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If you are experiencing irritating red itchy rashes that resemble mosquito bites, you might wonder what you’re dealing with. Are they mosquito bites or, even more disconcerting, are they bed bug bites?
Although often confused with bed bug bites, before you start throwing out your bed clothes and tearing up the carpet, stop and compare the bites you are seeing with that of the scabies mite.
The scabies mite is tiny. Most people can't see them with the naked eye, although the slightly larger males sometimes appear as very tiny white dots. They burrow under the skin and leave a rash that looks like raised welts, usually in the folds of the skin. Severe cases create scale-like rashes.
The average bed bug is also very small, but they can be seen with the naked eye. They are brown in color and flat before feeding. Once fed, they turn reddish and engorged. They do not live within the skin of those that they bite, like mites. They bite anywhere on the arms, face, neck and back.
Scabies is a skin infestation of a type of mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. These are tiny, almost invisible, eight-legged creatures that fall under the same class as spiders and ticks. Scabies mites burrow under the skin to lay eggs and will crawl around on the skin, causing intense itching. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae that emerge will burrow back into the skin, causing even more irritation.
The itching is a reaction to the bite. Often the bite marks are in a nearly straight line and several rows of them will appear on the body. Some areas where you are more likely to see bites include the wrists, joints and areas where the skin is wrinkled or folded. The itching is often reported as more intense at night and during warmer months.
Scabies mites are hard to see, but sometimes the males can appear as tiny white dots. They are also very contagious and if you spend a lot of time in contact with someone who is infected, you might end up with your own infection.
The most telltale sign of a scabies infection is the intense itching. This presents on the surface of the skin as a red rash that, when examined closely, looks like tiny red bumps or bites. When studied in extreme close up the tiny burrows that the scabies leave under the skin can be seen.
The itching can appear on the wrists, joint areas, finger webs and the back, among other areas. The bites usually appear in a line, but can also appear S-shaped. The symptoms usually start two to six weeks after an infestation has begun.
There are a variety of treatments for scabies. One of the simplest prevention methods is to avoid contact with someone else that has them. Scabies is transmitted via contact with a person infected.
If you think are you are infected with scabies, seek medical treatment. There are a number of medications that can control the itching. Anti-inflammatory drugs can also help. Bed clothes, clothing, towels and other things that had skin-to-skin contact with the infected person should be washed.
Bed bug bites do have a resemblance to scabies. However, bed bugs bite at night and are slightly different in appearance. Bed bug bites are tiny raised welts that more closely resemble a bite than scabies, which looks more like a rash.
Scabies bites on occasion take on a crusty yellowish appearance and can form lesions.
Bed bugs have specially designed mouthparts to pierce more deeply into the skin to get at the blood vessels. Scabies make their burrows and homes in the folds of the skin. Bed bug bites are often a series of raised bumps in a row as multiple insects feed right next to each other.
Bed bug bites appear overnight. Scabies bites are reported to itch more at night, but their biting and burrowing does not increase based upon the time of day.
Scabies bites are reportedly much more itchy and intense than bed bug bites.
Although there is nothing a pest control company can do for a scabies infestation, Rentokil Steritech technicians are experts in bed bug control and removal services. To determine if you might have bed bugs you can check out the signs of bed bugs on our site.
If you believe you have bed bugs, call us for a free inspection and for solutions that will remove the problem, including our entotherm heat treatments, and stop them from coming back.
Call us at 1-888-261-7454 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment.
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