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Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs: Get to Know These 7 Bugs

In the United States, Bed Bug infestations are on the remarkable rise. You can easily find a small-sized beetle-shaped insect lurking around your home. These Bed Bugs are very notorious and are very difficult to get rid of. Many people spend thousands of dollars on their store-bought products, and with that, thousands of professional pest control. However, bugs that look like bed bugs are not Bed Bugs

There are a lot of Bugs that look the same as Bed Bugs. So, it becomes essential to know and be sure which insect it is. Then you can quickly get the proper treatment to wash out that insect from your area.

1. What Are Bed Bugs?

A bed bug- bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by Jay Ondreicka on Shutterstock

They are arachnids that are relatively small and closely related to scorpions, spiders, and some mites.

Bugs primarily feed on human blood. They are very short in size are no larger than 2.0 mm and 2.5 mm in length, and are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Spotting these insects is very difficult unless you know what to look for.

Even another bug named Mite is invisible to the naked eye because of its small size. Moreover, Mites primarily feed on dead plants.

However, they are brown in color, flat body, and their shape and size are like an apple seed. A bed bug is an insect so, it has six legs.

You might have a question, does Bed Bugs fly? The simple answer to this is they are tiny insects that do not have any wings, so they cannot fly.

They always leave behind red, itchy bumps on the skin from where they bite.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by pt.pongsak@gmail.com on Unlimphotos

They are well known to survive on a blood meal from a human or animal host. They are very nocturnal and are typically known to come out at night, like the little tiny vampires.

However, they reproduce rapidly throughout their homes. One female pregnant bug can lay up to 500 eggs in its species genre in her total lifetime.

Their nest becomes overcrowded quickly, so they spread throughout the home to build their new area. You can never know that you have bed bugs until you wake up with itchy and bumpy skin since they do not come out in the daytime.

However, if you find bed bugs or have any evidence of bed bug activity in the daytime, it is for sure that you’re dealing with bugs that look like bed bugs.

2. 7 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

The bed bug nymphs appear smaller than adult bed bugs and are mostly whitish-yellow. Also, the baby bed bugs look like Booklice. However, they become bright or dark red when they are full of blood. Also, their bodies are translucent and almost invisible when they are without blood.

Moreover, they look the size of a poppy seed whenever they are hatching eggs. The bed bugs are about the size of a pinhead, microscopic, and pearl-white.

However, let’s check which insects look like bed bugs.

2.1. Cockroach Nymphs

The cockroach nymphs are often mistaken for bed bugs because of their similar coloring.

The most commonly found cockroach nymphs include German cockroaches, American cockroaches, brown-banded, and Oriental cockroaches.

However, the baby cockroaches have a flattened, oval appearance, are long antenna-like, and have long, bristly legs.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels Copyrights 2021

The color of baby cockroaches ranges from reddish-brown to dark brown and tan to black. They mostly confuse people since they haven’t grown wings and look like bed bugs.

Cockroach nymphs hide in moist areas where food is already prepared and stored. The presence of cockroach nymphs in your house is a sign of bed bug infestation.

Cockroaches carry bacteria in its body and may spread illness to people. They may apply salmonella, gastroenteritis, and asthma attacks to those allergic to cockroaches.

2.2. Carpet Beetles

The young carpet beetles are different than the adult carpet beetles. They may vary in size and length. However, they often resemble bed bugs.

Generally, adult beetles are oval-shaped and look like bed bugs. However, many species of carpet beetles include the back, furniture, and some other varied carpet beetles.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Image by Pixabay on Pexels Copyrights 2016

Carpet beetles primarily feed on animal-origin materials, including furs, wool, feathers, and leather. However, they are not fans of eating the synthetic materials of today’s carpet.

The carpet beetles hiding spot is around the edges of rugs and carpets and underneath the upholstered furniture. You can even find them under the baseboards.

The larvae of carpet beetles do not pose much danger to you, and they do not often bite humans.

However, they are capable enough of causing significant damage to your newly purchased carpet or your favorite wool sweater.

Moreover, the damage of these bugs appears in one ruined patch and not in scattered holes. Also, they leave molted shells behind their damage.

2.3. Spider Beetles

Spider beetles always reflect a bed bug that has just feasted on blood. Also, they often resemble bed bugs to some extent. A Spider Beetle is named because of its long legs and large, rounded abdomens.

However, the American Spider Beetle has some reddish-brown to black and a shiny globe-like-shaped abdomen. Also, they have pale yellow long thin legs, with similar color heads, thoraces, and antennae.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by Erik Karits/ Pexels Copyrights 2020

You can find a Spider Beetle in grain mills, pantries, and warehouses. Spider Beetles are mostly found in those places which contain bird, rodent, and bat droppings.

Spider beetles tend to bite when it feels dangerous. Also, the bite of Spider Beetles may infest your food. Their food source is human blood.

2.4. Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are the bugs that look like bed bugs. They have an oval-shaped body and a short, broad head attached to their prothorax. The only way to differentiate between bat bugs and bed bugs is to have denser and longer hairs on their thorax and have wing pads.

