Sometimes it is quite hard to differentiate bed bugs from other tiny bugs that stay in the bed too. It is because they look similar with identical shapes and colors. Generally, there are 15 tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs and the bad thing from misunderstanding is that it will lead to mistreatment. So, I try to list those tiny bugs which look like bed bugs.
At the first, we will start with the bat bugs. These tiny bugs have similar pronunciation with bed bugs yet they are completely different. The reason why I put this on the first is that this tiny bug has the closest shape and behavior. So, that is why people often misunderstand bat bugs with bed bugs.
The bat bugs have a similar shape and color to bed bugs. They are brown, as big as an apple seed, oval, and can’t fly. Those characteristics look similar to bed bugs. If you are not familiar with bed bugs, you may think that this tiny bug is a bed bug.
Here, physically, the difference from the bed bug is only the longer hair on the head. Well, that is still a hard thing to differentiate, right? It is just a matter of the hair and some people do not even know that bed bugs have short hair 🙁
But, thankfully, bat bugs are difficult to be found in your bedroom. This kind of tiny bug actually stays in a cave or any other spot where the bats stay. So, it is a rare thing to get some bat bugs in your bedroom while the possible thing can happen anytime and anywhere.
Booklice are a separate type of insect that is different from bed bugs. This tiny bug can be observed from its appearance that looks like termites with a body shape that is longer and thinner. On the other hand, the shape of the antenna still looks similar, which is long and thin.
These booklice are small insects. They are not large in size but only about 1 to 6 mm in length. In addition, their body parts are not hard, so they are actually fragile and easy to destroy.
In terms of color, booklice have their own color. These tiny bugs are usually light brown or creamy yellow. This of course makes bookworms look more like termites than bed bugs.
Another distinctive feature is that some of them have wings and can fly. In addition, booklice do not bite humans, so they are relatively safe. But for the record, their dry bodies when they die mixed with dust can be dangerous for asthmatics.
From the little description above, of course, booklice are different from bed bugs. However, if you have little experience with these tiny bugs, it would be difficult to distinguish them from bed bugs. This is because they are both small and easy to find on your bed.
Plus, sometimes we often place books near the bed so that the chances of the appearance of booklice on the bed increase. Therefore, good experience and knowledge are needed to distinguish the two types of tiny bugs.
One of the tiny bugs that look similar to bed bugs is spider beetles. These insects are similar to bed bugs in that they have several similar physical characteristics. To note, spider beetles have an oval round body shape with a size of 1-5 mm. So, at first glance, these two insects look alike.
However, actually, in terms of color, these two tiny bugs are quite different. Spider beetles have distinctive colors, namely yellowish, reddish, and blackish, with other characteristics namely long, straight antennae and legs. Apart from that, spider beetles are also covered with hair.
In addition, another difference is that these insects do not bite and some types can fly. This is different from bed bugs, which are specialists in sucking human blood.
In addition, spider beetles do not suck blood as food but instead search for food in wooden buildings. Therefore, you may find it around the bed. However, maybe you will experience spider beetle infestation but from a health point of view, it is better than bed bug infestation.
One of the insects that are quite difficult for humans besides bed bugs is fleas. These insects can be a cause of irritation to human skin. So, we can compare that the two types of insects are indeed similar in shape and in bad effects.
Fleas in adult size look similar to bed bugs. However, for those who are careful, fleas have a reddish-brown color. long legs, and a round head. This appearance is of course different from bed bugs.
One of the interesting things about these fleas is their ability to jump so they will be very difficult to catch. In addition, most fleas will live in the hair of animals such as dogs, cats, etc.
This is because they are recognized as animal bloodsuckers rather than humans, although not infrequently there are complaints that arise from these insects. However, sometimes there are cases where humans are bitten by fleas. This usually happens because your pet brings it from outside.
At first glance, carpet beetles will make you mistake that these insects actually bed bugs. This is because carpet beetles have an oval body shape that is similar to bed bugs. So, it is only natural that you are mistaken.
If you look closely, the carpet beetles actually have a unique pattern. There is a black and white pattern. Then add red or orange scales. Another characteristic is the small head with a short antenna.
This insect is not large, only about 2-3.8 mm but can fly. In addition, this beetle is also arguably dangerous because it can cause allergic reactions in humans. Therefore, carpet beetles are just as annoying as bed bugs.
For its location, carpet beetles usually appear on carpets and flowers. So their infestation actually starts when you bring some fresh flower stalks from outside into the house. Their appearance in bed is also a rare thing, but it can happen if the conditions and circumstances allow it.
Of course, it is very surprising and strange when cockroaches are said to be similar to bed bugs. This is because cockroaches have different shapes, sizes, and habits from bed bugs. It’s just that, cockroach nymphs really have a similar shape to bed bugs.
