To an untrained eye, carpet beetles and bed bugs look surprisingly similar. They are wildly different creatures, though. While they are both pests, the type of damage each animal can cause is different. When you are calling in a pest control team, like us here at My Pest Pros, it is important to know whether you are dealing with a carpet beetle vs bed bug.
Here, we want to go through some of the key differences between carpet beetles and bed bugs. We are going to compare the carpet beetles vs bed bugs based on things that the layman will be able to observe. We aren't going to discuss reproduction, how they chew their food, etc. We just want to share facts with you. This way, you can be much better informed about the type of pests that you may have in your home.
What They Look Like
At a glance, a bed bug will look similar to a carpet beetle. If you stick them side by side, the small size of each can make it exceedingly tough to tell the difference. However, if you look a bit harder, you will notice that when it comes to carpet beetles vs bed bugs, there are quite a few differences in how they look.
The only similarities between the look of a carpet beetle and a bed bug will be the same flat, oval shape. A bed bug is fractionally larger, but that doesn't matter too much. It is fractional and at the sort of size a bed bug and a carpet beetle are, it can be tough to see that unless you have a side-by-side comparison. Chances are that you are never going to be able to do a side-by-side comparison of bed bugs and carpet beetles. Well, not unless you are very unlucky when it comes to pests:
- A carpet beetle will have striped or spotted coloring on their back. These colors will normally be black, yellow, white, and brown. It may be tough to tell, though. However, if you see spotting or stripes then you know that you are dealing with a carpet beetle.
- A bed bug will have a brown and red back.
There will be differences in their mouth, but you won't be able to see this unless you put them under a microscope. You probably wouldn't have the luxury of doing that. However, thankfully, the coloring is a fairly good indicator of what you are dealing with.
Carpet beetles eat plants and fabric. As you can probably guess from their name, they love to munch on carpets. However, any sort of natural material in your home may be at risk e.g. wool, leather, silk, etc.
Bed bugs only feast on blood. This is how they got their name. They are often found in beds because humans are there.
Carpet beetles are not afraid of being seen by humans. You will see them hanging around throughout the day, possibly on your carpet. You may rarely see them in bed or on your clothes.
Bed bugs are nocturnal. They love to come out when humans are asleep. They will have a sneaky feast and then they disappear. They will remain in hiding throughout the day. A lot of people have dealt with bed bug infestations and they didn't even know. If you have bed bugs, then any dark, cool area in your home could be playing host to them throughout the day.
Carpet Beetle vs. Bed Bug Bites And Reactions
One of the main reasons why people believe they have bed bugs when they have carpet beetles is due to the reaction they cause. Both carpet beetles and bed bugs can cause a small, reddish bump on the skin. However, they make this happen in different ways.
A bed bug will bite you. That's their job. They pierce your skin with their mouth and they drink your blood in the middle of the night.
When it comes to carpet beetle bites vs bed bugs, there is no comparison. This is because there is no such thing as a carpet beetle bite. A carpet beetle cannot bite into your skin. Instead, those reddish bumps that look like bites appear because you have come into contact with carpet beetle larvae. Their larvae are covered in small pieces of hair. These pieces of hair react with the skin.
Don't get us wrong, both of the reactions are uncomfortable. Carpet beetle bumps feel so much less violating, though. At least their reactions happen by accident.
Carpet Beetle vs Bed Bugs: Which One Do You Have?
While you could easily look at the insect to work out what type of pest you have in your home, there are a few other things that could tell you whether you have a carpet beetle or bed bug infestation.
For starters, look at where you see the creature:
- If you see the pest hanging around fabrics (especially carpets), then you likely have a carpet beetle.
- If you spot the pest hiding in a dark location, then you probably have bed bugs.
If you wake up in the morning and see rust-covered spots or blood on your sheets, then you probably have a bed bug infestation.
Of course, the quickest way to tell is to call in the experts. If you aren't quite sure what you are dealing with then give the team here at My Pest Pros a call. We can help.
Carpet Beetle vs. Bed Bugs? It Doesn't Matter. Rid Your Home Of These Pests Today
It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with carpet beetles or bed bugs, you don't want either in your home. You don't want carpet beetles to destroy your clothes and carpets, and you certainly don't want bed bugs to be tucking into your blood every single night. These are problems that need to be dealt with, and they need to be dealt with quickly.
If you have a pest infestation, give the team here at My Pest Pros a call at 703-665-4455. Together, let's deal with that problem once and for all.