Anytime you discover a bug or pest in your home it’s an unpleasant experience. Imagine finding out one has been tucked into bed with you all night. That's enough to send a chill down your spine! The first thing that pops in your head is “Could this be a bed bug?” and if so “Is this a one-time incident or could it be a bed bug infestation?”.
If you think you've found your culprit you need to take a prisoner of war. Lock the bug in a plastic sandwich bag. This is useful evidence that a pest management professional needs in order to properly identify the bug and confirm whether it’s a Bed Bug or not.
There are numerous bugs that are commonly confused with Bed Bugs. For Example: Black Carpet Beatles, Book Louse, Spider Beatles, and even Fleas. How can you be sure this new intruder isn’t a bed bug? Here’s a few ways to tell Bed Bugs apart from other pests.
WHAT CAUSED THE “BITE”?
Bite marks are one of the first red flags that prompt people to suspect a Bed Bug infestation. Even a small mosquito bite might be enough to send a diligent homeowner on a massive inquisition. Bite marks alone are bad indicators to the type of pest you could be dealing with because Mosquitoes, Spiders, Fleas, Bed Bugs and even Fruit Flies in rare cases can leave behind itchy red bumps. It is also important to note that there could be several different reasons you may be waking up with what you may think are "bites". Allergic reactions and high stress levels are also culprits for possible skin irritation.
WHAT COLOR IS IT?
Bed Bug: Brown/Red when mature, Translucent/White in nymph state
Black Carpet Beetle: Black/Brown
Book Louse: Translucent/Gray/Light Brown
Spider Beetle: Black/Red/Brown
WHAT SIZE IS IT?
Bed Bug: 3/16 inch
Black Carpet Beetle: 1/8 - 1/16 inch
Book Louse: 1/25 - 1/13 inch
Spider Beetle: 1/16 - 3/16 inch
Flea: 1/8 inch
WHAT SHAPE IS IT?
Bed Bug: Oval, horizontally flat, prominent compound eyes, four-segmented antennae
Black Carpet Beetle: Oval, tapered hairy bottom
Book Louse: Three body segments, ridged bottom
Spider Beetle: Two body segments, globe-shaped bottom
Flea: Oval, vertically flat
DOES IT HAVE WINGS?
Bed Bug: No, they can crawl but can't fly
Black Carpet Beetle: Yes, they crawl and fly
Book Louse: No, they crawl but can't fly
Spider Beetle: No, they crawl but can't fly
Flea: No, they crawl and have the ability to jump
DOES IT BITE?
Bed Bug: Yes
Black Carpet Beetle: No, but hair on body can cause allergic reaction and welts
Book Louse: No
Spider Beetle: No
WHAT DOES IT EAT?
Bed Bug: Blood (mostly humans)
Black Carpet beetle: Fabrics, carpets, natural fibers, stored food
Book Louse: Fungi or mold
Spider Beetle: Seeds, whole grains, droppings
Flea: Blood (mostly cats or dogs)
IS IT A BED BUG OR A FLEA?
All of the above are bugs that look like Bed Bugs but most of these bugs don't bite. If you have clear evidence of repeated bite marks you might be able to eliminate the others bugs and focus on the Flea or Bed Bug. Fleas are most commonly found on animals but are not picky about their hosts and will also feed on humans. The difference between Bed Bugs and Fleas is that Bed Bugs are shaped more like an apple seed and crawl. Fleas are about the size of the tip of a ball point pen and jump when disturbed.
REMEMBER: You can send us photos of the bug you have captured and we will try our best to identify the bug in your possession. TEXT to 212-256-1744 or EMAIL to firstname.lastname@example.org