How to Tell the Difference Between Bed Bug Bites and Scabies

Scabies and bed bug bites: neither are pleasant to think about, but knowing the difference between the two is key to getting rid of bed bugs or scabies.

Whereas bed bug bites are just that, bites, scabies rashes are actually the result of female scabies mites burrowing under the skin and laying eggs. While getting rid of bed bugs requires the help of a bed bug exterminator, scabies is treated medically using creams and lotions like permethrin.

Thus, seeking the wrong remedy because you misidentified scabies as bed bug bites will result in lost money and inconvenience for a pointless bed bug heat treatment, leaving you back at square one. With that in mind, don’t call the bed bug exterminator without reading these tips.

Identifying Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites are characterized by harsh red bumps in groups of three or four on the arms, back, shoulders and/or neck. Unlike scabies, bed bugs don’t live on the human body, but nest in hiding places near couches and sofas where they can sneak up on unsuspecting blood bags (re: you).

When you call in an expert bed bug exterminator like Terminix Canada, they’ll be getting rid of bed bugs either by using safe, ethical pesticides or a totally non-chemical bed bug heat treatment.

Scabies Symptoms

As mentioned above, scabies are true parasites living and feeding on your body. While they look very similar, you can differentiate scabies from bed bug bites by placement. Scabies symptoms tend to be more spread out than bed bug bites, with rashes appearing on feet, between fingers, and even under toenails.

Scabies symptoms can appear about a month after initial infestation, but if it’s not your first rodeo with the insidious mites, it can take place after a few hours. You can catch scabies from close contact with a surface they’re already on, such as sharing towels or bedding with infected family members. To treat scabies symptoms, be sure to ask your doctor about special creams and make sure everyone in your household uses them, even if they don’t show symptoms.


Once you’re certain you have bed bug bites instead of scabies, you can call for a master bed bug exterminator from Terminix Canada to help with getting rid of bed bugs using effective methods like a bed bug heat treatment. Contact us today to get help. We’ve offered Toronto pest control for 20 years and are leaders in Toronto pest control.