What is the difference between bedbugs and fleas?

Bedbugs and fleas can look very similar and it can sometimes be difficult to tell which critter has infected your home. No matter which one has invaded your home, you want them gone as soon as possible. Before you go drive yourself crazy with itchy thoughts of these little bugs crawling over you, it’s important to figure out which one you’re dealing with. While treatments are necessary to remove both bedbugs and fleas from your home, depending on which ones you have, the treatment will change. Here’s how you can spot the difference between bedbugs and fleas:

The Difference Between Bedbugs and Fleas

Both critters require a warm-blooded host to provide them with their food: blood. However, fleas prefer to feed off of furry animals such as dogs.

learn the difference between a bedbug (pictured) and a flea.

Bedbug (Cimex Lectularius)

Bed bugs prefer to feed off of you and your family. Fleas are generally brought into your home by your family pets or by visiting animals while bed bugs will be brought into your home by your family or guests.

Bedbugs cannot jump or fly so they have to crawl across your bed in order to get to their food supply: you. Fleas can jump up to 200 times their body length which is approximately 13 inches. This makes it easier for them to transfer hosts and hitch a ride straight into your home.

Bedbugs haven’t been discovered to pass diseases, but fleas have the ability to spread diseases such as cat-scratch fever, typhus, and even the plague.

Bedbugs vs Fleas

If you see little critters running rampant in your home, here’s a quick guide to tell the difference between bedbugs and fleas:


Fleas (Siphonaptera)

●        Bedbugs are flat and shaped like a grain of rice. They are a reddish-brown color and are approximately 1.5-5 mm in length

●        Fleas are also reddish-brown in color, but they are more oval shaped and appear skinnier and longer rather than flat. Fleas are smaller in size and range about 1.5-3 mm.

●        Bedbugs are nocturnal and will feed on you while you sleep. If you see them during the day, it will most likely be in the seams of your mattress, the corners of your box spring, or in the baseboards close to your bed.

●        Fleas are also nocturnal, but since they feed on animals, you will most likely see them on your animals or in your animal’s sleeping areas. You can also find them in your carpet waiting for a ride.

Whether you have bedbugs or fleas, there is one sure solution: exterminate them as soon as possible with help from Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. We can help remove these invaders from your home and let you return to a bite-free and bloodsucking-free home. If you find signs of an infestation, call us today at (207) 650-8654.