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A concerned home owner called us yesterday, concerned that but unsure that he has bed bugs. We asked him to email us a photo of the insects.
Are These Insects Bed Bugs or Not? No, they aren’t bed bugs. The first sign is that bed bugs are never black no matter where in the lifecycle they are.
Our entomologists immediately confirmed that these are not bed bugs, and that the insects appear to be dermestid beetle larvae. Dermestidae are commonly called skin beetles, larder beetles, hide or leather beetles, carpet beetles, and khapra beetles. The person was very relieved that he only had carpet beetles.
The first telltale sign that they aren’t bed bugs is that the insects are black. Bed bugs are never black during any stage of their lifecycle. They are translucent when they first hatch, and grow from a white or yellow color as nymphs, to orange shades, and eventually to a reddish-brown color as adults.
Thanks for a good question! Please call or write Bell Environmental if you need an insect identified- we’re happy to help! As a useful tool, below is an illustration of the Bed Bug Lifecycle.
For more information on bed bugs that you can print and stick in your pocket, please visit our corporate website to download our one page factsheet on bed bugs including photographs.