Right identification of the bed bug and its bite plays an important role in containing their growth at an early stage. There are different species of insects, which also thrive on humans and animal blood. The bites of these insects can look similar to that of a bedbug. People often confuse since most of the other bugs have features that have close resemblance to a bedbug. However, the shelters and activities of these bugs vary, which helps to determine if a bug is a bed bug or not.
Lice: These small critters live on the body of the mammals and birds. Lice mainly survive on the blood of human beings. There are three types of lice – Head lice take shelter among the hairs. Body lice dwells on the human body and pubic lice lives and feeds among the hair of the pubic region. A louse undergoes three stages in its life – egg, nymph and adult. Adult louse measures up to 4.5mm long and penetrate the skin to suck the blood. Lice has a high reproduction rate where a female can lay up to fifty to one hundred and fifty eggs during its lifetime that lasts up to four weeks.
Fleas: Fleas are bloodsucking parasites that flourish feeding on the blood of birds and mammals. These are jumpy, wingless, dark-colored insects having long legs. They are agile and measure up to 3.3 mm in length. It undergoes through four stages in its lifetime – egg, larva, pupa and adult. It feeds on the blood to survive and reproduce. Fleas reproduce at an amazing rate. It lays about 500 or more eggs during its lifetime. They live among the hairs of animals. Fleabites cause severe irritation to the host. They jump and attack humans on legs, ankles and other exposed parts of the body. Flea transmits diseases such as plague, typhus fever and tularemia.
Mites: Mites live on soil or water and live as parasites on plants and animals. They usually harbor on rats, birds or mice dwelling. There are different types of mites that feed on insects, animals and man. They normally do not have contact with humans. If they do, the bite affects a person’s health. Four stages make up the development of mites – egg, larva, nymph and adult. Though, all types of mites are capable of attacking humans, rodent and bird mites affect people the most. They bite humans when the host dies or leaves its shelter. Rodent and bird mites feed on the blood of people causing severe itching and irritation. Other types of mites are scabies mites, chiggers, itch mites, house dust mites and clover mites.
Poultry bugs: These bugs commonly live and feed on chickens, fowl and turkey. People who spend around poultry are susceptible to bug bites, especially at nights. These are about 1/8th of an inch long and are grey or yellow but gain dark color after blood meal.
Bat bugs, barn swallow bugs are other parasitic insects that have close similarity to bedbugs.