Bed Bug Vs Flea Bites

Despite what you may have heard or read online, home mite infestations are fairly rare and tend to be much less of an issue than people assume, says Mike Merchant, PhD, a former professor of entomology at Texas A&M University in Dallas. “A lot of the mite stuff on the internet makes it sound like [a mite infestation is] the end of the world, but it’s not,” he says.

Thus, there are many differences between flea bites vs scabies rashes. However, both, when left untreated can lead to several complications including secondary, harder-to-treat infections. Hence, any type of skin lesions, itching or rashes must be acted upon immediately to prevent further complications.

There is one outlier: scabies. These mites infest a person’s skin in order to lay eggs and feed, and are usually only passed by direct person-to-person contact. (4) Like other mites, scabies tend to cause an itchy, pimply red rash. But unlike other mites, those rashes will continue to appear unless the person gets medical treatment, usually a prescription-only skin cream or lotion designed to kill scabies.

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Everything You Need to Know About Mite and Flea Bites

infected flea bite

Mites are arthropods, not insects, and are close cousins with spiders and ticks. (1) Most types of mites feed on other insects or on dead plant and animal material. (Dust mites, for example, feed mostly on dead skin cells.)

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Among outdoor mites, the only type that frequently bites people is the chigger. The word “chigger” applies to a particular species of mite that bites during its larval stage of development, and their bite produces an intensely itchy red welt, Merchant explains. “There are not too many other mite problems outdoors,” he adds.

Fleas are ectoparasites associated with pets. However, in absence of pets, fleas can bite humans. Often a comparison between flea bites vs scabies results in their being mistaken for each other. However, unlike scabies mites, fleas do not live on the human hosts. Fleas prefer warmer, hairier environments like pet hair. Fleas generally bite humans and jump off to hide in carpets, under the rugs, furniture etc. They leave a tell tale rash on the human skin, particularly in people with sensitivity to proteins in flea saliva. The flea bites appearance is distinctive and includes:

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While they’re not related — in fact, they’re totally different species — mites and fleas are often lumped together in people’s minds because they’re small (sometimes microscopic) bugs that live in groups and that can infest our homes and pets.

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Often, there is a comparison between flea bites vs scabies rashes. But, telling them apart is easy since scabies is characterized by a relentless itch, which is worst in kids and elderly.

Mite bites can cause skin lumps and rashes and, occasionally, more serious reactions, Dr. Merchant says.

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In the case of both mites and fleas, many types don’t bite or cause any harm to humans. But there are some varieties with bites that can produce itchy rashes or other skin reactions, allergies, or more serious health complications.

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Here are a few tell-tale signs and symptoms of scabies in humans:

When it comes to indoor mites that bite or cause health issues, Merchant says most spring from animal nests. “Some mites will infest the nests of birds and rats and mice, and when they become abundant, they’ll leave that site and sometimes wander into the house and bite people,” he explains. In most cases, the bites of these mites cause an itchy skin rash, which may feature small lumps or pimples.

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Here’s a description of each type of bug, and what you need to know about the effects their bites can have on your health.

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Flea bites, like scabies can be itchy. Some people are known to develop hives or allergic reactions that can lead to secondary skin sores.

“The skin might be very itchy or red for a few days, but then that will taper off,” Merchant says of mite bites. Ice and anti-itch creams like hydrocortisone can help control the swelling and itching. But those symptoms should resolve within a week, he says. (Nearly all species of biting house mites cannot live on human beings, and so they don’t “infest people,” he adds.)

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