Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Do I have FLEA BITES or BED BUG BITES?

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  1. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon Oct 29 2012 19:20:45
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    Hello all,
    Yes, it's time for another bed bug story. Here is the short version of the story:
    I found a bedbug over two weeks ago at a hostel, killed it, have seen no signs since. Then I took a nap on an old crappy couch and the next morning I had small slightly itchy bumps in random areas on my body. The question is, are they from the hostel (bed bugs) or from the couch (fleas or something)?

    Here is the long version:
    On October 11th I was in a hostel in Rome, and during the day a bug crawled onto my bed. I killed it but took a picture with a high quality camera and confirmed that it was a bedbug. I used to be totally paranoid of these things, so I already knew a lot about them. I searched the bed but found NO signs of any others. I was leaving in two days, and since I backpacked I knew I could just wash everything immediately upon return just in case. And, that is what I did. Before stopping at my dorm (I am studying abroad in Germany) I went to buy a cheap pair of pants/tshirt to change into after throwing everything into the laundry. I hastily changed in the laundry room and threw everything in the machines, except things that couldn't be washed, of course.

    Since it didn't seem to be an "infestation" I assumed the worst was behind me. I had no signs of bites and hadn't seen any bugs except that one. Well, I woke up yesterday with a bunch of little slightly itchy bumps on me. They don't seem to be big like bed bug bite pictures I've seen, and they're not totally itchy. Plus, it has been over two weeks later, so I don't think the bites would be showing up this much later. Either I somehow carried bedbugs here (after searching my bed multiple times and taping around I have not found any) or I got flea bites or something from a couch I slept on. I took a nap on this couch for about an hour while waiting for laundry late Saturday night, and the only reason I'm mentioning this is because these bites showed up the next day. They are small, red, and most often there are two right next to each other. I know that linear bites are a sign of BBs but I honestly do not know.

    Obviously I'll only know the truth if I end up finding a bedbug but I have no luck yet, just anxiety. Please let me know what your thoughts are??? I don't want my studying abroad to be ruined by bed bugs (OR fleas!)

  2. bedbugsuptown

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon Oct 29 2012 20:59:46
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    where's the couch you slept on? I've read too many times that you can't diagnose bedbugs from a mere bites. What makes you think fleas? Was the couch in the laundromat??? Sorry for the interrogation but more information might help. Yeah fleas aren't a picnic either, try not to stress.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 30 2012 0:21:29
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    Monitors may help you determine if bed bugs or fleas are responsible. You can buy cheap plugin flea traps or make one (instructions in this thread).

    You can also buy inexpensive passive and pitfall bed bug monitors. See FAQs linked from the Useful Stuff page and be sure and read the first four FAQs here.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 30 2012 4:45:28
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    bedbugsuptown--
    there is a laundry room at a nearby dorm in a basement with an old brown couch. the only reason i suspect fleas is because the bites only appeared the next day after sleeping with that couch, so i am wondering if there were little bugs in there or something. otherwise it could just be coincidental and i really do have bedbugs, but i have searched and taped my bed numerous times now and have found nothing. and after two weeks without seeing any, i don't know why i'd randomly get bites.

    nobugsonme--
    thanks, but the problem here is that i am currently in germany and i have no idea how to obtain these things. i think the only thing i can really do is wait to see if i find bedbugs in my room, because only then can i contact my supervisor and let her know there is a problem. until then it is just speculation, but i was hoping i might find some reassurance in the meantime.

    the only other question i have is if there is some way i could coax the bedbugs out of hiding in the wooden bed frame. i have put tape around but it's quite a mess because it keeps getting stuck to things. i did go back to look at the couch but i couldn't see much, because it doesn't really have any way to be taken apart, and it is dark brown. would it help if i attached bite pictures? i have read multiple times that everyone's bites are different, but mine seem to be smaller than the typical mosquito bite sized BB bites that i've seen.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 30 2012 9:00:33
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    AHDN,

    One of the links I gave in my previous post was to instructions for a flea trap you can make yourself. My idea was you could construct one and test your room for fleas.

    (Unless you're thinking the fleas were only in the laundry room sofa -- which I now, rereading this, think is what you meant. In which case you could have been bitten on Saturday and reacted on Sunday and that could be the end of the story.)

    If skin reactions continue, and you need a bed bug monitor, we can try to help you find one. David Cain is in the UK and can probably ship one. Note that the other links I added to the first four FAQs above will help you lean to inspect your room for bed bugs.

