They’re similar in size, shape, and appearance, and are both capable of causing endless grief. They both feed on blood (human and animal varieties) and leave irritating bites. If your home happens to become infested by either one of them, you’re going to need to take drastic steps to get rid of them. Often, the only solution is to hire expert pest control services. Bed bugs and fleas are often confused for one another, but they have some very telling differences. Their habits and abilities are very distinguishable, and it’s important that you know about them so that in the case of an infestation, you know what you’re dealing with.
The Differences Between Bed Bugs and Fleas
Let’s begin by explaining a little about the appearance and the habits of bed bugs. These troublesome pests are normally clear coloured until they have a meal (blood) and the feeding changes the colour to a dark red (or brown) colour and roughly 4-6mm long. They’re noticeably flat and oval-shaped, and don’t have wings (so before you ask – no, they cannot fly). They don’t have powerful back legs and aren’t known to jump long distances. Instead, they’re expert hitchhikers and quickly crawl between any surface they can.
Fleas are also very small – smaller, in fact than even bed bugs. They tend to be about 3-5mm long and this is where much of the confusion between the two begins. Despite their diminutive size, the body of a flea is quite a different shape. Their bodies are long and narrow compared to the flat, round bodies of bed bugs. Fleas also have large, strong hind legs, which are used for jumping great distances (sometimes up to as much as 30cm!) This is their main method of transport and although they’re also known for hitching rides sometimes, their ability to leap large distances is what sets them apart.
Bed bugs feed specifically on human blood. Their tube-shaped mouth is perfect for biting and sucking blood, and they’re very good at it. They crawl on to bodies and bite in a systematic line along the parts of your body which are exposed while sleeping (think neck, arms, hands, and legs). Fleas, on the other hand, prefer to feed on the blood of furry mammals like dogs over humans. Their bite, unlike a bed bug bite, begins to itch immediately. However, when push comes to shove, fleas will still survive on human blood. Since they can’t crawl as high, they tend to bite areas on the lower half of the body: the areas they can jump to.
Why Are They Both Dangerous?
Both of these pests will create chaos when they enter your home. Bed bugs have a misleading name, mostly because they infest way more than just your bed. Sure, they’ll hide in the springs and headboard of your bed during the day, but if they can crawl and infest your sofa, luggage, furniture, and clothing, then they’ll get in there too. Using your bags and luggage in particular, they’ll transport themselves to new locations and continue to spread their infestation. Fleas hide in similar possessions but will also irritate your pets beyond belief. Nobody likes to see their pet dealing with infuriating and constant itching.
For these reasons, if you discover a bed bug or flea infestation, it’s normally a big job requiring a detailed investigation throughout your property.
Why You Need Expert Help
After discovering this pest infestation, you’re strongly advised to organize a professional pest control inspection. At Truly Nolen, our experts understand the behavior of these pests better than anybody else. We’ll know where to look, let you know how many possessions are infested, and provide you with a swift, effective solution.