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How to tell if you have bed bugs or carpet beetles

Bed bugs are commonly mistaken for carpet beetles.

How to tell if you have bed bugs or carpet beetles from Active Pest Control in Atlanta GA & Knoxville TN metros and surrounding areas
To tell bed bugs and carpet beetles apart, it’s best to look at their larvae:
Bed bug larvae look like regular bed bugs, only yellow-white or translucent and even smaller, while carpet beetle larvae look like miniature fuzzy caterpillars.

Bed bugs and carpet beetles have different habits that help set them apart:

  • Carpet beetles devour fabrics like carpet, wool, and other natural materials.
  • Bed bugs breed and live in mattresses or in and around beds.
  • Bed bugs feed on blood and leave red, itchy bites on people.



Carpet Beetles vs. Bed Bugs

In appearance, carpet beetles and bed bugs are easily confused for each other. They are both oval-shaped and tiny in size, but their similarities end there! Carpet beetles vary in color, have short antennae, and are typically smaller than bed bugs.

Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, flat, and the size and shape of an apple seed. You can also see their eyes up close, while it’s hard to see eyes on carpet beetles. The biggest difference is in each specimen’s larvae: Bed bug larvae look like smaller, lighter-colored bed bugs while carpet beetle larvae look like tiny fuzzy caterpillars.

Bed Bug Larvae

Bed bug nymph

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Carpet beetle larva

Do Both Bed Bugs and Carpet Beetles Bite?

Unlike bed bugs, carpet beetles do not bite. Bed bugs are infamous for their bites, which happen at night and can leave a victim with red, itchy marks. This is because bed bugs feed on blood. Carpet beetles do not, but they have been known to cause bumpy itchy rashes from the fibers on larvae. These symptoms are often confused for each other, and it’s important to seek medical attention if symptoms become serious.

Identifying Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles in Georgia

These bugs may look a bit similar and cause similar symptoms, but they are quite different. Bed bugs are much more feared than carpet beetles because they pose more of a threat to your household. If you are having difficulty identifying which pest you are dealing with, it’s recommended to enlist the help of a professional pest control company.

How to tell if you have bed bugs or carpet beetles in Georgia

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