Can You See Bed Bugs? Signs of Bed Bugs

Can you see bed bugs? Without meaning to state the obvious, bed bugs are, above everything else, insects. So it goes without saying that they are fairly visible. Well, not necessarily.

Summary: Most bed bugs resemble an apple seed in various aspects, from shape, size, and even color. 

This is why you shouldn’t experience any difficulties spotting these blood-sucking little monsters with your naked eye.—related Bed Bug Steamers

Can You See Bed Bugs? Signs of Bed Bugs

In terms of size, bed bugs grow to approximately 5 to 7 mm in length. That’s just about 3/16 to ¼ of an inch. However, as you probably already guessed, their size varies depending on their age. Check these bed bug pictures.

That’s a no-brainer, really. More interestingly, the shape of bedbugs significantly changes depending on how full they are. Early in the morning, when they are just fresh from their feeding frenzy, bed bugs assume a balloon-like body.

In such times, their body is ordinarily reddish-brown and relatively elongated. This contrasts with the long, oval shape and brown color of a bed bug that has not eaten for some time.

In addition to these basic features, it is also important to remember that all bed bugs possess the characteristics of true bugs.

These include the following;

  1. 3 pairs of legs.
  2. Cone-like eyes.
  3. A three-segmented beak.
  4. A golden appearance characterizes short hair.
  5. Part antennas.
  6. Non-flying wings.

However, chances are you will never get close enough to view these features up-close. For most people, a bed bug is meant to be squeezed as soon as it is spotted.

That notwithstanding, catching bed bugs is an art in its own right. This is because they are asleep during the day and active during the night.

And even during their active hours, bed bugs will not readily come out to feed. Instead, they will wait until the coast is clear. Due to their high sensitivity to movement, bedbugs will usually prefer a still host.

If you are lucky enough to get up in the middle of the night, you will be able to spot them easily. This is the time when their bodies are swollen, and can barely run or hide.

In rare cases, you may spot bed bugs during the day. This especially happens when they are starving and happen to have detected the presence of blood nearby.

But make no mistake, bed bugs that regularly feed at night will rarely come out during the day, except when they really have to.

How to Tell Bed Bugs from Other Bugs and Insects

Apart from the basic features discussed above, there are other ways to tell a bed bug from other insects. If you are lucky enough to come very close to them, you will never miss their signature scent that is usually described as dusty and sweet.

When looking at them from afar, bedbugs that have not eaten recently may often be confused for young cockroaches. However, that strong, musty smell will easily clear all doubts.

Another major distinguishing feature between bedbugs and other bugs is that they are relatively slow. And when exposed, they will often run towards dark areas to hide.

Related: Bed Bug Mattress Encasements

Can I See Nymphs Or Bedbug Eggs With My Naked Eye?

Unlike adult bed bugs, nymphs usually sport a translucent or white-yellowish color. Their size varies depending on their current stage in the life cycle. In the first stage, most bed bug nymphs are usually 1.5 mm in length.

They will then increase in length by 0.5 mm for each subsequent stage until they reach the fourth stage. At the fifth stage, bedbug nymphs measure up to 4.5 mm.

Bed bug eggs may be the most difficult to see with naked eyes. These eggs are normally pearl-white and have an oval shape with a length of about 1/16 inches. As they continue to grow, you will notice an eyespot emerging from their heads.

But perhaps your main concern is not whether you can spot bed bug eggs, but how to get rid of these eggs as soon as you have the slightest idea of their presence.

Remember that females will lay up to 250 eggs in the course of their lifetime, and once laid, eggs take just about a week to hatch. Now, if you do not take the right measures to control bedbugs, you could be looking at a colossal infestation.

Related: Bed Bug Trap

How Do I Know I Have Bedbugs In My House?

The following are some of the telltale signs that your house could be harboring bedbugs.

  1. Bed bug bites. They are usually multiple bites spread over your face or other areas of your skin that remain exposed while you are asleep. The bites could also come with some burning or itching sensations.
  2. Spots of dried blood on your mattress or pillow. These spots are normally dark-reddish-brown and are caused when you accidentally crash the bedbugs as you turn during sleep.
  3. You may also want to look for evidence of exo-skeleton. They are usually pale-brown in color.


The best way to deal with bed bugs (kill) is to ensure they do not get into your house in the first place. When they begin to breed, their number swells like a malignant tumor.

To make that happen, you need to invest in a powerful bed bug repellent. You may also consider getting a mattress cover that deters them from finding safe shelters within your mattress.

If living in a house with holes and crevices on the wall, be sure to have them sealed. Above all, check your luggage clearly to ensure you do not bring bedbugs to your house, especially when you are on a long vacation.

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