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Bed Bugs vs Scabies: How Can You Tell the Difference? 

Bed Bugs vs Scabies: How Can You Tell the Difference?

Did you know that scabies can cause bacterial infections on the skin? Scabies and bed bugs are both common pests that can infest your bed. They are both very small and can be hard to discover at first.

More often than not, you will discover the signs of scabies and bed bugs on your skin before you actually find them in your bed. But what if you are unsure whether your pest is a bed bug or scabies? Keep reading and learn how to identify the difference between bed bugs vs scabies below.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Although bed bugs can’t transmit any diseases or infections to humans, it is nevertheless important to know if you have them in your bed. It is also important to know how to identify them and how to get rid of them once you find them. The scientific name for bed bugs is Cimex lectularius. 

Bed bugs actually were eradicated from America for many years. However, in recent years, bed bugs have made a comeback. Today, they can be found in many homes across the country (and the world).

Bed bugs primarily feed on blood. While they often feed on animal blood, they won’t hesitate to consume human blood if humans are readily available. The problem with bed bugs is that they are often so small that people won’t be able to notice them even if they are looking right at them. 

The size of a bed bug can range from 1 to 7 millimeters. No matter the size of the bed bug, this insect will often look like a small brown spot or a speck of dust on your mattress. You will need to look very closely to see that this speck is really a bug. 

When it comes to how to identify bed bugs, you will notice that bed bugs are reddish-brown and are quite flat. They do not have wings. Bed bugs don’t tend to stray too far from where humans live. 

More often than not, bed bugs will live within a few feet of a human. If you think you have bed bugs, you might wonder if the bugs will die off if you don’t sleep in that room for a while. This will not work because bed bugs can live without consuming any blood for months. 

What Are Scabies?

There are a few signs of bed bugs that are very different from the signs of scabies mites. For example, you will find bed bugs on your mattress rather than on your bedsheets. You will especially find them in any creases your mattress may have.

In some cases, if your mattress has a hole, the bed bugs may go inside the mattress, making them even harder to find. The signs of bed bugs on your skin include itching and sometimes an allergic reaction. The signs of scabies tend to be much worse. 

The scientific name for scabies is Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis. Scabies are even smaller than bed bugs. For that reason, they are microscopic and you won’t be able to see them with your naked eye. 

But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to identify them. Instead, you can learn how to identify scabies by the trouble they cause. Scabies mites are much more invasive than bed bugs. 

Instead of living in your mattress, scabies will attempt to live in your skin. Scabies are able to dig into human skin and create little tunnels where the bugs can then lay eggs and continue to reproduce. The tunnels that these bugs create in the skin tend to be a few millimeters in size. 

Once scabies lay eggs in the skin, it can take a few weeks for the eggs to hatch. Once this happens, you will have even more scabies mites to deal with. Scabies mites also have quite a long lifespan and can live as long as two months. 

But they can only survive this long in human skin. Otherwise, without the protection that human skin provides, scabies mites will only be able to live for a few days.

Bed Bugs vs Scabies

With scabies, a common sign is itching and rash. This is in contrast to bed bugs which may cause itching but should not cause a rash. When you have scabies, you may also notice strange markings on your skin. 

Even though you might not be able to see the scabies mites, you should be able to see the holes and tunnels they create in your skin. These tunnels will be slightly raised in comparison to the rest of the skin. More than that, the tunnels will be white or gray in color rather than the normal color of your skin. 

The rashes from scabies tend to happen at certain parts of the body, usually parts that are easily accessible and warm. The arms and armpits are common areas. If you want to get rid of bed bugs, your best bet is to call a professional pest control service. 

For scabies, you may need to use medicine to get rid of them. Pest control services will have all the right tools and experience needed to remove these pesky critters if there are any in your home. Calling professional pest control services can also take a big weight off of your shoulders when it comes to removing these bugs.

Everything You Need to Know About Bed Bugs and Scabies

When it comes to bed bugs vs scabies, there are quite a few important differences. While bed bugs are small, they are not microscopic and you can often see them in the crevices of your mattress. Scabies, on the other hand, are microscopic and tend to burrow into human skin to lay their eggs. 

To learn more, check out the home and garden section on our website.

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