Know the difference between flea bites vs mosquito bites

Flea Bites on Humans
August 6, 2018

It is important for us to be able to differentiate between flea bites vs mosquito bites for us to take adequate steps to prevent such bites from occurring.

Mosquito bites and flea bites have one common similarity, being that they are both itchy, irritating and annoying. Regular scratching often leads to further infection depending on your skin type. These infections are quite difficult to treat as some may necessitate the use of anti-histamines, hydrocortisone, and other antibacterial medications.

Signs and Symptoms of flea bites

There are different types of fleas, and some do not require pets to serve as their host, an example of such flea is the Human fleas (Pulex irritans), as such Flea bites could happen in a home where there are no pets.

The most common species of fleas are the dog and cat fleas which tend to feast on humans when their main hosts are absent. Fleas can jump to an extreme height to be able to get to their host.

The major signs and symptoms of flea bites on humans include;

Flea bites naturally occur around the feet, legs and other areas of the body that are easily accessible.

– Bites underneath the toenails, or the feet and in some extreme cases around the genitalia are usually signs of bite from sand fleas. Sand flea bites are usually painful and swollen. For individuals who are their immune system has been compromised, they stand a serious risk of getting skin infections.

– For those who have allergies and also in little kids, sub-epidermal blisters could occur as a result of flea bites. These blisters might not be a direct result of the flea bites but mainly as an allergic reaction to the flea bite.

– Rodents and rat fleas usually transmit fatal diseases like plague and murine typhus.

– A typical flea bite occurs in the shape of papules or wheals. These bites are clearly identifiable from a central area where the flea has bitten to draw out blood. This spot is typically referred to as the purpura pullicosa.

Sign and Symptoms of Mosquito bites

Mosquitoes are essentially carriers of several diseases. Male mosquitoes love to feed on plant products while their female counterparts need a blood meal to be able to reproduce (lay eggs). There different species of mosquitoes in existence.

The major signs and symptoms of Mosquito bites on humans include;


– Mosquito bites depending on your skin type could produce blisters

– Mosquito bites appear in every part of the body from your legs, arms, face, back, to other parts of your body.

– The areas surrounding the mosquito bite is usually swollen and reddish.

– Infected mosquito bites are typically accompanied with itching, redness and swelling.

Summary of Flea bites vs Mosquito bites

As previously stated, both flea bites and mosquito bites occur around the shines and have almost the same sign and symptoms which are itchiness and tendency to cause secondary infections. The table below documents the relationship between flea bite vs mosquito bite;


Flea Bites Mosquito Bites
Occurs in a group, cluster or well laid out pattern, smaller in size than mosquito bites. Usually isolated; Occurs in a single bump and accompanied by redness and itching, larger than flea bites.
Occurs around the lower regions of the body, e.g. the feet, legs etc. They are most common around the ankles.  However, you can find clusters of bites on other parts of the body, typically in cases of serious infestation. Occurs on all areas of the body which has been left exposed.
In most case, there are no reactions except the skin is highly sensitive to saliva. Pain and itching usually occur immediately after been bitten. Swelling or redness may or may not occur.
Continuous bites could lead to sensitivity Continuous bites can cause pruritic papules
Common symptoms of flea bites include inflammation and irritation. Common symptoms of flea bites include inflammation and irritation, although scratching could make symptoms much worse
Flea bites take less time to heal than mosquito bites. In cases of secondary infection antibiotics and steroidal creams may be required. Mosquito bites take more time to heal when compared to flea bites, typically about 3 to 4 days. In severe cases, they may require antibiotics medications.
Occurs at any time of the day or night Occurs mainly at night or after sunset usually when the intended victim is asleep.
Can occur at any time of the year and in any location. Although more prevalent during the summer months. Occur majorly in the tropics, and swampy regions also occur during the summer months.
Fleas do not have any preference when it comes to their hosts. Anything goes. Mosquitoes are generally attracted to dark-coloured clothed victims in addition to other factors like perfumes and so on.


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