Fleas and bedbugs are the tiny parasitic insects that feed on our blood. While bedbugs don’t spread diseases, fleas are responsible to transmit diseases like as murine typhus, bubonic plague and tapeworm larvae. Scratching flea bites can lead to infections.
The body of adult bedbug is flat, sized about an apple seed. But after having fed, their bodies of these bugs swell-up and acquire reddish color due to the victim's blood.
Though these insects cannot fly, they can quickly creep over walls, floors, and ceilings. Females of these species can lay hundreds of eggs which develop into adults quickly, within a month.
Young bedbugs are called nymphs. These nymphs shed their skins about 5 times to reach maturity, and require a full dose of blood every time before it sheds its skin.
Sometimes, bedbugs act like sensible creatures, for they cannot fly or jump beyond 6", but they climb to higher surfaces like walls or ceiling, and then glide or jump over to fall in bed.
The saliva of the flea contains anticoagulants that prevent formation of blood clots, and keeps the blood flowing.
WHEN BEDBUGS BITE
Bedbugs are mainly active at night, and usually bite us when we are asleep. They suck blood through an elongated beak, which it pierces in our skin. It takes about 3 to 10 minutes for it to fill up with blood. Initially, the bedbug bites are painless, but it later turns into itchy welts.
While flea bites are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping.
Flea bite cause temporary red patches to appear on skin at the bitten place. But bedbug bites do not cause such red patches.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
If we wake up with itchy areas over our skin (which were non-existent before sleep), it is probably because of bedbugs. This is especially applicable, when we have slept over a used bed.
Other signs include blood stains in bed-sheets or pillowcases, and dirty spots of flea or bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses and bed clothes.
HOW THE BUGS COME, AND IT'S HIDING PLACES
Bedbugs usually enter our home through clothing, luggage, couch, bed etc. They can fit in tiny places due to their flat body structure. Though they don't have nests, they prefer to live in groups in the places where they hide.
Fleas can also come from pet animals or poultry animals.
Their favorite hiding places are mattresses, box springs (mattress base, with springs covered with fabric), bed frames, and headboards (the vertical board usually covered in fabric at the start of bed). These are the places, from where they can quickly come out and bite at night.
These bugs scatter to different objects and places inside our bedroom; in chairs, in crevices, or they also extend to the nearby rooms and apartments.