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Tick vs. Bed Bug: How to Spot the Difference

tick vs bed bug

Ticks and bed bugs are two of the most common pests to affect humans. They both feed on blood, but tick bites are much more dangerous than bed bug bites.

While ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or tick paralysis; bed bugs only cause itchy skin reactions in people who are allergic to their saliva or feces.

This article will explore the difference between tick vs bed bug, so you know what to look for when identifying these pests.

What Are Bed Bugs?

bed bugs

Bed bugs are insects in the Cimicidae family. They feed on human blood and can transmit diseases like Chagas disease, which is spread by a parasite carried by blood-sucking insects such as bed bugs, ticks, or mosquitos.

Bed bugs are six-legged insects that suck blood and give a likely itchy bite. They range in color from almost white to brown, but they turn rusty red after feeding.

Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, and they usually hide in a crack or crevice near their food source (usually a human).

What Are Ticks?


Ticks are eight-legged arthropods that feed on blood. They transmit diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or tick paralysis and can cause certain skin reactions in people who are allergic to their saliva or feces.

A tick is about the size of an apple seed but thicker and longer than bed bugs. Ticks have eight legs and are usually found on the host's skin.

Tick Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are unlikely carriers of diseases, but their bite can cause skin irritation and a burning feeling.

Some can have little to no reaction, while others pass pathogen diseases, causing rash, fever, headaches, and muscle aches.

If you find a tick near you, remove it quickly with a pointed tweezer and put it in a container of rubbing alcohol. Some ticks can carry diseases.

Bed bugs and ticks are not found immediately, but they can sometimes eat together if parasites have stopped feeding and come off without it being detected.


Bed bugs are flat and wingless to oval sizes. One difference is that adults ticks have eight legs while bed bugs have only 6.

Once the bacteria dry out, they become significantly bigger. Bed bugs swell up as well as turn dark-colored when they swallow blood. Adult ticks have 8 legs, and bedbugs have 6 legs.


Bed bugs have their name from the fact that they're often first observed near beds. They prefer to feed on people, and they live in environments they can easily find a human friend.

Bed bugs are quick to sneak inside luggage, sneakers, or boxes to get in contact with food sources.

Ticks live 'outside' their natural habitat near the wood and pasture areas, bird hives, or rat burrows.

They can catch pets or humans and get inside, but they don't infest any structure. Bed bugs can be easily discovered below baseboards or in carpets and even confined in autos.

Tick vs Bed Bug Infestations

Typically there's a bed bug infestation with only one lady. She's riding your clothing to infest your house. Bed bugs are present in large flocks in a cluster that can hold a thousand or more bug species.

Moreover, these mammals usually do not live together and are single animals that attack their humans separately.

The only brown dog tick is found in the house. Its potential life cycle: hatching mating, fetus laying an egg and dies outside or inside.

If you notice some bugs in your bedroom, the bed bugs are bed bugs. Brown dog ticks are single. They never cluster together like beds bugs, but they live in the wild.

Tick vs Bed Bug: Prevention

There are multiple ways to reduce the threat to yourself from ticks and bed bugs. Do not leave anything in your yard where the ticks can hide. Check out bed bugs before using it.

You should check your suitcases when you got back. You can buy a mattress casket for bed bugs and ticks and mow regularly to stop them from hiding in your grass.

When hiking, you should take precautions, but make sure you wear protective footwear or keep away from the road into the wood area.

Tick vs Bed Bug: Lifestyle Differences

As infestations occur, bed bugs can take over your home easily, with numbers of thousands in their thousands.

If you find different bugs crawling around your home with tons of bites, they are certainly not ticks. Bed bugs are single creatures.

What Diseases Do Ticks and Bed Bugs Transmit?

Unlike bedbug bites, they don't transgress any diseases. This can result in severe itching as well as infection.

Bite of bedbugs can provide a vector for hepatitis B and Chagos disease. Ticks cause several disorders in North America.

A single bite carries one or more of these: Tick bites can also transmit hepatitis B. One bite will cause one or more of the following:

  • Human granulocytic and monocytic ehrlichiosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Relapsing fever
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Tularemia
  • Q fever
  • Tick paralysis
  • Powassan virus infection
  • Bourbon virus disease
  • Red meat allergy

What are Treatments and Home Remedies for Tick and BedBug bites?

Do you have a tick bite? Wondering what to do about it? Maybe you're concerned about bedbugs and want to know how to treat bites. Let's start with ticks.

Not only are they annoying, but they can also be dangerous, too, especially if you get a disease from them or other diseases that we don't know much about yet.

Home remedies for tick bites include

  • calamine lotion,
  • rubbing with cut onion,
  • meat tenderizer, and
  • apple cider vinegar.

Home remedies for bedbug bites include

  • baking soda and water paste,
  • oatmeal baths,
  • menthol toothpaste,
  • witch hazel,
  • aloe vera,
  • lemon juice, and
  • calamine lotion.

Professional Pest Control

Our 24/7 pest control experts are available to help you get rid of pests and keep them away for good.

If you’ve spotted bed bugs on your lawn or notice many ticks or insects crawl inside of your home, it may be time to call in the professionals.

We offer various services that will remove these pesky invaders from your property, including our professional extermination services.

Call us today at (866) 501-2444 so we can schedule an appointment!

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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