Creating A Beautiful Home

Did You Really Find Bed Bugs? 4 Look-Alikes That Could Have You Fooled

by Serenity Harris

Everyone knows what bed bugs are: small, dark brown bugs that infest your home. What you might not know is that there are lots of other bugs that look almost the same. To effectively control an infestation, you need to know what you're dealing with, since different pests require different control methods. Take a closer look at the bugs you found because it could be one of these four look-alikes. 

Cockroach nymphs

Cockroach nymphs are immature cockroaches that have just recently hatched from their eggs. At this early stage, they look more like bed bugs than cockroaches. How do you tell them apart? The nymphs have a light patch on their backs while bed bugs don't. They'll also develop into adult cockroaches, and at that point, identifying them will be simpler.

Spider beetles

Spider beetles are small brown beetles, with bodies that range from 1 to 5 mm long. While their color and size are reminiscent of bed bugs, their body shape is completely different. Bed bugs have very flat bodies, while spider beetles are round and tall. They also have very prominent legs, while bed bugs have small legs. 

Black carpet beetles

Black carpet beetles are dark brown or black. They are small, ranging from 1/8 to 3/16 inches (3 to 4.5 mm) long.  When viewed from above, they look like bed bugs. But if you look a little bit closer, you'll see that they don't have flat bodies like bed bugs do. Like spider beetles, black carpet beetles have round, tall bodies. 


Booklice are another type of small insect that can be mistaken for bed bugs. Like the other bed bug look-alikes, they are small, reaching lengths of up to 4 mm. They have flat bodies which is why people may think they're bed bugs; but, there are a few ways to tell them apart. Booklice have segmented bodies, like ants, while bed bugs are unsegmented. They also have large heads and narrow waists, while bed bugs have neither.

Different pests need to be controlled in different ways, so you need to identify your pests before you do anything else. If you're not sure what kind of pests are infesting your house, you may want to talk with a pest control company, like Midwest Exterminating, first. Exterminators are experts at identifying household pests, and they can also help you get rid of the pests, whether they're bed bugs or look-alikes.