From the Bed Bug Knowledgebase:
What Can Mimic Bedbug Bites
There are a few bugs that could be your problem.
Mosquito bites Vs Bedbug bites
Determining bedbug bites from what can mimic bedbug bites can be quite a challenge to the untrained eye.
Traces of debris and the bite marks left behind by these insects can be very miss leading. Especially, if you have no idea what you are looking for!
Usually the bed bug will leave behind 3 bite marks in a row on your body! These bite marks are commonly known as “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.” The marks are generally evenly space from one bite to the next bite mark, leaving you with 3 pink rounded bumpy bite marks on your skin.
The bed bug bite mark looks very closely like a person has been bitten by mosquitoes. So at this point you will need to make a determination, “Do I have bed bug infestation or a mosquitoes infestation? Both bedbugs and mosquitoes usually bite you at night, while you’re in bed sleeping. Both marks are usually noticed when you get up from bed the next morning.
Concerning mosquitoes, take a close look around your home. Check the corners of your ceiling for any evidence of their hiding places. If you have any dish water sitting in your sink, and/or in a dish pan, get rid of it immediately!
Also, check outside of your home for any puddles of water that have been laying there for long periods of time. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Concerning bed bugs, the first place you should inspect is your mattress and box spring. Take a close look at where the seams meet. Evidence is generally found along the seams. Another place to check is your bed-board, especially if it is made from wood, or particle-board. Inspect for them very closely; the use of a magnifying glass will make your searching easier.
- Flea bites Vs bedbug bites
In most cases, what can mimic bedbug bites are other similar household pests. Flea bites are commonly mistaken as bedbug bites and vice versa. Human fleas, like the bed bug is a parasitic insect, both are blood sucking insects. Normally feeding on animals, but when it cannot locate them, will target humans.
It is able to pierce the human skin by the use of its sharp jaws. Flea bites often appear in clusters around the joints particularly the ankles and legs. This results in bumps and rashes with hives forming around the affected area as an allergic reaction. Within its saliva is a substance that increases blood flow. Once feed, like bed bugs, Fleas too can survive for many months without daily feedings.
Female fleas are able to lay up to 200 eggs at each sitting, generally right after their feeding. Their oval shaped eggs are very light in color and may hatch within days. These fleas are wingless and can jump up to 16 inches, landing on you or your clothing.
Once bitten, you may feel itchy and start to scratch the area that was bitten. The flea bite can leave a similar bite as that of the bedbug, pink round in shape and slightly bumpy? Irritation results from the flea’s saliva and skin damage from the bite itself. When this happens, the affected area can be very itchy. Scratching only makes things worse and may only lead to wounds or even scars.
These pests can find their way to your upper body especially if you carry your pet around a lot. People tend to obtain fleas from their furry little friends. The problem is that they can be difficult to detect with all the fur around. The most obvious signs to watch out for are small amounts of blood and tender spots on your pet’s skin. Pets tend to jerk when touch near or at bitten areas as well.
- What Can Mimic Bedbug Bites: Scabies
Another thing that may look like bedbug bites are scabies. Bed bugs are obviously insects while scabies are a kind of small mites and are microscopic. They both feed on human blood which explains the itching of your skin. The difference lies on how they attack their prey. They both hide from human eye site, but with scabies, they burrow under your skin to lay eggs. Bed bugs on the other hand hide within your bedding.
Before starting to feed, bed bugs inject a numbing agent. Some people have allergic reactions to this substance causing bumps or bed bug bites or hives to appear. But these critters do not stop at one. Instead, they continue feeding eventually forming a neat row of bites over your skin. When full, their bodies become soft and may burst causing small blood spots on your mattress.
Bed bugs feed on any part of the body without preference. Scabies on the other hand are a picky bunch. They are commonly found around the wrist and armpit creases. But can also be found around the stomach, genitals elbows and in between the toes. These will look like white lines but eventually turn into red bumps.
- What Can Mimic Bedbug Bites: It Is All In Your Head
It is quite surprising to find out what can mimic bedbug bites. The term: “Delusional parasitosis” takes place when people think that insects are crawling and biting them. There is no really physical evidence found, but they are convinced otherwise. Every bed bug symptom including itching, rashes and crawling sensation is what this person thinks they feel. It can be very difficult to determine if there really are bed bugs or not. When this happens, it is advised that you seek a medical professional whom is able to diagnosis and provide the proper medical treatment.
- What Can Mimic Bedbug Bites: Other Critters and Even Funguses
Apart from the usual suspects, for instance, hot tub folliculitis is an infection caused by bacteria found in contaminated hot tubs, water slides, loofah sponges and others. Children are most at risk here because they stay in the water longer. Rashes often develop anywhere in the body similar to bed bug bites.
Other insects that cause itching are bat bugs and bird mites. These often mimic the symptoms of bedbug bites which results in a misdiagnosis.
In some cases, what can mimic bedbug bites are not insects at all. It may be just a simple case of allergies. Always consult your doctor when you need to treat bed bug bites, or if you’re not sure what can mimic bedbug bites.