Bed Bug vs. Carpet Beetles: Similarities and Differences

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Do you have a small bug-like creature crawling all over your house? Invading your space and just growing in numbers, creating havoc?

If yes you probably want to know what it is and how to get rid of them. This article is going to help you with that.

Carpet beetles and Bed bugs are the most common bugs that infest home. They cause a lot of damage and are difficult to get rid of. Both of them are very different insects which attack very different places in your home. It is important to distinguish between them, so you know what to do and how to prevent it in the future.

This article is going to tell you how to differentiate between carpet beetles and bed bugs and layout all the comparison and differences between them which will help you identify the bug you have invading your house once and for all. 

Carpet Beetle vs. Bed Bugs:

Carpet beetles and bed bugs are quite distinct insects. Even though they both rely on humans for their survival, carpet beetle and bed bugs differ in quite a lot of ways.

The most significant difference between the two is their diets. Carpet beetles feed on natural fibres like wool, feather, leather, silk et. Bed bugs, on the other hand, feed on human and animal blood.

Because of the difference in diets, Carpet beetles usually live in spaces are covered in carpets and rugs while bed bugs can mostly be found in mattresses and blankets. Carpet beetles also can fly while bed bugs don’t.

Carpet beetles are harmless to humans while bed bugs bite which can cause rashes, itching and other symptoms.

It’s the larvae of carpet beetles that cause damage to human property, while the adults-only eat pollen and are no bother to humans. Bed bugs as larvae start feeding on humans for their sustenance. 

Difference between Carpet Beetles and Bed Bugs

The appearance of Carpet Beetles and Bed Bugs

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like

Carpet beetles are small and oval-shaped. They are only 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch or 5-20 mm in length. They can have three different colors- black, brown or yellow, often with mottled patterns of white, brown, and orange. They are covered with rough hairs on their back and have an outer surface covered with chitin. Adult carpet beetle can also fly.

The larvae of carpet bugs are tan to brownish. They are very slow-moving and densely covered with hairs or bristles. As they develop, they leave their skin behind. As they graze along the surface of susceptible materials, they often leave threadbare spots and irregular holes. 

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bedbugs have small, flat, oval-shaped, wingless bodies. Adults are brown, which reddens after feeding. Full-grown bed bugs are slow in movement and are about 4-5mm in length, which means they are easily visible to the naked eye.

Newly hatched nymphs are approximately the size of the head of a pin and are white or tan until they feed. They often are described as being about the size and shape of an apple seed.

What Do They Eat?

What Do Carpet Beetles Eat

Carpet beetles don’t feed on human or animal blood. As the name suggests, they feed on mainly wool, fur, felt, silk, feathers, skins, and leathers. This too is only done by the larvae. Adult carpet beetle feeds on pollen. These materials contain keratin, a fibrous animal protein which the larvae can digest. Cotton and synthetic fabrics such as polyester and rayon are rarely attacked unless blended with wool or heaving soiled with food stains, or body oils. Infestations of carpet beetles can develop undetected, causing harm to vulnerable items.

What Do Bed Bugs Eat?

Bed bugs feed solely on the blood of animals. While they prefer feeding on humans, they will also bite other warm-blooded animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and rodents.

Bites of Carpet Beetles and Bed Bugs

Bites of Carpet Beetles

Carpet bugs don’t bite people or animals. This is because they don’t feed on blood. However, they do carry the risk of spreading diseases to people. If they come in contact with food, they can infect the food with bacteria. That bacteria can cause several diseases and infections in the human body.

Bites of Bed Bugs

Bedbug bites are usually painless, oftentimes not even noticed. The most common symptoms include redness, swelling, and itching. However, sometimes it can cause skin rashes and allergic symptoms. It may lead to skin changes ranging from invisible to a small area of redness to prominent blisters. Such symptoms may take between minutes to days to appear. Fortunately, bedbugs don’t transfer any infectious diseases to humans so even if you think you have a bed bug bite, it’s not a reason to worry.

Life Span

Life Span of Carpet Beetles

The larvae of carpet beetles’ changes into an adult in a period of nine months to two years. The adult beetle doesn’t last for more than a few weeks.

Life Span of Bed Bugs

The life span of a bed bug most commonly ranges from four to six months. However, some bed bugs may live up to a year under cool conditions and with no food.

FAQ about Bed Bugs and Carpet Beetles

bed bugs vs carpet beetles

What is the difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs?

The major difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs is that the bedbugs feed on human and animal blood, while the carpet beetles feed on house items made of wool, leather, fur, felt, etc.

What is the difference between bed bug larvae and carpet beetle larvae?

Bed bug larvae look almost like the adult. The only difference is the color. Larvae are tan or white while adults are brown. The larvae, like adults, feed on human and animal blood.

Carpet beetle larvae are tan to brownish. They are very slow-moving and densely covered with hairs or bristles. They feed on natural fibers, seriously damaging them in the process, while the adults feed on pollen.

How carpet beetle bites are different from bed bug bites?

Carpet beetles don’t bite humans at all, as they don’t feed on blood. They, however, can spread diseases.

Are carpet beetles easier to get rid of than bed bugs?

get rid of carpet beetles and bed bugs

The process of getting rid of carpet beetles and bed bus is more or less the same. For both, you need to thoroughly vacuum the common places they infest like bed, carpets, pillows and any other linen. Cleaning the floor is also important as often you can find larvae in bedroom corners. Thoroughly wash all the linens and clothes that you can. Spray a solution of boric acid over the rest as it’s a natural insecticide.

Can carpet beetles and bed bugs live together?

Usually, their place of residence is different. Bed bugs are usually found in bed, mattresses, blankets, and pillows, where human presence is more especially during the night. Carpet bugs live in any place where natural fibers are present like carpets, sofas, closets, etc. 

Final Words

Carpet beetles and bed bugs are pests no one wants at their home. They invade your bed, your sofas, your carpets, your clothes. They can make you feel unsafe in your own house.

It’s important to get rid of them before they damage your things or cause serious harm to your health. It is recommended to get professional help as soon as you spot even one bug in your home. Don’t wait for them to multiply and cause even more harm to you and your house.

The first step to getting rid of them is being able to identify them. We hope this article helped you do that. Now you can identify what it is that is infesting your home and take the right step forward to having a clean and hygienic living environment.

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