Because of the rise in bed bug infestations highlighted in the news, many Americans are on the look-out for bed bugs wherever they go.  When a person sees a bug they don’t know, especially if it is on their bed, many will misidentify it as a bed bug. People also have been known to wake with unexplained bites and jump to the conclusion that they have bed bugs, when in reality they just got bitten by a mosquito the night before and didn’t realize.  Misidentifying other bugs as bed bugs can cost hundreds in unneeded treatments and inspections.

In order to help avoid mis-identifications, here is a list of bugs that are commonly mistaken for a bed bug.

First, let’s look closely at a bed bug in its different life stages:

Eggs:  The eggs are nearly microscopic and are virtually clear.    Eggs are often found in groups hidden inside furniture where they cannot be easily disturbed.


Nymphs: Once the bed bugs hatch the young nymph’s body is nearly transparent.  These baby bed bugs will feed and turn red (the blood shows through its body).




Adult Bed Bugs:  Bed Bugs will go through 5 stages before becoming an adult.   At each stage the bugs get slightly bigger and darker in color.  Before transitioning between stages a blood meal is required.  The bed bug will also shed its outer skin as they outgrow it, leaving behind a “skin shell” called an excuvia.




Now that you know what the bed bug looks like, let’s take a look at some other bugs that are commonly mistaken for the bed bug.

Carpet Beetles: Unlike the bed bug these insects have distinct wings.  They are small, round and brownish in color.  Carpet beetles do not feed off human blood or create bites, although some people have been known to develop skin bumps from the carpet beetles tiny “hairs”.



Ticks:  While ticks do feed off the blood of humans and other mammals they look quite different from the bed bug.  The long legs and color differenced set the two bugs apart.




Cockroach Nymphs:  Cockroach nymphs are usually white right after hatching and turn a reddish brown soon after, which gives them some similarity to the bed bug.  However, these bugs quickly grow much larger and longer than a bed bug.  Cockroaches like to hide in cracks and crevices.  They love warm, damp areas such as your bathroom or kitchen. (Image courtesy of



 Booklice:  Many people have never heard of booklice and they are commonly mistaken for bed bugs due to their size and color.  These bugs can be found under wallpaper and along the edges of windows.  They eat pollen, mold and other dead insects.




Ear Wigs:  Earwigs love damp, dark areas where they can hide.  They are characterized by the pair of forceps-like pincers that protrude from their abdomen.  These pincers are used to kill prey and defend themselves but are generally harmless to humans.



If you are still unsure if you have bed bugs it is best to call in the bed bugs professionals at AZEX Pest Solutions.  The experts at AZEX are experienced with thousands of bed bug cases and can quickly identify a bed bug problem.  AZEX also uses specially trained K-9’s to detect bed bugs in the hard to see areas like under and inside furniture, inside walls, and under flooring.  If you think you might have bed bugs don’t hesitate to call us.  We will inspect your room and give you a proposed treatment plan.  We can kill bed bugs in as little as 8 hours!

AZEX Pest Solutions – Phoenix, AZ

3218 E. Bell Rd. #328

Phoenix, Arizona 85032

MAIN: 602-535-2151


AZEX Pest Solutions – Prescott, AZ

P.O. Box 11493

Prescott, Arizona 86304

MAIN: 928-445-5820