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How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles

Mature bed bugs and carpet beetles look very similar, but their recently hatched larvae look quite different. Carpet beetle larvae look like small fuzzy caterpillars. Bed bug nymphs (also called larvae) resemble tiny worms. You can also tell the two species apart by their habits:

  • Carpet beetles eat carpet and wood and other similar materials
  • Bed bugs live and breed in mattresses or near places where humans rest
  • Bed bugs feed on human blood and leave behind red, itchy bites

If you suspect that you might have bed bugs, contact your local bed bug control experts as soon as possible.

a carpet beetle seen close up

Differences between carpet beetles and bed bugs

It’s important to tell the difference between bed bugs and carpet beetles. Both are oval-shaped and tiny, but if you compare with a magnifying glass you’ll see that the similarities end there.

Bed bugs are generally always flat, reddish-brown in color, and approximately the size and shape of an apple seed. You can easily see their eyes up close. Carpet beetles’ color can vary, they have shorter antennae, and are a bit smaller in size. Their eyes are more difficult to see.

Also, their larvae look different. Bed bug nymphs look like thin worms, while carpet beetle larvae are covered with long thin hairs or bristles and look like tiny caterpillars.

Do Bed Bugs and Carpet Beetles Both Bite?

Carpet beetles do not bite. Bed bugs are famous for biting humans while we sleep and feasting on our blood and leaving itchy red marks on our skin the next morning.

However, contact with carpet beetle larvae may also leave you with a bumpy red rash. These symptoms can be mistaken for each other. Whichever you’re dealing with, seek medical attention if symptoms are bad or you experience an allergic reaction.

Identifying Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles on Long Island

These two species are similar in overall appearance and the itchy bumpy rash that can cause, but they are actually quite different. Overall, bed bugs are a greater threat for their ability to quickly multiply and infest a home. 

If you are having trouble figuring out which type of pests you’re dealing with, contact your local pest control company.

How To Tell If You Have Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles Serving Long Island and surrounding areas

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