12 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

You spotted a bug today and you can’t tell whether it is a bed bug or not. You start searching online for bugs that look like bed bugs because even imagining the latter is unbearable. We all hate bed bugs and the trouble they cause can last many months. Before taking any further steps such as beginning treatment, you need to confirm the identity of the insect you just saw.

What Bugs Look Like Bed Bugs?

  1. Bat bugs
  2. Baby cockroaches
  3. Booklice
  4. Baby boxelder bugs
  5. Carpet beetles
  6. Ticks
  7. Swallow bugs
  8. Headlice
  9. Spider beetles
  10. Stink bugs

The images of these bugs are provided below. So, continue reading.

Bugs that look like bed bugs include baby cockroaches, baby boxelder bugs, booklice, carpet beetles, ticks, and fleas among others. They share many anatomical features and illustrations can help you identify bed bug lookalikes and save you from stressing about potential bites and itching.

1. Baby Cockroaches

baby cockroaches look like bed bugs

Because of their similar colour, baby cockroaches (cockroach nymphs) are frequently confused with bed bugs.

German cockroaches, American cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches are among the young kinds of the most common cockroaches. Cockroaches have long bristly legs, a flattened oval shape, and lengthy antennae.

Colors range from reddish-brown to dark brown, and from tan to black, according on the species. Because they’re nymphs, they haven’t developed their cockroach wings, which causes them to be mistaken for bed bugs.

Cockroach nymphs can be found in the following places: Cockroaches flourish in damp environments such as kitchens and storage facilities. Restaurants, grocery stores, commercial kitchens, sewers, and steam tunnels are all excellent breeding sites. Cockroaches might even be hidden in your crawl area, bathroom, or basement.

The presence of cockroach nymphs in your home could indicate an infestation.

Health concerns: Cockroaches can transfer infections like salmonella and gastroenteritis to people because bacteria adheres to their bodies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, people allergic to cockroaches may develop asthma episodes.

2. Baby Boxelder Bug

baby boxelder bug is similar to bed bugs

Boxelder bugs are named after the fact that they are frequently seen on and around boxelder trees.

This species is native to the western states, although it can be found in the eastern United States, as well as west to eastern Nevada, where boxelder trees grow in large numbers.

Boxelder bugs are mostly a nuisance pest because they overwinter in structures such as homes and sheds.

3. Booklice


Booklice, which come in a variety of colors ranging from translucent white to gray or brown, are readily confused with adult and infant bed bugs.

Where booklice hide: Booklice eat the moldy paste of old book bindings and wallpaper as a food. If you find booklice in your pantry, it’s a warning that mold is forming on your food.

These pests are a nuisance, but they do not represent a health danger. The damage they cause is usually small.

Booklice, also known as psocids, are not actually lice. Despite their resemblance to lice, these tiny insects feed on mold and fungi rather than blood.

4. Carpet Beetles

carpet beetle

Adult carpet beetles come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and sometimes resemble bed bugs. Carpet beetles come in a variety of colors and patterns, including black, common, furniture, and diverse carpet bugs.

These tiny parasites devour animal-derived materials such as furs, wools, feathers, and leather. Despite their name, they aren’t fond of devouring today’s carpet’s synthetic components.

Carpet beetles can be found in the following places: Carpet beetles are most commonly found at the borders of rugs and carpets, beneath upholstered furniture, and beneath baseboards.

Carpet beetle larvae do not represent a health concern to humans, but they can cause severe damage to your carpet or favorite wool sweater. Rather than multiple scattered holes, the damage usually appears as a single destroyed patch. Molted shells are also left behind by carpet beetles.

5. Swallow Bugs

swallow bug look like bed bugs

Swallow bugs and bed bugs have very similar physical characteristics, but the swallow bug is recognized by its antenna. It also has a grayish-brown tint instead of the reddish-brown color of a human bed bug.

These critters are typically found in barn and cliff swallow nests, so you’re unlikely to come across them. However, they can easily infiltrate human structures and bite individuals in some circumstances.

Swallow bugs are known to breed during the summer and early fall, when the birds have flown away.

Their bites can produce modest to severe reactions in humans, which distinguishes them. These bugs also have the unique ability to go three years without eating.

6. Spider Beetles

Spider beetles also look like bed bugs that have recently consumed blood.

A spider beetle is a type of beetle that lives in the ground. Because of their lengthy legs and big, rounded abdomens, they resemble miniature spiders. The American spider beetle has pale yellow legs, head, thorax, and antennae, as well as a reddish-brown to black, lustrous, globe-shaped abdomen.

Spider beetles can be found in the following places: Spider beetles forage on bird, rodent, and bat droppings in grain mills, pantries, warehouses, and attics.