Bat bugs tend to develop in colonies of roosting bats. You can also find bat bugs in attics, behind walls, or near chimneys.

There is an excellent chance of finding these in a bookstall near your bed or some dark crevices and fabric folds, unlike bat bugs.

Some bat bugs have wings, and they can fly. Moreover, bat bugs will not bite, but their bodies will combine with dust and asthma attacks when dead.

Most bat bugs tend to suck the blood of bats. However, if their primary host is unavailable, then only they will feed on human blood. They do this when their usual food source is gone. Moreover, a bat bug is not known to transmit disease to people.

However, bat bugs can cause anxiety and insomnia in people.

2.5. Head Lice

The first question arises as to whether it is a bed bug or lice.

A Head Lice is host-specific, and if their host is your dog, they cannot make you their host or the opposite. There is another kind of lice, known as Psocids, and they are not actual lice.

However, head lice affect people and are typically gray. Also, the most exciting part of head lice is that they can take on the hair color that head lice feed on.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by Egor Kamelev from Pexels Copyrights 2017

The female head lice are about 1/16 to 1/8-inch long and flat in shape. However, the male head lice are smaller than the female ones.

The head lice will keep on feeding on your blood. Moreover, they can even excrete dark red fees onto your scalp. These bugs cannot fly, and by any chance, if you get Head Lice and you do not go for treatment, then it will be worse.

Their main area of hiding is gathering near the lower back of their heads and behind their ears.

2.6. Ticks

They are known as blood-sucking parasites, and they often feed on human blood, just like bed bugs, and they are very successful in resembling each other.

However, the critical difference to differentiate is identifying the number of legs.

Bed bugs are insects. So they have six legs, whereas Tick has eight legs since they are arachnids.

These pests have many different types, and they get attached to humans, pets, livestock, and wild animals.

Their physical traits are different, and most Ticks are small, dark in color, and appear flat and oval body when unfed, and they are the size of a sesame seed.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Image by Pixabay on Pexels Copyrights 2016

They are mostly found attached to their host or even outdoors in moisture. These bugs are not like bed bugs since they transmit infectious diseases.

Mostly they are found in shady areas, with tall grass and overgrown bush. Ticks usually don’t infest indoors unless a female tick lays eggs inside your house.

Tick bites may pass many pathogens, like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, to people, pets, and other animals. However, if you leave Lyme disease untreated, then it can be a life-threatening disease for you.

2.7. Swallow Bugs

Swallow bugs and bed bugs are pretty similar. However, unlike bed bugs, swallow bugs are distinguished by their antenna.

A swallow bug tends to appear grayish-brown rather than reddish-brown like the common bed bug.

You will find a swallow bug in barns and cliff swallow nests. However, in some cases, swallow bugs invade human structures and may bite people.

They are well known for breeding throughout the summer and early fall when the birds depart.

Moreover, their bites can cause minor to severe reactions in humans. The Swallow bugs are capable of surviving up to three years without food.

3. 10 Facts about Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

There are many unknown facts that we do not know about bed bugs, and for that very reason, we often misjudge bed bugs:

  1. Bed bugs are very professional bloodsuckers. The process starts with piercing the skin with their saliva, then repressing the blood clots, and then finally sucking in blood without you even feeling it. Moreover, they also push in some anesthetic.
  2. Bed bugs usually are not vessels for infectious diseases. But they can give you itchy and nasty bites.
  3. These insects thrive on living everywhere not just in hotels. They are primarily found in rural places and three times higher in population in urban sprawls.
  4. They are primarily resilient. Moreover, bed bugs can survive being unfed for up to seven months and still can survive in below-freezing point temperatures and also in scorching climates.
  5. The behavior of bed bugs is like roaches. Hiding during the daytime and crawling out of some holes and crevices at night time.
  6. They have a methodical feeding pattern. If they find you as a host, bed bugs will feed on you almost 5-10 times and at the same or adjacent spots in your skin. They usually do this until they find a new host to feed on.
  7. Bed bugs, when laying eggs are very tricky to find. Since they lay microscopic eggs you would not know that you have an infestation. 
  8. Bed bugs can suck a huge amount of blood that is seven times their body size.
  9. Bed bugs have developed a strong natural resistance to fumigation and pesticides over the years. That is why pesticides no longer work on bed bugs. But if you are still looking to wipe them out, you need to make a more concerted effort.
  10. Another amazing fact about bed bugs is that they do not feed on any dead host. They are known to feed only on live hosts which makes them picky bloodsuckers.

Bed bugs are year-round problems for hotels and even homes.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels Copyrights 2020

Bed bugs easily stick to fabrics and linens and wait for an unknowing victim to suck on their blood. Moreover, they lay hundreds of microscopic eggs on a one-time-big-time basis.

You cannot quickly eliminate them, mainly because many bugs look the same as bed bugs. So, you need to know about the other bugs and the difference between them.

