A List Of Tiny Bugs In Bed Not Bed Bugs

No person likes to deal with bed bugs. Who wants to have red welts or itchy skin after all? However, it is not always a bed bug that can crawl into your bed and incite panic.

Yes, that’s right. There are bugs similar to bed bugs, and chances are you would end up mistaking them for bed bugs. In my opinion, that’s a reasonable occurrence because bed bugs are tiny and almost unidentifiable. 

Since there may be different treatments for different types of bugs, this blog post is an attempt to help you identify them.

Tiny Bugs In Bed NOT Bed Bugs

The following is a list of bugs that may appear like bed bugs but are not:

  • Carpet Beetles Adult
  • Spider Beetles
  • Bat Bugs
  • Fleas
  • Cockroach Nymphs or Baby Cockroaches
  • Ticks

Let’s learn about them one by one.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetle bugs that look like bed bugs are very common in household living areas. They actually vary in shape and size according to their varied species.

It can be difficult to identify a carpet beetle, since it has many species. It is often described as brown bugs that have black spots on their back.

Often this bug is mistaken for bed bugs because of the oval shape. Also, the fact that they have tiny heads makes it even more difficult to differentiate between them and bed bugs.

carpet beetles adult
By André Karwath aka Aka – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=112238

Carpet beetles aren’t dangerous, but they can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

The major difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs is that carpet beetles don’t bite, but bed bugs do.

You will usually find carpet beetles on the edges of your rugs and carpet. Sometimes, they also hide underneath upholstered furniture. They can enter through open doors and windows.

How to treat carpet beetle infestation? You can use a nozzle vacuum cleaner to get rid of carpet beetles. 

Carpet beetles lays eggs in carpets as well as clothes. These pests can be hard to notice because they are nocturnal and don’t leave any traces until it’s too late.

To combat these bugs, you can use a nozzle vacuum cleaner to try sucking them up.

Spider Beetles

Identifying spider beetle vs bed bug is a lot easier because, just like spiders, they have long legs and large abdomens.

But sometimes, due to the oval shape of the spider bugs, which is usually about 1 to 5mm, might be confused as bed bugs.

spider beetle
By Sarefo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2900197

On top of that, spider beetles are red-brown. So, the resemblance is very much there. Also, here’s a creepy little information. Some spider beetles can fly!

Although spider beetles bite, they aren’t dangerous since they don’t spread any harmful diseases. They, however, infest on food products.

Spider beetles have longer legs and antennae, unlike bed bugs. Their bodies are fully covered with hair, but bed bugs aren’t.

Spider Beetles are common pantry pests, and they can be found almost anywhere you have your food stored. They usually make their way into homes with contaminated food or groceries.

How to treat Spider Beetle infestation? You can always use insecticides to kill spider beetles. But before that, you can also use peppermint oil spray in your kitchen and pantry to control spider beetles infestation.

Bat Bugs

Another small light brown bug to watch out for is the bat bug. This bug is one of the most similar bugs to a bed bug.

As the name goes by, bat bugs usually like hanging out with bats. You will find them in caves and places where bats have set up their colony. 

Bat bugs are bat blood-sucking insects that rarely feed on humans. They move to different places if their host, i.e., the bat, dies or leaves.

Good news is that bat bugs don’t pose any threat. They are biting insects, but they don’t really infect humans with diseases. The only concern with regards to bat bugs is whether there are bats around since these bugs like hanging out with them.

The only difference that you can notice between the two is that a bat bug has longer hair on its head. They have a broad and short head with an oval body and wing pads which are not functional.

If you see a bat bug in your house, it is likely that your attic has become a breeding ground for bats. Yikes!

How to treat bat bugs infestation? The best way to treat a bat bug infestation is by using insecticides on the cracks and crevices which bat bugs use for migrating.


Fleas are also bugs in bed that are commonly mistaken for bed bugs.

Bed bug impostors, a.k.a fleas, are great jumpers because of their narrow bodies, hind legs and backward-pointing bristles on their spiny legs.

These little tan bugs can move through woven fabrics and fur, which makes it likely for you to find them on your bed. 

fleas in cats and dogs
By Andrei Savitsky – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73148322

This parasite is one of the most annoying pests that one can ever deal with. It is really small to identify and can easily get into your house without your notice. On average, they are as small as 2.5mm and can jump as far as 13 inches.

Are fleas dangerous? Yes, fleas are dangerous. Since fleas are capable of passing diseases, it is very important that you treat them as soon as you spot them in your house. They cause the similar irritation that bed bugs cause.

Moreover, some people have a severe allergic reaction to flea saliva.

What is the difference between bed bugs and fleas? Bed bugs are not jumpers, whereas fleas can jump. Fleas are skinnier and longer than bed bugs.

The thing about fleas is that they love to feast on animals like cats and dogs. This is why if you find fleas on your mattresses, you can blame it on your pets!

How to treat fleas infestation? Use a powerful vacuum in your apartment or house floors, mattresses and upholstery. You can also use chemical treatments available at drug stores. Make sure you groom your pets well.

