If you see a tiny bug inside your home or on your mattress, it’s understandable why you may panic and assume it’s a bed bug. Because bed bugs are so small, they can be difficult to identify, especially when you spot just one or two. There are a number of similarly sized and shaped bugs that are often confused for the dreaded bed bug—and vice-versa. Read on to learn more about these identity-stealing insects.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Although it often takes a professional’s eye to accurately spot a bed bug, they have multiple distinguishable traits. Even though they appear slightly different in their different stages of life, bed bugs are typically the size of an apple seed and are mahogany or brown in color. After feeding, adult bed bugs will take on more of a red color and may appear engorged. For the most part, bed bugs are often seen clustered together in their hiding spots—seeing them on your mattress or mattress tag is, of course, the most obvious indication of an infestation.
5 Bed Bug Look-Alikes
Bed bugs are tiny, and chances are you aren’t jumping at the chance to get close enough to further investigate. This often leads to a lot of misidentified bugs. The bugs most often confused as bed bugs are:
- Bat bugs: The most similar insect to the bed bug in appearance, these bugs are found wherever bats live. The only difference in appearance is the fact that bat bugs have longer hairs on their heads.
- Spider beetles: Found in wooden structures and near food, these beetles have much longer legs than bed bugs and are covered in hair.
- Booklice: These tiny insects are found in areas with high humidity and closely resemble termites.
- Carpet beetles: Typically found in fabrics or on flowers, carpet beetles are black and have orange-red scales, making them more colorful than the bed bug.
- Fleas: Most often brought inside on animals, fleas have characteristically long legs and are flattened laterally. They are reddish-brown in color and slightly larger than bed bugs.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
If you spot tiny bugs in your home and are unsure what you’re dealing with, it’s always best to call a professional. The team at Batzner has years of experience inspecting Wisconsin homes for bed bugs, and our trained professionals (as well as our canine inspectors) know how to tell a bed bug from any other insect you may see inside your home.