The main difference between dust mites and bed bugs is that the dust mites are microscopic spiders whereas bed bugs are tiny insects. Furthermore, dust mites feed on flakes shed by the skin while bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals.
Dust mites and bed bugs are two types of household pests whose infestation can cause health issues.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Dust Mites
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
2. What are Bed Bugs
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
3. What are the Similarities Between Dust Mites and Bed Bugs
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Dust Mites and Med Bugs
– Comparison of Key Differences
Asthma, Bed Bugs, Blood, Dust Mites, Skin Flakes, Household Pests
Difference Between Dust Mites and Bed Bugs – Side by Side Comparison
What are Dust Mites
Dust mites are microscopic spiders the feed on the flakes shed by the human skin. They are 0.2-0.4 mm in size. Actually, the major portion of dust in homes is composed of dead human skin cells. Hence, dust mites can feast royally every day. They prefer damp, indoor environments such as pillows, mattresses, sofa, and carpets. Dust mites are not considered as parasites since they do not have contact with animals.
However, secretions or fecal matter of dust mites can cause symptoms such as asthma or cold. In order to prevent dust mites, the relative humidity inside the house can be reduced up to 50% by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
What are Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are flat, oval-shaped, wingless insects with a brownish red color. The three stages of the bed bug life cycle are egg, nymph, and adult. The size of an adult bed bug is comparable to an apple seed. They feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. After a blood meal, they become swollen. The two species of bed bugs that feed on humans are common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) and tropical bed bug (Cimex hemipterus). Some bed bugs serve as vectors for the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis B virus.
The piercing mouthparts of the common bed bug comprise two hollow tubes called rostra; one rostrum is used to inject an anesthetics and anticoagulant while the other rostrum is used to suck the blood. Many humans do not show symptoms of bed bug bites, but some bites can cause scars and skin infections when scratched.
Similarities Between Dust Mites and Bed Bugs
- Dust mites and bed bugs are household pests.
- Both infest household, causing health problems.
Difference Between Dust Mites and Bed Bugs
Dust mites refer to tiny microscopic organisms that primarily cause allergies related to dust in the house while bed bugs refer to bloodsucking bugs parasitic on mammals and birds.
These two organisms belong to different classes. Dust mites belong to the class Arachnida while bed bugs belong to the class Insecta.
Bed bugs are larger than dust mites since dust mites are microscopic creatures while bed bugs are 5-7 mm long.
Body color is another difference between dust mites and bed bugs. Dust mites are white to translucent in color while bed bugs are brown in color.
When we compare the body shape of these two, dust mites are globular in shape while bed bugs are flat with oval-shaped bodies.
Number of legs
While dust mites have eight legs, bed bugs only have six legs.
Dust mites do not have antennae while bed bugs have a pair of antennae.
Whereas dust mites live in damp environments, bed bugs mainly live in the crevices of bed.
Their feeding habits are also different. Dust mites feed on flakes shed by the skin while bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals.
Dust mites are not parasites while bed bugs are ectoparasites.
The lifespan of a dust mite is 1-2 months while a lifespan of a bed bug is 6-12 months.
Asthma, sneezing, runny noses, red and watery eyes are the symptoms caused by dust mites while long-lasting red spots or welts are the symptoms of bed bugs.
Maintaining the relative humidity below 50% can prevent dust mites while cleaning with hot water and steaming remove bed bugs.
Dust mites are microscopic spiders that feed on flakes of the skin shed by humans and other animals. But, bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on the blood of mammals. The main difference between dust mites and bed bugs is the anatomy and the mode of nutrition.
1. “Facts About Dust Mite Bites (Plus Differences from Bed Bug).” Pestwiki, PestWiki, 12 June 2018, Available Here
2. Rozendaal, Jan A. “Bedbugs, Fleas, Lice, Ticks and Mites.” Vector Control – Methods for Use by Individuals and Communities, WHO, 1997, pp. 237–261, Available Here