Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs: Spot the Differences!

The outbreak of bed bugs is never safe for tourists as well as inhabitants of the region. Many times, the excessive bed bug infestation can fuel anxiety among the residents of the city. At that time, they become so scared that they start to consider tiny and pesty insects bed bugs. It becomes essential to know about those bugs that look like bed bugs.

If you are looking for what bugs look like bed bugs, this article will help you. Here, you will come to know why other kinds of bugs are different from bed bugs. Moreover, you will also learn how their bites are different. So, read the article to know bugs that look like bed bugs. 

10 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

The crawling bed bugs do not have wings. They can not fly or have wings. Most importantly, they do not stay in the human body. They are bloodsucking organisms that feed and leave. But, often people consider bugs like bed bugs as real bugs. But, they are not. The signs of itchy spots and rashes do not mean that bed bugs have bitten you. These signs can be of other kinds of bugs that do not fall in the category of bed bugs. Check out the following pointers to know about bugs that look like bed bugs in detail. 

1. Fleas Look Like Bed Bugs

It’s probably more likely that bed bugs are mistaken for fleas because of their reddish-brown color and size. Check out the following details of fleas to understand them better: 

  • Appearance. Fleas are longer and oval in shape than flat-shaped bed bugs. 
  • Size. They are usually smaller in size. The length of fleas ranges from 1.5mm to 3.3 mm. 
  • Places to Live in. You can find fleas in animal sleeping areas, in cushions, carpets, or in woods. They mostly jump from woven fabrics to fur.
  • Interests. Fleas love to live with furry animals like cats and dogs.
  • Risk Factor: They are pathogens because they spread diseases like plague, typhus, and cat fever. 

How to Recognize Who Bit You – Bed Bugs and Fleas?

If you are scratching on your red marks, it means that the bloodsucking bedbug infestation has made you their victim. But, if you live with pets, you are more likely that your body have bites of fleas. Their bites often resemble mosquito bites. You can identify them as dots that have dark red circles in the middle. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

2. Baby Cockroaches 

There is no doubt that you mistakenly recognize baby cockroaches as bed bugs because of their small brownish appearance and antennas. These are the bugs similar to bed bugs. Here are some details that you should know about baby roaches:

  • Appearance. Though baby cockroaches look brownish, they soon become white in color due to molting and hatching. Plus, if you observe the antennae of roaches, you will find them longer than bed bugs. 
  • Size. The length of the baby roach is between ¼ inch and ½ inch.
  • Places to Live in. Cockroaches reside in warm and moist places. So, you can find them in basements, garages, piping, and bathrooms. 
  • Interests. They love to fly and jump. Moreover, they have the ability to disappear in a blink of an eye. 
  • Risk Factor. However, cockroaches are dangerous. But, they are the carriers of various intestinal diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, diarrhea, and dysentery. 

How to Recognize Who Has Bitten You: Bed Bugs and Baby Cockroaches

Just like bed bugs, baby cockroaches are nocturnal parasites. They often attack you if you do not take care of personal hygiene. The residue of food crumbs on your hands, legs, and face attracts them the most. However, the bite of cockroaches is similar to that of bed bugs. But, the major difference lies in the fact a cockroach bite is a bigger and brighter red than a bed bug bite. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

3. Booklice 

Though the infestation of booklice and bed bugs is completely different, people become confused between these two pests. This is because the booklice looks like a newly hatched bed bug. This similarity comes because of their color as they are found in a variety of colors including transparent white, grey or brown. Check out some more details about the booklice:

  • Appearance. Booklice is considered more elongated in shape. You can recognize them with their relatively bigger heads than bed bugs.
  • Size. Their length is usually between 1-2 mm.
  • Places to Live in. You can find booklice where you store food, behind wallpapers, potted plants, furniture stuffings, and more.
  • Interest. They love to eat starch food, fungi, pollen, and dead insects.
  • Risk Factor. It is good that booklice does not suck human blood. They do not contain any health danger in case they bite. Instead, they are nuisance pests. Take care of books, furniture stuffings, and wallpapers because they can damage them. 

