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Look-a-like Bugs Mistaken as Bed Bugs

Do you hate bugs? You’re not the only one. While many bugs serve as an inconvenience (and are just gross) there are bugs that can cause serious damage to your health and your home.  Bed bugs bites can be quite alarming after a peaceful nights’ sleep.

Bed bugs are a common example. Adult bed bugs can easily infest your home and cause a nuisance while you sleep. Bed bugs prefer to bite humans and feed on them.  Since they multiply so quickly, they’re difficult to kill.

But 10 quintillion insects exist. This means you can easily mistake another bug for a bed bug. Here are some bugs mistaken for bed bugs and if these bugs are as dangerous as bed bugs.

If you know you have bed bugs and would like more information, please check out this excellent guide from our friends at Calgary.com entitled  “Sleep Tight: A Complete Guide to the Impact, Identification, and Treatment of Bed Bugs.”

Cockroach Nymphs

We all know the large and brown cockroach (and dread seeing one in our homes). But what about a baby cockroach?

Cockroach nymphs, or baby cockroaches, look slightly different before they reach adulthood.

They’re white immediately after their born and then turn their signature reddish-brown color. Since they’re small, they look almost identical to a bed bug.

There are some differences you should know. First, a cockroach nymph is elongated and cylinder-shaped, much like adult cockroaches. Bed bugs are shorter and oval-shaped.

Cockroach nymphs also prefer to stay away from humans. They’re small enough to hide in cracks and only emerge at night. They prefer living near food and water, which is why you can find cockroaches in your kitchen and bathroom.

Whereas, bed bugs depend on you for their survival. They’re parasites; they feed off of our blood. They live in our bedroom and near our bed so they can feed on us while we’re sleeping.

Does this mean you can ignore the cockroach? It’s essential to call pest control when you see a cockroach. Cockroaches can carry diseases as well as fungus and mold.

And if there’s one baby cockroach, that means there are likely more cockroaches. While a brown-banded cockroach can carry 10 eggs in one sac, the German cockroach can carry 50 eggs in one sac.

Spider Beetle

It’s easier to mistake a spider beetle for a bed bug. Spider beetles are oval and dark-brown, about the same size and appearance as a bed bug. They’re also bloated, which is what happens to a bed bug right after it feeds on human blood.

However, spider beetles have one main difference: they don’t feed on human blood. Instead, they feed on crumbs. You’ll likely find spider beetles in your pantry and not your bedroom.

Fortunately, spider beetles aren’t harmful to humans or pets. But they are a nuisance, especially if they get into your food. It’s best to inform a pest control company if you suspect you have spider beetles in your home.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles look like bed bugs at first glance. They’re round, small, and brown. However, carpet beetles have one distinct difference: they have wings and can fly.

While you may find carpet beetles in your bedroom, they won’t live around your bed. As their name suggests, carpet beetles live near carpeting. They feed on carpet fabrics and other fabrics on clothing and furniture.

Carpet beetles are generally thought to be harmless. But they do have tiny hairs on their body and some people are sensitive to these hairs. However, they can damage your home, furniture, and clothing.


Booklice are specifically mistaken for bed bug nymphs. Both range in color from translucent to brown or gray.

However, booklice are found in different areas. They live under wallpaper but also on windows and window sills. Booklice feed on pollen, fungi, dead insects, and mold.

Booklice are also harmless and they mainly live outside. However, you should call a pest control expert if you find them in your home.

Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are so similar to a bed bug, it’s best you consult with an entomologist or a pest control expert to properly identify them.

That’s because the only major difference is the length of the fringe hairs. Bat bugs have longer fringe hairs, slightly below their head.

Where you find bat bugs also signify the difference. As the name suggests, bat bugs feed off the blood of bats. If you do find them in your house, they migrate in dark areas, such as the attic.

However, bat bugs can be dangerous. If there are no bats, bat bugs will feed on the blood of humans and pets. So it’s best to call a pest control company when you see these bugs.


Ticks are round and brown but flat, similar to bed bugs.

However, there are minor differences. Ticks have eight legs, which is why they’re in the arachnid family. Whereas bed bugs only have six legs.

Ticks are dangerous to humans, but more so to animals.

That’s because they prefer animal blood and target pets as their hosts. This is the other major difference you’ll notice: you mainly find ticks on your pets and not around your bed.

If you have pets, give them tick-prevention medication. If you find ticks, take your pet to the vet and call a pest control expert to ensure there are no ticks living in your home.


While fleas look similar to bed bugs, fleas are smaller. Flea behavior is also different.

Fleas jump from one host to another, whereas bed bugs spend most of their lives hiding. This is why you’ll find bed bugs under your mattress and they only emerge at night while you’re sleeping.

Like ticks, your pets are more at risk for flea bites. That’s because fleas prefer animal blood over human blood. You may also find fleas in your pet’s bed and on areas where your pets usually live.

Make sure your pets are on flea-prevention medications. If your pet has fleas, take them to the vet and call a pest control expert to kill fleas in your home.

Bugs Mistaken as Bed Bugs: Do You Need a Pest Control Expert?

No one likes seeing a bug in their home. While we fear many bugs, few bugs strike as much fear as the bed bug. However, there are many bugs mistaken for bed bugs.

If you suspect bed bugs or any of these bugs are infesting your home, you need to contact a pest control expert.

We service homeowners in Madison, Jackson, and Pearl, Mississippi. Learn more about our residential pest control services.











If you need pest control services for your home or business please visit our site at https://synergy2ms.com.  Feel free to read more about us and decide if Synergy² is the right company for you.  We have over 200 Five-Star Google reviews for pest control service in the Jackson metro area (Jackson/Madison/Brandon/Ridgeland). Check out our newest location reviews for pest control service in Jackson, MS here!

Barry Pitts, Synergy² Owner

Barry Pitts, Synergy² Owner

Pharmacist and Synergy² Pest owner, Barry Pitts, is a long-time Madison, MS resident with a passion for applying advanced scientific pest principles to pest control services in the Jackson metro area.  Combining exceptional customer service with cutting-edge pest control technology allows Synergy² to provide residents of the Jackson metro area with the highest levels of pest control available today.

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