Ticks and bed bugs are a huge problem. They are both small, annoying pests that bite and have the potential for disease. Though bed bugs are often more commonly connected to the indoors while ticks are associated with outdoors, each can be found in either setting. If you’ve been experiencing an itchy sensation, the primary bugs that may be responsible are ticks and bed bugs. 

In this article, we’ll unlock how to identify whether you’re having a tick or bed bug problem. We will also go in-depth about the signs and symptoms of an active infestation of bed bugs or if there are ticks present. Lastly, we’ll cover the best preventative ways to ensure you won’t deal with a bed bug or tick problem again, including extermination services. 


Tick vs Bed Bug under magnifying glass


Identifying tick vs. bed bug

Bed bugs and ticks are tiny. For that reason, they are often confused with one another. Though they are very different, depending on the tick, the color may vary. Ticks can be brown, black, or even white. Ticks get their color from feeding. They may start as a white tick, but when having a full meal, they can transform into a more silvery-green color. 

Color changing isn’t something bed bugs do. Though they may plump after a meal, they still retain the same brown round-body appearance as they typically do. An adult bed bug will have an oval body and be a reddish-brown. 

Ticks range in color but are often brown and black. Their bodies often reach 1 to 2 millimeters in size but can get as large as 10 mm. Both ticks and bed bugs have tiny legs used to move them. One common myth is that bed bugs and ticks jump; however, this isn’t accurate. Ticks or bed bugs can jump.

The common similarity between ticks and bed bugs is the need to feed. These parasites need a host. They require blood to survive. The dearborn tick most commonly feeds on animals, though it is no stranger to feeding on a human. At the same time, bed bugs are notorious for living in homes typically near beds where they can prey upon sleeping individuals.

Where do they naturally live?

Ticks are often found outside the home, while bed bugs prefer indoors. Though this isn’t always the case, you are more likely to be bitten by a tick outside in a more wooded setting, than you would be in the home. Bed bugs are almost exclusively found in the house, in places like bedding and furniture. Most ticks have ZERO interest in coming into a home. In fact, the reason most people see ticks inside is that a person or pet has carried them inside as the tick was trying to feed. 

Infestation Size

Ticks aren’t typically found in massive groups the way bed bugs are. Though this doesn’t mean you can’t find multiple ticks on you. It will significantly depend on the area in which you travel. Bed bugs will grow their group and live off the host until their numbers are massive. Because breeding isn’t as fast, it can take months for a substantial infestation of bed bugs to become noticeable.


Tick bite

Tick vs. Bed Bug Bites

As mentioned above, there are many differences between bed bugs and ticks. The commonality, though, is they are both parasites insects. They require blood to survive. Let’s take a look at some of the signs, symptoms, and health risks associated with both. 

Signs and symptoms of tick vs. bed bug bites

Bed bugs are more stealth-like than a tick. You might be waking up at night feeling itchy or unable to get comfortable in bed because of an itch. These are signs you shouldn’t neglect. Another sign of bed bugs is having a bite pattern of threes, accompanied by an itchy feeling. Bed bugs tend to feed on the lower extremities, including the legs and stomach areas. 

Ticks are less concerned about where they feed and can be found attached almost anywhere, including in the hair, in the pelvic region, or even on your abdomen.

Health Risks

The biggest difference between ticks and bed bugs is disease transmission. Studies have shown that bed bugs are not transmitters of disease. However, ticks are known contributors for disease, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.


Preventing Infestation

The best method for preventing an infestation of bed bugs and ticks has professional pest control services. Though with bed bugs, you can limit your exposure significantly if you are careful about what you bring in your home. Always wash any second-hand bedding or clothing when staying in a hotel, always clean belongings when you get back home, and keep items sealed in a trash bag or Ziploc bag. Ticks can be deterred with pesticides from your local pest controller. 



Ticks and bed bugs are cause for concern. Not only are these pests annoying, but ticks can also transmit horrible diseases like Lyme disease and several bacterias. While they are both parasites, they are both easily treated and preventable. At Bug Guys Pest Control, we offer effective tick control to keep ticks at bay as well as extermination services for bed bugs. To request service for tick control today, visit us online by clicking here or giving us a call at (442) 227-8409.