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The cost and difficulty associated with getting rid of bed bugs has made them notorious in the pest world. Some people assume that any unknown bug found in their bedroom must be a bed bug. Before stress and anxiety sets in, learn to accurately identify bed bugs and possible bed bug imposters.




Bed bugs are insects that feed on blood for their sustenance. Even as a bed bug exterminator, we still find that fact pretty morbid. often live on or around beds because they are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, which are both plentiful around sleeping humans. They tend to bite in clusters and often leave small, red swollen bumps with darker red centers. Here are a few of the distinguishing characteristics of bed bugs:

Bed bugs

  • Oval shaped body, typically 4-5 mm in length
  • Brownish-red
  • Colored hairs that give them a striped appearance
  • 6 legs, no wings
  • Mostly found in bedding, mattresses, or near bedroom furniture

Now that you can identify a bed bug, let’s look at some of the bugs that often get mistaken for bed bugs:

Spider Beetle

  • Globe shaped abdomen, 1-1.5 mm long
  • Brown, but may have cream colored hairs on their head and legs
  • Long legs with 2 body segments that make them resemble a spider
  • Found in pantries or other areas where they scavenge for food
  • Do not typically bite humans



spider beetle

By Gunther Tschuch (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Wood Ticks

  • Wide, oval body that is flat when empty and round when full of blood, 3.5-15 mm
  • Range of colors, but often brown with patterns on their backs
  • 2 body segments; 8 legs (part of the arachnid family)
  • Found in wooded locations on grass or brush
  • Do not jump or fly
  • Burrow into humans or pets to feed


wood tick


Carpet Beetle

  • Round shiny bodies, 5 mm long
  • Black or brown body with brown legs; different varieties can be a range of colors and can have gray or yellow markings and patterns
  • Have wings and fly
  • Mostly found outside in rodent or insect nests and indoors in attics and crawl spaces
  • Feed on animal products (hair, wool, etc) and dead insects
  • Do not bite humans, but can cause an allergic reaction leading to a rash or welt



If you think you may have bed bugs in your home or need help identifying a household pest, Six Brothers Pest Control is here to help. We want to relieve your worry and stress and get you back to enjoying your home and family. We serve all of the greater Kansas City area, including the cities of Lee’s Summit, Independence, and Overland Park. We are your local bed bug experts.

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