What Are These Tiny Bugs in My Bed?

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2022
bugs in bedding
Bedbugs are the most common insects infesting beds. Besides these bugs, here are 12 other insects commonly found in beds.

Only a few things are worse than finding insects in your bed that challenge your sleep and make you wake up with itchy rashes. Various insects can infest your bed, the most common being bedbugs (Cimex lectularius), which are tiny, wingless insects that have been a problem the world over for several centuries.

  • Bedbugs consume the blood of humans and animals (including poultry and other birds) to survive.
  • They tend to infest the mattress, bed frames, box springs, back of wallpapers, and upholstery, and may even travel as hitchhikers by clinging onto clothes, luggage, and linen.
  • Bedbugs can be seen at various places, such as night shelters, hotels, schools, offices, public transportation, and homes.

Although bedbugs are generally the culprits, you may find other insects infesting your bed.

12 other insects often found in beds

  1. Bat bugs
  2. Spider beetles
  3. Booklice
  4. Dust mites
  5. Fleas
  6. Carpet beetles
  7. Ticks
  8. Cockroach nymphs
  9. Swallow bugs
  10. Termites
  11. Lice
  12. Ants

Although bedbugs can be differentiated from these insects, you may require help from a pest control expert if you are not sure what insects are in your bed.

What are the signs of bedbugs infestation?

Bedbug infestation may be identified by spotting adult bugs on the bed particularly in the folds on sheets and mattresses. They appear oval and grow up to a length of 3/16th of an inch.

  • Bedbugs possess two tiny antennae and six legs.
  • They appear flat and brown before feeding and swollen, longer, and red after a blood meal.
  • The younger ones of bedbugs (called nymphs) are too tiny and thus often overlooked.

You may identify bedbug infestations by the presence of their molt skin (exoskeleton), empty eggshells, and tiny eggs or bloodstains on sheets and mattresses. The brownish blood stains result from their fecal matter that contains blood. A bedbug-infested area often has a musty odor.

Bedbugs often go unnoticed because their bites are painless. It may be difficult to distinguish their bites from those of other insects, such as mosquitoes.

  • The bites appear red with a darker center and are often arranged in clusters or lines. 
  • The bites may be seen on the face, neck, arms, hands, or other body parts.
  • The bites may take as long as two weeks to appear in some people.

Although bedbug bites are often harmless, they cause excessive itching. Some people may develop hives or other allergic reactions to the bug’s saliva.

How to get rid of bedbugs

Identifying bedbug infestations early helps get rid of them before they spread or get more difficult to control. You may need help from a local pest control agency to confirm the infestation and help effectively and safely eliminate the insects.

To get rid of bedbugs you need to do the following:

  • Limit the spread of bedbugs
    • Remove the infested items, place them in a sealed plastic bag, and treat them for bedbug infestation.
    • Items, such as electronics, which cannot be treated, may be left in a sealed bag for a year to ensure that no bedbugs are left alive.
    • After vacuum cleaning, empty the trash in a sealed bag and throw it in an outdoor trash container.
    • Discard the items that cannot be safely eliminated from bedbugs in a way that no one can use them. You may spray paint a warning sign on such items (such as furniture) indicating that they have been infested with bedbugs.
  • Safely kill the bedbugs
    • Heat treatment: Use a clothes dryer on high heat or a heat chamber to kill the bugs.
    • Cold treatment: Place the sealed infested items in the freezer set to 0 F for 3-4 days.
    • Steam cleaners: Use steam (with a diffuser to prevent scattering of bedbugs) to eliminate bedbugs from items, such as bedsheets, mattresses, pillow covers, and curtains.
    • Washing: The affected linen and clothing may be washed in hot water (at 140 F) or tumble-dried on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes.
    • Regular vacuuming: Regularly clean and vacuum the spaces to prevent bedbug infestations.
    • Declutter: Bedbugs often inhabit cluttered areas, thus avoid cluttering your spaces.
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered chemicals: They help safely eliminate bedbugs when used according to package instructions. These chemicals include pyrethrins, pyrethroids, and chlorfenapyr.


Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Bed Bugs FAQs." <https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/faqs.html>.

US Environmental Protection Agency. "Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control." <https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control>.