13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (2023)

If you want to prevent the spread of bed bugs...

It is important to identify them correctly first.

Bed bugs are similar to several other types of bugs due to their familiar insectoid appearance and theirsmall size.

If you're looking for bed bugs, these pests are identified by their reddish-brown color, apple-pit-sized body, and lack of body segmentation.

Certain other errors look similar, but there are certain differences that you can find with a closer look.

Here is a list of 13 types of bugs that look like bed bugs.

  1. bat bugs
  2. booklice
  3. Spinnenkäfer
  4. fleas
  5. carpet beetle
  6. Cockroach Nymphs
  7. ticks
  8. swallow bugs
  9. head lice
  10. mites
  11. termites
  12. Tiny pirate bugs
  13. flour beetle

1. Bat bugs

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (1)

Bat bugs, apart from having a similar name to bed bugs, look the most similar to bed bugs when compared to other insects. The only discernible difference in their appearance is the longer hairs on a bat beetle's head.

Otherwise they are brown, oval, the size of a small seed andcan't flydespite having wing pads.

(All characteristics bed bugs share).

However, you probably won't find bats in your bedroom. Instead, bat bugs, as the name suggests, tend to feed on bats and hang out in burrows or other areasBats are common.

(Video) Can't find bed bugs but have bites?

2. Book lice

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (2)

Book lice differ from bed bugs mainly in their speciesForm, which is longer and thinner than that of a termite, with antennae just as long and thin.

They can reach sizes of1 to 6mmin length. Their bodies are also softer than bed bugs, making them easier to kill.

Book lice have a distinct colorhell brown,or some would say a creamy yellow.

Their heads and bodies arevisibly segmentedunlike bed bugs, and some have wings capable of flight.

These bugs don't bite, but when dead, their bodies could bind with dust to aggravate themAsthma cases.

Unlike bats, you have a chance of finding booklice near your bed as they are often found in high humidity areas due to their susceptibility to dehydration.

3. Spinnenkäfer

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (3)

Spider beetles somewhat resemble bed bugs in their round oval shape and1 to 5 mm in size, but it's relatively easy to tell these insects apart from bed bugs if you look closely enough.

Spider beetles are reddish brown, or almost black, withlong legs and antennae. Their bodies are also covered in hair,with a head connected directly to her body.

Asbooklice, some spider beetle species can fly (and don't bite).

These beetles tend to reside in wooden structures where they are likely to find food. You might experience an infestation of spider beetles if your home is poorly maintained, but they don't represent the same thingHealth risksas bed bugs.

4. Fleas

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (4)

Regarding their ability to cause extremesirritation, fleas are very similar to bed bugs.

On the other hand, they are easy to distinguish from other insects. Fleas are reddish brown, but have long legs and round heads that often share characteristics similar to fleascat flea species.

Fleas are about one8 inches long and flat. your ability to do soto jumpcan make them difficult to catch.

Unlike bed bugs, a flea infestation usually occurs because your pet brought them into your home from outside.

5. Carpet beetle

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (5)

At first glance one could confuse acarpet beetlefor the alarming oval-shaped body of a bed bug, but this is another species of insect that you can identify upon closer inspection.

Carpet beetles have a black and white pattern with orange or red scales. Their heads are small and mostly hidden when viewed from above.

You are near2 to 3.8 mm longand adults can fly. The only harm they do to humans isDermatitisas a result of allergic reactions.

Carpet beetles are found on flowers and occasionally on carpets, but they don't usually venture on your bed.

(Video) How to Identify a Bug Bite and What to Do With It

In the worst case …

They could get into your house and carpets if you bring any with youfreshly cut flowers.

Each of these bugs is relatively easy to identify once you know what to look for, allowing you to determine if you are infested with bed bugs or another type of pest.

6. Cockroach nymphs

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (6)

Not many people are familiar with thatLife cycle of cockroaches, but it all starts with an egg. Once the egg hatches, the immature cockroach is referred to as aNymph, or baby cockroach.

Nymphs are initially bright white, hardening and darkening within a few hours.

Interesting fact: The availability of food for cockroach nymphs within thefirst 10 hourshas a significant impact on the chances of their long-term survival.

German cockroach nymphs are typicalless than 3mmlong when they hatch. As they darken, they are almost uniformly dark, with only a single light spot on the back.

These insects can befound in a similar wayas bed bugs and can often be mistaken for bed bugs at first glance.

7. Ticks

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (7)

If you spend or have time outdoorspets, you need to be careful of ticks.

Similar to bed bugs, ticks feed on human blood.