Cockroach Nymphs aka Baby Cockroaches

Baby cockroaches are tiny reddish-brown bugs. They are also called cockroach nymphs.

Cockroaches that look like bed bugs are the ones who are still babies. If you can’t tell the difference between a baby cockroach and bed bug, it’s because they’re both reddish brown.

What’s interesting about cockroach nymphs is that they are naturally born white, but their colors darken after a few hours.

Baby cockroaches usually like to lurk around moist and areas; you may sometimes find them in bathrooms and bedrooms too.

Are cockroach nymphs dangerous? Most cockroach nymphs possess the same threat as adult roaches. They pick up all kinds of dirt, germs and bacteria and deposit them into your food and water. This can cause diseases for sure.

The major difference between roaches and bed bugs is that bed bugs are bloodsuckers, but roaches aren’t. Grown-up roaches can fly, but bed bugs can’t, although both have wings. Also, roaches don’t really bite unless necessary, but bed bugs are big biters.

Roaches are experts in crawling in from holes and cracks in houses and buildings. They can also crawl into suitcases, bags and other containers being carried inside the house or enter through opened windows and doors.

Once an adult cockroach gets into the house, it can infest, and baby cockroaches will hatch out of eggs.

How to treat cockroach nymph infestation? The best way to prevent the infestation of cockroaches is by maintaining a clean house. You can also use exterminators or insect growth regulators. 


Often wondered what are those black bugs that look like bed bugs? These tiny black bugs on bed sheets are most likely ticks.

They are blood-sucking parasites that look very similar to bed bugs. Most ticks are dark in color, small and have a flat body, just like bed bugs.

This is why it becomes hard to notice their difference at first glance. Because ticks depend on human blood for surviving, they can often be found on humans and pets.

Are ticks dangerous? Although most tick bites don’t need medical attention, some carry very harmful germs that can cause Lyme disease and other diseases.

The only difference between the two is the number of legs. While bed bugs, which are insects, have six legs, ticks have eight legs because they are arachnids. Similar to bed bugs, ticks cannot fly nor jump. They can only crawl over.

Ticks usually live on the outside of your body, but since they enjoy your company so much, they can thrive on your skin. Although it’s rare, ticks can also infest in indoor areas. They can crawl on your body or your pet’s body from the outdoors and enter your home.

Ticks can be treated manually by pulling them out with fine-tipped tweezers. If not, you can use natural remedy oils, repellents and tick-killing sprays to get rid of them. How To Get Rid Of Dog Ticks Naturally? 7 Dog Tick Home Remedies & Treatments

tiny bugs in bed not bed bugs

Are All Bugs Found in Bed Bed Bugs?

Bites on your skin with red welts and itchiness can often indicate the infestation of bed bugs on your bed. But that’s not always the case because there are bugs that get mistaken for bed bugs.

This clearly implies not all bugs in bed are bed bugs. To correctly identify them, you can have a careful look at the pest when you catch it. 

When you misidentify the bug, there are many chances of delaying the treatment of the bug removal. Treating a small infestation is far cheaper than treating a massive and widespread infestation.

Do Bed Bugs Have Wings?

One question that most people have is: do bed bugs fly? To put it in a simple answer, no.

Bed bugs can’t fly. Bed bugs do not have functional wings, but they have wing pads that develop when they become adults. However, these wings don’t help them fly. 
In case you come across a bed bug that flies, it could simply mean the bug has been misidentified and most likely, they are bugs in mattress, not bed bugs. They may have similar features that could be hard to differentiate, but a closer look might help you identify better.
Bed bugs simply crawl and rely on a human being for a ride to their next destination.

Are Bed Bugs Tiny and Red?

Typically, most bed bugs look reddish-brown in hue, but some can look more red than brown. Some are also bright red. What makes bed bugs almost unidentifiable is their incredibly small size.
They are as small a one-fourth of an inch in length. With flattened and oval-shaped bodies, these tiny creatures resemble an apple seed. 

The difference between red color bed bugs and brown color bed bugs is their feeding habit. Since they feed on human blood, the color of their body is dependent on how recently they fed themselves with human blood.
If an adult bed bug is reddish-brown, it means it has not sucked blood for a while. If it is bright red, it means they had a recent meal.  

Where Are Bed Bugs Found?

Typically, bed bugs are found in places where people sleep. These places are houses, apartments, hotel rooms, airplane seats, etc.
During the daytime, bed bugs hide underneath mattresses, bed frames, bed tables, headboards, box springs, inside cracks and crevices and other objects and places.
They are nocturnal insects that lurk around at night and suck on human blood.

Are Bed Bugs Harmful?

Although bed bugs are very annoying, they do not pose any health risk as of yet. They don’t spread diseases, unlike some other pests.
However, the scratches from a bed bug bite can cause skin infection as well as loss of sleep.
Sometimes, a few people can also have a serious allergic reaction to bed bugs which may require medical attention.

How Do I Know when A Bed Bug Bites Me?

It is not easy to tell whether you’ve been bitten by bed bugs unless you have a mark on your skin or you feel itchy.
Most people only find out when signs appear after a day or several days later.