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May 23, 2019 3 min read

There are different insects that look like bed bugs. It may be confusing to tell if they are bed bugs or not, but this article will help you identify which one is a bed bug and which one is not.

Imagine waking up and discovering that you’ve been lying in bed all night with a bed bug sucking your blood. This will give a creepy feeling that could make sleeping on that bed uncomfortable for a very long time.

There are some other bugs you could find and mistake them for bed bugs, and then you’d start panicking. Well, let’s take a look at some of the factors you’d use to know if the bugs you’re dealing with are bed bugs.

What caused the bite?

If you don’t see a bed bug physically, bite marks are the first obvious signs that may indicate bed bug infestation. When people see bite marks on their body, they easily become paranoid, that they have been bitten by bed bugs. Bites are actually not the best indicators of bed bug infestation, and do not even clearly indicate the kind of insect they’re from. Bite marks could be from spiders, mosquitoes, fleas, bed bugs, fruit flies or any other insect.

What if I see a bug after I’ve been bitten?

Have you apprehended a bug and you’re not really sure if it’s a bed bug or another kind of bug? Well, only a professional pest controller can really clarify you on that. But then, put the bug in a plastic sandwich bag and take it to an expert. If you’re trying to differentiate kinds of bugs on your own, check out the following factors:

Check the color

Black carpet beetle- black-brown

Flea- black or reddish-brown

Bed bug- translucent at nymph stage and copper-brown when mature

Grey or light brown

Spider beetle- red-brown

What’s the body size?

Flea- 1/8 inch

Black carpet beetle- 1/8 to 1/16 inch

Bed bug- 3/16 inch

Book louse- 1/25 to 1/13 inch

Spider beetle- 1/16 to 3/16 inch

Check the shape

Bed bug are horizontally flat, oval and they have compound eyes and four-segmented antennae

Flea- oval, vertically flat

Black carpet beetle- oval, tapered hairy bottom

Spider beetle – Spiders have two body segments, and the bottom is globe-shaped

Book louse- Three body segments, ridged bottom

Check for the presence of wings

Bed bugs are wingless

Spider beetles are wingless

Black carpet beetle has wings

Book louse do not have conspicuous wings, and they can’t fly

Fleas can jump, but have no wings to fly.

Does it bite?

Bed bugs bite

Fleas bite

Black carpet beetles do not bite, but their hair causes welts

Pider beetle and book louse do not bite

What does it feed on?

Bed bugs feed mostly on human blood

Flea feeds on blood (mainly dogs and cats)

Book louse feed on mold and fungi

Spider beetle feed on grains, seeds and droppings

Black carpet beetle feed on carpets, fabrics and stored food

Is it a bed bug or a flea?

If you carefully observed the above written facts, you’d notice that bed bugs and fleas are very similar. The difference is that fleas are smaller than bed bugs, and they jump when disturbed, but bed bugs don’t jump; they crawl, and their shape is like that of an apple.