The little black and white striped bed bugs you see in some areas of your house may not be the menace you’re thinking of. However, they can cause a lot of inconvenience to your sleep. These supposed bed bugs are tiny, fuzzy creatures belonging to the Coleoptera order.
To know more about these super tiny pests, let’s see how they can affect your surroundings and are they different from other pests.
What Are Black & White Striped Bed Bugs?
A black and white striped bug is known as the carpet beetle (or larder beetle), a small, oblong-shaped creature with white stripes on its wings. The adult carpet beetles are about 1/2 to 3/16 inches long. You can usually find this bug on the mattress and behind the headboard.
Although this bug may look menacing, it does not necessarily mean that it poses a threat. These carpet beetles are not harmful to humans but can be considered pests in the garden or home.
Are They Different From Bed Bugs?
Carpet beetles and bed bugs look similar. The former is oval in shape with white patches on its back, while the latter is fuzzy and looks like a caterpillar. But, the larvae of carpet beetles and bed bugs are different.
Besides, carpet beetles bite only when it’s crawling on you, while the bed bugs feed on the blood of their host.
Both are known to be fast breeders and are usually hidden. While these pests can cause significant damage to your home, they do not usually transmit diseases.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also states that these pests are not linked to the spread of any infections.
Are Black & White Striped Bugs Dangerous?
These tiny bugs are not really dangerous to humans. However, carpet beetles  can leave small red bumps on your skin that are similar to bug bites caused by an allergic reaction.
The red bumps appear when your skin comes in contact with the beetles’ hairs or bristles, which causes itchiness. So, we can say that carpet beetles are not dangerous, but they can leave you feeling bothered and itchy. Also, they might leave a blood stain on your belongings.
Where Can You Find It?
You may notice these bugs in your bedroom, on the floor (particularly on carpets), or anywhere around your house, where they can freely hide and feed.
Also, you may want to inspect your mattresses, box springs, and walls (with cracks), which can be a common ground for these tiny creatures.
Can anything be mistaken for bed bugs?
You can mistakenly think that any tiny bugs in your home are bed bugs. But, though they look almost similar, they differ from one another. Carpet beetles and bed bugs look the same from afar, but carpet beetles are reddish-brown in color while bed bugs are whitish.
What do the carpet beetles eat?
Carpet beetles eat a wide variety of plant and animal-based products, including fur, wool, and pollen.
Depending on their lifecycle, these beetles can live outside in the wild. Once they reach adulthood, they will feed on nectar and pollen. If they’re in your home, they’ll use similar resources available to them.
Now you know that those tiny black and white striped bed bugs in your house are called carpet beetles, you can easily differentiate them from other bugs. Though these small creatures pose no major threat to your health, you need to be aware of the allergic reaction they might cause you.
So, make sure to regularly clean your house and call an exterminator if there’s a confirmed infestation within your home.
Alene Schill is a property manager from Columbus, Ohio, who has dealt with numerous pest control agencies. She helps families find the perfect homes and knows very well that bed bugs are an ultimate deal-breaker. She enjoys cycling around Scioto Mile during her spare time.