Difference Between Bed Bug and Tick (With Table)

Bed bugs and ticks share something in common, which is disgust. They cause disgust in people. Just the thought of these blood-sucking pests scares the hell out of people. While there are so many common things between these two, they are different in many aspects.

The difference can arise in appearance as well as functionality. Therefore, it is worth knowing the difference between Bed bugs and Tick.

Bed Bug vs Tick

The appearance alone raises a major difference between Bed bugs and ticks. Bed bugs have six legs, are reddish-brown and are insects. On the other hand, ticks have eight legs, darker legs, lighter bodies with stripes and are not insects but arachnids.

Bed bugs are creepy-crawling insects that feed on human blood and plant juice by sucking with their mouthparts. The scientific name of the Bed bug is Climex lectularius. They have six legs, arranged as a pair of three on the thorax part of their body to perform all the functions. The thorax is the mid-body section of these insects. 

Ticks are arachnids, not insects. They belong to the same category of mites, scorpions, and spiders. Many species belong to the category of ticks, but the most important one is Ixodidae. All the ticks have eight legs arranged in pairs of two and connected to the cephalothorax of their body. The cephalothorax is the body part where the chest and head are fused together. 

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Comparison Table Between Bed Bugs and Ticks

PropertiesBed BugTicks
HomeThey mainly live in the darker areas of the house such as doors, holes, mattresses etc. They are most common in areas of high density. Although, appears in all the regions of the earth. They live in the lighter areas and feed mainly in the daytime. These are mostly found in humid and warm climates. These are very hard, tough, and resilient parasites that can live up to half an hour in a vacuum.
DiseaseThe diseases caused by bed bugs are sleep difficulties, chronic attacks, stress, anxiety, anaemia, asthma, decrease in egg production in hens, bacterial skin infection, anaphylaxis, red spots etc.They can act as a mode of transmission between humans and viruses, protozoa, bacteria, and pathogens. The diseases that are caused by this parasite are colorado tick fever, tularemia, Queensland tick typhus, African tick bite fever etc.
FoodBed bugs mostly on human blood plant juice. They survive only by feeding on the blood of mammals, reptiles, and birds.
SizeThe adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, oval, flat and have no hind wings. They can grow up to 5 mm in length and 3 mm in width. Common female bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime. While tropical female bed bugs can lay up to 50 eggs in their lifetime. Ticks are almost up to 5 mm in length that also depend on the age, species, and fullness. The origin of ticks is 100 million years old.
Other species of the  categoryThe bed bug that is common (Climex lectularius) is adapted to human surroundings. Other species of the bed bug are C. hemipterus, Leptocimex boueti, C. pipistrella, and Haematosiphon indora.The majority of bed bugs belong to two families; Ixoxidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks)

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed Bugs are insects belonging to the family of Climex that feed mostly on human blood at night. Bites of Bed bugs can lead to hazardous health problems such as psychological effects, skin rashes, and allergic symptoms that change the red colour of the skin from a small area to prominent blisters. The symptoms of the disease can take up to several minutes to several days to show up.

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The two families of bed bugs that bite and feed on human blood are Cimex hemipterus and Cimex lectularis. The size ranges from 1 mm to 7mm and is mainly in the tropics. They spend most of their time hiding in dark places, such as the holes in the wall, doors, windows, or mattress seams. 

Bed bugs can survive up to 60 days. Therefore, it is not easy to eliminate them from the home. They live in every region of the earth, and cases are increasing from 1990 onwards. 

What are Ticks?

Ticks are not insects; they are parasitic parasites. These are the parts of Parasitiformes. Ticks do all the feedings at night. On the other hand, bed bugs feed mostly in the daylight. Ticks are a parasite that feeds on the blood of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. They are present worldwide, but they are found in large numbers in humid and warm climates. 

The adult ticks have oval-shaped bodies and have eight legs. Ticks find their host by sensing body temperature, smelling their bodies and sometimes observing environmental vibration.

Ticks have 18 genera and about 900 species and contain the four stages of life: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. They do not feed on other food or liquid items other than blood. Therefore, they can digest high amounts of salt, protein, and iron but very small amounts of vitamins, lipids, and carbohydrates.

Main Difference Between Bed Bugs and Ticks

  1. Most of the bed bugs bite at night. On the other hand, ticks mainly feed in the daytime.
  2. Bed bugs prefer feeding on the chest, arms, neck, hands, anklet, and face. On the other hand, ticks bite mostly on moist and warm parts of the body, such as the armpit.
  3. Bed bugs bite more than once. On the other hand, ticks bite just once.
  4. Bed bugs are insects. On the other hand, ticks are parasites.


Both bed bugs and Ticks feed on human blood and, if not taken care of, can lead to serious health problems. Therefore, it is important to pest control houses.


  1. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.ento.52.040306.133913
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891552007001237
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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

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