Carpet beetles vs bed bugs

Carpet Beetle

In today’s world, we’re all a little paranoid when it comes to anything with more than four legs. For some of us, insects have always been gross. For others, the modern-day outbreak of bed bugs has us constantly on alert. Either way, it’s important to be able to distinguish between “OH MY GOSH WE HAVE BED BUGS!” and other insects that are definitely a nuisance, but not the alarm-raising infestation you suspect it may be.

If it’s not bed bugs, what is it?

Commonly, flea bites and occasionally fleas are mistaken for their much more prolific and costly relatives, bed bugs. Fleas are not capable of living off humans alone but can create a problem in a home for a period of six months or more once the pest has been removed and/or treated. This is because fleas often remain in undeveloped stages in the carpet, and only progress to the adult stage once direct pressure, carbon dioxide and/or heat have activated them. Fleas can reproduce quickly so it’s important to take care of an infestation as soon as possible. Western Exterminator specialists will be able to provide solutions to help solve your problem.

Carpet beetles are a part of the Dermestid family, and there are a few different types. We often find the varied carpet beetle, the black carpet beetle, and the furniture carpet beetle infesting homes. Carpet beetle larvae feed on dead insects, carpets, woolen fabrics, and other fibrous material. Over time, they can cause some monetary damage to your carpets, furniture, clothing, and other items. Carpet beetles do not actually bite. Instead, they crawl on and around people which can cause an allergic reaction resembling a bite.

The difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs

Carpet beetles and bed bugs are oftentimes confused for one another. They are certainly both small and oval-shaped, but their similarities end there! Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, flat, and typically the size of an apple seed (only about 5 mm). When using a magnifying glass, you are able to see their eyes up close. This is typically not the case with carpet beetles.

One of the main differences between bed bugs and carpet beetles is that bed bugs have a mouth made for piercing skin and need to feed on human blood while carpet beetles have a mouth made for chewing on plants and other fibrous materials.

Also, carpet beetles can fly and will enter your home through cracks, doors, windows and other openings. Bed bugs cannot fly, but are expert hitchhikers and will get a ride into your home on clothing, purses, luggage, and other personal items.

On the other hand, carpet beetles vary widely in color, have short antennae, and are usually much smaller than bed bugs. They can have striped colors on their bodies as well. The biggest difference between these two is the appearance of their larvae: bed bugs look like long, thin worms, but carpet beetle larvae have tiny fuzzy bodies.

As far as appearance, here’s a great photo comparison that might help:

bed bug vs. carpet beetle

Can carpet beetles bite you?

No, carpet beetles do not bite like bed bugs. Bed bugs are infamous for their bites, which often occur overnight as they feed on blood. In the larvae stage, carpet beetle fibers can sometimes irritate the skin and leave red marks or bumps. In any case, it’s crucial to seek medical attention from a professional if any symptoms become serious.

Start getting rid of bed bugs and carpet beetles

So – it’s still a bug, right? In my bed? Right. We agree, it’s creepy and it needs to be fixed. The good news is that all three types of pests, fleas, bed bugs, and carpet beetles, can be eliminated and managed by professional pest control experts.

If you suspect any type of pest infestation in your home, Western Exterminator can help. Our local Technicians will perform a free inspection to identify the type of pest and provide a customized solution that is best for your home, family, and pets.

Call 888-444-6138 or contact Western Exterminator online.

Rose Smuller

As a Marketing Manager for Rentokil North America, Rose manages e-communications for residential pest control services. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with friends and spoiling her niece and nephew.

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