Not all bugs in your bed can be bed bugs. But given their shape, size, and colors, they closely resemble bed bugs.
In this guide, you’ll find an exhaustive list of tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs.
These bugs on your bed, bed sheets, bed frames, and pillow covers can send you into panic mode.
It’s because they are bed bug look-alikes and can trick you into thinking that you’ve got a bed bug infestation.
But this post will help you to identify these bed bugs look-alikes like a pro and save you both from spending a fortune and from stress.
For your convenience, this post has categorized the bed bug duplicates based on their colors and anatomy that you can easily recognize.
Plus, you’ll also find out how to get rid of little bed bug-looking bugs in your bed.
2 Tiny Black Bugs In Bed That Are Not Bed Bugs
The most common bed bug look-alikes on the bed are tiny black bugs.
These bugs’ shapes are so similar to bed bugs that if you don’t know how to recognize them, they’ll easily trick you into thinking they’re bed bugs.
But bed bugs are reddish-brown or brown. And they’re oval.
That’s the first thing to know about bed bugs.
Here are the tiny black bugs in bed that resemble bed bugs –
Black Carpet Beetle
Carpet beetles come in various colors. They can be black, brown, or varied carpet beetles with spots on their back.
In many homes, the carpet beetles that enter homes are black.
Carpet beetles enter homes to lay eggs on fabrics and materials made out of animal products.
So, clothes and accessories made of leather, wool, silk, and feathers are carpet beetle’s favorite things to lay their eggs.
But these black carpet beetles also land up on your bed. They’re oval-shaped and a tad bigger than bed bugs.
Attracted by the light, carpet beetles can fly into your home. So, while inside your home, they can get into your bedroom and bed too!
On your bed, they’ll hide in the gaps between the mattress and headboards, and bed frames.
You’d also notice black carpet beetles crawling on the bedsheet.
So, if you see a bed bug look-alike that has visible wing pads on its back and black, then relax. It’s not a bed bug.
It’s a black carpet beetle. And it doesn’t bite. Also, carpet beetles can get in your car.
Spider beetles are another bed bug duplicate that you may find in your bed.
But spider beetles are more of pantry pests rather than a bug that’d like to spend its time in your bed.
How and why do spider beetles land up in your bed?
Well, there’s no specific reason for it. Once pantry pests are inside your home, they can land up anywhere in your home randomly.
It happens especially when they’re looking to get out of your home or for a place to lay eggs.
Given spider beetles’ reddish-black or reddish-brown color, an untrained eye can confuse spider beetles with bed bugs when you look at them from the top.
But there are specific noticeable differences between the looks of spider beetles and bed bugs.
First of all, they resemble spiders. A pair of antennae and three pairs of legs are easily visible.
Secondly, spider beetles are too shiny and too reddish. Bed bugs aren’t.
Spider beetles’ abdomen has this luster that makes them easy to recognize. And the abdomen isn’t flat. It has got a hump.
In contrast, bed bugs have a flat abdomen.
Spider beetles don’t bite humans. They’re only interested in the dry foods that you store in your pantry.
6 Tiny Brown Bugs In Bed That Are Not Bed Bugs
This section has the most bed bug look-alikes because the bugs you’re about to find out are reddish-brown or brown.
Both the colors are bed bug colors. And seeing any one of the following bugs on your bed can make you think they’re bed bugs.
Fleas are the ones that bite and feed on your blood.
And they can be in your bed too.
The most common way that fleas get onto your bed is when your pet dog or cat with fleas spends considerable time on the bed.
Many people confuse fleas with bed bugs because their color is very similar to the bed bug’s color.
Fleas are reddish-brown. So, at the first look, you might think of them as bed bugs.
But hang on. There’s one significant difference between fleas and bed bugs when it comes to looks.
It’s their shape.
Fleas are not oval and flat like the bed bugs are.
Fleas are thin, and their bodies are slightly tear-drop in shape. They also have long visible legs that they use for jumping.
In contrast, bed bugs don’t jump. They crawl.
If you observe both fleas and bed bugs under a magnifying glass, you’d also notice one more difference.
Bed bugs’ have got antennae, and the fleas don’t.
But fleas in bed leave behind bites as itchy as bed bugs leave.
Fleas can hide in the gaps of bed frames and headboards. That makes it quite possible to spot them on pillow covers and bedsheets.
To know more about how fleas get to your bed and how to get rid of fleas in bed, you can read our post here.
Weevils In Bed
Weevils are pantry pests that are quite common in kitchens and, surprisingly, in bathrooms too.
Electric light bulbs attract weevils to your home. Weevils are pantry pests that enter homes to lay their eggs on stored grains.
Weevils can be in your bed when the adult ones are randomly flying across in your home.
Or, the newly matured adult beetles have come out of their pupae stage and are looking to mate.
The best part is that weevils are not bugs that infest beds, furniture, or other soft furnishings.
They don’t cause any damage inside your home. Weevils are only interested in the food stored in your pantry.
As the bed bugs, weevils are also reddish-brown.
But there are two significant anatomical differences between weevils and bed bugs.
First, weevils have a visible snout on their mouth. It’s a thin projection from their mouth that tells you instantly that it’s not a bed bug.
Second, it’s the body shape. Despite being similar in color to the bed bugs, weevils have an oblong body shape rather than an oval shape.
Also, the head of the weevils is quite prominent too. It’s not as tiny as it’s in the bed bugs.
Drugstore beetle, another pantry pest that has the same color as the bed bugs.
Though drugstore beetles fall under pantry pests, these beetles have a varied diet.
And they can even eat stored medicines.
So, there’s possibly something for them to gorge upon in every corner of your home.
And they can be in your bed too.
The drugstore beetles enter homes to lay eggs on the stored food. High humidity inside the house and the electric lights attract drugstore beetles.
