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Bed Bug vs. Carpet Beetle: Know Their Differences

When you cannot identify the pest, you do not know what measures or precautions to take, or how to cure itches or rashes left by the critters.

Pests are an inevitable thing in most homes, but the situation gets worse when you do not even know what the pest is.

When you cannot identify the pest, you do not know what measures or precautions to take, or how to cure itches or rashes left by the critters.

And most importantly, you are unsure of how to get rid of them. A common misconception occurs in the case of bed bugs and carpet beetles.

What Is A Bed Bug?

Bed bugs are small, so small they are hard to see if you are not paying attention. They like to stay close to their food sources, which in this case is human blood. They are named bed bugs because they like to stay inside beds and breed there as well.

It lets them stay close to their food source, and they usually feed at night. But beds are not the only places they stay; they can sometimes be found in sofas and couches as well.

Appearance wise, they are red-brown and approximately the size of the seed of an apple. They shed skin, so they always leave that behind, along with their fecal matter and blood spots.

If bitten, one will find red bite marks on their arms, necks, and torsos in the middle of the night. They cannot fly but are mostly found on or inside objects.

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“They are red-brown and approximately the size of the seed of an apple. They shed skin, so they always leave that behind, along with their fecal matter and blood spots.”

The Bed Bug Inspectors

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What Is A Carpet Beetle?

The Anthrenus verbasci resemble bed bugs in numerous ways. They too are tiny, about 3mm in length, and very flat, and look oval in appearance. In terms of color, the varied carpet beetle also has a brownish color and has spots and stripes in white, and some lighter patches of light browns.

However, a significant difference is that they do not feed on human blood, but on natural fibers when in larval form, and are usually known to damage carpet fibers in such ways. Carpet beetles can fly, and that is usually the way they enter the homes.

What Does Carpet Beetle Larvae Look Like?

Carpet beetle larvae look like furry and fuzzy bugs that have spines all over their bodies. Whereas bed bug larvae resemble the size and shape of little worms without any fur or fuzz whatsoever.

What Is Their Scientific Difference?

Family wise the bed bug belongs to the family Cimicidae, and the carpet beetle belongs to the family Dermestids. Bed bugs possess a mouth that is ideal for piercing the skin and sucking on blood. Carpet beetles, on the other hand, have a mouth ideal for chewing on the fibrous material.

Bed Bug vs. Carpet Beetle

Varied Carpet Beetle (Photo: Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

What Do They Eat?

Carpet beetles, although mostly found in carpets for their fibers, feed on plants and pollen as well. Other fibrous materials like fur, silk, hair, clothes, and woolen materials are also included in their diet.

Upholstery, carpets, curtains, and other fibrous materials at home are what they invade once inside. Bed bugs only feed on human blood.

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“Carpet beetle larvae look like furry and fuzzy bugs that have spines all over their bodies.”

The Bed Bug Inspectors

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How Harmful Are They?

The varied carpet beetles are not considered to be dangerous at all because all they do is feed on carpet wool or fibers or other similar natural materials. They do not invade our beds or couches and do not bite or feed on humans.

Bed bugs, on the other hand, are blood feeders and live very close to humans in their beds. However, they too are not lethal because their bites are not related to any diseases.

It could be partly because they only tend to feed on a single person, so there are fewer chances of infections spreading. The red marks that are seen can only be observed in the morning because they feed during the night.***



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