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How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles and bed bugs are easily mistaken for each other. Telling apart is easiest when you’re looking at their larvae. Bed bug larvae look like tiny worms, while carpet beetle larvae resemble tiny, fuzzy caterpillars.

Bed bugs and carpet beetles also have different habits:

  • Carpet beetles eat natural materials, like wool. 
  • Bed bugs live and breed around mattresses and similar areas.
  • Bed bugs feed on blood, leaving red, itchy marks. 
Carpet beetles or bed bugs? | Des Moines IA | Springer Professional Home Services

Carpet Beetles vs. Bed Bugs—Main Differences

Bed bugs and carpet beetles have similar appearances, so it’s easy to confuse them with each other if you don’t know the differences. They are both oval-shaped and small, but carpet beetles have different colorations and are usually smaller than bed bugs. 

Bed bugs are reddish-brown, flat, and about the size of an apple seed. You can also see their eyes when you look closely, which is much harder to do with carpet beetles. The biggest difference between them, though, is their larvae. Bed bug larvae look longer and thinner, like worms, while carpet beetle larvae look like little fuzzy caterpillars. 

Do Both Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles Bite?

Carpet beetles do not bite, unlike bed bugs. Bed bugs are known for biting us during the night and leaving us with itchy red marks. When they bite us, they feed on our blood, and the bite marks that they leave are the result of this process. Carpet beetles don’t bite, but their larvae’s fibers leave us with bumpy, itchy rashes. These symptoms are easily confused for each other. It’s important to talk to your doctor if symptoms from either of these pests become serious or don’t improve.

Bed Bugs and Carpet Beetles in Iowa

Although these bugs appear similarly and cause similar symptoms, they are very different in nature. Bed bugs are much more dangerous than carpet beetles and pose a greater threat to your household. If you can’t tell what kind of pest you’re dealing with, you can always ask your local pest control company for expert insight and advice. Our bed bug exterminators are ready to help!

How To Tell If You Have Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles

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