Take, for instance, the resurgence of bed bugs. We know these little parasites have been making a comeback, and they can be so devastating (and annoying), that we might tend to see signs of the insect when it’s actually something else. One such possibility is the carpet beetle, a common insect that is sometimes misidentified as a bed bug. Today, we’ll explain why this confusion occurs and how you can tell the difference between these two bugs.
Bed bug detection NYC: the genealogy and appearance of a carpet bug
One big difference between bed bugs and carpet bugs is the fact surrounding their genealogy, in a sense. While it is true that both are insects, only bed bugs are true bugs. Carpet bugs are actually beetles. Beetles, as you’re probably aware, have very distinct features. While bedbugs are reddish brown and flat, carpet bugs tend to be either black in color or feature a mix of yellowish brown, black, and white. Although both are small in appearance and each are often found on furniture, comparing their pictures online should quickly tell you which insect you’re dealing with.
Bed bug detection NYC: the lifecycle of a carpet bug
The lifecycle that each insect goes through may be an indication as to which pest you’re dealing with. Bed bugs go through a lifecycle that begins with an egg and goes from nymph, then through several stages stages, until it reaches adulthood. Each of these stages, starting as a nymph, look nearly identical to each other. Only their size changes. Carpet beetles are different. When they hatch from their eggs, these insects look like small hairy worms. Much different from bed bugs.
Bed bug detection NYC: waking up with bed spots
As anyone who has experienced a bed bug infestation can attest, bed bugs love to bite. In order to move from one lifecycle to the next, bed bugs must feed on a host, and that host is you. When they feed, people will find red, itchy spots on their body. Not only is this creepy, it’s also rather uncomfortable. Carpet beetles don’t bite, so under normal circumstances, red spots wouldn’t indicate that you have a problem with them in particular. However, if you suffer from allergies, this might not be true. Although carpet bugs do not bite and only eat natural fibers, there have been cases where allergy sufferers have experienced red spots due of their presence. This is because the carpet bug larvae have hairs that can act as an allergen.
Photo Credit: user:AngMoKio via Wikimedia