Many of us don’t know the life cycle of a cockroach. In fact, maybe most of us think that cockroaches have the same shape since childhood. But what actually happens is that cockroaches have a life cycle and change shape in each cycle.
Cockroaches are similar to bed bugs when they are nymphs. The nymph has a bright white color when it has just hatched, then the nymph hardens and turns dark. This process occurs within a few hours after the nymph hatches.
Cockroach growth is highly dependent on when the cockroach is still in its nymph form. The fact is, the availability of food is a major factor of growth for at least the first 10 hours.
When the nymphs turn brown, they will look similar to bed bugs. Of course, the cockroach nymph will look a little shinier and have an antenna. Apart from that, the size and species of cockroaches also greatly influence the shape of the nymphs.
Therefore, it is certainly difficult to distinguish between cockroach nymphs and bed bugs, especially in dark places. You can find that these two insects both like to live in the tight crevices of the mattress.
Other insects that are also similar to bed bugs are ticks. Both of these insects have a preference, namely blood as a food source. The difference is that ticks are often in the open, but not infrequently these insects will enter the house through pets and livestock.
For the case of tick bites that affect humans, it is quite rare. But if it does happen, of course, it is potentially dangerous because these ticks spread diseases such as Lyme and Ehrlichiosis.
We must be aware of the ticks because they are very small. Although they will become evident as adults, these ticks are literally 1-2 mm in size when they are young. Sometimes, it just looks like a tiny dot but it’s alive.
One of the things that cause this transfer of ticks is when pets sleep with us on the mattress. In fact, the ticks will stick to the animals but often will move too. Therefore we must also take care of our cleanliness, mattresses, and pets.
These insects may be insects that we don’t think about because they are located very far from the mattress. However, this insect is very similar to bed bugs. Of course, it will be difficult to find it on the bed, but still, there will be a possibility of moving to the mattress.
In appearance, swallow bugs are very similar to bed bugs but they have an antenna. Their color is similar, namely brown, but rather grayish not reddish. Still, in a dark place, the two of them looked the same.
As mentioned earlier, of course, it is difficult to find these insects on the bed. Usually, we will find these insects in swallow nests such as buildings, cliffs, and other habitats. These places are of course very far from the mattress.
Unfortunately, swallow bugs have bites that are painful to humans. This is known from the bite reaction caused by these insects. Therefore, if swallow bugs are found on the mattress, it is highly likely that these insects have moved through humans.
Head lice have a size similar to bed bugs as adults, which is about 2 – 3 mm. As the name suggests, these tiny bugs bite the head and neck and us. Apart from being similar in shape, head lice and bed bugs also have other similarities in terms of activities. Head lice and bed bugs both crawl.
Another similarity is that the head lice also spread all over the head quickly. It is the same with bed bugs, if only one is seen then it is a sign that there has been a spread of head lice. Very similar isn’t it?
In terms of size, head lice are not as big as bed bugs because these tiny bugs are only as big as sesame seeds. So, head lice are more like bed bugs when they are small. In addition, the female head lice are also larger than the male.
If you find head lice on the mattress, then you should be wary because these tiny bugs can last up to 30 days to live on the head. Immediately clean your mattress and head because head lice only last up to 1-2 days without food.
If you can describe it, mites are a representation of bed bugs in a more sinister form. In appearance, mites have a shape that is not much different. Both types of insects are small, do not have wings, and crawling.
One thing that exists is the myth that we don’t know their whereabouts when they bite and find their marks. The bite of mites is certainly not dangerous, but if it turns out we have sensitive skin, there will be mild swelling and irritation.
However, the difference between bed bugs and these tiny bugs is the bite pattern. Bed bugs themselves have a linear and zigzag pattern that we can see as bed bugs. Meanwhile, mites are more bizarre in shape and difficult to identify.
Although different and the pattern, it turns out that mites and bed bugs are difficult to distinguish because of their very shape. If you find it in a dark room in the corner of the mattress, then it is difficult to tell the difference.
It feels a bit strange when we find that some of us have difficulty distinguishing termites and bed bugs. Although it looks strange, this often happens. Yes, it is difficult to distinguish between termites and bed bugs in the dark.
The only resemblance that may appear to some is where they appear. Termites can also sometimes be found on our mattresses, especially if they are made of wood. Yes, termites are wood eaters while bed bugs are human bloodsuckers.
Termites are wood eaters where they eat cellulose or organic fibers from wood. It is very difficult for us to detect the presence of termites so that in the end the wood around us becomes brittle and rotten.
In addition, the small size of termites also makes it difficult for some of us to distinguish them from bed bugs. However, if you have a lot of experience with termites, then of course the two types of insects are different.
Well, that is all about the discussion. If you find other tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs, please inform me. So, we can add it to this list. Thank you.
Hi! I’m Alex, the author of the site. I am passionate about pests including bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, and mosquitoes, and etc. So, I hope what I share on the site can be fully useful and valuable.