8 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs.

By default, when you see an infestation of bug-like insects on your bed, you might assume they are bed bugs as the signs you are experiencing may make you believe so.

But what if these insects are bugs that look like bed bugs? What if this was a case of mistaken identity? 

Now, not all bugs are bed bugs. Some bugs may look like bed bugs, take the same shape but are not bed bugs. They sometimes give similar bites as bedbugs and you may naturally and instinctively attempt to use the bedbug treatment to get rid of them.

It is important to know what these bugs are, to enable you to differentiate them easily. Similarly, identifying these different bugs will help you get rid of them and prevent them from infesting your home to cause havoc. You would hardly notice these insects until there is a heavy infestation. 

Here are some bugs that look like bed bugs; 

1. Lice 

Most of us are familiar with head lice but may not know that body louse and pubic lice exist and can cause itching and give bite marks like bed bugs.

Lice are bugs that you could easily confuse for bedbugs. They are tiny, oval-shaped, wingless like bedbugs, and have six legs. 

Lice are greyish white and look like a sesame seed. They are capable of infesting your head, body, and pubic areas. These are probably some of the things that differentiate them from bed bugs. Without a closer look at these pests, you can easily mistake them for bedbugs. 

2. Ticks

Ticks are smaller bugs and differ in size and color depending on the variety. Most of them are either completely red or brown.

They are usually flat and can change shape when they eat. They can cause you irritation with their bites and are capable of spreading diseases.

Ticks possess six legs like bed bugs but what differentiates them is their ability to stick to your skin. Unlike a bed bug that moves around your body, a tick would stick to your skin for days to feed on you and will not leave until satisfied. 

You would find them mostly in the armpit and waist areas. 

READ MORE: What Eats Bed Bugs?: 7 Natural Bed bugs predators.

3. Carpet beetles

Though these insects may not bite you when they attack you, their larvae are furry-coated and will leave offending marks on your body.

They are capable of causing dermatitis in humans. These bugs do not look like bed bugs at all but their larvae shell looks like that of bed bugs. Their shell falls off when they shed their skin to grow new ones.

They are oval-shaped and dark. The carpet beetle larvae are elongated and hairy with a warm-like body. Carpet beetles are also winged. 

4. Fleas

Fleas can often be mistaken for bed bugs because their bites are very itchy.

They are brownish red and most commonly affect pets and animals. They are smaller than bed bugs and have segmented bodies, long legs, and round heads.

Fleas bite humans as well and are vectors for many diseases. If you experience a flea bite, visit the doctor immediately for treatment. 

5. Mites

Mites are mostly found in rodents and other small animals but would infest your home if their hosts and food source have been eradicated.

They have eight legs and do not physically look like bed bugs but their bites are often painful, itchy, and irritate.

When mites attack you, they leave raised bumps or swellings on your skin. The bites are often red and rash-like. Like bed bugs, the mites are tiny and hard to identify.

READ MORE: Does Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

6. Cockroach nymphs

Cockroach nymphs turn reddish-brown after they are hatched and look like bed bugs.

However, they do not exactly bite or feed on humans and you would most often find them in-between cracked walls.

They would hardly infest your beds. Nevertheless, these nymphs develop into adult cockroaches and would not hesitate to feed on your hair and fingernails. 

7. Booklice.

Booklice can be mistaken for bed bugs because of their size.

You would often see them in your bedroom and they are attracted to things like your wallpaper, furniture, bookcases, etc.

Booklice are often pale brown or creamy yellow in color.

They look like bed bug nymphs but have segmented bodies that are softer and are smaller compared to bed bugs.

The softness of their bodies makes them easier to kill. Booklice will hardly infest your bed, they do not feed on blood but fungi, mold, and pollen amongst others.

8. Bat bugs

Source: presidiopestmanagement.com

Bat bugs are brown, oval-shaped, and the size of an apple seed, very similar to bed bugs.

Unlike bed bugs, bat bugs have non-functional wings and have long hairs on their head.

Bat bugs may bite you but not so often because they are found where bats live and will only infest when there is no bat around. 

Bugs that look like bed bugs and bite

There are a number of bugs that look like bed bugs and have bites that can be mistaken for those bed bugs. Some of the bugs mentioned above have similar bite effects. Flea bites are most often mistaken for bed bug bites. These bites happen mostly around the ankles and lower legs.

When you are bitten by a flea, you would have a terrible itchy feeling in the affected area. This itching can cause scabs at the center of the wound. 

Mite bites are very much similar to bed bug bites. Unlike flea bites, you will notice this bite in a number of places around your body. What differentiates mite bites from bed bug bites is the randomness of mite bites. Bed bug bites are often in a trail as they will bite around a particular place more than once and leave trail marks. 

READ MORE: Baby Bed Bugs: Facts, Identification, & Appearance.

Bugs that look like bed bugs but bigger.

Spider Beetle

Some bugs that look like bed bugs but are bigger include spider beetles.

Spider beetles though they look like bed bugs are often bigger and can be easily identified.

They are oval-shaped, reddish or yellowish-brown, and sometimes dark. They possess thin long legs with antennae and have hairy bodies.

Spider beetles are winged and some species are capable of flying. You can easily tell the difference if you see a spider beetle. Spider beetles do not bite humans but can cause allergic reactions when they infest. 

What do bedbugs look like?

To enable you to ascertain the difference between these bugs, you need to know what bedbugs look like.

A bed bug is reddish-brown and has an oval-shaped flat body, the size of an apple seed.

Bed Bugs may look like tiny brown balloons when they have eaten and do not have segmented bodies. These nocturnal insects have six legs and two antennae. They are wingless and have squat heads. 

What do bed bug bites look like?

Source: WebMD

When you notice a bite that looks like a bed bug bite, the following symptoms will help you determine if it is indeed a bed bug bite.

Bed bug bites are often red and are arranged in clusters. Because a bed bug does not bite a place only once, you are likely to see about three red patches on a particular spot.

The bites are often itchy and you would notice some dark spots at the center of the wound. Bed bugs are capable of biting any part of your body but usually visible areas like your neck, face, hands, etc. because these insects are nocturnal, they attack you at night. 

What these bugs have in common with bedbugs

  • Most bugs like bed bugs survive on human blood
  • They cause itching and irritation on your body
  • They spread rapidly so if you notice one, there is a possible infestation. 
  • They are crawling insects
  • Some of these bugs have similar structures as bed bugs. They also share a similar color. 


These bugs might be similar to bed bugs, but they are different and will have different effects on you if they infest your home. If you notice one of these bugs, be sure there is an infestation. Ensure you keep your surroundings clean, sun your beds, vacuum clean your home, and change your sheets regularly to prevent an infestation. Most of these insects infest areas that are usually dirty and untidy. If you are met with an infestation, use bug-killing sprays and after that, maintain personal hygiene. 

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