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Flea vs. Bed Bug Bites - Fact and Fiction

(2 posts)
  1. LosFelizBuggedOut

    Joined: Jul '08
    Posts: 7


    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jul 15 2008 14:42:35

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    Hi all -- I hope everyone is continuing the War with great success. I have just begun and am slowly learning as much as I can.

    I have read varying things on the Internet (of course) that contradict what is written on this site. So I wanted to clarify 2 major points concerning Fleas vs. Bed Bugs (I am in LA, and Terminix just did a visual inspection of my place -- they claim there are no bed bugs -- luckily I have a specimen that looks *a hell of a lot* like an adult bed bug, really it appears no other household insects look like that... anyway... we shall see...)

    On to the 2 points I was hoping to get some guidance on:

    Fact or Fiction #1 - "Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin are characteristic signs of bed bugs. Welts do not have a red spot in the center such as is characteristic of flea bites."

    This is taken from this Ohio State website:

    And has been repeated on the Wikipedia page and other sources. This is in direct contradiction to the Bedbugger claim that it can look like any bug bite.

    I feel this fact could be important in helping distinguish bites, and would love some info on this!

    Fact or Fiction #2 - "bed bugs bite along waist bands / waist area"

    Is this true? I have read (including the Harvard PSA) that bed bugs prefer exposed skin, and that chiggers and fleas prefer to burrow in the waist band. I feel this may also be important in helping to distinguish. I have the highest concentration around ankles and waist -- which *seems* it might be more flea / chigger like than bed bug like.

    Oh -- and alot of what I've read here notes that "bed bug bites can look like anything, and bite anywhere", which I believe is likely true -- I am hoping though that this thread can generate "average" or "typical" type things, in helping determine what bug is biting us all!

    Thanks again everyone! Any help would be much appreciate on this front.

  2. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,264


    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jul 16 2008 23:44:14

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    "Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin are characteristic signs of bed bugs. Welts do not have a red spot in the center such as is characteristic of flea bites."

    You can get the classic "breakfast, lunch, dinner" set of three bites, or you can get single bed bug bites, triangles, or pairs.

    They also bite on non-exposed skin. But then by non-exposed skin, I mean someone wearing normal clothing; normal clothing has gapes and gaps, and bed bugs can crawl up.

    You may have welts, you may have something smaller, some may be scabby. Look at the bed bug bites photos page on the blog (click "blog" button below and look at top of the screen for the menu bar for "bed bug bites (photos)". All of those were taken of bed bug bites. You can see the variance for yourself. And there are other possibilities too (but small bites do not photograph well and so fewer people can provide such photos).

    Who says bed bugs bite along the waist or wasitband area? I am not saying they don't, I just haven't seen anyone claiming this. I have heard it said of chiggers.

    I don't know about fleas, but I am sure others will get to those questions!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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