Difference between Bed Bug Bites and Mosquito Bites

Sometimes you wake up and start scratching from an insect bite and you can’t figure out what insect the bite came from. It is important that you find out as soon as possible so that you can take the best course of action, such as visiting a doctor if necessary or calling pest control professionals to handle the insects. Among the most common types are mosquito bites and bed bug bites.


Bed bug bites
Bed bug bites

Bed bug bites often look similar to mosquito bites. Bed bug bites are lumps that appear on the skin due to bed bugs that tend to align themselves with where your body comes into contact with the mattress or the edge of a bed sheet. This means that the bites will mostly appear as a line or row on your skin.

Mosquito bites
Mosquito bite

Mosquito bites are random and isolated lumps on the skin caused by the bite of a female anopheles mosquito, mostly on exposed skin.

Comparison Chart

Bed Bug bites Mosquito bites
Can crawl under clothes and bite the skin that is covered by clothes Can’t bite through clothes
Bites are often aligned as a line or row Bites are often random and isolated
Take time to show and feel itchy Instantly itchy and visible
Self-resolve after a relatively long period of time Self-resolve faster than bed bug bites
Cannot transmit diseases Can transmit diseases such as malaria

Bed Bug Bites vs Mosquito Bites

What is the difference between bed bug bites and mosquito bites? Since they are similar, secondary evidence, such as location and reaction time, is required to distinguish a mosquito bite from a bed bug bite.

  • Mosquito bites tend to be random and isolated on the skin and mostly affect the exposed parts of the body such as the arms, legs and head. Since bed bugs can crawl under clothes, their bites can be found all over the body and often appear in clusters of three or more. Bed bug bites are sometimes aligned as if in a line or row due to the bugs biting the skin where it comes into contact with bedding.
  • When a mosquito bites, it takes a few minutes for its bite to show and feel itchy. A raised and oddly shaped welt with red boundaries forms on the skin. Within a day, the welt turns into a red bump. Mosquito bites disappear faster compared to bed bug bites. Conversely, bed bug bites may take several minutes or hours to show. At first, a flat and red welt is formed that doesn’t itch. With time, the welt turns into an itchy bump.


Attached find a health check video by a doctor advising on how to determine if a bite is from a bed bug and what to do in case you have been bitten.