Tick and Bed Bug

Bed bugs and ticks both are parasites; they depend on their hosts for survival.

As I see many people get confused and search for the difference, I thought of writing about it. Let us see the major differences between these two parasites. Commonly, parasites have two categories ectoparasites and endoparasites.

Bed bugs and ticks are ectoparasites because they are found outside the body of a host.

Read my Ultimate Guide on Bed Bugs Information

Bed Bugs VS Ticks

Bed bugs are brown, flat, and oval-shaped parasites. You can’t see them because they have a tiny size, just like an apple seed. They belong to Cimicidae, which is a specific family of insects.

There are many bed bugs species, but Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus are the most common species that infest human beings.


Ticks are of several types, but the primary classification is done on the base of their exoskeleton.

You can have two types of ticks, soft ticks and hard ticks.

Humans and pets may pick up ticks from camping grounds, yards, bushy or grassy trails and woody, and infested areas.

Usually, ticks season begins from early spring and continues till fall.

Some ticks can be found all over the year, especially inside buildings where the temperature is very high.

Just like bed bugs, ticks also have an oval shape and reddish-brown color.

Both ticks live near their host’s house.

Soft ticks prefer mammals as their hosts like cats, dogs, humans, raccoons, and mice deer.

Hard ticks also prefer humans as their hosts, but they could go for other hosts in the absence of human beings.

Some species of ticks also rely on birds.

Get Rid of Bed Bugs Guide

Similarities between Bed Bugs and Ticks

Bed bugs and ticks have many similarities like size and color etc.

Following are some common characteristics of them:

Color and Shape

They both have wingless, same coloration, and have almost the same shape.


As compared to ticks, bed bugs are significantly longer.

An adult bed bug can have a size of 3/8th of an inch. Their color could vary from brownish red to translucent yellow.

Freshly fed bed bugs look robust while recently fed ticks are swollen and engorged.

Difference between Bed Bugs and Ticks

Type of Host

Bed bugs only rely on humans, while the tick relies on both humans and animals.


Bed bugs live in the indoor environment while ticks live outdoors.

Health Risks

Bed bugs only cause itches and bump without causing any other disease.

Tick relies on several hosts; hence, they spread infections like tularemia and Lyme disease.

Number of Legs

Bed bugs have six legs; on the other hand, ticks have eight legs.

Bed bugs are insects, while ticks are arachnids like the spiders.


You need to be well aware of precautionary measures to prevent bed bugs.

Take care, especially during unpacking luggage before, after, and during a trip.

You must check for bed bugs in used furniture and clothing before taking them into your home.

To prevent tick infestation, you must avoid going to a tick-infested area.

If you must go to the infested area, you must wear protective clothing.

Method of Attacking

Ticks only rely on a host and then drop until the next metamorphosis, while bed bugs rely on humans every night.

Complexity Of Elimination

It’s too hard to get rid of bed bugs because they hide in dark areas that are hard to see, and they attack you at night. However, ticks are easy to eliminate.

Duration of Feeding

Bed bugs are smart; they know that you can pick them off so that they only feed for a limited time and go back to their hidden areas.

Bed bugs are related to insect class, so their nesting habits and behavior are different than ticks.

You should find bed bugs in the bed, mattresses, cracks, and sleeping areas. Even you can see them on window sills, underpainting frames, and couches.

Bed bugs avoid bathrooms and moist places.

Their infestation is common in the United States because many people are traveling and living in motels.

Many theaters are infested in the country. Even bed bugs are hitching rides on subway trains, planes, and buses.

On the other hand, you can see ticks on pets, pet bedding, and outdoors in the yards, grass, or woody underbrush.

On the other hand, Tick belongs to the Arachnida class.

Bed bugs do not spread diseases while spreading deadly dangerous diseases like Lyme Diseases, Rickettsia, and Ehrlichiosis.

Other Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

Not only ticks, but many other bugs look like bed bugs, such as bat bugs, immature German cockroaches.

Bat bugs look more similar to bed bugs, but they do not bite people. They have different behavior patterns.

German cockroaches also look like bed bugs, but it can differentiate based on longer antennae. Bed bug antennae are smaller and not easily visible.

Ways to Identify Bed Bugs

  • You can identify a bug by trapping bugs in a white background.

You should use light to examine it in the best way, check it with a magnifying lens to see the bugs.

The bug, which is most similar to the bed bug, is a bat bug in looks also.

Ticks are also more similar to bed bugs, so view them under magnification. It can help you to see the difference.

  • Apart from physical appearance, they show a difference in their behavior and existing conditions.

How to Handle an Infestation?

Scientifically, there are no serious diseases transmitted by bed bugs to humans.

Some people may have an allergy to the insect’s saliva or infection due to bed bug bites.

People should take action after having the first sign of a tick or bed bug problem.

The number of pets should decrease with the help of DIY control.

But a professional is required to end the infestation. You need to call the professionals to deal with bed bugs and ticks.

Wrap Up

Although ticks are more similar to bed bugs in their appearance on close observation, you can find the differences as well.

They have different numbers of legs; bed bugs have 6, and ticks have eight legs. Bed bugs and ticks show different nesting and feeding behaviors.

One Small Request

If you think this is helpful for someone any day around, please give it a share. Your share is significant to help it grow and a reward of my sincere efforts. You can comment below if you have any suggestions for the betterment of this blog.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top