July 12, 2024
    When comparing bed bugs vs ticks, what are the similarities and differences? We explain the facts you need to know about these two pests here.

    Bed Bugs vs Ticks: The Similarities and Differences, Explained

    According to one study, about one in five Americans have had bed bugs in their house or have known someone who’s had them.

    But how many people do you know that have ticks? Or do you suspect you have either ticks or bed bugs?

    Keep reading to learn about the differences between bed bugs vs ticks to find out what you’re dealing with!


    Bed bugs and ticks are about the same size as long as they haven’t fed right before you look at them.

    But in general, ticks are about the size of a sesame seed, but it will depend on what species are native to your area. Bed bugs are normally the size of an apple seed, so they’re a little bit bigger. 

    After they’re done feeding, they normally swell up to double or triple their usual size.


    Bed bugs can carry all kinds of diseases, but there isn’t any evidence that they give these diseases to humans. However, if a bed bug bites you, you’ll still be itchy and uncomfortable.

    If you keep scratching or itching the bite, you could have another infection after it. 

    Ticks are famous for transmitting serious diseases to humans. They can transmit viral and bacterial diseases. For example, the most common disease they transmit is Lyme Disease. This is really common in the northeastern and Midwest states. 

    However, they can also carry Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and tularemia. 

    Signs and Symptoms

    One of the main differences between bed bugs and ticks is the symptoms that you have to deal with after you’ve been bitten.

    Bed bugs will normally feed at night while you’re asleep and not moving. You likely won’t feel the bite, but you’ll have itchiness afterward. 

    The bites will be in lines or patterns, and they’ll either look like reddish bumps or a rash. 

    On the other hand, tick bites can cause burning, itching, redness, and sometimes joint pain. You may also get a rash around the bite area. They only bite you once though.

    So if you have multiple, random bites, you might have been bitten by multiple ticks. 

    If you’re dealing with any of these, check out visionpestca.com for help in getting rid of them. 


    Bed bugs will normally show up as a red-brown or a deep brown. After they’ve fed on humans and sucked their blood, they might be a rich red. 

    Ticks can vary in all kinds of different colors like dark brown to red-brown. Sometimes they have patterns on them like a white spot or tan stripes.


    Both pests need blood in order to live, but they have different hosts that they prefer.

    Bed bugs normally like to feed on human blood. However, ticks will like to feed on any other warm-blooded animal. But if ticks can’t find any other source, they will feed on humans. Bed bugs will also feed on other mammals, like a cat or dog if they can’t find a human.

    Ticks have also been known to feed on dogs, birds, rodents, or deer.


    You normally won’t have to treat your bed bug bites. But you still might want to use a lotion spray to help relieve some of the itchings. 

    However, a tick bite will need some care since they burrow inside your skin. If they’re still in your skin, you’ll need some tweezers to remove the tick. The CDC actually offers steps to take to make sure you get all of the tick out.

    After you get it out, you might want to use things like a calamine lotion, a cut onion, or apple cider vinegar. 


    Ticks and bed bugs have a similar shape. They are both flat and oval, and they never have wings.

    However, a tick will have a more narrow body than a bed bug would.

    But they also have a different number of legs. Bed bugs are classified as insects because they have six legs. A tick is technically an arachnid (like a spider) because they have eight legs.

    So if you can get close enough to count their legs, this can be a dead giveaway.

    Number of Bites

    Both bites from either pest will leave you with a red, itchy, and inflamed bump on your skin. 

    However, they will bite you differently. A tick will hook onto your body and then bury its head into your skin so that it can feed. They’ll bite you anywhere, but they like a warm, moist area, like your armpit or groin. 

    Once they’re in your skin, they might even stay there for a few days until they’ve decided that they’re full. After that, they’ll drop off of you. 

    A bed bug will only stay on the surface of your skin. They’ll use a tube from their mouth to penetrate your skin, almost like a mosquito. They only feed for a few hours.

    When they’re done, they may drop off of you, but they may also move to another area to feed. They commonly feed on your chest, arms, neck, hands, or even your face.

    Discover More About Bed Bugs vs Ticks

    These are only a few of the differences between bed bugs vs ticks, but there are many more differences to keep in mind.

    We know that dealing with these pests can be stressful and overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.

    If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one. 


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