The Difference Between Carpet Beetles And Bed Bugs

kids playing on living room rug

As household pests go, most people would consider bed bugs the worst and that is why it is so important to be able to tell the difference between a bed bug and a carpet beetle. Both of these bugs may crawl around in your bed, but only one of them wants to feed on your blood.

Visual Identification

  • Size: As adults, carpet beetles and bed bugs can be about the same size, which is to say, about the size of a sunflower seed. Once grown, carpet beetles are only 1/16th – 1/8th of an inch long. While bed bugs are ¼ of an inch long.
  • Color: Carpet beetles and bed bugs have vastly different coloring. 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. If the bug you have crawling around in your bed is black, brownish, or red, it may be a bed bug but if it is white, gray, and tannish, it is most likely a carpet beetl
  • 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!
  • Lastly, you'll easily be able to identify these two insects from each other is also simple: if the bug can fly, it isn't a bed bug. Carpet beetles have working wings and are able to fly, bed bugs can not.

Other Differences

Bed bugs are in your home for one reason and one reason alone, they have come to feed on any warm-blooded creature in the house. Carpet beetles have a much different reason why they are in your home and crawling around in your bed. These insects feed on a wide range of things such as furs, wools, feathers, skin, hair, and dead insects, but it is the larval stage of this insect that does the most damage. You're likely to find holes in your clothing, bedding, and furniture, long before you notice a bunch of adult carpet beetles crawling around. The larval stage of this insect can last 60 to 325 days.

It is easy to think you have bed bugs when carpet beetles invade, especially if you are allergic to them and develop a bumpy rash that looks like bites. But these two pests are quite different, and they come into your house for different reasons.

If you live in our Pennsylvania service area and you want to get rid of bed bugs or carpet beetles, Witt Pest Management is the right choice. We are QualityPro certified, Green Shield certified, and an affiliate of the National Pest Management Association. You'll get friendly service, and the most advanced pest control, with us every time. Get rid of bugs and keep them out with Witt Pest Management.

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