Knowing the differences between flea dirt and bed bug feces is one of the keys to determine what infests your home – bed bugs or fleas.
In this guide on flea dirt Vs bed bug feces, you’ll find out the significant yet easily ignorable differences between the two.
Knowing the differences between the two will tell you what is infesting your home, fleas or bed bugs.
You’ll also get to know the unlikeliest of areas in your home where you’d find them.
Plus, you’ll learn how to get rid of flea dirt and bed bug feces.
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What Is Flea Dirt?
Flea dirt is flea feces or flea poop. It’s a mixture of blood meal the fleas had and waste.
Flea dirt looks like circular tiny black grains of pepper spread around on the surface.
If there are fleas in your home, then you’d find flea dirt in places like on your floor, pet beds, couch, in your pet’s fur, and even on your bed.
Being tiny and resembling particles of dust, people refer to flea dirt more often than flea feces.
But it’s visible to the naked eye. On the bed, couch, and floor, flea dirt is easily identifiable.
It can be challenging to spot flea dirt in your pet’s fur.
You’ll need to spread your pet’s fur with a comb and look for tiny black flea droppings on the skin.
Flea Dirt On The Bed
One of the ways fleas enter your home is through your pet.
If your pet has fleas, then it’s highly likely that it’d spread it in different parts of your home, including on your bed.
Fleas can easily live on your bed for months. So, sightings of flea dirt on the bed indicate flea infestation in your home and pet.
Your bed provides the flea a warm and cozy environment.
To survive, fleas on the bed will bite you to have their blood meals, and they’ll even start to lay eggs.
They’ll discard the feces on the bed. The flea larvae that hatch out of the flea eggs will eat the flea dirt on the bed till it matures into an adult.
The flea feces get hard fast, and they start to resemble specks of dust on the bed.
The common areas on the bed where you’d find flea dirt are bedsheets, pillow covers, mattresses, and bed frames.
Flea dirt doesn’t contain any toxicity that can make it harmful to humans. But sensitive children and the elderly can get allergies because of flea dirt on the bed.
Flea Dirt On The Floor
Flea dirt on the floor is a common sighting in homes with fleas.
Flea dirt is common on wooden floors because fleas can hide between wood beams of the floor.
You’d also find fleas in the junction between walls and floor. There’s always a gap there at the joint, which fleas use to hide.
Again, your pet with fleas brings in most of these fleas.
Some fleas may drop off your pet and wait and hide on the floor to latch on to a host. And some may jump off the pet bed and land up on the floor.
Fleas can also breed and lay eggs in the gaps of the wooden floors.
While infesting floors, fleas will also discard their feces on the floor.
Flea Dirt Test
The question is, how would you confirm it’s regular dust or flea dust?
Well, it’s easy to determine. To confirm, you need to do the flea dirt test.
All you’ve to do is pour a few drops of water on the flea dirt. And then scrub it with your finger.
If it’s a speck of flea dirt, you’ll find the surface turning reddish.
It turns reddish because the flea feces contains blood.
If you find flea dirt on the bed, then do the same. Pour a few drops of water on the flea dirt and rub it with your finger.
You’ll observe a reddish discharge on the bedsheet. On drying, that portion on the bedsheet will turn into a bloated red spot.
If you follow the process on the flea dirt on the floor, you might not notice this reddish spot.
It’d be best if you pick up the flea dirt on white paper or a paper towel and then do the flea dirt test.
If it’s flea feces, the paper will turn reddish.
How To Get Rid Of Flea Dirt In House?
To get rid of flea dirt in the house, you need to vacuum clean the floor.
To remove flea dirt in the bed and wash the bed linen and pillow covers.
Also, vacuum clean the pet bed, soft furnishings like carpet, rugs, couch, accent chairs, bed, and furniture where you’ve found flea dirt.
Wash your pet with anti-flea shampoo. That’ll reduce the fleas in the pet’s body.
But it’d be best to take your pet to the vet for fleas.
Keep in mind that unless you get rid of fleas in your home and pet, you’ll see flea dirt in the house often.
What Does Bed Bug Feces Look Like?
Now that you know all about flea dirt and why you see them let’s find out about bed bug feces.
Bed bug feces or bed bug poop look like tiny black spots, like the period sign at the end of this sentence.
You’d find bed bug feces on your mattress, clothing, blanket, pillow, couch, furniture, and box spring.
Bed bugs hide in soft furnishings, wooden furniture, dresser drawers, and of course, bed.
That’s why during the time of bed bug infestation, you’ll find bed bug feces in the form of tiny black spots in these places.
Unlike flea dirt, you won’t find bed bug feces on the floor.
But, surprisingly, you can also find bed bug feces on the walls, just like you’d find cockroach smear marks when you’ve cockroach infestation in your home.
When there’s a heavy bed bug infestation in a home, bed bugs hide in the gaps and cracks of the walls.
You’d find black patches of bed bug feces near these gaps and cracks on the wall.
As fresh bed bug poop is semi-liquid, you’d observe a tiny trail running down from the bed bug poop spot on the wall.
The semi-liquid bed bug feces dry up on the bed, furniture, and fabric, leaving behind tiny black spots.
Because of severe bed bug infestation in your home, you’ll come across bed bug feces in places like window sills and even on door frames.
So, is the sighting of bed bug feces a sign of bed bug infestation?
Yes, it is.
How To Clean Bed Bug Feces On Fabric And On Walls?
If you put a piece of fabric with bed bug feces on it straight into the washing machine, then you might be damaging the fabric.
It’s because the bed bug poop spots will leave behind stains on the fabric.
The solution to this problem is hydrogen peroxide.
Dab the spots on the fabric with hydrogen peroxide and scrub the dots with a dry piece of cloth.
The bed bug feces dots will come off after a few minutes of scrubbing.
Remember not to douse the entire piece of fabric with hydrogen peroxide.
Use it only on the bed bug feces spots.
Once you’ve removed the bed bug feces dots from the fabric, wash it with lukewarm water.
To remove bed bug feces stains in the walls and hard surfaces, make a mixture of white vinegar and water.
Then apply the mixture on the wall stains. Scrub it gently till the bed bug poop dots come off.
If you can tolerate the smell of white vinegar, then you can use baking soda as an alternative.
You’d need to make a paste of baking soda with water.
And rub that paste on the bed bug feces stains on the wall.
The bed bug feces spots will disappear.
Flea Dirt Vs. Bed Bug Feces – The Major Differences
To conclude, here are the differences between flea dirt and bed bug feces –
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We’re Mark and Jim, and we’re retired pest controllers who made homes pest-free for more than three decades. We, along with our team of experts, founded this site to give you the pest control hacks that work.