Other Pest's Bites Mistaken for Bed Bugs

Head, body, and pubic lice::

The most common symptom of head lice is itching of the scalp due to sensitization to allergens in lice saliva. Often there are no symptoms. Occasionally, scratching leads to chafing and secondary bacterial infection requiring treatment with an antibiotic.


Ticks feed painlessly by attaching themselves to the skin with their piercing mouthparts. They can attach anywhere on the body, but are commonly found in the hairline, ears, waistline, armpit and groin. Unlike bed bugs, most ticks must stay attached to their host for several days. Ticks are also bugs that looks like bed bugs.


Unlike bed bugs, fleas jump rather than crawl in the environment. Fleas prefer to bite animals, but will feed on people when their normal host is not readily available. They usually bite exposed skin, especially around the ankles, and bites can appear in clusters or lines of two. Flea bites typically appear as red spots or raised, itchy lesions and may be confused with bed bug bites.


The human scabies mite can cause irritation via feeding and burrowing into the skin. Typically, the organisms are found in skin folds and any associated skin damage is typically distinct from the pinprick lesions associated with bed bug bites. Other mites, such as species normally found on bird or rodent hosts, can bite humans if their primary host vacates the nest. These organisms will bite day or night and their bites can be felt, in contrast to most bed bugs. Rodent or bird nests in or on a human dwelling are usually the source of these infestations.


Spiders rarely bite people unless they are disturbed in their environment or while moving through the environment. Many bites occur when people are reaching for items in closets, basements, or other places where items are stored; or when sleeping people roll onto spiders by accident.

Carpet Beetle Larvae:

While the carpet beetle larvae doesn’t actually bite humans, their hair and tufts can cause allergic reactions to human skin. This reaction causes an intense itching or rash which can feel and look like bite marks.



Psocids are tiny pests that are nicknamed barklice or booklice because of their habitats. They feed on mold and fungi. Psocids are frequently mistaken for bed bugs by their appearance.

Carpet Beetle Larvae:

Springtails are small, 0.04 to 0.2 inch long, wingless insects. These insects are also found around moisture.

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