The main difference is that ticks are known to transmit infectious diseases.

Some diseases you can get from tick bites are:

Ticks are very small and can be difficult to see. They can easily attach themselves when walking through dense forests where there is a bad infestation. They most often stick to you when walking through leaves, shrubs, or tall grass.

To protect your body from both ticks and bed bugs, you should do the following:

  • Wear light-colored protective clothing.
  • Tuck pant legs into socks.
  • Avoid infested areas.
  • Check occasionally for the presence of insects.

8. Swallow bugs

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The physical characteristics of swallow bugs and bed bugs are very similar, but the swallow bug differs in theirAntenna. It also tends to be more of a drab color than the reddish brown of the common bed bug.

You are unlikely to encounter these creatures as they are usually found in barns and barnsCliff Schwalbennester. However, there are instances when they can easily penetrate human structures and also bite people.

Swallow bugs are known to breed in the summer and early fall when the birds are fleeing.

One thing that sets them apart is that their bites can produce mild to severe reactions in humans.

Interesting fact: Swallow bugs have the special ability to survive up to3 yearswithout food.

(Video) How to Treat Bed Bug Bites | The Guardians Choice

9. Head lice

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Adult head lice are approximately2 to 3mm long, and typically affect the head and neck. Similar to bed bugs, lice move by crawling, but they cannot hop or fly.

They also spread quickly, and often that means if you're spottedan infestationis present.

The adult louse is about the size of a sesame, has 6 legs, and is light brown to off-white. Females are usually larger than males and can lay up8 Owners per Tag.

Adult lice can live up to30 Takeon a person's head, and they are much more food dependent. In order for lice to survive, they need to be fed daily, like no meals…

The lice die in 1 or 2 days.

10. Mites

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (10)

Technically, "mites" can describe a number of organisms within the arthropod family. Although these creatures are primarily related to ticks, they resemble bed bugs in many ways.

Similar to bed bugs are these creaturesmissing wingsand are quite small. Most people don't realize they've been exposed to mites until they discover the small bites on their skin.

Luckily mite bitesmostly harmless, but they can sometimes cause irritation and slight swelling.

Although bed bug bites can be identified by distinct linear or zigzag shapes, mite bites are harder to locate. These bites vary in shape, size, and pattern depending on the bite.

11. termites

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Termites are one of the more unique indoor pests. These creatures are often referred to as "silent destroyers" because they can wreak havoc on your home or property.

Aside from their shape and size, termites differ from bed bugs in their appearancefood source.

Unlike human blood, termites feed on dead plants and trees. They get their nutrients from cellulose, an organic fiber found in wood. Although wood makes up the bulk of their diet, they can also eatpaper, plastic and drywall.

Although termites and bed bugs can sometimes be difficult to tell apart with the naked eye, it isunlikelyYou have to make that distinction.

While bed bugs come out of hiding to feed, termites are not usually found by accident. Because termites rarely emerge from food sources, you probably won't know you have an infestation until you encounter damage during construction or an interior renovation project.

12. Minute Pirate Bugs

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Known as Flower Bugs (Orius species), Minute Pirate Bugs are found throughout the United States, and there are more than500 species worldwide. During the warmer months, they mainly eat other smaller insects such as the following:

  • mites
  • Thripse
  • aphids
  • white flies
  • And other very small insects.

Tiny pirate bugs can easily be confused with bed bugs, which are also very small and actively bite people in the summer and fall.

At first glance, these nymph stage insects may look similar, but in reality, pirate bugs are much smaller than bed bugs. are pirate nymphs0,2 – 0,5 mm lang, and bed bug nymphs can be up to2 mm lang.

In terms of color, to both, nymphs are a type of amber and are translucent until they grow into mature adults.

(Video) Bed Bugs in my Attic? NO WAY! - A Bat Bug Video You Must Watch. (These Are Actually in my Attic)

13. Mealy bug

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Meal bugs (aka weevils) are tiny bugs that typically live in your kitchen and feed on kibble in your pantry.

Whether it's flour, cereal, cake mix, pasta, crackers, or bread, each of these options are favorites for these tiny creatures.

But unlike other pests that eat dry goods in your pantry (much likecockroaches), these little bugs really know how to eat. Meal bugs also mate while they're eating, and then lay eggs right in your pantry around the food source.

Although these insects can be confused with bed bugs, they are actually quite different. Unlike bed bugs, these are insectswill nottypically infests areas such as the bedroom or around furniture.

