Home Bed Bugs Bugs that look like Bed Bugs-Beetles & Others that Resemble or Mistaken

Bugs that look like Bed Bugs-Beetles & Others that Resemble or Mistaken

There are a number of bugs that are mistaken for bed bugs. Because of the similarities, many professionals have ended up treating the wrong bugs for bed bugs.

Carpet beetle is one the most common look-a-like. The truth of the matter is that these similar insects only differ at their physical features and perhaps the areas which they live. Read on to find out more about the differences

Beetles that look like bed bugs

Beetles are in most cases confused for bed bugs. They have features that could be similar to bed bugs. All the same, there are features that make them very different at the end of it all.

Spider Beetle

They appear to be brown to black in color. Their abdomens are shiny and globe shaped.

bugs that look like, resemble, similar to bed bugs
Bed Bugs

They are however smaller than bed bugs as they measure about 1.5 to 3.5 mm. There are species that are have cream colored hairs on their head and the legs.

spider beetle vs bed bug
spider beetle

These beetles have long legs, 2 body parts, 2 body segments as well as 2 very long antennae. These beetles look like spiders when you look at them from the top. They scavenge on cereals, grains, dried fruits, bird and rodent’s droppings. These beetles do not bite humans at any point.

These beetles only come out at night to scavenge stored foods in stores. During the day, they will hide in dark areas like the cracks and crevices around food stores. They are similar to bed bugs in that they have a brown body and they feed at night.

Drugstore Beetle

In normal occasions, you will find bugs anywhere including but not limited to your bed and other furniture.

These group of beetles feed on products that are stored like the potpourri or even spices. They appear between 2 to 3.5 mm of length and they have an oval shape and brown color.

drugstore beetle
drugstore beetle

These bugs can fly once they are mature. This is what makes them different from bed bugs. Besides, these bugs are attracted to light unlike the bed bugs.

An additional issue with the drugstore beetle is that it can carry with it a wasp parasite. These parasites do bite, and when they do, the bite does look like a bed bug bite.

Carpet Beetle

They are known to be domestic pests. They however have no direct resemblance to bed bugs. This is because of their more or less round and brown body.

bed bug and carpet beetle differences & similarites
carpet beetle

Adult bed bugs have a brown body as well. They also have hairy bodies. They are notorious for infesting and settling in museums, where they damage the natural fibers and the furniture as well as the carpets and many others.

As the name suggests, they are dangerous to the things that are placed on the ground. They mainly feed on the carpets, mats, mattresses and rugs found on the ground. They are also known to be dangerous to books and other documents that you keep at home.

Being domestic pests, they lay eggs around shady and moist areas that are away from direct sunlight. They would also lay eggs in unused pipes, air conditioner ducts and under or behind your household furniture. This is according to Denise Donovan from the International Bed Bug Resource Authority.

Other bugs mistaken for or resemble bed bugs

When your home is suspected of bugs’ infestation, it is important for you to carry out some research to ascertain that they are indeed bed bugs.

It is unfortunate that most people do not realize the bed bugs until the signs of infestation are prominent. These similar bugs occasionally share the signs and symptoms with the bed bugs.

Bat Bugs

This is a species of bugs that has very great resemblance to bed bugs. Its manifestations are also similar to those of bed bugs.  The name bat is because they reproduce and live around the bat nests. They also feed mainly on bat blood.

bed bugs vs bat bugs
bed bugs vs bat bugs

These bugs often move into human settlements once the bats migrate. In the process, they feed on human blood and then deliver very painful bites in the process. The bats are also the carriers of these bugs. They would move them into your home when they fly into your place in order to establish new settlements.

They stand out different from bed bugs because they settle down in close proximities with one another, in knits areas of your residence or an abandoned house or an apartment.

The similarity between the bed bugs and the bat bugs can easily be pointed out. They both feed on blood and bite your skin.

This species is known to be a no transmitter of diseases and infections, just like bed bugs.

Once these species separate from their hosts, they are likely to wander throughout the house.

They even make their way to the bedroom and the bedding. That justifies the reason why you could confuse them for bed bugs.


The bite from lice will make you feel an itchy sensation. You will often scratch yourself. After that, you will realize bumps.

Lice vs bed bugs

This confusedly makes you believe the bites are from bed bugs. Many people are aware of the head lice. However, pubic lice give you bites all over your body.

The bites from lice are always small and have a red portion on the back side. The red mark is surrounded by a brown ring.

If you don’t examine carefully and keenly, you will confuse the bite marks with bed bug bites.

It is hence important to mark a distinction in order to begin appropriate treatment.

Swallow Bugs

They are in the same family as bed bugs. They have a similar shape and color to the bed bugs. They have what appears to be a thin hair on their bodies. They migrate into homes when the cliff swallow birds begin to migrate.

If your home has plenty of swallow nests, then you should suspect swallow bugs when you spot bugs around rather than bed bugs. These bugs also spend a good part of their time on windowsills instead of the beds.


They have a pair of forceps-like pincer that is always protruding out of their abdomen. For the males, the pincers are curved while the female pincers are straight. Pincers are used to prey and in defense.


Ticks are in different sizes and colors. Their round bodies and shapes are not the same. Before feeding, they are fat bodied just like the unfed bed bugs. Most ticks appear either red or brown. Bites from ticks give you irritation and even spread diseases.

The biggest distinction between bed bugs and ticks is that when ticks bite, they stick on your skin. This will therefore require you to get an extra tool to have them removed. In the course of removing, you ought to be careful so that you don’t leave the tick’s head embodied in the skin. This could make the tick to reproduce.

The other difference is that you will find ticks stuck in the areas of your body that have folds like the armpits, your waistline or in the socks. They remain attached for some days before they detach once they have fed enough.


They are small insects that are known to feed and live on small animals and rodents.

These insects also infest human beings when you get exposed. This is especially if the small animals and rodents are eradicated from an area.

You can also get mite infestation if you live with rodents that are infested. If you get involved in the eradication process, you may also end up getting the infestation.

Looking at bed bugs and mites, it is hard to mark a visual difference. The only thing that you can make of them is their small sizes and their bites.

The bites from mites are very painful unlike those from bed bugs. The mites dig deep into your skin and then leave red bumps after biting. It is however very hard for you to see them when they bite.

Cockroach Nymph

The identification of the traits of the bed bugs and cockroach nymphs are somehow similar. They are similar in appearance and size in a very great way. The color of the nymph ranges from mahogany dark to a hue color.

The body of the cockroach is such that the nymphs are cylindrical as compared to the bed bugs that are about an inch longer. The cockroaches are not blood suckers and they are not known to even bite human beings.

The only problem with them is that they feed on leftover foods and other household debris. They also feed on food that has been left to be used for the future. In the process, they could lead to the contamination of the food. The infections also come in at this point.

Look alikes  that have wings

There are bugs that look like bed bugs but they can fly. They are mostly beetles. The drugstore beetles for example have wings and thus can fly. The other beetles have wings although not all of them are able to fly.

The American cockroach is yet another example. It is also called water bug but not a true water bug because it is not aquatic. It is about 4cm in length and 7 mm tall. All the other types of cockroaches also have wings.

Further Reading