If you suspect you may have bed bugs in your home, it can wreak havoc on your property, your health, and your peace of mind. Sometimes, what may look like a bed bug actually isn’t. In fact, there are several bugs that look like bed bugs, which can make your pest problem even more confusing. Before you panic and call an exterminator, it’s important to know how to properly identify bed bugs so you know you’re making the right decision. Read on to discover how to identify bed bugs and how to get rid of them.
Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are extremely tiny, and a full-grown bed bug is not usually much larger than an apple seed. These tiny biting pests are usually light to dark brown in color, while some may have a reddish tone. Before you throw away your bedding, make sure your problem isn’t actually a different bug that’s just similar in color, shape, and size.
- Bat bugs look a lot like bed bugs, mostly because they’re both similar shades of brown. The main difference between a bat and bed bug is that the bat bugs have long, tiny hairs on their heads, but it would be difficult to see this with the naked eye. These insects tend to feast where bats live, however, they can bite humans if there are no “bat homes” nearby.
- Spider beetles somewhat resemble bed bugs due to their tiny size. However, their coloring can range from a yellowy-brown to reddish color or close to black. These insects have thin, long legs and are covered with tiny hairs. Their shape is similar to a bed bug since the head of a spider beetle is directly connected to its body.
- Booklice look closer to termites than bed bugs thanks to their soft body composition and long, thin antennae. These bugs are usually either a pale yellow or brown, and they typically live in areas with high humidity, like in damp books rather than in bedding or furniture.
- Fleas are commonly mistaken for bed bugs since both of these reddish-brown insects love to bite pets and humans. The tiny flea has a flat, segmented body and they are usually brought inside the home from your pets or from hopping onto you while you’re outdoors.
How to Identify Bedbugs and How to Get Rid of Them
A bed bug is small and typically oval in shape with a dark brown color. Adult bed bugs are flat and approximately the same size as an apple seed. Once they feed, they swell up and turn a deep red color. These pests don’t fly but they are able to scurry quickly over floors, walls, and on the ceiling. A female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs that are no bigger than a speck of dust. Nymphs are the immature bed bugs that shed their skin five times before they reach adulthood. During this stage, the bed bug tends to feed on blood each time before a new shedding. If your bed bug problem isn’t corrected, you could end up with thousands of them within just months.
If you want to know how to treat bed bugs, the first thing to do is to confirm that they’re in your home. Once you realize you have a bed bug problem, you’ll need to remove any and all bedding, curtains, and clothing from your bedroom. You can discard your linens or place them in a plastic bag to transport them, and wash everything in extremely hot water several times. It’s also recommended that you take your furniture apart if possible before treating the problem. This will ensure that you get into every nook and cranny where bed bugs like to nest and hide.
There are plenty of home remedies that claim to kill bed bugs, but it’s best to contact the professionals if you’re concerned. Store-bought pesticides might be a temporary fix, but they’re not necessarily as effective as professional-grade treatments. Heat application can also kill bed bugs, which is also performed by a professional bed bug removal company. These pests can’t survive at temperatures over 120 degrees. When heat is emitted in the room, it reaches every crack and crevice and kills the insects on contact. As long as you know how to identify bedbugs and how to get rid of them, you should be able to sleep soundly once again.