These bugs can bite and infest your food, posing a health risk.

7. Bat Bugs 

bat bug looks quite similar to bed bug

Bat bugs have an oval body with a short, broad head linked to the prothorax, similar to bed bugs. The key distinction between these two apes is that bat bugs have longer (and more) hairs on their thorax than apes.

Bat bugs feed on bat blood and will only attack people if their bat host isn’t accessible. 

Bat bugs mainly begin in roosting bat colonies, which are most commonly found in attics, somewhere on the walls or in cold chimneys.

Although bat bugs never really transmit diseases to humans, their presence in some persons can cause anxiety and insomnia.

8. Ticks 

image of a tick

Ticks, just like their fellow bed bugs, are blood-sucking parasites that can look similar until you look closely. What’s the key distinction? The number of legs they have. Ticks, which are arachnids, have eight legs, while bed bugs, which are insects, have six.

Humans, pets, livestock, and wild animals are all susceptible to tick bites. Ticks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of physical characteristics. When unfed, most ticks are small, dark in color, and flat.

Ticks hide in the following places: Ticks are usually found adhering to their hosts or in moist, gloomy locations with thick grass or overgrown vegetation.

After being brought inside, a tick may occasionally be discovered. Indoor tick infestations are uncommon, but they can happen if a female tick lays her eggs in your home.

Main risks:  Ticks can transmit a variety of infections to humans, pets, and other animals, including Lyme disease. Many of these disorders can become life-threatening if left untreated. It’s critical to understand how to identify a tick and how to remove one.

9. Fleas

Fleas also look like bed bugs

Another insect that could be bed bug imposter is fleas. Due to their small bodies, spiny legs, and their bristles point backwards, fleas can move fast through fur, woven materials, and hair.

Their rear legs enable them to jump really well. Cats, dogs, mice, birds, people, and a variety of other warm-blooded animals are all prey for these blood-suckers.

Fleas can be found in the following places: Fleas love dogs and cats, and pets are the most common method fleas enter households. Flea larvae can be found in floor cracks, carpets, mattresses, and pet beds. Fleas like areas where they can feed on food, animal excrement, and adult flea feces in particular.

Fleas are capable of transmitting diseases (such as typhus and plague) to humans, despite their rarity. The saliva of a flea can cause serious allergic responses in some people and dogs. Anemia may develop in your pet as a result of blood loss.

10. Head Lice

Head lice are similar to bed bugs in appearance

Is it a bed bug or lice infestation? These two pests are frequently confused with one another.

Because lice are host specific, they can’t spread from infested dogs to you, and you can’t pass the parasite on to your dog.

Only people are affected by head lice, which are usually gray but can take on the color of their hosts’ hair. The female is around 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and has a flat form, whilst the male is slightly smaller. Head lice are unable to jump or fly.

If you don’t get treated for head lice, the lice will keep feeding on your blood and may excrete dark crimson excrement on your scalp.

Head lice hide in the following places: The bottom back of the head and behind the ears are the most common places for head lice to congregate.

Head lice can cause extreme irritation in the scalp and a lack of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Scratching too much can increase your chances of getting a secondary skin infection. Knowing how to remove lice in a safe and effective manner can help you manage these dangers.

11. Stink Bugs

Stink bugs may be confused for bed bugs

Because it was imported to the United States from Eastern Asia in the 1990s, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is classified an invasive species. It does not have its origin in the United States.

The bug was initially discovered in the United States in the fall of 1996 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but it wasn’t recognized or named until September 2001.

By 2004, it had successfully moved east to New Jersey, and other states including Virginia, and now south to the North Carolina border. Brown marmorated stink bugs are currently most common in the mid-Atlanta area, but they have been found in 44 states and the District of Columbia.

The stink insect got its name from its proclivity for emitting an odor when disturbed or squashed.

These features are shared by a variety of insects, including ants, beetles, and other bugs.

Continue reading to learn how to get rid of stink bugs and stink bug eggs.

12. Mites

For some people, mites and bed bugs can appear to be the same thing.

Thousands of different mite species exist, many of which dwell on mammals. Mites are extremely small and can be seen with the naked eye in many cases. They have eight legs, are 2 mm long (or less), and have little to no segmentation.

Mites can be found in the following places: Mites live in a free-range environment.

Others eat insects and other mites, while others eat decaying organic materials. Some mite species, especially in domestic animals, live in the ear canals, lungs, intestine, and bladder of their hosts.

Health hazard: Some mites, according to the World Health Organization, are vectors of rickettsial and viral infections, including typhus fever. Scabies is a contagious, extremely irritating skin disorder caused by microscopic mites burrowing into the skin.


With all those many remarks, I hope you are now familiar with what bed bugs look like.

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