It’s a common question. Do I have bed bugs or dust mites?
Bed bugs or dust mites? Well, either can make you miserable but it’s kind of similar to when someone feels utterly awful with a head cold but they insist it’s the flu. Knowing what you’re dealing with empowers you to find the right solution. If you assume you know what’s causing your problems then how can you be sure you’ll be treating the right cause?
There are actually many differences between bed bugs and dust mites but if you’ve never suffered from either of them – and you’d be very fortunate – then it’s easy to blame one when it could be the other. The important thing is to be appropriately informed, and take appropriate action.
Frankly, bed bugs or dust mites … they’re both ugly creatures. But you’ll be hard-pressed to see a dust mite as they are almost microscopic. Bed bugs, on the other hand, are around half a centimetre long and grow even larger when their bodies are engorged with human blood. Bed bugs are reddish-brown, oval and flat in shape, have six legs and two antennae.
What they eat
How we suffer from their behaviours lies in the differences between bed bugs and dust mites’ diets. Dust mites feed off of dead skin cells that humans shed. Bed bugs feast on the blood of warm-blooded mammals such as humans and our pets.
You’ll find bed bugs or dust mites in beds but they inhabit them differently. Dust mites prefer dark, moist environments like mattresses, pillows and cushions where they enjoy a constant food source. Bed bugs hide in the crevices close to the bed and also in other parts of the bedroom such as behind headboards, behind and under bedside tables, in curtains and in carpet along skirting boards.
While smaller in size, dust mites pack a powerful punch because their excrement can cause awful allergic reactions such as asthma, rhinitis, and eczema. Bed bugs bite and leave small, itchy red marks on the skin.
Another important difference between bed bugs and dust mites is that dust mites exist in every room of a home, hotel, motel, nursing home or boarding house. While bed bugs are not as prolific, they are a growing problem all over the world.