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You itch! Your family itches! And now you’re finding small bite marks. There is something biting you and it’s in your house. You haven’t spotted any bugs, so how are you supposed to know what it is? Is it a flea or a bed bug?
Fleas and bed bugs look similar. They are both wingless and are a dark brown color, though bed bugs are lighter brown before they have fed. Both feed on humans and pets and can live just about anywhere in the world, but there are a few differences that you’ll definitely want to look for.
Fleas are smaller than bed bugs, measuring in at a maximum of 3.3 mm long while bed bugs are between 4 and 5 mm long. Fleas are very thin, but bed bugs are 1.5 – 3 mm wide and flat before feedings. After feeding, bed bugs plump up but fleas remain thin after eating.
If you spot a flea and take a closer look, you’ll notice that a flea has long hind legs for jumping. They can jump up to 7 inches vertically and almost 13 inches horizontally. This makes it possible for them to jump effortlessly from one host to another. You will feel a flea bite you, but usually when you try to find them they have already moved on. They are quick and sneaky; you will have much better luck spotting them on your pet using a flea comb.
If you find a bed bug on or around your mattress, you will notice it looks differently. Bed bugs are larger than fleas and have six legs proportionate to their bodies. They are crawlers and can crawl almost anywhere. Bed bugs like to dine at night and find you, their victim, by detecting CO2 from your breathing. Bed bugs have a long tube extending from their head, similar to a mosquito. This is what they use to drain their food source – YOU and your blood. You won’t usually feel a bed bug feeding because bed bugs inject a numbing agent to keep you unaware of their activities until the morning when welts begin to itch. (Gives a whole new meaning to, ‘Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite’ doesn’t it?)
Another difference is where they hide. Bed bugs are lazy and tend to stick to dark places, patiently waiting in the shadows to come out at night and feed while the humans sleep. (They didn’t always come out at night; check out the history of the bed bug!) Bed bugs can be found in cracks and crevices, like the cracks of a bed frame or mattress, in base boards, behind outlets and more. Meanwhile, fleas can be found in bedding, carpets, pet enclosures, or anywhere their prey spends a lot of time. Fleas mostly feed on animals, but they can feed on humans as well, and because they move around so quickly, it’s easier for them to live out in the open or on your pet (or you)!
It is important that you identify if you have bed bugs or fleas because each require a different treatment. For Bed Bugs, we recommend 100% Natural Bed Bug Patrol. Bed Bug Patrol, used as directed, can assist in eliminating those nasty blood suckers.
For fleas, we suggest Naturasil Herbal Flea Dip. This concentrated formula can be added to any pet shampoo to give you and your pets instant relief. This flea treatment formula can also be added to water in a spray bottle to spray on pet bedding and any other area with a flea presence.