If Not a Bed Bug, Then What?

A reader recently sent us a photograph and asked, “Can you identify this bug?” She found several of the creatures on top of her comforter. She explained that an exterminator came to her house but wasn’t able to identify them. However, he did rule out the possibility of them being bed bugs. Finally she noted that the photo is magnified and that in real life the specimen is about the size of a poppy seed.

We trust the exterminator, and agree that this isn’t a bed bug. For one, he is a professional and can probably identify bed bugs better than most. Also, bed bugs have more of a rusty brown color, unlike the dark brown/black color of this specimen. So, if this isn’t a bed bug, what could it be?


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Based on the photograph, we think this is probably some sort of beetle, but we aren’t entirely sure about the species. Since our reader found these specimens on her comforter (which we assume was on her bed) we think this might be a carpet beetle. There are three different species of carpet beetles: fur carpet beetles, varied carpet beetles, and leather carpet beetles. We think this might be a fur carpet beetle, since it is the only species of carpet beetle that bears any resemblance to the creature in the photo. Since carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae are common household pests, readers find these specimens on a regular basis. Getting rid of them will require having her bedding professionally cleaned to eliminate any larvae or eggs that she might not have noticed. We also recommend she clean the rest of her house to eliminate any other potential food sources for these larvae. This cleaning regime should include doing laundry, sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming.

To wrap up, one of our readers asked us to identify some bugs she found on her bed. We think the creatures could be carpet beetles, which require intense cleaning to get rid of. Fortunately, they are not considered to be harmful or dangerous towards humans.

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If Not a Bed Bug, Then What?
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If Not a Bed Bug, Then What?
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One of our readers asked us to identify some bugs she found on her bed. We think the creatures could be carpet beetles, which require intense cleaning to get rid of. Fortunately, they are not considered to be harmful or dangerous towards humans.
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Author: Worm Researcher Dori

1 thought on “If Not a Bed Bug, Then What?

  1. Yes, that does look like a carpet beetle. My dog dropped some food behind my bed that is pushed up against the wall with it sitting on the floor and when we moved the bed to rip out the carpet I found hundreds of carpet beetles, most were dead but some were still alive.

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