Itchy itchy itchy
June 16, 2005 10:50 AM   Subscribe

How can you tell the difference between mosquito bites and flea bites? (Does one heal quicker than the other?)

I have been rather thoroughly bitten by some sort of insects ... more so than I ever have in the past.

(I never see them, nor do I really ever feel the sensation of being bitten. I do, however, sleep without a shirt, and, during the last few hot evenings in Chicago, I slept without a covering sheet on me.)

I think that these are mosquitoes -- but I wonder if they might be fleas, since I have a cat. However, he does not show any signs of scratching (and is an indoor cat), which makes me think that fleas are unlikely.

I'm suspicious only because I seem to have been more vehemently attacked (in number and in coverage) by the little buggers (of whatever species) than I have in the past, and I wonder if such more widespread behavior might indicate flea origin and not mosquito origin.
posted by WCityMike to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Flea bites are generally on the legs and feet-since they live on the ground. Also, I have found that flea bites tend to be larger, itchier and last longer. You could try using Off-it works well for mosquitoes at least. Check your window screens, and if you are still getting bit it's probably fleas.
posted by slimslowslider at 11:34 AM on June 16, 2005

beware bed bugs.
posted by alkupe at 12:01 PM on June 16, 2005

I met a bed-bug infestation at a hostel in BC. The bites were just like large mosquito bites. The buggers hide from light, so you aren't likely to see them, if that's the case.

Bedbugs are definately making a comeback in North America, but they don't carry any diseases, so I wouldn't panic.
posted by Popular Ethics at 12:42 PM on June 16, 2005

Well, I'm slightly allergic to mosquito bites, so I find that flea bites are smaller and less itchy, but they do last longer. My dad's method of determining if we had fleas was to wear a pair of knee-high socks (pulled up geek-style) and slowly walk around the house. The fleas will jump on to the socks, and you can see them quite plainly. If you haven't seen a flea yet, I doubt it's fleas.
posted by muddgirl at 12:46 PM on June 16, 2005

Fleabites come in series, so if you have lines of bites instead of a random pattern, than it's probably not mosquitos. I don't know anything about bedbugs, though.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:12 PM on June 16, 2005

Mosquito bites tend to be on uncovered parts of the body, whereas fleas hide under socks, pants, etc.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:44 PM on June 16, 2005

I'm oversensitive to all biting insects, so YMMV.

Flea bites are much smaller on me than mosquito bites, and they heal more quickly, but itch even worse than mosquito bites. I rarely feel them bite me.

Do you sleep with your window open? I never did figure out exactly what they were (perhaps midges?) but in one apartment I used to get visited by some sort of non-mosquito flying insects that found me every morning around dawn.
posted by desuetude at 2:18 PM on June 16, 2005

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