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5 bugs that look like bed bugs

No one wants a case of bed bugs, so spotting bugs that look like bed bugs or unidentified bites on your body often incites panic. Bed bugs are small and elusive making them difficult to identify. Our Technicians can help you determine your bed bug problem and provide a solution to bring you peace of mind. The following is a list of five bugs that are often mistaken for bed bugs.


1. Bat bugs

Color: Brown

Description: Bat bugs are the most similar to the bed bug of any on this list. Really the only observable difference between the two is that bat bugs have longer hairs on their heads.

Size: ¼” – the size of an apple seed

Shape: Oval

Do bat bugs have wings? Bat bugs have wing pads, but no functional wings.

Do bat bugs bite? Bat bugs will bite, but only if bats aren’t around.

Where are bat bugs found? Despite what their name suggests, bat bugs usually aren’t found on bats, but rather where bats live. Many homes may feel they have bed bugs when they see these. Instead, oftentimes a bat colony has set up a home in the attic, causing the bat bugs to end up in the rest of the house.

Image credit: University of Minnesota Extension

Bat bugs

2. Spider beetles

Color: May range from pale brownish-yellow to reddish brown to almost black

Description: Spider beetles have long, thin legs and antennae, all covered with hairs. It has no “neck” as its head is directly connected to its body.

Size: 1/32-3/16” (1-5mm)

Shape: Usually oval

Do spider beetles have wings? Yes, but only some species can fly.

Do spider beetles bite? No.

Where are spider beetles found? Spider beetles are often found in wooden structures and near sources of food. Poor sanitation often leads to spider beetle infestations.

Spider beetles

3. Booklice

Color: Pale brown or creamy yellow

Description: Booklice closely resemble termites, with soft bodies and long, thin antennae.

Size: 1/32-1/4” (1-6mm)

Shape: Segmented (head and body are separate)

Do booklice have wings? Sometimes. If present, there will be four.

Do booklice bite: No, but scientists believe their dead bodies in tandem with dust may contribute to asthma attacks.

Where are booklice found? Booklice are often found in areas of high humidity, such as damp books, because they easily become dehydrated.


4. Carpet beetles

Color: Black with white pattern and orange/red scales

Description: The head of the carpet beetle is mostly hidden when looking from above, but short, visible antennae extend from it.varied carpet beetle

Size: 1/16-1/8” (2-3.8mm)

Shape: Oval

Do carpet beetles have wings? Yes, adults fly during the daytime.

Do carpet beetles bite? No, but they are known to cause dermatitis in humans, due to allergic reactions.

Where are carpet beetles found? Carpet beetles are typically found on flowers and sometimes on fabrics (specifically carpet). They are often brought inside on fresh-cut flowers.

Carpet beetles

5. Fleas

olor: Reddish-brown

Description: Long legs, round heads, and very small bodies covered in hair.

Size: Approximately ⅛”

Shape: Laterally flattened and segmented

Do fleas have wings? No.

Do fleas bite? Yes, and the bites are traditionally very itchy. Additionally, fleas are a vector for various diseases.

Where are fleas found? Fleas are often brought in from outdoors on animals.


Ehrlich gets rid of bugs

Whether or not your infestation is that of bed bugs, Ehrlich is here to help. Call us at 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online to find out what our pest experts can do for you.

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