How To Tell Bed Bug Bites From Mosquito Bites

During the spring and summer, getting a few bug bites is to be expected; however, sometimes it is hard to detect the insect that caused itching and marks on your skin. It is important that you find out which insect might have bitten you as soon as possible so you can visit a doctor, if necessary, or call a pest control professional to handle the insects. Among the most common types, that are easily mistaken, are bed bug bites and mosquito bites. Below we outline the differences between the two.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs rely on blood to survive and complete their life cycle. These small insects, no bigger than an apple seed, are reddish-brown, oval, and flat. They usually live in mattresses, cracks in box springs, beds, and bed frames. These insects don’t fly, but they can spread rapidly and are nearly impossible to get rid of on your own. They are most active at night and they usually bite when a person is sleeping in bed.

Bed Bug Bites

The bite of a bed bug is red with a darker spot in the middle. The feeding pattern is not random since their bites are arranged in a cluster or a line. It is easy to spot that you have been bitten by a bed bug if you see three or more bites in a row. Bed bug bites can appear on your hands, face, arms, neck, back, and torso; usually the places on the body directly in contact with bed linens. Symptoms won’t appear for some time after the bite occurs, and will get worse over time. Usually, the first symptom of a bed bug bite is swelling, which can lead to the bite becoming irritated and itchy. When a bed bug bites, it pierces the skin with its elongated mouthparts and injects an anticoagulant to prevent the bite from itching instantly. This is how bed bugs can bite one person multiple times during a single feeding process. Bed bugs are not associated with the transmission of any human disease, but their bites can leave an open wound on the skin, which can become infected when you scratch it.


These small flying insects also feed on the blood of humans and other mammals. Usually, the female mosquito is the one that bites, since she needs blood to nourish her eggs. They are most active at dawn or dusk and they bite mostly on exposed skin.

Mosquito Bites

The bites of these insects are random and isolated since they can’t bite through clothes like bed bugs can. Their bites are usually delivered when you are spending time outdoors, especially near areas of standing water. The mosquito bite looks like a soft pale bump that can become pink or red. The first signs occur soon after the bite happens, which is the main distinction between a mosquito bite and a bed bug bite. The bump and the area around it may be itchy. Scratching a mosquito bite too much can leave an open wound, which can become infected.

If you’re concerned about the presence of one or both of these blood-sucking pests, don’t wait — call a pest control professional as soon as possible for inspection and extermination.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem.

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