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February 07, 2023 3 min read

Bed bugs are an awful sight to find in your home. But there are times when other bugs are the culprits. You wouldn’t want to treat your house for the wrong bugs. So what bugs are mistaken for bed bugs? Read on to find out what these bugs look like and how to tell the difference between them and bed bugs.

Bed bugs are usually reddish brown to brown colored. It’s also possible to see the nymphs, which are tinier than the adults. These nymphs are usually translucent and whitish yellow without any blood. When they’ve had their meal, they become bright red, and by the time the meal digests, they take on a darker red coloration. You may also find bed bug eggs, which are as tiny as a pin-head, and pearly white. They are distinguished by the opening on one side of the egg, where the nymph usually emerges. Now let’s look at the different insects that can be mistaken for bed bugs.

Fleas

Fleas look like bed bugs but, but you can tell the difference because they are excellent jumpers, unlike bed bugs. Fleas also move quickly through woven fabrics, fur, and hair because they have spiny legs, narrow bodies, and backward-pointing bristles. These attributes distinguish them from bed bugs. Usually, you may find fleas on pets such as cats and dogs. But you can confirm this by searching for flea larvae in carpets, floor cracks, pet beds, and mattresses.

Baby cockroaches

Baby cockroaches, or nymphs, have a similar color to bed bugs. Like bed bugs, they don’t also have wigs. That said, they would have a flat, oval appearance and long antennae. You may also likely find them in moist areas, especially around food storage such as the kitchen, sewers, grocery stores, restaurants, and more.

Booklice

Booklice have many colors ranging from gray to translucent white to brown. That said, these bugs would usually infiltrate books; so you may find them eating a moldy paste made from old book bindings.

Carpet beetles

Carpet beetles are oval-shaped and black in color. They often feed on the carpet; so you will likely find them on the edges of carpets and rugs, underneath baseboards, and on upholstered furniture.

Spider beetles

Spider beetles often look like bed bugs that have just had their meal. You can tell the difference through their long legs and large, rounded abdomens. They also have pale yellow legs and would be found in pantries, attic warehouses, and grain mills that attract bat, rodent, and bird droppings.

Bat bugs

Bat bugs are similar to bed bugs due to their oval body and short head. The difference is that bat bugs have more hair on their thorax. These bugs are also found where you have colonies of roosting bats, such as in chimneys, behind walls, and in the attic. However, these bugs can move in and hide in fabric folds like the mattress.

Ticks

Like bed bugs, ticks feed on blood and are similar to each other in appearance. The main way to distinguish them is through their legs. Ticks have eight legs, while bed bugs have six. Ticks also prefer attaching to humans, livestock, pets, and other animals. Tick infestations are usually rare; they attach themselves to their host outdoors.

What if you have a bed bug problem?

Although bed bugs can look like other bugs, there are clear signs that indicate a bed bug infestation. For instance, most bed bug look-alikes won’t try hiding in mattresses or beddings. You may also find other signs of bed bugs, such as their fecal matter and shed skins. If you’ve confirmed you have bed bugs, you must deal with the problem at once. Bed bug infestations are nasty to deal with. You need all the best bed bug products in your arsenal.

What bugs are mistaken for bed bugs

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