Where these insects are most similar is that they hitchhike into your home. While bed bugs hide in your luggage or clothes, flour beetles lay eggs on a grain of wheat in the field, survive the milling process, and end up in flower bags you buy at the grocery store.

bed bug size

Let's take a quick look at the size of bed bugs.

The average adult bed bug ranges from¼ - ½ inchin length. Their size is highly dependent on whether they have recently eaten a meal.

For example:

A bed bug that has recently eaten will be more balloon-like, with a reddish-brown tint, and may be on top½ inchin length.

A bed bug that hasn't eaten recently is flat, brown, and harder to see with the naked eye.

Below is a breakdown of the average size of bed bugs compared to other bugs.

(from the biggest to the smallest)

insect speciessize (inches)
mosquitoes0.4 inch
bed bugs0.33 inch
cockroaches0.25 inch
bat bugs0.23 inch
swallow bugs0.18 inch
Wood ticks0.12 inch
Spinnenkäfer0.10 inch
lice0.09 inch
booklice0.06 inch
fleas0.05 inch

Can bed bugs fly?

The answer is no... bed bugs don't fly. Bed bugs don't have wings either, but they do6 legs, which allows them to crawl a good distance.

It is important to note that bed bugs cannot jump either. Unlike other insects like fleas, bed bugs do not have powerful back legs.

This is one of the reasons whytraps for bed bugscan work to catch bed bugs.

13 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs [Similarities And Differences] (14)

(especially at the foot of the bed).

All of this amazes people.When bed bugs can't fly, jump or run...

How can they travel and spread around the world?

These pests can quickly hitchhike on people and their belongings. It doesn't matter if it's clothes, bags or anything elseon the human body, bed bugs are avid travelers.

These creatures have seen a major resurgence of late, which is why the country is currently experiencing a bed bug epidemic.

(Video) the bugs are eating my face..

Think you've been bitten by bed bugs?click hereto learn how to properly diagnose a bed bug bite.


How can you tell the difference between bed bugs? ›

Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, wingless, and are about the size of an apple seed. Immature bed bugs (there are 5 immature or nymphal instar stages) can also be seen with the naked eye but they are smaller than adults, and translucent whitish-yellow in color.

Do I have bed bugs or something else? ›

Other signs that you have bedbugs include: Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases. Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls. Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide.

What are the brown bugs on my bed? ›

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed.

Can you see bed bugs with the naked eye? ›

They are visible to the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are usually brown in colour. When filled with blood, their colour ranges from red to dark brown. They are oval in shape and about the size of a flattened apple seed, 4 to 7 mm in length.

Can you see bed bugs with a flashlight? ›

Flashlight to look in dark gaps and cracks and on dark surfaces. Sometimes the light startles bed bugs. They'll stop moving for a few minutes and then move quickly to get away from the light. Magnifying glass to make it easier to see and confirm that they are a bed bug.

Would you definitely know if you had bed bugs? ›

While everyone reacts differently, the most common symptom of bed bug bites is red, itchy bumps appearing in small clusters. Some people refer to this as the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” pattern, which describes bed bug bites as appearing in small clusters or lines of 3 bites.

Where do bed bugs hide on your body? ›

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide on Your Body? Bed bugs do not typically hide on the body. They prefer to feed, then move back to their hiding place until they are hungry again. In some cases, they may hide in your clothes or the soles of your shoes.

Where do bed bugs hide in clothes? ›

Laundry Baskets and Clothing

Bed bugs love clothes so you can usually find them in your laundry baskets which can either be empty or full. Most people usually tend to store their laundry baskets in their bedrooms hence making your laundry basket the perfect hiding place for bed bugs.

Can bed bugs live in your hair? ›

Bedbugs feed off human or animal blood. They're often found in places like the seams of your mattress or cracks in your bed frame. Bedbugs aren't adapted to live in your hair, but it's possible a bedbug could end up in your hair after biting your scalp. Finding bugs in your hair is much more likely a sign of head lice.

What are these little black things in my bed? ›

These little black spots are sometimes smeared making them look almost like pencil marks. They are actually bed bug droppings which is pretty gross. Make sure to check your mattress, sheets, bed frame, and box spring for these marks.

What are these little black bugs in my bed? ›

What are those tiny black bugs in your bed? They are likely either bat bugs, spider beetles, fleas or ticks. They are commonly found in many house holds. Generally speaking they are harmless and nothing to fear.

What are microscopic bugs in your bed? ›

Dust mites (Dermatophagoides farinae) are microscopic creatures that thrive in your home, especially warm and humid areas like your pillows and mattresses. They are tiny, not able to be seen with the naked eye, are too small to be crushed by humans and are equipped with 8 legs and a mouth appendage.

