How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs Or Fleas?


Bed bugs and fleas are two tiny, blood-sucking household pests that are tough to deal with. If you experience an infestation in your home, you might be wondering which bug you have as they both are so similar.

Read on as we illustrate the major similarities and differences when it comes to bed bugs vs fleas.



Both bed bugs and fleas are insects with a reddish-brown color and no wings. Fleas cannot fly but only jump from one person or animal to another, while bedbugs do not fly nor jump.

Even though both species are small in size, they are still visible to the naked eye. You’ll notice that fleas have longer, more narrow bodies, while bed bugs are wide, oval-shaped, and flat. Bed bugs will turn dark red or brown in color when filled with blood.



Fleas and bed bugs are both annoying household pests that can be difficult to get rid of. They can find shelter in your bed, in cracks and crevices, behind pictures, in closets, in clothing, along floorboards, or in any dark area of your home. Fleas may also nest in carpets, rugs, pet beds, or upholstered furniture where they can stay warm.



Fleas and bedbugs are considered nocturnal creatures, which means they are mainly active at night. However, they can bite you at any time of the day or night. Fleas are most active at dusk and least active at sunrise. Bed bugs come out to bite strictly while you’re asleep.




Bed bugs and fleas have some important similarities, but it’s the differences between them that set them apart. And the most distinct difference comes down to their bites.

Both pests feed on the blood of humans, and both leave bite marks that itch and may become infected. However, bed bugs feed solely on humans, while fleas prefer to feed on animal hosts.

Flea bites are small red bumps that are more likely to happen on the lower body, for example on the feet or around the ankles. Bedbug bites can appear on any part of the body, mainly on the legs, arms, or back. Furthermore, in contrast to bedbug bites, flea bites often appear in clusters on the skin and have a dark red spot in the center. You may notice that your flea bites are surrounded by inflamed skin.

Bedbug bites look similar to that of a flea, or a mosquito. The marks will appear in a straight line or may be random, with a red and slightly swollen, itchy skin area that’s irritating to the touch. Bedbug bites can cause anxiety, insomnia, and skin problems if someone is allergic to them.



Although a flea can live for as long as 100 days, if it is without access to blood in your home, it has a relatively short life span of just a few days. On the other hand, bed bugs can live even more than a year without feeding on blood from a host, but ultimately this depends on the temperature and humidity in their surrounding environment.


How Do You Know If It’s A Bed Bug Or A Flea?

You should precisely inspect the room for signs of bedbugs or fleas.

Check your bedsheets to see if there are any tiny black specks. These might be flea feces, or flea dirt, which look like sand and contain digested blood. You may also notice fleas hopping on your carpet, curtains, or furniture. If you have a dog or cat, check for multiple dot-like insects in its fur. Your pet will also be scratching, biting, or licking themselves excessively.

Bed bugs can leave blood stains on your mattress, sheets, pillowcases, or pajamas. These are dark or rusty spots of bedbug waste. You may find bedbug fecal spots, shed skins, or egg shells in areas where they typically like to hide. Also, you may smell a foul, musty odor coming from the scent glands of bed bugs.



Which Is Worse Bed Bugs Or Fleas?

Bed bugs and fleas are equally bad because they are very difficult to eliminate. Both will make you uncomfortable in your home, leaving you with sleepless nights.

However, because fleas can transmit serious diseases such as the bubonic plague and typhus, this makes fleas worse pests. Fleas can also live on various animals and then travel and spread diseases to humans. Therefore, fleas appear to be somewhat more dangerous than bedbugs.

Bed bugs and fleas can go unnoticed for long periods as they are experts at hiding, and once they start to lay eggs, these pests can be very challenging to eradicate. By the time you realize and catch them, you will have a problem and you’re likely to have a serious infestation in your home.

In addition, DIY methods usually fail to work effectively and permanently. So if you suspect you have fleas or bed bugs, it’s best to call in a pest control company to address the issue professionally.

To protect your family and home against the common infestations of bed bugs or fleas, get our experienced pest control team on your property. Contact American Pest Control in Northeast Georgia today for a consultation or to request a complimentary inspection.