The larvae that come out of the eggs that adult drugstore beetles lay on stored food cause damage to the food.
Drugstore beetles can fly, and they can land up in your bed and bedroom. But they don’t bite humans.
The color is similar to the color of bed bugs. But drugstore beetles’ color is more tan or dark brown than the bed bugs’ color.
And another difference is in their shape.
Drugstore beetles are not oval. Their shape is like a capsule with a visible head and a mouth tucked under the head.
If there’s any bug in this list that the pros even confuse with bed bugs, it’s the swallow bugs.
In all honesty, it’s hard to distinguish between swallow bugs and bed bugs with a naked eye.
You’d need to observe them under a microscope or at least under a magnifying glass.
The significant difference between swallow bugs and bed bugs lies in their antennae.
The antennae on bed bugs are a bit long, and they point forward.
In contrast, the antennae of swallow bugs are like a mustache on their mouth, and they’re small.
The antennae of the swallow bugs run parallel to their mouth, and they’re not pointing forward.
Experts also believe that bed bugs are browner than swallow bugs.
Swallow bugs are bed bug look-alikes that are parasites on barn swallows and cliff swallow birds.
These bugs live in the nests of the swallow birds and feed on the blood of the hatchlings and adult swallow birds.
When the swallow birds leave, some of these swallow bugs are left behind.
The swallow bugs then get inside your home and start to look for alternative blood sources.
It happens when there are swallow birds’ nests inside your home’s compound or property.
That’s when swallow bugs crawl to your bed and start biting you. Yes, swallow bugs bite humans and feed on their blood.
But there’s a catch.
Swallow bugs can’t reproduce in the absence of their primary hosts, which are swallow birds.
So, they don’t bring an infestation threat to your home like the bed bugs do.
Another brown bug that looks like a bed bug is the bat bug.
Bat bugs are the parasites in bats that feed on the bat’s blood.
But can they be in your bed? Not really.
But if there are bats in your vicinity, which is relatively uncommon in urban settings, there can be bat bugs in your home.
The reason that bat bugs will bite you is the same as that of the swallow bugs, which is the absence of primary hosts.
Both the bat bugs and swallow bugs are cousins of bed bugs that make them look very similar.
You’ll find both these bugs in your home, and they’re commonly mistaken for bed bugs.
And the main reason for swallow bugs or bat bugs to be present in your home is the presence of their hosts’ nests in your home or property.
Do bat bugs bite humans? Yes.
When their primary hosts, bats, leave your property, some bat bugs can fall off their bodies or hiding places.
These bat bugs will look for an alternative source of blood meals. That’s when they bite you.
Brown Carpet Beetles
As we mentioned earlier in the post, carpet beetles can be brown too.
And brown carpet beetles can get into your bed for the same reasons as black carpet beetles do.
Tiny Red Bugs In Bed That Look Like Bed Bugs – Clover Mites
Clover mites are non-biting mites that get inside homes during the fall months.
These mites are common in homes with a lush garden or yard.
Clover mites are red, and they resemble spiders. They can also get onto your bed.
So, what makes people think that clover mites on beds are bed bugs?
There are two things.
First, it’s their size. Clover mites are as small as bed bugs.
Their red color can also make people think they’re bed bugs if you don’t know exactly their color.
Second, the most compelling reason is that when you crush clover mites, it emits a red liquid which causes a red stain on the fabric.
The same thing happens when you crush a bed bug that had its blood meal.
The only difference is that on crushing the bed bug, blood splashes out.
Outdoors, clover mites feed on grasses, clovers, and tiny seedlings.
They enter homes starting from the fall months through the small gaps and cracks on walls and windows.
When temperatures fall, clover mites look for a warmer place to overwinter.
That’s why they get inside your home.
Clover mites don’t bite. But inside the home, they’ll spread fast and soon become a nuisance.
But the presence of clover mites can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.
How To Get Rid Of Tiny Bugs In Bed That Look Like Bed Bugs
There are different processes to get rid of each of these tiny bugs that resemble bed bugs.
For beetles like weevils, drugstore beetles, and carpet beetles, cleaning the kitchen and sealing off the cracks and gaps on the windows and walls are the keys to stop them from entering your home.
To know more, check our guide on pantry pests, where the entire process is in detail.
If there are biting bed bugs look-alikes like bat bugs, swallow bugs, and fleas in your bed, then it’s crucial to get rid of the source of these bugs.
It means that you’ll need to get rid of any swallow bird nests or bat habitats in your home and property.
If your pet has fleas, treat the pet for fleas. Pets with fleas are a potential source of fleas in your bed.
Also, steam clean your bed mattress with a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners emit heat which kills all the bugs, including bed bugs hiding in your bed.
Maintaining appropriate cleanliness inside the home, trimming the overgrown bushes and shrubs around your home, and lowering the humidity levels protect your home from bugs and clover mites.
A dehumidifier is a great way to normalize the humidity levels inside your home.
Most bugs are moisture-seeking bugs. And if you live in the south or states with high humidity, then a dehumidifier will make your home less attractive for bugs.
The 9 tiny bugs on bed that are not bed bugs –
- Black carpet beetles
- Spider beetles
- Drugstore beetles
- Brown carpet beetles
- Swallow bugs
- Bat bugs
- Clover mites
Some other bugs that don’t typically look like bed bugs and can be in your bed are ticks and booklice.
But do you know that not only bug look-alikes that can be in your bed but also worms?
Check out our post on bed worms to know what types of worms can live in your bed.
You’ll find information on what these worms are and how to get rid of them from your bed.
We’re Mark and Jim. We were serial pest killers for almost all of our lives. Through this blog we spread pest murdering tips to people like you who want to keep their homes pest free.