Bed Bugs vs. Ants (Tell Them Apart)

What is the difference between bed bugs vs. ants? Well, for a beginner it’s hard to them apart.

In this guide, you’ll learn the difference between the two insects: their body shapes and overall behavior.

Such differentiation will help you choose the right insect solution such as rubbing Alcoholkitchen ant killer, Ammonia, or Bleach, spraying, and the right bite treatment.

Body shape Differences

Bed bugs and ants have insect Anatomy: an exoskeleton, hard outer layer, 3 body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen). Read on to learn the key differences between their physical appearance and structure. Check – Bed Bugs vs. Ants: Tips To Tell Their Bites Apart.

Bed bugs

Bed bugs have a flat and somehow oval shape, its length (as an adult) measures approximately a ¼ inch. Bed bugs are mainly brown in color, but this can vary from rust or red.

Also, bed bugs have expandable abdomens to accommodate blood they suck from their prey. In addition, they have hook-shaped feet to allow them to grab surfaces.

In comparison, bed bugs will have bodies that are small compared to those of ants, depending on the type of ant.


Ants’ body shape is designed for dirty groundwork. Ants will craw on the ground searching for food and protecting its colony.

Therefore, the soldier ants will have mandibles and large head to fight their foes. Also, ants have long body anatomy to enable them to crawl over long distances.

Bite Differences

Bed bug bites

Bites from bed bugs will leave itchy dark red bumps on your skin. However, the key differentiating factor is that such bites are clustered in a group and 3 (or more) lines through the pattern known as breakfast-lunch-dinner.

However, mainly you’ll find the bed bug bites on the upper extremities, hands, and arms. Bed bug bites cause varied reactions to different people. For example, some people will develop an allergic skin response and itching after a bed bug bite while others will have no reaction.

However, bed bug bites will leave some red bumps that could appear in a linear pattern, which could develop into big red welts. You’ll mainly find the bites on your back and upper body, hands, and arms.

Ant Bites

Equally, ant bites and stings will leave itchy and painful itchy red bumps on your skin. 

The affected region could develop some major swelling. However, this could vary with the type of question that bite your skin. For example, Fire ants may leave some sharp burning sensation and white pustules at the middle of your red bumps due to injecting potent acid. 

While some ants will bite, most of the ant species sting their prey and inject venom into their body. Further, ants such as harvester ants and fire ants are considered medically important because of their sting their target many times.

Ant sting will cause pain, and sometimes swelling and redness near the place of the sting. However, the subject on the number of stings and venomous allergic reaction, the sting bite can cause anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is a dangerous allergic reaction resulting from exposure to venom from the ant sting or bite.

Some of its symptoms include eye swelling, dizziness, diarrhea, sneezing, and vomiting. Ants bite their prey either to protect themselves or as their source of food.

Therefore, both ants and bed bug bites can cause an allergic reaction but with varying levels of severity depending on the venom, type injected. However, bed bugs are more parasitic insects compared to the ants.

Behavioral Differences bed bugs

Bed bugs behavior

Bed bugs are in the Cimicidae family. Notably, Cimicidaes are blood-feeding insects. However, Cimex lectularius bed bug species in the one that lives with human beings.

The bed bugs require the blood meal between the 5 stages it undergoes before reaching full maturity.

If given good conditions, about 70 to 90°F, the bed bugs will grow to maturity within 2 months. You should know that bed bugs will lead to a nocturnal lifestyle.

The will live in box springs, bed frames, and crack. But they can also live under ornamental moldings or carpets.

Bed bugs are different as in that its immature stages and the adults will all feed on human blood. If the host is not available, the bed bugs go back to their hiding place and survive for long, even up to a year, without feeding on blood.

Ants behavior

Ants are known for their cooperative behavior, hence described as eusocial, which enable them to survive in difficult circumstances.

Ants live in large colonies that compromise of soldiers, drones, queens, wingless females, and other insect groups.

Ants operate as superorganisms that cooperate to ensure the success of their colony, which is attributed to their caste system. Their social organization enables them to defend their colony, extract resources and change their habitats.

But what if you experienced ant bites in bed? The key difference between bed bugs and ants is that ants will not hunt for human blood for their food. On the contrary, ants will search your home for fatty and sweet food remains.

However, ants will bite human beings with the goal of protecting themselves from any harm. Therefore, ants can live without a host since they feed on food debris and dead animals such as other insects.

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