Bed Bug Bites vs. Mosquito Bites – Which One Do You Have?

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At first glance, it is difficult to tell whether you have a bed bug bite or a mosquito bite. They are very similar in appearance as both of them often look like tiny red bumps.

It is vital for you to figure out immediately what kind of bite you have, so that you can take the best course of action, like seeing a doctor or asking help from professionals who can get rid of the insects.

Read on and learn how to tell the difference between bed bug bites vs. mosquito bites.

Mosquito Bites

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The Differences between Bed Bug Bites and Mosquito Bites

  • Appearance and Location. Bed bug bites are red spots on the skin that are usually aligned as a line or row, and their bites can be found all over the body as they have the ability to crawl under the clothes. On the other hand, mosquito bites appear as itchy round, reddish skin bumps and are often random and isolated. They usually occur on the exposed areas of the body, such as the head, neck, arms, hands and legs.
  • Reaction Time. Bed bug bites might take hours to react, while mosquito bites take only a few minutes to show and feel itchy.
  • Harmful Effects. While mosquito bites are usually harmless, sometimes they can actually cause serious illness. A bite from an infected mosquito can cause malaria, but records show it rarely happens in the United States. Symptoms may include severe headache, fever, muscle pain, nausea and constant vomiting from 2 to 4 weeks after the bite. Malaria is a serious illness, but the good news is it can be prevented and treated. When it comes to bed bug bites, you most likely won’t feel any pain, but after 1 to 3 days, you might develop either a mild or severe allergy from the bed bug saliva in which there are allergens. This can cause raised, red bumps on your skin that is extremely itchy and swollen for a number of days. This may include hives as well, which means you need to go to a doctor for treatment. But unlike mosquito bites, bed bug bites don’t tend to cause any disease or illness.

Now that you have learned the differences between a bed bug bite and a mosquito bite, you should also be aware of the different steps to take in case you are bitten by any of these insects.

bed bug on human skin up close

How to Cure Bed Bug Bites

  • Wash the bed bug bites with soap and water. This will prevent skin infection and help reduce itchiness.
  • Apply a hot washcloth directly to the bites to relieve itchiness and irritation.
  • Use home remedies like baking soda and water to make a sticky paste. Apply it to the affected areas and let it dry for an hour or two before gently washing the paste off.
  • Apply an ointment that contains antihistamine, analgesic or corticosteroid to relieve itching.
  • Applying pepper mint oil to the bites can help relieve itchiness temporarily because of its cooling sensation.

How to Cure Mosquito Bites

  • Lemons have natural anti-inflammatory properties that’s why they are useful in mosquito bite treatment. Slice the lemon into 2 pieces and rub the inside part of a lemon piece against your itchy skin.
  • Like lemons, salt also contains anti-inflammatory properties. Make a paste using water and salt, then apply it to the affected area.
  • Garlic can help soothe the itchiness caused by the mosquito bites. Apply minced garlic to your itchy skin. Leave it for a few minutes before you rinse it off.
  • Wrap some ice in a small towel or washcloth and hold it on the area for 15-20 minutes. This’ll give you immediate relief from itchiness and swelling.
  • Oatmeal can also be used to cure itchiness from a mosquito bite as it contains anti-irritant properties. Mix equal amounts of oat meal and water to create an oatmeal paste. Apply it to skin and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off.

Bed bug bites and mosquito bites may be different in several ways, but both of them should be treated immediately to prevent skin infections. If you experience any symptoms of infection, do not hesitate to consult a doctor.


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