Bed Bugs Or Carpet Beetles? That Is The Question...

carpet beetle on sidewalk

Waking up with some itchy red bumps on your skin? Not sure what they are from? Don’t just dismiss it as a rash, especially if you have seen any evidence of bugs in your home. Bed bugs and carpet beetles can leave you with similar-looking itchy, red bumps. Just because it happens in your bed or bedroom doesn’t automatically mean they are bed bugs. And carpet beetles don’t necessarily live in just carpet. Knowing just a few facts about each of these bugs can help you to determine IF they may be living in your home and just WHAT you should do!

  • Size: Carpet beetles are the smaller of the two bugs. They are only 1/16th – 1/8th of an inch long. While bed bugs are ¼ of an inch long.
  • Color: Carpet beetle adults are oval with white and yellow-brown scales and have three tufts of hair near the back of their abdomen. While adult bed bugs are shaped like an apple seed and are reddish-brown.
  • Diet: Carpet beetles DO NOT feed on blood. They feed on other sources like nectar, pollen, wool, hair, bristles, feathers, dried plants, silks, and furs. Bed Bugs do feed on blood, hence the bed bug bites.
  • Habitat: Carpet beetles are usually found inside wall voids, attics, and other places inside homes where dead insects or spiders have accumulated. They can be found outside also, where they live off nectar and pollen. Bed bugs are usually found in areas where humans spend a lot of time like around beds, in cracks and crevices of furniture and walls. But they can also be found in places where humans travel like taxis, busses, airports, and even libraries!

The red bumps on your skin can be caused by an allergic reaction to carpet beetle larvae. They are attracted to the carbon monoxide that you breathe out. Although they don’t bite you, they can cause irritation to your skin from the tiny hair on the larvae. The bumps could also be caused by bites from bed bugs. It isn’t the ‘bite’ of the bed bug that makes you itch, it’s a reaction to the saliva in the bugs’ mouth that is irritating your skin and causing you to itch.

Still unsure if you an infestation of bed bugs or carpet beetles? Then call the Pittsburgh bed bug and pest control professionals at Witt Pest Management.  You can also complete our online form and one of our friendly reps will contact you!


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