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Bed Bugs vs. Scabies

bed bugs vs scabiesHave you ever heard the expression, “stuck between a rock and a hard place?” That phrase most definitely applies to the situation between bed bugs and scabies. Before we discuss the differences, it is important to recognize that similarity between these two creepy crawlers.

For example, both bed bugs and scabies cause rashes that itch and cause a good deal of discomfort to the hosts. This irritation is usually worse at night, when the infected skin is more likely to be irritated as a person sleeps.

Bed Bugs: Signs and Symptoms

Bed bugs feed on human blood, usually at night. This makes them parasites. They need blood in order to grow and continue their metamorphosis into adulthood. They are mostly nocturnal, sleeping during the day near large pieces of furniture such as beds, couches, etc. At night they find their way to their victims through body heat and the carbon dioxide that is emitting from bodies. When humans are not available, bed bugs will gladly attack warm blooded pets such as dogs and cats.

Some people are allergic to the protein in the saliva (used as a numbing agent) of bed bugs, which will make them develop a variety of ailments. It is important to not that small number of people will show no signs of bed bug bites.

  • Bed bugs live inside furniture.
  • The skin showing swollen pustules. The center of the bite is marked by a red halo.
  • Bites are usually seen in a straight pattern. Bed bugs cannot fly and don’t jump.
  • Bed bug bite marks usually appear in collections of three or four. Bites are most likely to  occur on exposed extremities such as the arms, hands, neck, feet, etc.
  • Bed bug bites can get very itchy at times. Scratching should be avoided else the bite can get infected.
  • Bed bugs do not live in or on their victims. After they have eaten, they will return to a cool, dark hiding spot.
  • Infestations need to be eliminated with the use pesticides or heat treatment. Many people have switched to heat treatments because they are much less harmful to the environment.
  • Bed bugs are larger than scabies and are NOT contagious in the sense that they will infect another person through contact.When it comes to bed bugs you have to be more concerned about the bugs traveling to other homes via clothing, furniture, luggage, etc.
  • People may also find rust colored stains on their mattresses or in the corners of the sheets and bedspreads. This is the exoskeleton or fecal matter of bed bugs.
  • Bedbugs are nocturnal; turning a light on in the middle of the night will give you a glimpse of what is going on. These critters will quickly run and hide, however, so be sure to keep an eye out.

Scabies: Signs and Symptoms

Scabies are contagious, and is caused by the exoskeleton scabies humanis mite. Scabies mites have an incubation period that lasts from two to six weeks. The bites, like bed bug bites, are worse at night. These skin afflictions are often seen in scabies:

  • Scabies live inside skin.
  • Scabies can be spread over a much larger area.
  • Scabies prefer to burrow in folds of skin; check the inner linings between your fingers, armpits and backs of knees for quick detection.
  • Burrows- These are little divots in the skin. These are the characteristic lesions in scabies. They are made by pregnant female mites laying eggs. These may not be present if you catch the infection early enough.
  • Scabies rashes are identified on feet, mostly in between fingers and toe. These are usually white or red lines or burrows on the skin.
  • These mites live under their hosts’ skin. Here they might lay eggs causing increased discomfort.
  • To clear out scabies humans need a drug called permethrin and other medicated skin creams for elimination of the mites and treatment of bites.
  • In babies, these rashes can develop into papules, urticaria, and lesions.
  • All family members must receive treatment since scabies mites can be easily spread through household items such as towels.
  • Scabies mites mostly target the areas under the finger or toenails, on the wrists, feet, between the fingers and toes.

Please note that the treatments for bed bugs and scabies infestations are very different. Also, If you are noticing red marks, rashes, or blisters on yourself or on loved ones, do not hesitate to contact a doctor today. Take the steps necessary to make your home safe and healthy.

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