Can you see a bed bug crawling on your bed? ›

It's important to know that young bedbugs aren't visible to the naked eye (unless they've eaten recently). They're usually very small and translucent to whitish-yellow in color. Share on Pinterest An adult bedbug is roughly the size of an apple seed and reddish-brown in color.

Is there a mattress cover that kills bed bugs? ›

ActiveGuard Mattress Liner is a bed bug protective encasement made of a mesh material that can be used on various types of mattresses. The mattress liner is used to eliminate bed bugs and dust mites.

What is a bed bugs natural enemy? ›

Shortlist of bed bug predators are:

Red Imported Fire Ants. Pharaoh Ants. American Cockroaches. Thanatus Flavidus Spiders. House Centipedes.

Can bed bugs live in clothing? ›

hand furniture, electronics, clothing and other items can harbor bed bugs. Don't bring in furniture and mattresses from the street. It is more and more likely that these items will be infested with bed bugs. You can wash clothing and stuffed animals and then dry them on 'high' for 30 minutes.

Where do bed bug bites usually start? ›

Bites are commonly found on the parts of the body that are more likely to be exposed to bed bugs during sleep - the hands, neck, face, shoulders, legs and arms. While not always the case, bed bug bites are often grouped together in a small area and at times may occur in a line or a zigzag pattern.

Can you get bed bugs from sitting on a couch? ›

Bedbugs—unlike their name indicates—don't remain hidden away in the bed but tend to migrate around from luggage, purses, clothes, and even on couches and other furniture.

Do bed bugs ever go away on their own? ›

Don't count on bed bugs to go away on their own. In theory, they can. In practice, they don't unless several highly specific circumstances occur. Your best bet is professional bed bugs treatment.

How can you tell if a couch has bed bugs? ›

You can tell if furniture has bed bugs by looking for droppings near or on the furniture. Bed bug feces resemble small black dots and they are often found underneath tables or near seams. The droppings may also be found inside nooks and crannies in your furniture.

What if you think you have bed bugs but can't find them? ›

Bedbugs bites can look similar to other insect bites or skin conditions. The best way to know if you're dealing with bedbugs is to look for evidence of the bugs in your home. If you think your bites may be from bedbugs, but you can't find any evidence of them in your home, you may want to see a doctor.

Is there always evidence of bed bugs? ›

Bed bugs typically tend to find a hiding place and stick to it. For this reason, many people never see live bed bugs until the infestation becomes severe. Only when their hiding places are disturbed, like when you're packing for a move, will live bed bugs be easily discovered.

What looks like bed bug bites but isn t? ›

Flea Bites

Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals and humans. These types of bites are most commonly mistaken as bed bug bites as they are both small, red, itchy, and they are usually very hard to see, but their bites are easy to spot.

Will it be obvious if I have bed bugs? ›

Of all the signs related to a bed bug infestation, bites are probably the most obvious (and most common). Bed bug bites can be flat or raised, and are characterized by itchy, red spots that tend to show up in a zigzag or cluster. They'll often appear on the chest, back, neck, feet, face, and hands.

How long can you have bedbugs and not know it? ›

Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line.

Why is my bed itchy but no bed bugs? ›

Scabies mites: When microscopic scabies mites burrow into human skin, they cause rashes and itchiness. A scabies rash looks like a cluster of bed bug bites, which makes it easy to confuse mite bites with bed bug bites. Unlike bed bugs, you won't be able to see scabies mites on your skin or in the bed.

Do bed bugs come from not being clean? ›

Any home is at risk of a bed bug infestation.

Bed bugs are not a sign of a dirty home or poor personal hygiene. Bed bugs are hitchhikers - they travel to new places by hiding in furniture, suitcases, or other objects that get moved around.

What also looks like a bed bug? ›

Other critters that bed bugs resemble are: bat bugs, swallow bugs, ticks, spider beetles, carpet beetle larvae, cockroach nymphs, fleas and booklouse.

What is biting me in my clothes? ›

Summary. Body lice are small blood-sucking insects that live inside clothing, particularly the seams. People who live in unhygienic and crowded conditions, where personal hygiene is neglected and clothes are not changed, are most susceptible to body lice infestations.

Can bedbugs live inside pillows? ›

Mattresses and pillows make potential habitats for bed bugs. Pillows may also be host to bed bug eggs, making them a potential point of bed bug infestations. A possible sign that bed bugs have infested pillows may be the appearance of bites.


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