5 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

bed bug look alikes

Bed bugs are nothing to mess around with. If not caught early enough they will spread like wildfire, making them hard to get rid of. They gained their reputation by having a serious bite and the ability to infiltrate our homes.

However, there are many insects that look like bed bugs, so being able to identify bed bugs from other similar pests is crucial for effective pest control. In this article, we will dive deeper into these similarly looking pests, so you can keep yourself and your family safe from all these creepy crawlers.

For Reference: Bed Bugs

bed bug look alikes

Just for the sake of reference, here is a typical bed bug. They range in size from 4-5 millimeters in length and have 6 legs.

They are normally a reddish-brown color, but if they’ve recently been fed, they may appear more red than brown. An infected bed bug area may produce a smell similar to a musty, spoiled berry smell.

Although bed bugs cause swollen red dots all over your body and their bite can cause itching and irritation, they’re usually not lethal.

Similar Pests To Bed Bugs

1. Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are one of the most commonly confused bugs to bed bugs. Just like bed bugs, they are 3-5 millimeters long and tan or beige in color, but after they’ve had a meal they can turn a dark brown color. Similar to bed bugs, they also have 6 legs.

Bat bugs usually feed on bats, hence their name, although if they don’t have a bat nearby they will gladly settle for your nearby pets or worse – your kids who are playing outside.

Once they attach themselves to your dog’s fur or your child’s clothing, they can then easily be transported into the house.

Bat bugs are more similar to bed bugs than any other pest. The only difference is that bat bugs have wing pads. But no worries here! They are not functional and can’t fly!

2. Carpet Beetles

carpet beetle

Carpet beetles are a hassle to deal with as well but not as difficult as bed bugs. They range in size from 3 – 4 millimeters long and can come in a variety of colors – from black to white and various patterns of brown, orange, or yellow. And yes.. they can fly, unfortunately. 

Carpet beetles typically enter your home through open windows, doors, cracks, and crevices because they are attracted to organic matter such as carpets, furniture, or curtains. Or they can come in the old-fashioned way of attaching themselves to your pet, or simply on a bouquet of flowers. 

Even though carpet beetles are a nuisance in your home and may scare you of how similar they are to bed bugs, rest assured they are not blood feeders, and prefer to linger on your couches or worse, your sheets.

They are commonly confused for bed bugs due to their ability to bite you if they are on your sheets and you get too close during your sleep.

If you start to see bites on your body, it’s time to seek a professional pest control company to help you eliminate them.

3. Booklice

Book lice

Booklice typically ranges from 1-2 millimeters in size. Don’t let their size make you underestimate them! They can still cause enough damage, like bed bugs.

Some booklice can appear to be translucent, making it hard for people to see them, which could lead to their infestation getting out of hand. 

Booklice comes in a variety of colors such as gray, white, and brown. They do not prefer to feast on anything with moisture such as mold, fungi, and matter found in damp environments.

Bed bugs like to live in dark quiet places and booklice thrive in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, or any place in the house that can potentially have water damage.

Even though booklice don’t inadvertently bite humans, their presence may signify a worse underlying water damage and mold issue in the house.

Bed bugs like to live in dark quiet places and booklice thrive in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, or any place in the house that can potentially have water damage.

4. Spider Beetles

spider beetle

Spider beetles sound intimidating but aren’t as bad as bed bugs. They range in size from 1-5 millimeters and prefer to stay away from humans.

Spider beetles like to indulge themselves in stored food products, dead insects, animal remains, and plants around the house, which means you’ll most likely see them around your pantry, garden, and house plants.

As if the name of this creepy pest wasn’t scary, to begin with, spider beetles can contaminate your food after feasting on it and cause you to have to toss it out.

They enter your home by first laying their eggs in contaminated food at the store, such as grains, cereal, or flour.

So when you buy the food and bring it home, you may not even know that you bought something more than just groceries.

5. Swallow Bugs

Swallow bugs are also very similar to bed bugs, and people confuse the two very often. They are about the same size (4 millimeters) and have the same coloring of reddish brown to very dark brown, and thankfully this pest doesn’t have any wings.

Similar to bed bugs, swallow bugs enjoy feeding on blood, although the only difference is that bed bugs prefer human blood and swallow bugs prefer bird blood.

This means that if you have a tree with a bird’s nest in it, you can safely assume that swallow bugs can be present.

Another difference worth noting is that bed bugs like to feast while you’re asleep, but swallow bugs like to feast on their prey during the day because that’s when they’re most active.

Don’t relax just yet, just because swallow bugs may prefer birds but if the opportunity presents itself, it will gladly bite you and have a meal. 

Swallow bugs can make their way into your home by hitching a ride on your pets’ fur during the daytime or if a bird has made a nest in your attic, vents, or any other opening your home may have.

Arm Yourself With Professional Pest Control

Recognizing the bugs in your home is a very important skill to have if you would like to stay on top of your family’s safety.

Knowledge of bed bugs and their similar friends is the first step in knowing when you need pest control and ensures you’ll have peace of mind when dealing with any creepy crawler around your house. 

If for any reason you are unsure of what creepy pest you are looking at, don’t hesitate to call the professionals at Gecko Green to help you identify, treat, and prevent anything that can bite or harm your home with our complete preventative pest control program.

If this is your first time having a pest control service, you can learn more about what to expect from your first pest control visit here.

Call for a free quote today!