Although there exists a little difference between bed bugs and ticks, certain qualities make their identification crucial and easy. These qualities include breeding habits, preferred habitats, and the ability to spread diseases. Most people have tried to search compared and contrasted the relationship between ticks and bugs, raising a great question on the existence of the two. Notably, both bed bugs and ticks are parasitic pests, although each requires different remedy strategies. Here is a comprehensive study of both parasites.
Identification of Bed bugs Vs. Ticks
Identification is the first step in studying the two pests effectively. Since both bugs and ticks are oval-shaped, flat, and wingless, it isn’t straightforward to differentiate the two. Notably, ticks are eight-legged pests while bed bugs have six. Although, due to their small size, it is hard to distinguish them; thus, this should not be the best identification way.
After feeding, ticks inflate with full blood making it easy to spot them. However, before feeding, bugs appear to be reddish-brown. After feeding, bedbugs are darker in appearance. Both parasites grow larger as they feed.
Since both pests can not jump or fly, they mostly get hitch rides from people, pets, animals, and objects to travel from place to place. Ticks are picked up from tall grass and other habitats as people or pets walk in those places. Unlike ticks, bed bugs attach to objects from an infested area at hotels, secondhand furniture, or other hiding places. Both the parasitic pests infest homes.
Unlike bed bugs that breed rapidly in the bedrooms or living spaces, ticks reproduce in homes or residents with too many pets outdoors. Therefore bed bugs are found indoors while ticks thrive outdoors. However, brown dog tick can complete its entire life cycle indoors hatching, mating, laying eggs, and dying, although it is solitary and doesn’t cluster like bed bugs.
Tick Bite vs. Bed Bug Bite
It is easy to identify both pests from the skin bites. After biting ticks attach themselves to the host’s skin when feeding. While bedbugs will return to their nesting places. Bugs do not transmit any disease or infection to humans after bite, although their saliva is allergic to most people. Ticks carry various illnesses like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis spotted fever, and Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI).
The Appearance of Bed Bugs Vs. Ticks
Both parasites are of about the same size and are red-brown, though ticks often have white or tan stripes or spots on their bodies. On the other hand, bedbugs have none. All U.S bedbug species are of the same color. Ticks have varied colors ranging from dark brown to reddish.
There are only a handful of species of bed bug species in the U.S, whereby some have an apple seed size where Nymph bed bugs are as small as a rice grain. Therefore all bugs species are of the same size. Ticks are of variable sizes with the smallest ones not lower than a pinhead and with the bigger ones not more extensive than a pencil eraser. Therefore ticks size varies as a result of the many different species. Most U.S. species are of the size of sesame, whereby the American dog tick is slightly more prominent, with the brown one being marginally smaller.
Both ticks and bedbugs are of the same shape having a rounded body with their head being the ‘tip’ of the seed. After feeding their body extends outwards behind them. However, ticks are slightly narrower.
Ticks two legs appear to curve upwards and outwards, with the other six being much far back on their bodies. These curved legs are for movement and feeding help. The two legs are longer than the rest, depending on the species. Contrarily, bed bugs six legs are thinner than that of a tick. Bug’s leg sticks out though they may be not noticeable since they are partially under the body.
Recommended Read: Ultimate Bed Bug Guide
Bed Bugs and Ticks Infestations
The infestation of bed bugs to homes results from hitch ride of just one female bug through clothes or belongings. The outbreak starts after she lays eggs in a safe place in your house. After multiplication, these bed bugs will live as a cluster of thousands in your bedding or nearby.
As stated in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, ticks don’t live in clusters, and they are solitary animals that attack their hosts separately. Deer ticks aggregate though not as much as bed bugs. Ticks find their host by sitting in the tall grass, waiting for a host to pass by.
Therefore, if you notice an infestation of many bugs under your mattress or bedding, that’s an indication of the presence of bed bugs infestation, seeing a single bug or two, that’s brown dog tick.
Recommended Read: Ultimate Tick Guide
Bed Bugs Vs. Ticks Feeding Habit
Both parasitic pests feed on blood, although the feeding pattern differs with Ticks belonging to Arachnida’s class.
When a tick is feeding, it buries its entire head underneath the host’s skin. This way makes the Tick appear as if it doesn’t have the crown. It is advisable not to pull out ticks because the head comes off. Contrarily, when feeding, bed bugs sit on the human skin. Since bed bugs are blood-sucking insects, they have a long feeding tube that they use to feed. Bugs scratch away a small piece of the skin, making it exposed that they can suck blood through the ‘straw.’ unlike ticks, bed bugs don’t put their head underneath of the host’s skin.
Bed bugs will wait until late at night to start feeding. It is all-knowing that the late it is, the less likely you will wake up and crush them. Ticks don’t have a particular feeding time since they feed both day and night; therefore, if you see an insect that appears to have no head while feeding, that’s likely to be a tick.
In conclusion, it’s not only ticks that are confused with bed bugs other insects like Bat bugs and young German cockroaches. As the homeowner, a recommendation posts that you should react upon noticing signs of tick or bug infestation.