When you think of bed bugs, you probably think of small, reddish-brown bugs that feast on your blood at night. But what if we told you that other bugs could invade your bed? What are these bugs in your bed that are not bed bugs?
These eleven creatures commonly crawl around your bed, but they’re harmless! Keep reading to learn more about these common “bed bugs” and how to tell them apart from the real thing.
Some of them are also on our bed bug look-alikes list, although many look nothing like a typical bed bug (Cimex lectularius).
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. At zero cost to you, we will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. The pennies it earns will go into the K9’s treat fund.
Bugs In Bed That Are Not Bed Bugs and What to Do About Them
1. Dust Mites – Very Common Bugs in the Bed That Are Not Bed Bugs
Dust mites are microscopic bug-like creatures that are arthropods in the class Arachnida.
Most people are familiar with dust mites, even if they have never seen one. In addition, we find these tiny creatures in nearly every home. Furthermore, dust mites are a significant cause of allergies and asthma. They are small, averaging about 0.2 mm – 0.3 mm in length, and have eight legs, like spiders.
Furthermore, dust mites generally live in mattresses, pillows, blankets, and upholstered furniture. They feed on the flakes of skin that humans shed every day.
A typical adult dust mite can consume up to 20 flakes of skin per day! In particular, they don’t feed on fresh skin flakes but instead feed on old flakes of skin that are covered with fungi, molds, and yeasts.
Dust mites are not harmful to humans but can cause allergic reactions in some people. It’s always a good idea to use a dust mite zippered protector for your mattress AND box spring. In particular, I use the one linked above; I like it because it has a velcro enclosure on the zipper. Furthermore using this will allow you to minimize surfaces for dust mites to thrive.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites:
- Vacuum your bed and furniture frequently.
- Use dust mite 6-sided zipper encasements for your mattress and box spring.
- A steamer is also a good tool for solving dust mite issues. In particular I use the one linked above monthly to steam all my furniture and floors.
2. Booklice (psocids) – Another Common Bugs in the Bed That Are Not Bed Bugs
Booklice are small (1mm to 2mm) insects in the Arthropoda class. They are attracted to moisture, mildew, and starches like paper. You will find booklice on book bindings, where they feed on the glue, and anywhere in your home that is humid.
Reducing the moisture in your home is essential to get rid of booklice. You can do this by opening windows, using fans, and using a dehumidifier.
It is also essential to keep your home clean and free of clutter. Booklice thrive in cluttered environments because there are more places to hide. The reason why they are one of the common bugs in your bed that are not bed bugs is that your mattress may be up against a wall that has mildew.
If you find booklice in your home, start by taking steps to reduce the moisture. Then, focus on cleaning and decluttering your home to create a less inviting environment for booklice.
How to Get Rid of Booklice:
- Reduce moisture by using window exhaust fans and dehumidifiers.
- Find out if there are any leaks in your walls. Sometimes a tiny leak on your roof can cause water to build up in your walls.
- Reducing clutter can help minimize hiding spots.
3. Minute Brown Scavenger Beetle (Latridiidae)
These tiny insects are in the Arthropoda class. Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles, also fungus beetles, are prevalent bugs in NYC. However, they are one of the common bugs in bed that are not bed bugs because they are wandering around.
Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles can be a nuisance, but they pose no threat to humans or animals. Just like booklice, they are attracted to moisture, mold, and mildew. However, the majority of Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles are unable to fly.
Reducing moisture in your home is essential to avoid Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles. You can fix leaky pipes using a dehumidifier and ventilating damp areas.
If you have Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles in your home, don’t panic! They may indicate that you have a mold issue in your home.
Vacuuming is an effective way to remove Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles from your home. They are harmless and easy to get rid of. You can also use a dustpan and brush to sweep them up and dispose of them outside. It will benefit you to call a pest control professional if you have a severe infestation.
How to Get Rid of Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles:
- Check your walls for moisture.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity level.
- Check all pipes around the house to make sure there are no leaks.
