9 Tiny Bugs In Bed That Are Not Bed Bugs For Sure

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It happens quite often that we spot a bug in our bed and instantly jump to the conclusion that it is a bed bug. However, that is not always true, and this expert guide—9 tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs for sure—will help you identify a bug if you find one in your bed the next time.

What does a bed bug look like?

A macro Photo of a bed bug

Adult bedbugs are oval-shaped and about the size of an apple seed. They have six legs, antennae, and two eyes. Baby bedbugs (nymphs) are tiny and translucent when they first hatch.

After they eat, their skin turns bright red and then fades to brown over time. Bedbugs may live for several months without a blood meal.

What is the size of a bed bug?

Bed bugs range in size from ¼ to ½ inches long. This can vary depending on whether the bed bug has recently eaten or not. The essential thing to remember about them is that they are oval-shaped and reddish-brown.

Stages of a bedbug’s life

Bedbugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on human blood and are also called blood-suckers. They are often found in the mattress, bedding, and furniture.

Bedbugs go through four developmental stages: egg, nymph, adult, and reproductive. They typically live for four to six months but can live longer under certain conditions. Eggs are about 1/15 of an inch long, sticky, and beige in color.

Nymphs are tiny (1mm) and translucent until they feed. After their first blood meal, they turn red. Adult bedbugs are about 3/16 of an inch long and reddish-brown in color. Male bedbugs have shorter and thinner antennae than female bedbugs. Nymphs will molt five times before reaching maturity.

The life stages of a bedbug are interesting in the sense that adult bedbugs look different at different ages. Brown, red, and black colors signify that they have had a blood meal during their development phase. As they grow older, they will molt and change color again.

Can bed bugs fly?

Bed bugs do not have wings and cannot fly. However, they are very good at crawling and can travel a significant distance in order to find a new host.

Adult bed bugs are not able to fly because they do not have powerful hind legs. This means that bed bug traps can capture them as they try to escape.

How are they able to travel and spread around the world?

These bugs can travel quickly by hitchhiking on humans and their possessions. Bed bugs are ardent travelers and can be found in clothing, suitcases, or anywhere on the human body.

These organisms have recently made a significant comeback, which is why a lot of counties are currently witnessing a bed bug crisis.

9 tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs for sure

It is easily possible to mistake a bug for a bed bug. In fact, this is a very common mistake. However, an error like that could make a big issue when trying to exterminate the pest in your house. Thus here are 9 tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs for sure.

Bat Bugs

Bat bug is a type of bug that is closely related to bed bugs. They share many of the same features, such as their reddish-brown color and their preference for feeding on human blood.

However, bat bugs typically prefer places where bats are active, such as caves or tunnels. They are not typically found indoors but can be present in specific locations if they are brought in accidentally.


9 tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs for sure

Booklice are small, insect-like creatures that stand out from other bed bugs because of their appearance and habits.

They are mostly harmless but could cause problems for people with asthma if they combine with dead booklice to create an irritant.

Spider Beetles

Spider beetles are small, round, oval-shaped insects that resemble bed bugs. They range in size from 1 to 5mm and can be a variety of colors, including brown, black, and red.

They are often found in the same areas as bed bugs and can be mistaken for them. However, there are certain prominent differences between spider beetles and bed bugs that can help you determine which one you’re dealing with.

Spider Beetles have hairy bodies. They also have a head directly connected to their body, which is different from bed bugs with a separate head and thorax.

They further exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, and most have eight legs. Some species of spider beetles can fly as well (and they don’t bite).


garden grow tiny compared removal

Fleas are amongst the most common types of bugs found in beds. They are reddish-brown and possess long legs and round heads.

They feed on the blood of their hosts, which can include both animals and humans. Fleas can be difficult to detect and often go unnoticed until they have caused a large amount of damage.

Fleas can jump as well. They are often difficult to catch and can infest homes when a pet brings them in from outside. Fleas typically feed on the blood of animals but will also bite humans, and flea bites can be painful.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are a common household pest and can be mistaken for bed bugs. They are black and white with orange or red scales on their back.

They are around 2-3mm long, and adults can fly. They are attracted to light and often enter your house through open windows or doors.

If they get into your home, they might be attracted to your carpeting, where they can cause damage.

Cockroach Nymphs

Worm, Agricultural Field, Agriculture, Animal.

Cockroach nymphs are the immature form of cockroaches. They are typically white in color but can darken as they age. They are very small at first but will grow larger as they mature.

These pests are small and light brown when they are young. They get darker as they age and eventually become uniformly dark.

They can be mistaken for bed bugs when they are young, but their size is a good indicator that they are not bed bugs.


Ticks are small, parasitic arachnids that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans. A tick can be difficult to see as it is very small and tends to blend in with its surroundings. Ticks can carry a variety of diseases.

Some of the more prominent diseases are Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis.

It is essential to identify ticks in order to protect yourself from these diseases.

Swallow Bugs

Swallow bugs are a type of bug that is commonly mistaken for bed bugs. They are about the same size as bed bugs and can be difficult to differentiate.

These bugs are distinguished by their antennae and typically have a grayish-brown color rather than the reddish-brown of the common bed bug.

Swallow bugs breed through the summer and early fall when the birds depart. Their bites can cause reactions in human beings.

Head Lice

Head Louse InfestationHead lice at various stages of development from egg to imago ( adult ) on white background

Head lice are tiny, parasitic insects that live on the human head and feed on blood. They are often mistaken for bed bugs, but a few key differences are. First, they are much smaller- about the size of a sesame seed.

Second, they spread rapidly—if one is sighted, an infestation is likely present. Third, the adult louse has six legs while the bed bug has four.

Finally, female head lice can lay up to 8 eggs per day, while female bed bugs only lay 1-3 eggs per week.

Additional black bugs that look like bed bugs


Mites are small arthropods that are related to ticks. They are quite small and lack wings. While they may look like bed bugs, there are a few key differences. For one, dust mites are much smaller than bed bugs.

They also have seven legs instead of six, and their mouthparts are located on the front of their heads rather than the back.

Additionally, mites do not bite humans or animals in order to feed; instead, they suck the blood of plants or other invertebrates.

While mites are not generally harmful, their bites can look very similar to bed bug bites.

Bed bug bites will typically have a distinct linear or zig-zag shape, while mite bites vary in size and shape based on the type of mite that bit you.


Close up termites or white ant on damaged wood texture

They are one of the more unique indoor pests. Unlike most other indoor pests, they get their nutrients from cellulose, an organic fiber found in wood.

This means that they can cause significant damage to wooden furniture, mattresses, and structures. They are also difficult to detect and often go unnoticed until it is too late.

Termites are typically found in wooded areas, while bed bugs prefer to live in human dwellings. Bed bugs also tend to be smaller than termites.

If you’re not sure which type of insect you’re dealing with, it’s best to consult a professional.


Bed bugs and ticks can be difficult to identify, especially if you are experiencing ongoing symptoms.

It is essential to know the difference between bed bugs and other types of bugs and the identification and symptoms of each. This will help you get the right treatment and protect yourself from further infestation.

There are various ways to treat insects in your home- once you have identified the type. If you are unable to identify them, there is still a presence of danger, and professional assistance is recommended.

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.