Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs and are Mistaken for Bed Bugs


If you have unidentified bites or red welts on your skin or have noticed some minute bugs crawling on your mattress but are unsure if it’s bed bugs or not, you have arrived in the right place.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like

Bed Bugs – picturise small, wingless creatures that feed exclusively on warm-blooded animals, a.k.a., humans. As the name signifies, bed bugs love dark spaces like sofas, mattresses, articles of clothing, and other softer furnishings. The primary identifications of bed bug infestation are red, itchy spots, clusters of bites, or spots on the body, small blood spots on your sheets, and tiny dark spots of fecal matter.

What are Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

It will be a huge waste of resources if you invest in a pest control treatment that ends up identifying an incorrect pest in your home. To avoid that, we have listed 10 mistaken bugs that look like bed bugs. These bugs look similar to bed bugs and are often mistaken as bed bugs.

  1. Bat Bugs

  • Bat bugs are beige or light brown in comparison to mahogany bed bugs. Both have a similar-looking oval shape and size, i.e., ¼ inch long, and neither can fly despite having wing pads.
  • Their bites are similar to bed bug bites. They live near bats, inside attics, walls, and chimneys.
  • Prevention:

    Remove the bat infestation in and around your house.

  1. Spider Beetles

  • Both spider beetles and bed bugs carry a round, oval shape, a similar size of 1-5mm, and reddish-brown color. They have wings.
  • No, they do not bite and are located in wooden structures and near food.
  • Prevention:

    Focus on home maintenance and repairs and sustain cleanliness.

  1. Booklice

  • Booklice look like bed bug nymphs since their colors range from translucent white to gray or brown. The size could be ¼ inch long. Some species have wings capable of flight.
  • No, they aren’t biting insects and usually reside in high-humidity regions.
  • Prevention:

    Reducing humidity levels to around 50% in and around your home will dehydrate them.

  1. Carpet Beetles

  • Carpet beetle bugs look like bed bugs. They carry a 1/16-1/8 inch oval body with a black and white pattern and scales. Adult beetles have wings.
  • They do not bite but induce allergic reactions in humans, causing dermatitis. They reside on flowers and carpet fabrics.
  • Prevention:

    Wash the infested fur or leather clothing, vacuum the carpets, and use natural pest control to get rid of carpet beetles.

  1. Fleas

  • The physical traits of fleas are different from bed bugs, but their bites are incredibly itchy, like bed bug bites, and they do not have wings.
  • They bite and are vectors for various diseases, and they are usually found on animal furs infesting their bodies for blood.
  • Prevention:

    Use flea control methods like flea sprays, pet flea collars, and ointments to get rid of fleas. There are many options available to get rid of fleas fast like using a vaccum cleaner, cleaning or using some cemcial treatments.

  1. Mites

  • People often get confused between mites and bed bugs since their bites are similar and neither do they have wings. Some species like red clover mites live on animals.
  • Their bite leads to small bumps on the skin. Some species of mites feed on dead and decaying matter, while others inhabit the ears, lungs and intestines of domestic animals.
  • Prevention:

    Maintain cleanliness in-house and around your pets. Use mites repellents regularly.

  1. Ticks

  • There are certain species of ticks that look like bed bugs. Untrained eyes often confuse various species of ticks with bed bugs due to their similar rounded bodies and lack of wings.
  • Unlike bed bug bites, tick bites could lead to various diseases since they attach themselves to their hosts by burrowing into the skin. They live in dense woods, on leaves, shrubs, or tall grasses.
  • Prevention:

    Take proactive measures before adventuring outdoors by wearing protective long pants and sleeves, using tick-repellent sprays, and checking yourself and your pets for ticks before heading back.

  1. Swallow Bugs

  • Most of the physical traits of swallow bugs and bed bugs are similar since both are wingless insects.
  • These insects are known to bite humans and swallows since they feed on the blood of swallows. They reside near swallow nests, on cliffs, or in barns.
  • Prevention:

    Keep up with home maintenance and use repellent products.

  1. Cockroach Nymphs

  • Upon hatching, these carry a brownish color and size averaging to 3 mm in length, similar to bed bugs and lack wings.
  • They don’t bite but reside in moist areas, in and around food preparations and storage.
  • Prevention:

    Routine pest control remedies and thorough cleaning for cockroach control.

  1. Head Lice

  • They are small, flat, and feed on human blood. Head lice also crawl like bed bugs.
  • Their bites lead to severe itching and reside in human hair on the head.
  • Prevention:

    Restrict their food source, i.e., blood, with proper treatments and lice shampoos.

Even though bed bugs are the most commonly identified and prevalent insects attacking human surroundings, you now know how easily they can be confused with their look-alikes. Often times you will require professional assistance to get rid of them so, schedule an appointment with our pest control experts now.

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