4. Carpet Beetles (Dermestid Beetles)
The carpet beetles are an insect in the Arthropoda phylum. In particular carpet beetles go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The adults tend to live outdoors and feed on plant materials, but their larvae will munch through things in your home. Remember that carpet beetles and their larvae are attracted to animal dander, lint, carpets, and fabric.
In addition, the adult carpet beetles can fly, and they like to hide within cracks and crevices of furniture. More importantly, box springs are standard where we find carpet beetles and their many developmental stages.
Be aware that they are one of the common bugs in your bed that are not bed bugs. However, remember that they can cause severe skin reactions for those allergic to them.
Carpet beetles are difficult to get rid of because they keep coming back. The best way to obtain rid of carpet beetles is to vacuum regularly and reduce the amount of clutter in your home.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles:
- Vacuum your entire bedroom regularly.
- Use a steamer on your furniture and bed frame. A steamer kills off carpet beetle eggs, pupae, or larvae.
5. Carpet Beetle Larvae
While carpet beetles don’t bite humans, their larvae stage has hairs that can give people “bed bug-like” reactions. Carpet Beetle larvae are brownish and hairy and take about 66-80 days to develop.
These tiny hairs tend to fall off and get into your couch cushions and bed sheets, where they can cause a severe allergic reaction.
The good news is that carpet beetle larvae typically take about two months to develop into adult beetles. However, the bad news is that if you see a lot of larvae around your bed, you may have a carpet beetle infestation.
How to Eradicate Carpet Beetle Larvae:
- Do a deep crack and crevice vacuuming around your house.
- Use a steamer to kill off any eggs or larvae. Extreme heat or extreme cold are two methods for controlling a carpet beetle issue.
- Wash all your clothing in your closet once a week until the problem is solved.
- Use can also use a small portable heat chamber like the thermal strike. It is a great bed bug heater and works for moths, carpet beetles, lice, and many other pests.
6. Roaches (German, American, and Oriental)
Roaches are one of the more common bugs in the bed that are not bed bugs. More importantly, roaches are scavengers and will eat just about anything.
So if you are dealing with a roach infestation in your kitchen, there is a good chance you will see some in your bed. Find out the answer to “what do roaches eat?” here to help you get rid of them.
Furthermore, roaches typically come out at night, so if you see one in your bed, there are likely more roaches hiding in your bedroom during the day. If you have a roach problem, getting rid of them as soon as possible is essential, as they can carry awful diseases and contaminate food.
There are various ways to get rid of roaches, including traps, baits, and sprays. You can also contact a pest control company to help remove cockroaches in your home.
How to Get Rid of German Cockroaches:
- Do some deep cleaning in the kitchen. Roaches can live off of spills and grease splattered around the kitchen. Wipe down and sanitize all appliances too.
- Empty all cupboards and place all food items into airtight bins.
- Wipe down all shelves, cabinets, and drawers in the kitchen.
- Every night wipe out the sink so there are no droplets of water left behind.
- Pour a tiny bit of bleach down each drain.
- Use a garbage can with a lid.
- Use gel bait for roaches or call a licensed pest control professional.
- Do not eat in bed or your bedroom, especially if you find many cockroaches in your bed.
- Vacuum and mop your floors a few times per week.
7. Spider Beetles (Gibbium psylloides)
To note spider Beetles, even though they are red, don’t suck blood! More importantly spider beetles get their name from their characteristic long legs, which give them a spider-like appearance. They are pretty harmless and mainly feed on decaying organic matter.
Since they are scavengers of grains, wood, food products, and even rodent droppings, you may find one around your bed. Believe it or not, they are one of the more common bugs in your bed that are not bed bugs.
Although you will rarely find an infestation of them, instead, it will be just one or two wandering around. Since spider beetles are small and red, frequently, they send people into a panic because people mistake them for bed bugs. They are one of the everyday things that look bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Spider Beetles:
- Check your cereals, flours, and other grains for signs of a spider infestation.
- Clean your cupboards by sanitizing all shelves and placing all grains into airtight bins.
