Bed Bugs Vs Carpet Beetles – What to Know…

At Local Group we specialize in all things pest, as such one of our biggest requests is to get rid of the dreaded bed bugs that occasionally make it into homes around BC. We have specialized in this field from day one and continue to get rid of bed bugs to this day, BUT one of the biggest pests that are commonly mistaken for bed bugs are ones which a lot of people do not know about, they are called Carpet beetles.

So what are carpet beetles and where do I look for them?

Carpet beetles are found as the name says in carpets, but carpets aren’t always needed to find these beetles, they also love the dusty areas under your beds and love the dark dusty areas behind those chest of drawers you keep saying you must pull out and clean and just about any area with dust, lint, fabric etc…

If you are getting bites a lot of the time it might just be these guys wiggling around doing their thing. The biggest misconception is that they are biting you, nope the larvae have little hairs all over their backs that can irritate the skin leaving most people with what looks like a bite. Most of the time people will notice a trail of bites the next morning and think… We have Bed bugs!!

These pests don’t bite and don’t want anything to do with you, a lot of the time we will find them on mattresses, box springs, the dusty rails on your bed frame etc, basically the same areas bed bugs like but without the actual vampire frenzy.

How do i tell the difference between them

If you’re reading this and think you might have bed bugs you probably know what a bed bug looks like at this stage, bed bugs have a brownish reddish color and look like an apple seed. They range in size depending on what cycle they are on. You will find them close to the areas you like to relax the most e.g sofas, beds etc and they will either be in one of those areas or be very close e.g baseboards. Bed bugs are lazy so they will stick close to their food (YOU) and are most active at night.
Carpet beetles are completely different, the adults are small and round in shape and can be a tan color with black stripes (see pictures) or black, they have wings and enter through gaps and cracks, open windows, open doors etc. The Larvae are more like a mini round hairy maggot with different color (tan/black/white) ridges on them. These are the ones you want to try and get rid of!

How to get rid of Carpet beetles?

Our first suggestion for getting rid of carpet beetles is to set yourself up for a marathon cleaning weekend, lots of vacuuming and if you have access to a steam cleaner even better. Steam/Vacuum around your baseboards, under beds, under sofas, behind things that don’t get moved for years etc. If you have tried this and it’s still not going away call our lovely staff and we will have a trained technician sent out to help you.

What do I look for if it’s Bed Bugs?

As mentioned above, bed bugs like to stick close to the host, so our first suggestion is to look at the bed. Look around, folds in fabric, holes in wood, gaps and cracks etc, these are the areas bed bugs like to stay when waiting for their next feed and reproducing. You are looking for 4 things 1. A live Bed bug , 2. A dead Bed bug, 3. Black/browney colored spots (we call “fecal matter” which is just your blood pooped out the other end-I know…gross, 4. White little specs (these are eggs, most untrained people won’t find these, you will most likely find 1,2,3 first).

What do I do if it is Bed Bugs?

If you have looked around and found that the bites are from Bed bugs, call our friendly office staff right away and book in for a Bed Bug treatment. Our technicians are specially trained in the removal of bed bugs, so no activity level is too big or too small. Even just 1 Bed bug can mean many more so please don’t wait for the issue to just magically go away, it doesn’t, the longer these bugs are left the harder and more expensive it is to get rid of them. It’s also helpful to take a picture of the bug in the location that you found it in before squishing it.

So look for bed bugs first, if you can’t find these guys or any fecal matter evidence, start looking for carpet beetle larvae or their exoskeletons. (See below for what you’re looking for)

Adult Bedbug

Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetle Larvae Exoskeletons