Pictures of What Bed Bugs Look Like

See pictures of bed bugs and learn to identify what bed bugs and their bites look like to protect yourself against these nasty, bloodsucking pests.

Cimex lectularius, commonly known as bed bugs, are seed-size, wingless insects that infests beds and feeds on human blood.

Pic of A Bed Bug

Because of their size and their natural survival instinct to hide in ingenious places, bed bugs are usually hard to spot. In often cases, victims may not realize that there is a problem until bite marks start to show up on their skin.

Generally, adult bed bugs are tiny (about the size of an apple seed or 1/4 inch long) with flat rusty-brown-colored oval shaped bodies. However, after they feed on blood of hapless sleepers, their bodies can swell to a deeper red brown and up to 3/8 inch long.

The younger bugs, or 'nymphs' are smaller and are a whitish color, or sometimes a golden color. Until they are fed, after which, like the adult bugs, they turn a reddish color. While newly hatched nymphs can be seen with the human naked eye however, with their tiny size and white colored body, it makes them very hard to spot on the mattress.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed Bug Nymph Feeding

Photo of Bed Bug Nymph Feeding On Skin

Pictures of the bed bug nymph becomes engorged with blood during feeding

Size of Bed Bug On A Hand

Actual size of a bed bug on a human hand

Bed Bug and Eggs

Size comparison of a bed bug with rice grains and two small eggs next to it

Image of a Bed Bug

An image of an adult bed bug

Size Comparison of A Fed Bed Bug

What a fed bed bug looks like

Picture of A Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed Bug Life Cycle

The bed bug life cycle is relatively short; they can live anywhere from ten months to a year, but in that short time, they will see three generations come to life and feed on the hapless humans.

Female bed bugs lay anywhere from three to twelve eggs at a time and a single female bed bug can produce from 300 up to 500 eggs in their lifetime! Female bed bugs typically deposit their eggs in clusters of up to fifty and these can be found in cracks or crevices in the home. The eggs are about a millimeter in length and are a whitish color. The eggs will then hatch in less than twelve days.

The bugs go through five nymphal stages before reaching maturity. During each of these stages, the bed bugs molt. This maturation cycle takes about 48 days. During these stages they grow from just over one millimeter in length, to just over five millimeters in length, or about a quarter of an inch.

What Do Bed Bug Nymph and Their Eggs Look Like

A cluster of bed bug eggs with nymphs

During this molting process, you may see signs of the bed bugs, because as nymphs molt, they leave behind the skins they have shed. These skins accumulate as the bug population rises. Bed bug excrement is another sign that you will see, as it appears as dark spots on the sheets. Crushed bed bugs will leave blood stains on bed sheets.

Bed Bugs, Nymphs and Eggs

Bed bugs and eggs among molted skins

Bed bugs do have a short life cycle, but they can and will do a lot of damage during these months, in terms of reproducing and feeding on their victims. Waking up to a cluster of bite marks can be a serious sign of bed bugs in your house, apartment or hotel room.

Pictures of Bed Bug Bites And What Do They Look Like

Photo of Arm Bitten By Bed Bugs

Above: Bed bug bites on the arms

Top right: Bed bug rashes on the arm of a woman

Bottom right: Multiple bite marks on a woman's leg

Development of Bed Bug Rashes

Multiple Bed Bug Bites On Leg

Bed bug bites are not dangerous nor do they transmit disease however the bites can leave red, irritating welts around the body large that may cause some people to itch intensely or develop an allergic reaction such as rashes. Psychologically, it may affect one with an inability to sleep.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) points out that an infestation is not a sign of unclean or unsanitary conditions. Bed bugs do not discriminate against the rich or poor nor are they attracted to dirt or filth and have been found in world class hotels, luxury condos and budget properties alike.

If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your home, try looking for the tiny white or brown-colored bugs in the seams of mattresses. Or check for tiny bloodstains or insect waste on the sheets. Bed bugs can be found most often in the seams, folds, edges and labels of mattresses, and tend to be found around beds or couches but there are also cases where they have been found in the cracks and crevices of walls, furniture and floors.

Read More: How To Check For Bed Bugs At Home And In Hotel Rooms

Bed Bugs Discovered Along Seams of Mattress

Magnified Images of Bed Bugs Under The Mattress

Pictures of bed bugs hiding in the seams of the mattress

Signs of Bed Bugs
Image credit: cuttlefish

Bed bug eggs, dried blood stains and waste found on the mattress

While bed bugs are tiny, it does not take an expert to find the bugs by looking at the above bed bugs pictures. However, these critters can be notoriously hard to get rid of since they can survive for more than a year without food until a new host comes along.

To prevent against an infestation, entomologists and pest control experts recommend using an Integrated Pest Management approach which includes clearing of clutter, vacuuming regularly, employing extreme heat on temperature-sensitive bed bugs and the use of pesticides. Heat treatment can include methods such as putting bedding or clothes into a dryer (minimum 120°F) for 20 minutes or using a steam cleaner to heat treat the mattress or upholster furniture.

To protect oneself against bites while sleeping, use a bed bug proof mattress encasement designed to contain and kill bed bugs. For the encasement to be effective, keep it on for at least a year to prevent bed bugs from going in or out of the mattress. Those adult bugs, nymphs and eggs that are trapped will eventually died.

You May Also Be Interested In:

Bed Bugs Bite Pictures -- See more photos of how bed bugs bite look like on other victims.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs -- A look at how do you get bed bugs and how they are spread.

Bed Bugs Extermination -- How to select a good pest management company for bed bug control.

 

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