    Posting bite photos really doesn't tell anybody anything, unfortunately.

  6. Koebner

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 30 2012 10:28:13
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    You may be able to get a passive monitor from bedbugbeware.com

    Bite reactions are a function of a person's individual immune system - there's no such thing as a "typical" bed bug bite.

    If you haven't already, reading this site's FAQs will help you to understand the problem better.

  7. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Oct 31 2012 5:48:12
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    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for your help. I went ahead and ordered a BBAlert Passive. I'm not so sure on its effectiveness because I haven't been able to find reviews of it, but most other things only ship within the US, so I'll have to at least try it. I guess having a trap is the only way to achieve peace of mind...if it works. I've set up tape around my bed and even on myself for the past three nights and nothing has stuck...and last night I actually put a lot of tape around myself. But still, there are a couple of itchy bites that just appeared on my fingers. I'm just so confused because I literally cannot find a single sign of bed bugs anywhere on my bed, but it is a wooden bedframe so I guess they could be hiding inside the cracks. I'm trying to remain calm, I just hate NOT KNOWING, especially in a foreign country.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Oct 31 2012 14:52:54
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    Note there are plenty of bed bugs in Germany and have been for years, if you go by our site's traffic there.

    And so you should be able to find a good company with experience to inspect and treat if needed. If you're an expat, expat forums can be with asking for local pest control recommendations.

  9. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Nov 6 2012 13:51:48
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    Just wanted to update, because I don't want to leave it open-ended for people who may read this in the future. I still don't have an answer yet, though. I've been going nuts. I checked my sheets, washed them, checked my mattress topper, checked my mattress, even unzipped the mattress covering, and took a flashlight to look in the nook and crannies of my wooden bedframe. I took my sheets off my bed thinking they'll be easier to see on just a mattress. I have put tape all over the place, even myself, but I have found nothing at all. No bugs, no cast skins, no fecal matter.

    And I still have little bumps. They barely itch, but a couple of them become redder and larger over time. When I see new blemishes I have no idea if I'm just being paranoid...since they don't itch they could be pimples, ingrown hairs, you name it. Today I received my BB Alert Passive and have installed it. I will try to resist checking it constantly. I don't know if there's some other place the bugs would be hiding. I still have my fingers crossed that SOMETHING on that old ratty couch bit me or gave me a rash and there is nothing living in my room, but not knowing is driving me crazy. Anyway, thanks for reading, and if anyone has any suggestions let me know. I am going through the typical stages...denial, keeping it totally quiet, insomnia, and crying. I'm trying to move about my daily life but I'm terrified of spreading whatever I have...and I haven't seen a single damn bug.

  10. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Nov 7 2012 20:25:25
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    .


    . by sugarlumps, on Flickr

    Just posting these pictures for the heck of it...supposed bedbug bites on my chest area. Unflattering pictures, I know. And yes, I know everyone says that BBs can't be diagnosed by bites...but I figure someone must have some clue as to whether these look like bites or something else. They are barely itchy, as in they'll itch slightly for maybe 30 seconds every few hours. It could even be acne. I still have seen no signs of BBs, not even on my monitor, so I'm confused.

  11. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Nov 7 2012 20:26:55
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    I have noticed that they seem linear and BB bites are supposed to be linear, but they're rather small. I think I'm just going to drive myself into insanity because I just CAN'T FIND the bugs no matter what I do.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Nov 8 2012 3:08:18
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    Bed bug bites can appear in singles or in doubles or triples. That they "usually" look like one of these things or another is incorrect.

    Did you try the homemade flea trap?

  13. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Nov 8 2012 18:58:49
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    Just for experiment's sake, I made the flea trap a half hour ago and there is already one bug in there. Is it only fleas that are attracted to this? Or all bugs, like fruit flies and gnats etc? How can you tell it's a flea?

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 0:38:40
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    It's always possible a different bug will get into a trap. A close inspection while looking at some Flea photos should help. They have a distinctive shape.

    You may be able to get a clear photo for us to ID also.

