Bed bugs, fleas and ticks are commonly misidentified and confused with one another. These parasitic pests are actually very different from each other. This will article will focus on what the differences are in identification, behavior and diet.
Ticks are classified as arachnids (8 legs), while fleas and bed bugs are actually insects (6 legs). Ticks are easy to spot because they grow in size after taking blood meals. Fleas are much harder to see because of their small size and ability to jump quickly out of sight.
Ticks are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Their small size allows infestations to grow unchecked, and large populations require professional removal. Ticks are also small but engorge themselves on blood until they’re double their original size, which makes it easier for people to detect their presence.
In adult form, bed bugs measure roughly the size of a kernel of corn or an apple seed, which runs roughly 5 mm in length. With a trained eye, human beings can easily spot adult bed bugs against the typical whites of bed sheets.
Nymphs, on the other hand, measure at most 1 and 1/4 mm and are clear or off-white in color, which makes identifying the insects in the nymphal stage challenging.
Diet or Feeding Habits
Ticks will bite humans, but prefer the blood of animals.
Both fleas and ticks rely on blood meals for sustenance.
Bed bugs prefer the blood of people but occasionally bite animals.
Ticks and bed bugs also live in very different environments. While ticks send most of their lives in wooded, grassy areas, bed bugs live indoors and are commonly found in mattress seams and the cracks in headboards.
Ticks latch on the body and remain feeding in one spot for quite some time.
Bed bugs attack several areas of the body and then retreat once satisfied.
Fleas carry tapeworms and typhus, while ticks spread tularemia, babesiosis, and Lyme disease. Always check your pets and children for ticks and fleas after they’ve spent prolonged amounts of time outside.
Bed bugs are not known to transmit any serious diseases.
On the other hand, ticks are responsible for the spread of several debilitating illnesses, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichia, tularemia, and Lyme disease. Many of these cause flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, muscle aches, fever, and headaches.
Fleas are capable of infecting people with life-threatening diseases such as typhus.
Once an infestation of fleas or ticks has been identified, property owners should call a professional pest removal team. As both ticks and fleas carry diseases that can be deadly, it is important to act quickly. Bed bug populations can also get out of hand fats, which makes professional pest control the only option to guarantee proper removal.