Scabies vs Bed Bugs: Difference and Comparison

The human body is very sensitive to any type of foreign intruders attacking the body. The moment any intruder attacks, the body starts responding and kills the intruders before incorporating with the cells.

Key Takeaways

  1. Scabies is caused by microscopic mites burrowing into the skin, while bed bugs are insects that feed on human blood.
  2. Scabies symptoms include intense itching and a pimple-like rash, whereas bed bug bites cause red, itchy welts on the skin.
  3. Treatment for scabies requires prescription medication to kill the mites, while bed bug infestations require extermination and cleaning.

Scabies vs Bed Bugs

The difference between Scabies and Bed Bugs is that Scabies causes mites to feed on human blood, and they do so by infusing themselves under the skin. Because of this, on the surface, red rashes have appeared, which irritates.

Scabies vs Bed Bugs
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Scabies is a disease that is caused by mites called Sarcoptes scabiei. These are parasitic mites that live inside the surface of the skin.

Bed Bugs are insects that infect humans irritating. These are parasites that feed on human blood and sometimes even on some other mammals like dogs, cats, etc.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonScabiesBed Bugs
DefinitionSkin irritation that is caused by mitesSkin irritation that is caused by insects
Caused By Sarcoptes scabieiCimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus
SymptomsRed papules, intense itching, and many moreDiscolored skin, red spots, skin irritation, etc
DiagnosisA physical exam or by microscopic supervision of skin scrapsA physical exam or by infestation on skin
Risk FactorsWeak immune system and living in crowded placesUsing obtained furniture or living in hotels or motels more than usual
TreatmentAntihistamines, topical permethrin, antibiotics, etcCorticosteroids and Antihistamines

What are Scabies?

Scabies is an infection that is caused by a parasitic mite feeding human blood and living under the skin of humans. Because of this, it is called a parasitic mite.

The infections lead to skin redness and irritation at night. The causing agent burrows itself under the layer of the skin and lays eggs.

The infection caused by the scabies mite can be diagnosed by a physical examination performed by the doctor or by examining the skin scraping under the microscope for the mites’ eggs, and faeces, or for its presence.

scabies

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are an insect that feeds on human blood along with other mammals like dogs and cats. They are parasitic as they live in dark or dry places like on the surface of furniture, seams of the mattress, bed frame, curtains, used clothes, pillow covers, sheets, etc. 

The scientific name of the insect infecting the disease is known as Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus. The first species of the insect can be found in the temperate parts, while the second species of the insect can be found in the tropical parts of the world. 

After the biting of the bed bug, the symptoms like red spots, skin irritation, blisters, pimples, or swelling can be seen. These are noticeable after 10 days and become itchy after some time.

The treatment for bed bugs involves the oral intake of medicine like antihistamines and corticosteroids cream. Still, after taking the treatment, it takes approximately 10 days to get away with the sore of bed bugs. 

bed bugs

Main Differences Between Scabies and Bed Bugs

  1. Scabies is a disease that causes skin irritation because of mites, whereas comparatively, Bed bugs are skin irritation because of the insect.
  2. The causative agent for the Scabies disease is Sarcoptes scabiei, while comparatively, on the other side, the causative agent for the Bed bugs are Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus.
  3. The symptoms appearing after the infection caused by Scabies are – red papules, intense itching, and many others, while comparatively, on the other side, the symptoms that appear because of the Bed bugs are discolored, patchy skin, red spots, itchiness, or skin irritation, and many others.
  4. Scabies can be diagnosed by performing a physical exam or by testing the skin scraping under the microscope, whereas comparatively, on the other side, Bed bugs are diagnosed by the physical examination or by the infestation seen on the surface of the skin.
  5. The risk factors related to scabies is that it denotes the weak immune system of the person with their living in a crowded place, while comparatively, on the other side, the risk factors related to bed bugs shows the overusing the rooms in hotel or motel with used furniture, clothes, sheets, etc.
  6. Scabies can be treated with antihistamines, topical permethrin, antibiotics, and many other medicines, while comparatively, on the other side, bed bugs are treated by using corticosteroids and antihistamines. 
Difference Between Scabies and Bed Bugs
References
  1. https://journals.lww.com/co-pediatrics/Abstract/2021/08000/Common_pediatric_infestations__update_on_diagnosis.12.aspx
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0196655320305216
  3. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajm/article/view/27994
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1059840509331438

Last Updated : 30 July, 2023

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