How Can You Detect Whose Bite Is This: Bed Bugs and Booklice

The major difference between the bite of bed bugs and booklice is that the infestation of booklice can never make you feel pain or itchiness. Plus, booklice infestation is generally found near books. You can identify through powdery or small black-colored spots. 

bugs that look like bed bugs

4. Spider Beetle 

Two different pests spider beetles and bed bugs are mistakenly considered similar. Here are the details of the Spider beetle bugs that look like bed bugs:

  • Appearance. Spider beetles are reddish brown to black in color. They have a smooth and shiny texture with an oval-shaped body shape. Most importantly, you can identify them with hunch-back.
  • Size. The size of spider beetles is between 1.5mm and 3.5mm.
  • Places to Live in. Their most liked habitats are attics, basements, and food storage areas. 
  • Interest. They love to live in dark and damp places.
  • Risk Factor. They are nuisance pests as they pose risks to stored food items such as seeds, grains, and dried foods. 

How to Differentiate Between the Bites of Bed Bugs and Booklice

You don’t need to worry about Booklice bites as they do not like to bite human beings. On the contrary, bed bugs are human beings’ bloodsuckers. Their bites often cause itchiness, redness, and swelling. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

5. Ticks 

Though some reasons can make you feel that ticks and bed bugs are similar, they often have some dissimilarities. Their common features include oval shape, no wings, and flat body shapes. Here are a few details that you should consider about Ticks:

  • Appearance. They are not like small insects because they have eight legs. They are dark brown in color and swell up with blood.
  • Size. The size of male ticks is 2.5 mm. And, once they have fed, they can swell to the size of 11 mm.
  • Places to Live in. You can discover them when you go hiking or camping. They hide themselves in wooded areas, tall grass, wood debris, or pile leaves. 
  • Interest. They preferably like to suck animals more than human beings. 
  • Risk Factor. Ticks usually transfer virus and bacteria risk to hosts. They are the carriers of Lyme disease, tularemia, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis fever. 

How to Find Whose Bite Is This: Bed Bugs and Ticks

If you have got a red or itchy bite in wooden areas from pests that look similar to bed bugs, you should consider this as the bite of ticks. This is because they hardly infest at home. By contrast, bed bugs attack the home or building. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

6. Carpet Beetles

Due to the oval shape of carpet beetles, you can think they are similar to bed bugs. But, they are completely different from bed bugs. Look at the following details to learn about carpet beetle bugs that look like bed bugs: 

  • Appearance. Carpet beetles are oval in shape and have a molted texture. They are in a variety of colors including brown, black, white, or orange. The most important thing that truly differentiates them from bed bugs is that they have wings and can fly to new locations. 
  • Size. The length of the adult black carpet beetles ranges between ⅛ and 3/16 inches. But, the length of the full-sized larvae remains around 5/16 inch. 
  • Places to Live in. You can find them in your bedding, furniture, fabrics, or more.
  • Interest.  They used to fly in through windows and their openings.
  • Risk Factor. They are not the carriers of harmful diseases but they can cause redness and itchiness in human beings.

How to Find Out Whose Bite Is This: Bed Bugs and Carpet Beetles

There is a wide difference between bugs and carpet beetles. You can find blood stains on bed sheets and pillow covers. Plus, their early signs include rusty stains on furniture, upholstery, and mattresses. On the flip side, the early biting signs of bed bugs include damaged upholstery and carpet. You can find larvae or larvae skin sheds on furniture and window sills. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

7. Bat Bugs 

Both parasites bat bugs and bed bugs like to feed on blood. However, there is a wide difference in their food choices. Check out the details of the bat bugs here:

  • Appearance. Bat bugs look like bed bugs in color and shape. They both are small, brown-colored, and oval-shaped parasites. Moreover, they do not have wings to fly. You need a microscope to differentiate between the two. Then, you will be able to see relatively longer fringe hairs on the upper part thorax. 
  • Size. They are generally ¼ inch to ⅜ inch long. 
  • Places to Live in. Bat bugs used to live where bats are found. But, this does not mean that they live on bats’ bodies all the time. You can find them in crevices, chimneys, attics, or behind the building’s walls with bats.
  • Interest.  They like to live with bats only.
  • Risk Factor. Bat bugs do not have venom in their stings. They do not transmit diseases. But, their saliva is very allergic. 

