites will also have a red dot in the middle where the bug bit you. Note that if you have a higher sensitivity to them, they might resemble fluid-filled blisters.
Mosquito bites are red welt-like bumps as well but are generally larger and more pronounced in size compared to a bed bug bite. For those that are extra sensitive or allergic to the proteins in mosquito saliva, you can also expect those red bumps to come along with intensive swelling and pain around the bite site. (To reduce the swelling, all-natural tools like the MagicPatch can drain the biochemicals behind the itching sensation.)
Signs and Symptoms
Each bug will create similar symptoms and signs, so be on the lookout for the very subtle differences. Bed bug bites can be accompanied by a blister or show up in clusters, and they can burn or be mildly painful.
Mosquito bites are singular welts and primarily itch, with some feeling mild symptoms of discomfort.
While it can be hard to pinpoint mosquitoes, as they don’t stick around or leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find them, bed bugs can leave clues. You’ll have to look for them, but inspect your sheets and bed frame for red spots (blood) or brown spots (bed bug fecal matter). You may also find exoskeletons or small clusters of bed bug eggs, which are milky white and oblong.
How To Get Rid of Bugs
If you’ve identified either bed bugs or mosquitoes as the culprit for all of your bites, you’ll want to get them out of your house fast. (These tips and tricks below can be better associated with one pest or the other, but we will specify which will help with what type of bug.)
Let’s get started:
If you find evidence of bed bugs in your bed or in your home, you need to act fast. The first thing you’ll want to do is wash all the sheets and bedding or linen.
Take everything off the bed and any throw blankets or couches and wash them in small loads. Be sure to use the hot water setting and wash each load twice to ensure that you kill all bugs and eggs.
You’ll also want to repeat this process for soft furniture, like chairs and couches. Bed bugs will burrow in the cracks and crevices of other pieces of bulky furniture that aren’t moved often, so have a professional cleaning service come in and steam clean all fabrics — carpets too!
Nooks and Crannies
Bed bugs, as well as mosquitoes, will come in and hide in the small cracks and holes in baseboards or walls, so fill those gaps in fast. They may not be large holes that you can notice with the naked eye, but these pests are small; tiny holes make the ideal setting for them to live and breed.
Mosquitoes can live outside full-time and come inside just to feed and lay eggs, so you’ll need to stop them from coming inside. Safeguard your home by starting with screens and doors. Ensure that each screen is tightly fitted and free of rips or tears.
Mosquitoes don’t need a lot of space to crawl in, so be careful to fix any tiny holes.
Keep your yard free of plant debris, and keep your grass trimmed and tidy. Mosquitoes will hide in tall grass during the day to escape predators or any threats to their lives. Tall grass equals unkempt, wild areas, so for mosquitoes, this is an invitation to hide.
Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs, but there’s enough water in a drop for some species of mosquitoes to breed. Keep rain gutters clear of plant matter, as there is enough moisture in leaves and grass to create breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The longer this debris is left to collect, the better for a mosquito.
In addition to decluttering your yard to keep mosquitoes away, you’ll want to declutter your home to keep bed bugs out.
Just like mosquitoes like tall, untamed grass to hide in, bed bugs like piles of clothes or blankets that go unused. They can breed behind large bed frames that don’t get cleaned or under beds that have piles of items you don’t need or use under them.
To eliminate their homes, you’ll need to keep floors tidy and throw away or donate blankets and clothing you don’t wear/use that sits in piles otherwise. Lastly, keep those dark corners well-maintained.
Many sites or companies will harp on the use of pesticides in your home and around your home to get rid of unwanted bugs or insects. What they forget to mention is how harmful they are to the environment and to the health of you and your family.
Here at The Natural Patch Co., we are all about doing things the natural way, and that includes how we repel insects. Instead of spraying harmful chemicals around your family, utilize all-natural essential oils.
Essential oils have been used for hundreds of years and have stood the test of time. Scents like citronella have been used to repel mosquitoes by indigenous tribes for longer than chemical pesticides have been on the market and are still effective today.
Use our BuzzPatch on clothes to keep you and your kids safe from bites all day. The scent of essential oils is pleasant to us people but abhorrent to mosquitoes and other pesky insects.
Practicing clean and safe habits at home and on the go will ensure that your home stays bug-free and your family stays bite free. Pests are a pain to deal with, but we are confident that these tips and tricks will get rid of them fast and forever.