Bed bugs are small, brown insects with oval-shaped, flattened bodies, but so are many other types of pests that could invade your home. If you discover a bug that looks like a bed bug inside your home, don't panic, because it could be one of these three bugs that can be mistaken for bed bugs.
Bat bugs are pests that feed on bats, and if bats are living in your attic, you could have bat bugs inside your home. Scientists believe that bat bugs are the ancestor of bed bugs, so it's no surprise that these two pests look very similar.
You'll need to pull out your magnifying glass to tell the difference between bed bugs and bat bugs. Towards the front of the pest's body, you'll see a bulging eyeball. If the hairs that surround this eyeball are shorter than the width of the eye, you're looking at a bed bug. If the hairs are longer than the width of the eye, you've found a bat bug.
Barn Swallow Bugs
Barn swallow bugs are another pest that look nearly identical to bed bugs. These pests feed on swallows—specifically cliff swallows, barn swallows and purple martins—and won't feed on humans unless they can't find any birds. If you have birds living in your attic, barn swallow bugs could be present.
To find out if your bug is a barn swallow bug or a bed bug, you'll need your trusty magnifying glass. You're looking for the same clues as with bat bugs: if the hairs around the eyes are shorter than the width of the eye, you have a bed bug.
Carpet beetles are another common household pest that may be mistaken for bed bugs. Like bed bugs, they have brown, flat bodies and look similar to apple seeds. Carpet beetles don't bite people; they're more interested in eating your carpets and fabrics.
A magnifying glass can help you identify carpet beetles. When you look at a carpet beetle under a magnifying glass, you won't be able to find its eyes, while when bed bugs are examined under magnification, you will see bulging eyes. Another way to tell them apart is that carpet beetles can fly, while bed bugs are flightless.
If you find a small, brown bug that resembles a bed bug, ask a pest removal company to identify it for you. It could be a similar-looking pest that doesn't prefer to feed on humans.