Flea Bites On Humans

Or is it Bedbug Bites?

Differences between flea bites on humans and bed bugs are closely matched. Fortunately for us, the damage they inflict isn't considered very dangerous. Almost never do we know when they feed from our blood and the result for most, incredibly itchy red raised bumps. Their bites usually appear in clusters and lines.

Although it's difficult to judge which of these two insects are responsible for your rash there are minor differences in both there feeding habits and bite patterns. But looking at your habits and home may also indicate which biting pest is getting to you.


Bed bugs are commonly introduced to homes by hitching a ride on humans and luggage whereas fleas catching a ride on animals. The latter insect especially target cats and dogs but we tend to forget about pigeons and bats. Bird nests on balconies and anywhere on or under your roof can harbour fleas. Also make sure large numbers of pigeons and other birds do not gather on your balcony railing or gutters.

Bite Differences

Let us take a look at flea bites on humans and compare it with those of bed bugs. The bites of these two parasite species are often mistaken.

Differences we notice when looking at the pictures below are:

  1. Flea bites on humans are scattered whereas the marks from bedbugs are grouped and in a rough line.
  2. Note that the marks (left picture) are spaced further apart from each other than the marks in the picture on right.
  3. Left Picture: Welts look pimple like with a red dot in the middle. It may become more prominent as the wounds are scratched. The red dots are not always present and welts may differ from one individual to another. Right Picture: The welts are "fatter" and grouped closer together. Spots in the middle of the wound are absent. Three to four welts in a line or cluster are typical bed bug behaviour.

Consider the following to help you figure out which of the two pests could be feasting on you.


  • Prefer to feed on legs and ancles
  • Will feed mostly from exposed skin
  • Feed during day and night time
  • Most commonly infestations are introduced by pets

Bed Bugs

  • Favour upper body areas
  • Exposed skin and under loose clothing
  • Feed at night time only
  • Introduced by humans and luggage (travel and transport)

Welts from both insects are red raised bumps that itch like crazy. The purpose of their bites are to drink our blood. Some biting pests sting and attack us as they think we are their enemies. They do so to protect themselves and their habitats.

Fleas and bedbugs are our enemies an not visa versa. Both are small sized insects so they can live undetected near a host. Comparing the sizes of these two insects tell us something about their bite marks.

Adult bed bugs are just shy of a quarter of a inch (5.5mm) and fleas, the ones that infest your pets and house, are 1/8-inch (3.3mm) long. Therefore flea bites on humans are slightly smaller than those of bedbugs.

It is also said that flea bites appear to be smaller on humans than your pets because they are animal specific. They prefer and will drink more blood from the latter than from us humans. It is very rare and uncommon to find bed bugs feeding on animal.

Return from Flea Bites on Humans to Identifying Insect Bites

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