Carpet beetles vs. bed bugs

A bed bug infestation is likely the pest problem that panics home and property owners the most. Although bed bugs are not linked to any diseases or health risks, they cause all kinds of mental damage because people fear being bitten in the middle of the night. This increased fear and awareness of bed bugs means that any small insect that may look sort of like a bed bug is often confused for one.

One of the insects most often confused with bed bugs is the equally small and flat varied carpet beetle. They are very common in homes and properties and people continually ask if they have found the first signs of a bed bug infestation when they see a carpet beetle. So, what’s the difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs?

Ehrlich Pest Control is the expert in bed bug removal and control and if you have an infestation of either bed bugs or carpet beetles contact your local office today!

What is a bed bug?

bed bug

A bed bug is a small flat insect that is very tiny and hard to see. They like to hide in small spaces not far from their food source and their favorite food source is human blood. Bed bugs prefer to feed at night so they get their name from their tendency to breed and live in mattresses and in and around beds. However, these tiny parasites can also hide in sofas, carpets and other areas in close proximity to their food source.

Bed bugs are brownish-red in color and about the size of an apple seed. They will leave behind shed skins, fecal matter, and blood spots when an infestation occurs.  Bed bugs leave red bite marks on your arms, torso, neck or body in the middle of the night.

What is a varied carpet beetle?

Woolly bear and carpet beetle

The varied carpet beetle in many ways does resemble the bed bug. Anthrenus verbasci are small, about 3mm in length, and flat. Much like bed bugs they are even oval-shaped when looked at from the top down. However, the varied carpet beetle does not feed on blood and get their name from their feast on natural fibers when they are in larval form. They can damage natural fibers such as carpeting.

Carpet beetles look very, very different from bed bugs when they are larger. They look like tiny furry caterpillars whereas the bed bug larvae look a lot like the larger versions, but just very small. Bed bug larvae look like little worms, while carpet beetle larvae look like fuzzy bugs with little spines all over them.

The main difference is the color. Varied carpet beetles do have brown on their backs, but they look more spotted or striped with white and light colored patches mixed with brown.

Are varied carpet beetles dangerous?

These insects are not dangerous. Carpet beetles prefer to devour fabrics like carpet, wool and other natural materials. They tend not to infest beds or around people in the same way bed bugs do. They are not blood-feeders and do not leave the bite marks that bed bugs do.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bugs, despite being blood-feeders, have not yet been linked to any diseases. This may be due to the fact they tend to infest one place and feed on the same people, unlike mosquitoes which can feed on numerous people and animals. Most of the time bed bugs are hiding during the day and come out to feed at night, so you’ll find the red bite marks on your body in the morning.

Signs of carpet beetles

varied carpet beetle

Carpet beetles are a nuisance pest and they will eat fabrics. This can be costly, but they are not a risk to your health. It is difficult to see signs of carpet beetles. You are actually much more likely to just see the beetles themselves. Carpet beetles will get inside through any opening or space in the exterior of a property and lay their eggs near a food source.

Identifying carpet beetles before they hatch and start to breed and infest a property is very hard. If you are seeing a lot of carpet beetles, you can just call on a pest professional to get rid of varied carpet beetles and stop them from returning.

Carpet beetles are not bed bugs

Carpet beetles are not bed bugs. However, carpet beetles can damage fabrics and bed bugs can bite people. Both insects can breed fast and may remain hidden for a while before you start to notice them. Both pests can create mental issues because worrying about these insects is stressful.

If you think you have either bed bugs or carpet beetles, then contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office.

 

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