Black Bugs in Bed: Are They Bed Bugs Or Something Else?

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Is every small and tiny black bugs in bed a bed bug? It was not intended to be a tongue twister. But, getting back to the topic at hand, just because you see black bugs in the bed, does it mean you have a bed bug infestation?

Well, no, black bugs in bed seldom mean that you have a bed bug infestation. In fact, bed bugs are not even black in color. But, spotting black bugs in bed means that you have an infestation of some type of bug.

In this article, I will talk about the different types of black bugs that you could find in your bed, what brought them there in the first place and what you can do to get rid of them effectively!

Keep reading to understand what these bugs actually are!

Identifying the tiny black bugs in bed

bstract wrinkles white dust mites bedding cover, fabric or textile texture, pattern and background. Crumpled blanket on the bed in the bedroom.

Small black bugs can be difficult to identify, as they may not be readily apparent. You can do a few things to help identify them, including looking for specific characteristics and taking note of their behavior.

If you’re still unable to determine what they are, it’s best to consult with a professional. In all fairness, not all bugs are black. Most of them are simply dark in color, which makes them appear black,

But for now, here is a concise list of all the tiny black bugs in bed that are not bed bugs rather other species of bugs.

Bat bugs

Bat bugs are a type of bug that feeds on the blood of bats. They are very similar to bed bugs in terms of appearance and habits but can be distinguished by their preference for bat blood over human blood.

Bat bugs are not considered as serious of a pest as bed bugs, but they can still cause some problems if they infest a home.

First and foremost, bat bugs are brown and oval in shape, with a size similar to that of an apple seed. Second, they cannot fly but have wing pads. Third, bat bugs are only found in close proximity to bats- if you have bats flying around your property, you can get the insect.

Otherwise, the chances of you having bat bugs in your bed are very less. Bat bugs are quite similar to bed bugs in terms of appearance but differ in behavior. The fact is that these pests will only bite humans if their preferred food source- bats- has been eliminated from their vicinity.

Black carpet beetle

Although black carpet beetle larvae may be mistaken for bed bugs, they are not harmful and do not bite. Bed bug bites often cause itchy red welts on the skin, while carpet beetle larvae will only cause minor skin irritation. However, if you are sensitive to these bugs, they can trigger extreme allergic reactions like asthma.

Carpet beetle

Black carpet beetles tend to feed on materials like fabric, carpeting, and clothes made from natural fibers. This is why you may see small black bugs in your bed- because they are eating away at the material of your mattress, box spring, and bed frame!

Though these insects can look similar to bed bugs, one giveaway separates them – wings. Bed bugs are wingless, while black carpet beetles will have wings. However, when they are larvae, your main differentiating factor will be the presence of fur on the larvae that bed bugs don’t have.


These little black, brown, or dark red bugs are often mistaken for bed bugs. However, they are actually fleas. Fleas are a nuisance and can cause health problems if they are not treated. They are narrow, oval-shaped, and flat vertically.

Moreover, fleas generally gain access to your bed and house through pets. Therefore, make sure you scan your pet’s fur for flea infestations. As I mentioned, not only can these bugs cause health issues for you but also for your pet animals.

Spider beetles

Spider beetles are another type of beetle that is commonly mistaken for bed bugs. They are small and black, which can make them difficult to distinguish from bed bugs.

spider beetles

However, they are not known to infest homes and typically reside in outdoor environments or spaces that have food, like your kitchen. They have very little reason to be in your bed since they don’t even want to feed on your blood.

Spider beetles are very small, about the size of an ordinary flea. They have a dark brown coloration when they are fed, but are on the red side of the spectrum.

Spider beetles are often mistaken for bed bugs because of their coloring. However, they are not bloodsucking parasites and do not cause the same level of damage as bed bugs.


Booklice are a type of small, pale-colored bug that can be found in many different environments that you would also find bed bugs in. They are typically found on the side of windows and window sills and under wallpaper. Therefore, these bugs are often mistaken for bed bugs, but there are some key differences.

For example, booklice are translucent in appearance, while bed bugs are reddish-brown in color. Additionally, booklice typically do not cause the same level of irritation as bed bugs.

These bugs feed on anything with mold, including clothes, furniture, and bedding. They don’t typically carry any diseases, but they can be a nuisance.


Wood ticks or dog ticks are oval and brown with grey patterns on them. They are usually about 3/16 of an inch long but can grow up to 1/2 inches long. These parasites usually attach themselves to the skin of their host and feed on blood.

Belonging to the arachnid family, the fact that ticks have eight legs rather than six is the primary differentiating feature between ticks and bed bugs. Like fleas, ticks carry diseases with them and also bite their hosts.

Since they primarily find their way into the house through animals, make sure you check your dog for tick infestations.

Cockroach nymphs

The cockroach nymph is the juvenile stage of the cockroach. They are about half the size of an adult bed bug and have a white or grey body. They are typically 3 mm in length.

While bed bugs are typically small and oval-shaped, cockroach nymphs can be cylindrical in structure. They are usually light brownish or black in color but can also be reddish-brown. If you can identify the difference in the shape, you will effectively deal with the cockroach nymphs.

Swallow bugs

There are various types of bugs that you can find in and around beds. One such type is the swallow bug. These bugs are grayish in color and have hair all over their bodies. You will find swallow bugs in your walls if the structure has any crevices or cracks in it.

They are commonly mistaken for bed bugs, but there are key differences between the two species. Common bed bugs are more reddish in color and have fewer hairs on their body.

Signs of bug infestation

black bugs in bed

If you can pinpoint the signs of a bug infestation early on, then your chances of being able to deal with these pests improve considerably. You can then accordingly either resort to natural methods or even contact a professional exterminator to handle the infestation issue for you. 