  15. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 9:13:52
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    @Hard Days: I made a homemade flea trap and bought two plug in "Ultimate Flea Traps." All kinds of bugs ended up in them - fruit flies, house flies, one spider, mosquitos, those giant looking mosquito things that aren't mosquitos, and some tiny winged somethings that I guess are gnats. I never knew so many bugs were in the house. The ironic thing is, never found a flea in them. However, I did find one flea crawling on my foot one day. This is the picture I took of it:


    IMG_2895 (4) by picture account2012, on Flickr

  16. P Bello

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 10:38:03
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    Fleas have flattened bodied when viewed head on or from above. They can vary in color from reddish brown to dark brown or black.

    They jump significant distances, like three or four hundred feet, just kidding. Thye can jump about 18 inches very easily and are difficult to "squish" between your thumb & index finger because they are built so flat.

    A number of critters besided fleas may be found in your trap however, if fleas are present you may catch a surpising amount depending upon infestation level, trap placement & other factors.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

    As a consulting entomologist I provide services for entities such as property managers, health/housing/emergency depts, schools, hospitality/resort/cruise industry, homeowners, food service, retail, pest professionals & product manufacturers. I recommend only efficacious methodologies, products and equipment. Professional relations have included Actisol, AMVAC, Atrix, BASF, Bayer, Catchmaster, FMC, GMT, Eaton, MattressSafe, Nisus, ProTeam, Rockwell, Syngenta & Woodstream. No compensation for product sales occurs. As inventor of Knight Safe bed bug sleep tent provides a royalty.
  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 11:13:24
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    Thanks, Paul. And thanks AF for your flea photo-- I have to get a FAQ going on that.

  18. SimonCross

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 12:58:37
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    P Bello - 2 hours ago  » 

    They jump significant distances, like three or four hundred feet, just kidding. Thye can jump about 18 inches very easily and are difficult to "squish" between your thumb & index finger because they are built so flat.
    A number of critters besided fleas may be found in your trap however, if fleas are present you may catch a surpising amount depending upon infestation level, trap placement & other factors.
    Hope this helps ! paul b.
    Hope this helps ! paul b.

    lol 400 feet. That would be some scary S!#T

  19. SimonCross

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 13:05:51
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    a hard days night - 1 day ago  » 

    .

    . by sugarlumps, on Flickr
    Just posting these pictures for the heck of it...supposed bedbug bites on my chest area. Unflattering pictures, I know. And yes, I know everyone says that BBs can't be diagnosed by bites...but I figure someone must have some clue as to whether these look like bites or something else. They are barely itchy, as in they'll itch slightly for maybe 30 seconds every few hours. It could even be acne. I still have seen no signs of BBs, not even on my monitor, so I'm confused.

    I would think you have a flea problem just based off the look of the bites in the picture.

    Flea Bite Picture:

    Sorry, I know a lot more about Bed Bug Prevention then Fleas, but I can tell you that those are flea bites, which tend to look like acne.

  20. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 17:51:41
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    SimonCross - 4 hours ago  » 

    Flea Bite Picture

    Hi Simon,

    Do you own the image you posted? If not, it may be a copyright violation. If this is the case, it's better to link to the page an image is on, rather than embedding it. We ask people only to embed photos they have a right to post.

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 17:52:58
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    SimonCross - 4 hours ago  » 

    That is most definately a Flea! Just google images of a flea and you can see a clear comparison.

    Note that AbsolutelyFreaking was clear that s/he knows this is a flea. It's a hard day's night who has not determined if they have fleas yet. And AHDN has not posted a photo yet.

  22. SimonCross

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 17:58:58
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    Nobugsonme - 5 minutes ago  » 

    SimonCross - 4 hours ago  » 
    That is most definately a Flea! Just google images of a flea and you can see a clear comparison.

    Note that AbsolutelyFreaking was clear that s/he knows this is a flea. It's a hard day's night who has not determined if they have fleas yet. And AHDN has not posted a photo yet.

    My mistake, got confused with all the posts

  23. a hard days night

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Nov 11 2012 20:00:19
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    Hi all, sorry it took me so long to respond to this, I was away over the weekend. I concluded that the one bug that landed in my trap before I left wasn't a flea because it doesn't have wings. I don't know why I was hoping for fleas, considering I don't even have a carpet in my room for them to hide in. It's interesting that you say they look like flea bites though...I'm so confused. It's not like I constantly have tons of bites popping up all over me, it's like I feel slightly itchy and then when I look there's occasionally maybe a tiny bump but it never gets itchier. The ones on my chest haven't gotten itchier or bigger, which contrasts the behavior of the bites on my hands that ended up swelling and being surrounded by a red circle. So I don't even know if these new bites ARE bites!


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