Mosquito Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites: How to Tell the Difference

Mosquito Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites: How to Tell the Difference

itchy skin

It's summer, and things are biting. It's not unusual this time of year to wake up with strange welts on our bodies. Were we attacked by some hungry mama mosquitos? Or was it -- oh dear God, no -- bed bugs?!? My skin is crawling just thinking about the possibility. How can a normal person tell between the two? Thankfully (I guess?), it's not that hard. Here are the main differences between bed bug bites and mosquito bites.

More from CafeMom: Doctor Shares Genius Fix for the Car Seat Carrying Mistake We're All Making 

Bed bugs: It seems like those two words are enough to strike fear into the hearts of most of us, doesn't it? Those creepy crawlers certainly seem to be the stuff that nightmares are made of. Not only do they folks crazy by making their skin itch, but a bad case of bed bugs means laundry, throwing things away, and boiling all of our clothes. But don't panic just yet! There is a chance that those alarming bite marks on the arm are not the work of these creeps, but are instead harmless mosquito bites. 

More from CafeMom:   7 Neurotic Confessions From Overprotective Moms 

We found the easiest ways to distinguish which little crawler is the culprit. So before ripping through the closet and burning all the furniture, take a look at this list of the difference between mosquito bites and bed bugs. And thank us later. 


Image © iStock/kaspiic, ©

  • Bed Bugs


    © iStock/smuay

    Bed bugs are parasitic insects about the size of an apple seed. Like mosquitoes, they pierce your skin and feed on your blood. Some people are more sensitive to their bites than others. They don't fly, but they do spread rapidly and are notoriously difficult to get rid of.

  • Mosquitoes


    © iStock/doug4537

    You are probably all too familiar with the mosquito. They're just sucking your blood to feed their eggs ... so they can make more mosquitoes! The same one can bite you multiple times trying to fill up. Fun fact: They don't always get all the blood they need from just one piercing.

  • Bed Bug Bites Come in Clusters


    © iStock/jcarillet

    Bed bug bites generally appear in clusters, along a line. The rows usually align with the edge of a sheet or comforter. Man, these bites look red and angry.

  • Mosquito Bites Appear in Isolation


    © iStock/simonkr

    Mosquito bites -- stings, really -- result in these lovely welts you see here. You're probably all too familiar with this image. You may get several mosquito bites on the same night, but they won't show up in clusters the same way bed bug bites do.

  • Bed Bug Bites Don't Always Look Like a Rash


    © iStock/jcarillet

    Bed bug bites don't always look like a rash. But notice these welts still appear together, in a cluster.

  • Mosquito Bites Can Turn Red


    © iStock/cris180

    If you're sensitive to mosquito bites, or if you've been scratching at them with the fury of the damned, they can turn red. But that red blotchiness is mostly from your vigorous clawing away at your skin.

general health

More Slideshows