Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs – The Full List

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

Last Updated on May 16, 2022 By Emma W. Thomas

Discovering a bug in your house is not a pleasant experience. Sharing the space with a bug where you sleep is not accepted by anyone, especially if it’s one that bites! No one wants bed bugs on their house. If you marked a tiny bug wandering around your bedroom, the first thing that will come to your mind is a bed bug. Spotting bugs that look like bed bugs or mysterious bites on your body often incites panic. However, there are more bugs that look like bed bugs because of their small and elusive size and characteristics. In this article, we are going to talk about bugs that are often mistaken for bed bugs.

Characteristics of Bed Bugs

When you spotted bugs, it’s very important to recognize if it’s a bed bug or not. Here are some of the characteristics of bed bugs that will help you differentiate bugs and bed bugs. They are:

  • Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown to black in color.
  • A bed bug is usually oval-shaped and flat. After feeding blood, these parasites will swell up, become longer, and change color to redder to match their food source.
  • Newly-hatched bed bug nymphs appear transparent. Their color changes as they molt; they eventually become brown.
  • These pests are wingless, and their body length is approximately a quarter to just under half an inch. The body width of an adult is just about the same as its length.
  • Bed bugs look like apple seeds after feeding.

List of Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs

Now that you have an idea of what a bed bug actually looks like, it’s time to talk about bugs that do not actually bed bugs. To make things even easier, we have also incorporated information about how to deal with these bugs. So, here are the bugs that are often considered bed bugs:

The Bat Bug

The academic name of the bat bug is Cimex pilosellus. Their interesting name is the result of their main activity as they live next to bat nests and use the animals as hosts. In human environments, they usually inhabit attics where bats are present, but may also venture into human-only territory if the bats are either eliminated or chased away.

If you spotted bat bug in your house, the first thing you need to do is to close off and block all bat entry points. After that, buy a residual insecticidal product. It’s best to go for a dust formulation if you are treating an area that you’re sure you won’t have contact with. Apply the product to all possible bat bug affected places, like your attic, for example. Don’t forget to spread the product in and around the points in your home that lead inside like vents, plumbing, chimneys, and light fixtures. After you’re done, there shouldn’t be a bat bug left alive.

Cockroach Nymphs

Cockroach Nymphs are often reddish-brown and can almost be the same size as an adult bed bug. So, distinguishing the two creatures is even more confusing. Cockroach Nymphs like to hide in cracks and crevices, so you might find them in the same impossibly tight cracks in your bed that bed bugs might occupy.

Don’t underestimate cockroach nymphs just because they are tiny insect babies. This type of pest is extremely hard to kill. Even if you spray the most expensive insecticidal product, the baby roach will survive your attack. Still, if you are determined to thrash the bug yourself, we advise you to buy sticky traps. This pest control method traps the weak roaches, and they eventually die from lack of water.

Spider Beetles

Spider beetles, which are not actually spiders, are most commonly found in wooden structures, especially near places where food is stored. Their size and shape resemble bed bugs and can be any color from brown to reddish-brown to almost black. One characteristic that distinguishes Spider Beetles from bed bugs is their wings; moreover, Spider Beetles are covered with hairs, and they have no neck.

The best way to deal with spider beetles is to keep your home as clean as possible. Make sure you maintain your food storage places in good condition by frequently vacuuming them. If this method doesn’t work out for you or the incursion has gone completely out of control, your best bet is to hire a specialized exterminator.


Booklice are also known as psocids or Psocidae. Psocidae is the family to which this insect belongs. In its younger (nymph) stage, a booklouse is strikingly similar to a bed bug. Adult booklice have some differences from bed bugs by having a termite-like appearance. Their bodies are long and soft with thin antennae. They may also have wings. Booklice like humid areas, and are quite attracted to damp books. If your bed or bedding is damp, you could find them nearby. Booklice are a tricky type of pest to get rid of. Here are a few methods to try out that will prevent and kill the bugs:

  • Gather all of your pest-ridden possessions and throw out what you can
  • Lower the moisture levels in your property with the help of a dehumidifier
  • Open up a few windows to improve the ventilation in your house and take care of water sources
  • Get rid of any mold and mildew with chemicals such as bleach or just plain vinegar
  • Always clean dead booklice from the floor with a vacuum cleaner and don’t forget to disinfect the formerly infested places in your house

Carpet Beetles

Of all the bugs that look like bed bugs here, the carpet beetle is probably the one that least resembles a bed bug. But we’re mentioning them because these bugs can end up in your bedroom as bed bugs. The carpet beetle’s body is black or dark brown and may or may not have white patterns and reddish-orange scales. Their bodies also have tiny hairs. Typically, these beetles are found on fabrics, especially the carpet.

Nobody wants their carpet to look like Swiss cheese. To get rid of carpet beetles fast. The best solution is to steam clean the living soul out of your pest-ridden carpeting. You can hire an expert technician to take care of the situation or do it yourself by renting a steam cleaner. We highly advise you to get your carpet professionally cleaned afterward with hot water extraction.

Bottom Line

You need to be extra careful when using insecticides, especially spray ones. The best practice is to put on a protective mask when you apply the product. However, if you can’t figure out what sort of bug is wandering around your home, inspect your house with an exterminator, who will determine the type of pest you are dealing with.