Bed Bugs vs Mites

No one wants their home to be infested with bed bugs or mites. Before you can eliminate either of these pests, however, it’s important to understand some of the distinct differences between the two. When you are trying to differentiate between mites vs. bed bugs, it’s often a good idea to call on a bed bug control professional for assistance. Below are some facts about each pest that might help you.

What do bed bugs look like?

Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown in color and about one-fourth of an inch long. Their bodies are oval and flattened, somewhat resembling an apple seed. They have six, slender legs and possess two antennae. Bed bugs have a long, slender mouthpart known as the proboscis that they use to pierce the skin of the host animal and siphon a blood meal. Immature bed bugs, called nymphs, look the same as the adults except that they are smaller and their color will usually be much lighter.

What do mites look like?

More than 46,000 species of mites have been identified, so the appearance will vary greatly among the different types. Mites are not actually insects. They are categorized as arachnids. Spiders and ticks also belong to this group and are closely related to mites. Most mites are approximately one-eighth of an inch long and can be seen with the naked eye, although some species are so small that they cannot be seen without the aid of a magnifying glass or microscope. Mites develop through four life stages – egg, larval, nymph and adult. Immature mites have six legs. Adults have eight legs.

Where are you likely to find bed bugs and mites in your home?

Bed bugs are typically found, as their name implies, in or near your bed. They can be found in the seams and folds of mattresses as well as in box springs. A common place to find bed bugs is behind the headboard where it abuts or is attached to the wall. As a bed bug infestation grows, they spread to nearby articles of upholstered furniture, behind baseboards, into wall voids, beneath loose flooring and behind electrical switches.

There are three species of mites that readily infest homes – the bird mite, the clover mite and the dust mite. The bird mite prefers to feed on the blood of birds and rodents, but will bite humans if their host animal dies. Because they are carried by their host to various locations, they can be found inside walls, in the attic and in cracks and crevices near wherever birds or rodents may nest. Clover mites do not bite humans, but they can be alarming because they sometimes enter buildings by the thousands. Clover mites feed on clover, ivy, fruit trees and other plants and tend to enter structures when food sources outside are in short supply. The dust mite is so small it’s virtually invisible. These mites do not feed on humans, but can easily become airborne. Dust mites and their feces are one of the most common allergens found indoors. Pillows, mattresses and upholstered furniture are typical harborage sites for dust mites.

If you are concerned about bed bugs or mites carrying disease, you should know that bed bugs are not known to transmit any disease to humans. Only a few species of mites rarely have. Both can, however, cause skin irritations or allergic reactions due to their bite.

Now that you have more information about mites vs. bed bugs, it should be a given that you don’t want either of these pests invading your space. Call the pest management professionals at Terminix® to help keep these and other pests from bugging you.