4. Mistaking Bed Bug Bites

We often mistake bed bugs for other bed bugs. But in some cases, people also misjudge bed bug bites. However, if you do not know enough about the bed bug bite, it is good to know about a handful of bug bite conditions.

4.1. Hives

They become reddish-brown and itchy skin bumps. This is caused by an allergic reaction and bites from other insects or bites.

4.2. Fungal Infection

In this condition, the infection always targets the moist area in the body. It can be the genitals, feet, and in some cases, even under the breast area. The symptoms can start with itchy rashes.

4.3. Miliaria

They are fondly called heat rashes caused by inflammation and some problems due to the sweat duct. They are often considered a common condition usually experienced by small children in humid climates.

4.4. Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Now, this one is pretty serious since it starts with an itchy, bumpy rash. The auto-immune skin condition causes blisters after the rash. In most cases, those who contract the skin condition have an underlying illness called celiac disease.

However, this condition attacks the buttocks, knees, scalp, elbows, and in some parts of the lower back.

5. Do Bed Bugs Bite at Night?

They are often used to being tagged as the culprits every time you find itchy bumps in the morning. But it would be best if you also thought about the other probable bugs that might have bitten you at night and correctly identified them. 

If you find you are bitten, it could be some other bug’s bite. However, it is always better to call a pest control professional.

bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by Jimmy Chan/ Pexels Copyrights 2019

5.1. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes usually attack and bite you at dawn, dusk, and nighttime. They are mostly found during warm nights. Similar to bed bug bites, mosquito bites also start with a reddish itch that develops into a bump after.

5.2. Bat Bugs

Their bites are sporadic and could be grace into your home only if their host bats are not around them.

5.3. Mites

Often the mites hosting on rodents and birds are the culprits behind those red bumps you find in the morning. They often look like itchy, capsule-shaped bites.

5.4. Fleas

Unlike bed bugs, they can quickly jump from one host to another. Even if you sleep with your pets near you at night, the fleas can bite you at night. The flea bites are similar to bed bugs but usually are smaller and much more challenging. 

However, they are different from bed bugs and mosquito bites in one aspect. Flea bites have a red nucleus.

Moreover, this pest has a reddish-brown body color, and they also possess long legs and round heads.

6. How to Differentiate Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

It would be best if you always remembered that bed bugs pass through five stages of life and have a complete look at their different stages of life.

However, if you are trying to distinguish between bugs that look like bed bugs, it is imperative to know how they look.

They generally go through five stages before turning into adults:

  • Stage 1 Nymph (1.5 mm)
  • Stage 2 Nymph (2 mm)
  • Stage 3 Nymph (2.5 mm)
  • Stage 4 Nymph (3.5 mm)
  • Stage 5 Nymph (4.5 mm)
  • Adulthood.

They vary in size and have the size and shape of an apple seed. Their body color is light brown to dark brown with an even dark center.

They do not have wings, cannot fly, and cannot jump. However, they have short-sized legs and short antennae. They are constantly engorged with blood, and bed bugs have larger bodies when they suck blood.

You can also determine the true bed bugs to those that look like bed bugs by their habits.

If you see a bed bug during the daytime, it means you had a bed bug infestation. They always come out at night time.

You can also look for some signs of bed bug activity:

  • Set up a Bed Bug Trap.
  • Strip your all bedding.
  • Look for other rooms and furniture, such as cribs, couches, and pillows.

However, there are also some ways by which you can identify a bed bug:

  • Scan the bed bug bites
  • Looking at the blood marks on your bed sheet.
  • Search for small, black spots on bedding.
  • Bed bug sheds their skin on the sheets.
  • You can also find the bed bug egg casings.

7. Tips to Prevent Bed Bugs at Your Home

It can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful to deal with bugs you cannot identify if they are bed bugs. However, it is even easier to prevent pests than to get rid of them. Use these tricks to avoid problems in your house:

Bugs that look like bed bugs
Photo by Kaffeebart on Unsplash Copyrights 2021
  • Maintain Home Hygiene Routine.
  • Make sure to keep your home clean and reduce all the clusters (look for flea larvae in floor cracks).
  • Do vacuum and sweep very often.
  • Make sure to wash your clothes and bedding regularly.
  • Try to use Bed Bugs and Mattress Protectors.
  • Try not to use second-hand clothing or furniture without careful inspection.
  • Make sure to use a year-round pest control remedy.
  • You can use diatomaceous earth or boric acid to kill bed bugs.

8. Bottom-Line

If you are out of all your moves to identify the bug and want to get rid of this nuisance pest, you should call an expert. You must look for a professional pest control company near your area to help you identify the bugs and deal with your pest problem.

They can help you draft a treatment plan and help you close the case of all the mysterious bugs that the experts found in your home.


  • Susanta Biswas

    I'm a tech enthusiast, who loves researching about technical items used in health centers. I hold a degree in technology and love sharing my tech-health-related research with folks here with Icy Health. Hope you will find some interesting things to learn about your health.

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