Fleas are tiny, wingless insects known for their ability to jump long distances. Remember that fleas are also known for transmitting diseases and infesting homes.
Typically fleas live on the animal, but their eggs, larvae, and pupae will be in your carpeting, upholstered furniture, and bedding. Furthermore, another way fleas can get into your home is by hitching a ride on wild animals, such as rodents, bunnies, or raccoons.
If you find fleas in your bed, you should immediately remove them. Fleas can reproduce quickly, so it is crucial to eliminate them before they have a chance to lay eggs.
You can remove fleas from your bed by vacuuming regularly and laundering all your bedding in hot water and a high-heat dryer. Furthermore, you may also need to treat your pet with a flea medication to prevent the fleas from returning.
How to Get Rid of Fleas:
- Use an over-the-counter flea killer; ask your veterinarian which one is best.
- Call a professional exterminator. (if you are entirely infested)
- Bathe your pet in flea shampoo.
- Vacuum your floors and furniture, then throw out the vacuum cleaner bag. (repeat the vacuuming every day until the fleas are gone)
- Wash all fabrics a few times per week. (even the pet beds)
9. Body Lice (Pediculus humanus humans)
Body lice are parasitic insects that need to live close to human skin. You may find body lice in your bed if you have an encounter with someone who has them.
Furthermore, body lice are contagious, and you can pick them up by having a close encounter with a person with body lice. These creatures live in your clothing and then travel onto your skin to feed.
After feeding, they retreat into a crease on your clothing. Since the parasites will also be living in your pajamas, you can find them in and around your bed if you have an infestation. These are important factors when trying to figure out if you have lice vs bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Body Lice:
- Clean your bed sheets regularly, and vacuum the mattress, headboard, and box spring.
- Wash all of your clothing in the hottest setting. (keep washing the clothes multiple times until all of the body lice are gone)
10. Flour Beetle (Tribolium Castaneum)
Flour beetles are attracted to moisture as well as grains, especially if there is also humidity. If your apartment or home is humid and you store grains, the flour beetles will flourish.
Even if you don’t live in a humid region, the larval phase of the flour beetle creates moisture within the food it’s eating, allowing it to grow.
Many of our clients find flour beetles in bedrooms. You may have moisture in one of the walls near your bed, which is why you see these flour beetles in your bed. The first thing to do is to use a dehumidifier and check all your stored grains.
How to Get Rid of Flour Beetles:
- Dehumidify is the first step in controlling flour beetle issues. Use a good dehumidifier like this one.
- Vacuum your entire house; make sure to use the crevice tool.
- Inspect your entire pantry for any signs of an infestation. Sealing all cereals, flours, and grains in airtight containers is probably a good idea.
To note ticks are part of the arachnid class, just like dust mites. As you may know, ticks are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of humans and other animals.
According to Medical News Today, A seed tick is a young tick that has just emerged from an egg. The stage in which the tick hatches from an egg and searches for its first blood meal is the larval stage.
One of our clients went to the east end of Long Island to the Hamptons; the area has a lot of ticks. When she and her dog returned to the city, she found tiny blackish bugs in her bed the following day.
Our client was relieved that the bugs in the bed were not bed bugs. While in a state of panic, she called us, and we arrived that same day for an inspection. The bugs turned out to be seed ticks that fell off her and the dog after they engorged themselves with blood.
How to Get Rid of Ticks:
- Put all of your clothing and bed sheets into a high heat dryer.
- Wash your dog bed as well.
- Physically inspect your entire body, check all crevices and pick off any attached ticks.
- Physically inspect your pet and pick off any ticks.
Final Thoughts for “11 Common Bugs in the Bed That Are Not Bed Bugs”
Although you may be relieved that the bugs in your bed are not bed bugs, it’s still important to take action against any infestation. Using one of the vacuum cleaners for bed bugs on our list can help get rid of all kinds of bedroom pests.
Ticks can be dangerous parasites that feed on the blood of humans and other animals, so it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible. Roaches are also an awful pest to find in your bed. So try to ID what kind of pest is in your bed, then take actionable steps to eliminate them.