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The Difference Between Fleas and Bed Bugs


During the summer months of May through September when it’s hot and sticky in Louisiana, bugs flourish. In particular, people begin having major problems with bed bugs and fleas as they enjoy hot and humid climates. Both of these tiny pests affect people in big ways and are often confused for one another. If you have many bite marks and you’re not sure whether you have fleas or bed bugs, consult the Delta Pest Services guide on bed bugs vs. fleas and call for the right exterminator service.

The Difference is in the Bite

One of the easiest ways to tell whether you have fleas or bed bugs is by the bites you have. Fleas typically bite on the lower half of your body like your legs, ankles, and feet. Bed bugs, on the other hand, will bite anywhere on your body but usually toward your upper half including your torso, arms, and near your face.

The bite sensations are also different. Flea bites typically produce an intense itchy feeling within a half hour that can last from several days to several weeks if you have a severe reaction. Bed bug bites, on the other hand, may not itch or bother you in any way. In fact, you may not notice you have bites at all if they came from a bed bug. They can also last for several weeks but are less irritating than flea bites.

Who or What has Been Bitten?

Fleas and bed bugs don’t have the same palate or taste. While fleas will feed on humans, they actually prefer to feed on animals such as dogs, cats, or bunnies. If you notice your best furry friend scratching a mile a minute every day in addition to yourself having bites, chances are you have fleas.

If you’re the only one showing signs of bites and your dog or cat is not affected, then it may be bed bugs. Bed bugs prefer to feed on humans and will usually stay away from your pets.

Where Is the Pest?

Fleas are reddish brown with an elongated body. They also have powerful legs that let them jump up to 200 times their body length, which is helpful in their transfer from animal to animal. Fleas can be found on your pets, near your pet’s common hang out spots, and in your carpet. While they are nocturnal, you can usually spot them on your pet or jumping around your home near your feet. Wearing long white socks around your home can give you an advantage in spotting them when they jump on you. You can also use a flea comb on your pet to see them up close.

Bed bugs are also reddish brown, but they are flat and have a tear-drop shape. Unlike fleas, bed bugs cannot jump and must crawl to you each night in order to feed. For this reason, they typically hide close by in mattresses, bedroom carpet, and under bedroom furniture. They are also nocturnal and will come out at night while you are sleeping.

If You Have Bed Bugs or Fleas, How Do You Get Rid of Them?

Consider the bites you have first, including their location and level of itchiness. Check your pets to see whether you notice if any of the bugs are jumping around your home. You can also check your mattress for additional signs that you have bed bugs instead of fleas. For complete confirmation, call Delta Pest Services for a free inspection.

We’ll identify the pest that is causing you trouble and then treat the infestation with the best solution for quick and effective results. Delta Pest Services treats all areas of the home including the carpet and under your bed where fleas and bed bugs hide. After extermination, we suggest you take preventive measures to avoid an infestation in the future. Some preventative measures include treating your pets monthly for fleas, performing thorough examinations of hotel rooms, and checking furniture for pests before bringing it into your home.

If you have a flea or a bed bug problem, call the experts a Delta Pest Services for complete removal.


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