Are Scabies and Bed Bugs the Same Thing?

Before we delve into the differences between scabies mites and bed bug bites, let’s first know about the a little.

Sarcoptes scabiei is a parasitic mite that resides within the hypodermic tissues of skin on humans that causes the condition known as scabies. These mites are distributed globally and can disturb all socio-economic groups. Scabies mites are generally host specific and are dependent on humans for its life cycle.

These are oval, straw colored in appearance and are microscopic, measuring 0.2-0.4mm in length. The immature stages of the scabies mite comprise a larval stage, followed by 2 nymph stages, each stage resembling the adult mite.

Bed bugs or bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on blood. The common bed bud, Cimex lectularius is the best known as it prefers to feed on human blood.

Points of similarity between the two

Both, scabies mites and bed bug bites can cause itchy rashes on skin and in both the conditions, itchiness is generally worse at night time.

Bed Bugs vs. Scabies Mites

Despite of their somewhat similar appearance and ability to cause extreme, itching. They differ greatly.

  • The primary difference between bed bugs and scabies is that the formers are a kind of insect, while latter are tiny mites.


  • Although, both of these feed on human blood, they do it in different ways.


  • Scabies mites are too small to see with the naked eyes, and they burrow into the person’s skin to feed and lay eggs. Whereas Bed bugs generally hide in a person’s furniture and come out after dark to feed a person’s blood.


  • The symptoms of bed bugs and scabies on the skin are entirely different from each other. While scabies target very specific areas, bedbugs bite any area on the body without a preference.


  • When bed bugs attack a person, they generally inject a numbing agent inside the skin. Since most people are allergic to this substance, it is usually what causes the bumps to appear. Plus, most of the time there will be a pattern of bumps over a wide area of the skin after being bitten by the bed bugs.


  • Bodies of the Bed bugs are very soft that easily bust, particularly when they’re full of blood. This can leave behind small blood spots on a person’s mattress.


  • Scabies target certain specific areas of the body. They are common on a person’s wrist, creases between the fingers, under the area of the stomach, on the elbows, around the genitals, and between the toes.


  • During the initial stages of scabies infestation, the scabies sores often look like white lines in the skin. However, over time, they generally turn into inflamed, red bumps that tend to itch severely, and people often scratch them aggressively. This in turn leads to open up the skin and possibly cause additional skin infections.


  • The treatments for bed bugs and scabies infestations vary greatly. Most doctors prescribe medicated creams for scabies. It is not possible to get rid of scabies infestation without these medications. Also, to control constant itching, topical creams like Dr. Scabies are also available over-the counter. Moreover, scabies is highly contagious, so there are often a lot of precautions taken to avoid passing the infestation on to other people.


  • In the case of bed bugs, killing the bugs is what all required. There are pesticides that can help do this, but they generally aren’t recommended because of the potential dangers these substances possess. Majority of the solutions for dealing with bed bugs revolve around treating the infested furniture or linens. Since bed bugs have a low heat tolerance, many experts recommend washing linens at an especially high temperature and sealing off the area in furniture where bed bugs may be hiding.

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