How to Differentiate Between the Bite of Bed Bugs and Bat Bugs

Bed bugs are the carriers of the diseases. Their bites look uncomfortable, red, and itchy. In contrast to this, the bites of bat bugs are only uncomfortable and itchy. They are not painful. But, if a bat bug has bitten you, there will only appear raised patches in the affected area. These raised patches are similar to those of other insects’ bites. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

8. Dust Mites 

Many people think that dust mites’ bugs like bed bugs are similar. But, this is not true because you can not see dust mites without microscopes. Their tiny size is not visible to the naked eye. Go over the following details of dust mites:

  • Appearance. They are the creatures that look like dust. Most importantly, you can not identify them without microscopes. 
  • Size. They are only 0.5mm long.
  • Places to Live in. You can find them in upholstery, sheets, mattresses, or carpets. 
  • Interest. They like to eat our dead skin cells. 
  • Risk Factor. They do not pose any direct risk to any living being. But, the risk crops up when you breathe in any one of their body parts. This is because these body parts can cause irritation in your lungs. And you may suffer from asthma. 

How to Recognize Who Has Bitten You: Bed Bugs and Dust Mites

The symptoms of the dust mite bite are different from bed bugs in several aspects. You may suffer from dermatitis problems, skin eczema, and other skin-related problems. However, the bite marks or skin allergies that you experience may go away on your way if you do not have any allergies due to bed bugs and dust mites. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

9. Do Swallow Bugs Look Like Bed Bugs

However, most people mistakenly confuse swallow bugs with bed bugs. They often think of their infestation as bed bug infestation. Check out the details of the swallow bugs:

  • Appearance. They are small in size and look like bed bugs in appearance. 
  • Size. They are typically between 3/16 and ¼ inch long.
  • Places to Live in. They find their way into almirahs, mattresses, cracks in the floor, or crevices in the window.
  • Interest. They like to live around the nests of swallow birds. 
  • Risk Factor. They usually suck the blood of swallow birds and their babies.

How to Know Who Has Bitten You: Bed Bugs and Swallow Bugs

You should not bother too much about the bite of swallow bugs. They bite swallow birds and in case they have bitten you, red marks and the pain will go away with time. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

10. Do Head Lice Bugs Look Like Bed Bugs?

Do not confuse these two tiny and pesky insects. Head lice are different from bed bugs in several ways. Go over the following details of the head lice here:

  • Appearance. You need to use a magnifying glass to locate adult lice as they are smaller than bed bugs.
  • Size. They are smaller in size. This is because they grow only an eighth of an inch.
  • Places to Live in. You may see lice on the scalps or things that come in direct contact with scalps such as pillows, mattresses, towels, quilts, sheets, and blankets.
  • Interest. They like to live on scalps and then, they can spread to the entire body as well. 
  • Risk Factor. Their excess reproduction can lead to the severe problem of itching on the scalps. 

How to Find Who Is Troubling You: Bed Bugs and Head Lice

If you experience itching on your scalp, then, this is the act of head lice only. Bed bugs are never interested in your scalps. They will never cause any problems. 

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs


In brief, bugs that look like bed bugs are not bed bugs. However, bed bugs are called blood-sucking organisms. They usually spread pervasively at home in several places including mattresses, window sills, cracks in the wall, etc. but, if you think that all kinds of bugs are bed bugs, this is wrong. Here is hoping that you have gone through the list of our enlisted bugs that can be mistakenly regarded as bed bugs. Now, you will not understand other insects’ infestation as bed bug infestation. Your safety starts with your complete knowledge. 


1. Which pesticides can kill bed bugs?

Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are the most common pesticides that can kill indoor bed bugs.

2. How to know if is it a bed bug or something else?

Have you spotted the bug with wings? If yes, this is not a bed bug. The first identification of bed bugs is that they do not have wings.  Moreover, they have relatively larger antennas.