If you’ve captured a bug, and you want to find out what it is, then you’ll need to rule out look-alikes. Short of calling an entomologist, make sure to rule out the most common identification mistakes before you call pest removers in a panic.
Chiggers are often mistaken for bed bugs, because of their similar shape. However, chiggers are much smaller than bed bugs, and it’s difficult to see their shape without a microscope. Don’t let the images online fool you -- if you see a bed bug, you should be able to clearly see its legs and body.
Adolescent cockroaches can also sometimes fool a worried homeowner or moviegoer. However, cockroaches are much more cylindrical than bed bugs, so if you find a cockroach nymph, but have no bites, you can stop panicking for now -- although you will need to remove the cockroaches.Bat bugs are by far the most like bed bugs -- in fact, they’re so similar, you’d need an entomologist and a microscope to tell them apart. Generally, bat bugs only attack bats. But if bats were in your home and then left or were removed, you may start receiving bites from bat bugs, too.
Before you start tackling your pest problem on your own, make sure to double check with a professional. Heat treatment is best for bed bugs -- so if you do have an infestation, you’ll want to go in with all the facts!