Therefore, here are some telltale signs that your bed and house are infested with tiny black bugs, which may not necessarily be bed bugs!

Foul smells

Insects, rodents, and other pests can cause a variety of problems for homeowners. One common sign that there may be an infestation is an odd smell. This could be because the pests are feeding on garbage or rotting wood or because they are leaving droppings that smell bad.

Frequent damage to fabrics

Another common sign of a bug infestation is frequent signs of damage to your fabrics. Bed bugs and other bugs will often feast on fabrics, leaving behind small red marks, bites, or holes in them.

Dirt marks on mattresses and bedding are one of the most common signs of a bug infestation. Bed bugs leave behind dark fecal spots as they feed, and these can be seen on sheets, pillowcases, and mattresses. Additionally, if you see small bloodstains on your bedding, it’s likely that you have a bed bug infestation.

How to get rid of these tiny black bugs?

Bugs in your house can pose a serious health risk. They can spread disease and cause other illnesses. If you have any type of bug in your house, it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible. There are a variety of ways to get rid of bugs, including pesticides, traps, and heat treatments.

Keep your closets clean.

If you see, one of the signs of a bug infestation is damage to your fabrics. Now, nobody wants to sleep in a bedsheet that has bug skid marks and holes in them. But you can get around that with the first tip to get rid of these tiny black bugs.

Cleaning your closet regularly ensures that your fabrics stay clean and free of bugs and their eggs which will create an infestation in your closet. This, in turn, will prevent the bugs from leaving signs of their presence in it.

Keep your kitchen clean.

Bugs infest homes because they find sustenance in them. Your kitchen and food cupboards are major attractions for bugs. Checking in from time to time to ensure that your food is clear of these pests is crucial. You could also expose them to sunlight and fresh air to ensure that they stay free of bugs.

Use peppermint essential oil sprays.

Peppermint oil

The strong scent of peppermint essential oil can help immensely in driving these bugs out of their hide holes and out of your house. If you already have a small bug infestation, try spraying a potent peppermint essential oil solution in the hidden corners of your home.

Use neem essential oil sprays.

Neem, along with excellent antibacterial properties, is also known to work as an excellent insecticide. In fact, you could spray it around your home as well as on your pet’s fur to keep bugs like ticks and fleas off them. Spraying your pets periodically can help a lot in keeping tiny black bugs at bay!

Diatomaceous earth is a poison for bugs.

If you are dealing with beetles in specific, you could resort to using a natural poison like diatomaceous earth in driving these bugs out of your home and killing them. This poison takes effect in about two days, and as an added advantage, it isn’t particularly toxic to humans and pet animals!

Keep your bed fresh and clean.

Changing out your bed sheets and bed covers on a regular basis ensures that your bed does not become a breeding ground for these bugs. Since many of these tiny black bugs in bed are mainly attracted to human skin or blood, keeping your bed clean prevents them from finding sustenance in it.

How to Prevent Bug Infestations in the First Place?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent bug infestations in the first place.

Keep your house fresh.

One is to clean and aerate places that are commonly used as bug homes, like cracks in the floor or walls and areas near the garbage.

Prevent access altogether

You can also install screens on your windows and doors to keep bugs out and use pesticides and insecticides safely and effectively.

Clean your beddings and furniture using hot water regularly.

This means removing all contact points (including bed sheets, blankets, comforters, pillows, etc.) and cleaning them with hot water and detergent. You should also steam clean and vacuum any cracks or crevices in your furniture.

When Do You Need To Call In a Professional Exterminator for Black Bugs in Bed?

A simple formula to use in deciding whether it is time to call a professional exterminator to tackle a bug infestation in your house or even just your bed is that if you have tried all simple methods to get rid of these bugs and you’ve failed, it is time to call in the big guns, in this case, a professional exterminator.

What does a bed bug look like?

Many people mistake other small, black bugs in bed for bed bugs. This is because bed bugs share a lot of common physical characteristics with other insects. Some of the most common look-alikes include carpet beetles, booklice, bat bugs, and the other bugs that I have discussed in this article.

The size of a bed bug ranges from 1.5 to 3.8 mm, which is comparable in size to an apple seed. Bed bugs have three pairs of legs and two antennae and are reddish-brown in color. They will typically hide in mattresses, bed frames, headboards, carpets, baseboards, and any cracks or crevices near where people sleep.

Do Tiny Black Bugs On Bed Sheets Bite?

There are many different types of tiny black bugs, some of which do bite people. These bugs tend to hide during the day and come out at night in search of blood. They will feed, and then retreat to their hiding places.

While most of these bugs are harmless, there are a few that can cause harm. It is important to identify the bug before taking any action.

What Causes Tiny Black Bugs On Your Bed?

A variety of things can cause tiny black bugs that are found on or near beds. One of the most common causes is bed bugs, but they can also be caused by other pests, such as carpet beetles or dust mites. These bugs can enter your home through luggage, clothing, and other items that serve to move them from place to place.

However, the primary deciding factor that ensures your bed will be infested by these tiny black bugs is the availability of sustenance for them in your bed. Therefore, if your bed is unclean and has food crumbs in it or just hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it is a potential infestation site for these black bugs.

Can bed bugs be black?

No, bed bugs cannot be black. In fact, at no point in their entire life are they even black in color. When they first hatch, they are translucent, and as nymphs, they change color from white to yellow to orange, and then to a reddish-brown tint as adults.

They could turn into a dark shade of brown if they ingest too much blood, but bed bugs are never completely and truly black in color.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.