What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

The size of bed bugs can vary from 1 to 4-5 millimeters depending on the current stage in their lifecycle. At the beginning, they are light yellow which slowly turns into a darker brownish color. They are oval-shaped with a horizontally striped outer shell, a tiny head and even smaller antennae.

Their body is rather flat and their appearance makes them similar to an apple seed.

What do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?

Bed bugs lay down tiny white eggs that are easy to miss for the human eye. If the eggs have recently been laid down, they look rather transparent. If they are close to hatching, they look similar to a pearl. The size of bed bug eggs is only 1 millimeter.

beg bug eggs
those small, white things are bed bug eggs (source)

In a dark room, the chances of spotting bed bug eggs are incredibly low. They are similar to poppy seeds in both size and appearance. Strong lighting and a magnifying glass are recommended for finding these small white dots.

What do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

A bed bug nymph comes out of each egg that has a tan color and a body that is still translucent. They look like one of those medications that come in the form of shiny capsules, but are much smaller. They are approximately the size of a sesame seed.

In case they have recently fed on the blood of pets or humans, their appearance will change from translucent to bloody red. This also makes them more striking to the human eye.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like on a Mattress?

If there are bed bugs on a mattress, there are also physical signs that can help you verify it. Look for stains of rusty or red color on your bedding or mattress. These are caused by bed bugs inevitably being crushed while someone sleeps on the mattress.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like on a Mattress
bed bugs and eggs on a mattress

Additional signs include bed bug excrement, which appear in the form of dark dots on the bedding. These dots are rather small, which makes them hard to spot on darker colored sheets. Bed bug nymphs also shed their skin, making you able to find yellowish pieces that are about 1 millimeter of size.

Other than that, you can also spot bed bug adults, nymphs or even some eggshells that lay around after hatching.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like to the Human Eye?

Bed bugs can grow up to 5 millimeters in size. A bed bug in its nymph stage can be as small as 1 millimeter. Their color can vary depending on the current stage in their lifecycle. A bed bug nymph has a translucent yellowish or white color, while adults are rather brown.

These insects have small, flat bodies, six legs and no wings. Their appearance is similar to apple, sesame or poppy seeds to the human eye. It is hard to spot them, as they can blend into the background depending on the color of the bedding or furniture.

Bed bug nymphs are blood red in color after feeding on blood.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like on Skin?

Bed bugs are constantly on the lookout for blood and they prefer parts of the human skin that are most likely to be exposed during sleep. They are most likely to be noticed on the arms, hands, shoulders, neck and face. Bed bugs can be easily noticed on the skin thanks to the contrast, yet they can easily get away.

Their oval shape makes them similar to apple, sesame or poppy seeds and they are similar in size too. It is not rare for bed bugs to form a group, which makes people able to notice them easily. When bed bugs nymphs are red, it means that they have recently fed on blood.

It is generally easier to notice bed bugs that are well-fed.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like on Sheets?

This depends on the color of the sheets but in good contrast, bed bugs are big enough to be noticed by the human eye. Bed bug nymphs are the size of a sesame seed, while the size of an adult bug is similar to the size of an apple seed.

In addition to bed bugs, there can also be egg shells left over from hatching, bed bug excrement, stains of blood and pieces of their shed skin. These can all be discovered on sheets and they are all strong indicators that there might be bed bugs in your bed.

These insects also tend to form groups, which makes them even easier to notice.

What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

You can suspect that your bed is infected by bed bugs if you find some bites on your skin. Bed bugs prefer to bite parts of the skin that are exposed during sleep. Parts that are commonly exposed include the neck, arms, hands, lower legs, shoulders and face.

Once bed bugs start biting, they are likely going to bite the same area of the skin multiple times. This is why it is common to find a few bed bug bites grouped together on the arms, legs or neck. These bites usually appear as red, inflamed, sometimes even blistered spots on the skin.

They are often itchy and it can take a couple of days before one realizes that they are there. The size and coloration of bed bug bites and people’s reaction to them can vary from person to person.

What do Bed Bug Droppings Look Like?

Bed bug droppings or excrement appear on sheets like small black dots. As the blood gets digested in the organism of these insects, they produce half-solid feces that sticks to the furniture. Bed bugs prefer secluded spots for excretion, such as the seams of a mattress where they feel like they are hidden.

When fecal spots dry out, they can still smear as you try to clean them up from your bedding. Since these black dots stay there until you discover the area, they make it harder to find out whether there is a previous bed bug infestation or a recent one in question.

Featured image via Flickr

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