Bed bugs and dust mites are just a few of the most common unwanted guests in our home. They might be the cause of the little red bites that you can see all over your body. That’s not only itchy but it doesn’t look good too. So, what is the differences between these two?

Dust Mites vs. Bed Bugs

image of bed bug and dust mite

Dust mites are so small they are often microscopic. They are insect-like pests that commonly lives in the house. They usually feed on the shredded skin of people and pets. Dust mites loves a warm and moist environment and often thrive at temperatures between 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity of at least 70 to 80%. The temperature at home is just right making it the ideal place for them to stay. They often find their way into the inner layers of your favorite furniture, carpets, bedding and even stuffed toys.

Meanwhile, bed bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that are visible to the naked eye. These insects live on the blood of animal and humans. Adult bed bugs often have a flat body but after feeding it swells and becomes reddish in color. Bed bugs do not fly but are fast crawlers and can move fast between walls, ceilings and floors. Bed bugs hides on luggage, clothing, mattresses and sofas. They often stay on the headboard or on the bed itself so that they have easy access to people when they feed.

Symptoms of Dust Mites

Like bed bugs, Dust mites is also considered as an allergen because it triggers an allergic reaction. Dust mites may die on the extremes of temperature, but their waste and bodies stay behind. Once a person inhales them or touches their skin, this can trigger an allergic reaction. Dust mite allergy may also trigger your asthma. Common dust mite allergy symptoms are the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy nose, mouth or throat
  • Itchy skin
  • Postnasal drip (A flow of mucus at the back of your nose that goes through the throat)
  • Cough

Symptoms of Bed Bugs

scratching bed bugs bites on legs

The bed bugs can bite anywhere on an exposed skin. They often bite the neck, face, hands, shoulders, arms and legs as they are not covered by clothing. People do not feel the bite itself until they develop symptoms such as:

  • A burning or painful sensation
  • Raised itchy bump with a clear center
  • Red itchy bump with a dark center and swollen sides
  • Small spots of blood from bites often dried or stained onto sheets or bed clothing

The symptoms of bed bugs depend on the individual characteristics of the bug’s bite and the person who was bitten by it. It may also cause serious reactions and might require medical attention.

Treatments

putting anti-itch cream on hand

You cannot control how your body reacts to the allergen like the bed bugs or dust mites. It is still important to be ready when the need of medication arises. There are certain over-the-counter medications that may help reduce the reaction cause by the bites of the dust mites and bed bugs.

Antihistamines – these are readily available at the drug store and has a variety from pills to liquids and nose sprays. Antihistamines helps relieve the sneezing and itching of the nose and the eyes. It also reduces the mucus production therefore, lesser nasal stuffiness.

Anti-itch Cream – these are topical medications that helps lessen the redness and inflammation caused by the dust mites or bed bugs’ bites.

Decongestants – these are effective in relieving the nasal stuffiness. It helps shrink the lining of the nasal passages therefore making it easier for you to breathe through your nose. Some decongestants can make you feel sleep and might increase your blood pressure as its side effects.

If none of the medications above can relieve the symptoms you are experiencing, you might need to consult with the doctor to be given the appropriate medications and treatment.

Prevention

vacuuming under the bed

1. Cover your mattress with tight-fit fitted sheet and pillows qin zippered dust-proof covers. The materials of these are capable of preventing the dust mites and bed bugs to pass through. Meaning, it is allergen impermeable. Bed bugs are able to live for a year without feeding so make sure that you cover your mattress for at least a year to make sure all the bed bugs are dead.

2. Wash your bed sheets and linens regularly in hot temperature. Extremes of temperature can eradicate the dust mites and bed bugs that are lingering on them.

3. Use certified filter vacuum cleaners. Not all vacuum cleaners are effective against dust mites and bed bugs. Buying the right type of vacuum filter can help keep the mites and bug’s waste from getting to the air. Make sure to immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and dispose it.

4. Get rid of the clutter that surrounds your bed. Vacuuming and washing of sheets is not enough. Clean your surroundings first as to not invite more insects that can possibly pester you and live in your home. Also, a large amount of dust mites and bed bugs may be staying on the chairs, cabinets, pillows and carpeting so make sure you remove or clean anything that they can stay on.