Bed Bugs or Scabies?

Updated on March 24, 2010
J.P. asks from Des Moines, IA
8 answers

My friends kids were diagnosed with scabies, however, after we seen the girls itching and seen the bites, they were quite similar to bed bugs and I found one crawling from the floor onto the couch (flat but kinda diamond shaped, dark and filled with blood; with bites in same area but spread apart and a little bit bigger than the scabies bites I googled) My car broke down and I have a small baby other wise I would have already been out the door to our pediatrician's office... Should I be more concerned? How dangerous is it... and its been a week since we was over at her house... I just don't think it is scabies and that her diagnosed 'scabies' must have been an issue after the couple of days we was over there (for springbreak)! If it was bedbugs I have already sanitized and washed and vaccumed everything, am I good to go?

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answers from Dallas on

Scabies are horrible! I had them when I was a teenager, and I would say if the doctor said they were scabies I would believe it bc my doctor had to take a skin sample and look under a microscope to diagnose it. THey are contagious forever and can live dormient for a long time. My friend had them and I didnt get them until like 4 months later. Just keep an eye on the kids for a while. It is worse when you bath bc the water makes them crawl. It is miserable though so I hope they dont get them!

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answers from Hartford on

Hi J., Just wanted to clarify that scabies are indeed different then bed bugs. Scabies are a mite that bore into skin and stay there. So if the Ped said it was scabies I would tend to believe it. The infected area would have obvious tell tale signs of a internal mite infection, obvious to a Dr a doctor I mean. Bed bugs are a completely different beast. They do not live under the skin, but come out at night and feed. Are you sure it was not a tick you found? A more natural approach to insect infestation would be diatamacious earth. sorry about the spelling. It can be used around baseboards and cracks ect. So scabies are mites that actually live in the skin and bed bugs are more likely to infest an area like a house or room, but not a person. Hope I help. I know I would be freaking out too, it's yucky. But more common then we like to think about.

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answers from Tulsa on

scabies are bed bugs and they will appear on the palms and soles of the feet first scabies leave a trail llike a line everywhere. If they do get scabies the doc gives you a lotion that suffocates them I have had them before. scabies live in the mattress idont rember how to get rid of whats in your mattress I was real young. scabies arent harmful just very annoying constantly itching. i had no side effects from mine other than a constant itch. I got mine at church camp



answers from Houston on

Maybe they have both? Scabies are different then bed bugs. You can't see scabies with the naked eye. In pets, it's called mange.



answers from Omaha on

If you can actually find bed bugs then it isn't scabies it's a misdiagnoses. Doctor's aren't perfect. Those little buggers are making a huge comeback in the states because the poison that got rid of them is illegal now. Saw a documentary on it. So they are rampant. Coming over from immigrants at an alarming rate then people are transfering them to each other. It was a very interesting documentary. I know it was on one of the discovery channels.

My husband works for a hotel and everytime a customer leaves the cleaning staff has to inspect the beds throughly. If they find them they literally throw the mattress out and get a exterminator in there ASAP. They can travel in purses, suitcases, on people.. etc. So usually you can bring them home on your person and then your house will get them. I'd inspect all of your beds but if you haven't seen ANY bites yet you might be in the clear but I wouldn't bring anything in their house. Not even a purse and I'd inspect my person before I left.

They really need to get a GOOD extermintor in there and the documentary said that usually all beds and furniture (fabric type) has to be tossed. :(



answers from Minneapolis on

I don't know anything about Scabbies - but if you have bed bugs you would NOT have just one bug/bite mark and only one person would not have gotten bitten.

It is my understanding that they come out at night and that you/ several people in your house would wake up with MANY MANY red itchy dots - all over your body. I also believe it is nearly impossible to get rid of them. I've read of people having to pay thousands of dollars to fumigate and also have had to get rid of their furniture b/c as one poster said.... they live in the littlest cracks/crevices.

If treating scabbies is just a cream - I would go that route first and then really look out for any other bites, etc. If you see more bites - start treating for bed bugs. Good luck.



answers from New York on

Hi! Yeah it sounds like bed bugs to me. My husband is a pest control tech and I know alot about pest control too, because hes always talking about it. One thing you can do to try and detect the presence of bed bugs is to look for their poop. Bed bugs leave darkish redish/brown tiny dots on fabrics where they were. Bed bugs can also spread very rapidly. They tend to hide very well which makes it hard to get rid of them by yourself. If a bed bug is hiding in a pile of clothes and you are standing by the pile of clothes, they can easily hop on to you and spread that way. I once knew someone who tried to steam them out of her house by steamng furniture/clothes ect, but the bedbugs wouldnt go away because they would hide in cracks and crevices that the steam couldnt reach to. Make sure you clean your clothes with HOT HOT water and dry them throughly. If you suspect the presence of bedbugs definitly call a pest control tech. Only proper treatment can fully rid of any bedbug infestation.



answers from Green Bay on

Any one that says a doctor can not be wrong with saying it is scabies is wrong . I work in a daycare and we have had two cases were we have sent kids home because we thought they had them and they have gone to the doctor . The doctor says ya that is what they have scabies and treats it as that . Well as it does not go away they go to another doctor and they come back with some thing eles that is not scabies so doctors can be wrong . So I would have your friend have her kids and house treated for bedbugs . But on the other hand not to be mean but if her house is that dirty for bedbugs then they may have scabies too . If I were you I would be treating myself my children as if we have both and get to the doctor and clean my house from top to bottom .

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