How Big are Bed Bugs? At 5 Life Stages

How big are bed bugs? Bed bug bites are painful and cause excessive irritating but most of us don’t know the bug’s appearance, shape, size and color.How Big are Bed Bugs

So, how big the bugs are; In summary, adult bed bugs (last in life cycle) measure ¼ inch in length – roughly size of an apple seed in length – and thus can be seen with a naked eye with no magnification. Also, bed bugs are oval-shaped (but long and flat) plus they’re brown in color.

But bed bugs are cryptic and nocturnal – they’ll highly avoid detection. They may quickly reproduce (including nymph adult, and eggs) and spread all over the house. 

How Big are Bed Bugs? 7 Unique Features

The bugs will bite pets and humans when they’re resting or asleep – which implies that they’ll be difficult to notice – but what causes bed bugs

1. Bed Bug Identification

As noted above, bed bugs are reddish-brown, oval-shaped insects (with thorax and abdomen) that have a antennae and six legs. But bed bugs can’t jump and they have no wings

Despite having a lat body, bed bugs will become rounded and long when they take a blood meal – they’ll be blood-engorged and thus may be mistaken for stink bugs.

2. How Big are Bed Bug Nymphs? 

Bed bug nymphs measure about 2.5 mm (0.09 in) while mature bed bugs measure 4.5 mm (0.18 in) – their length is about that of an apple seed. But nymphs measure about 1 mm (length of poppy seeds).

In loose terms, nymph will be translucent in color and measure like a pinhead. But nymph will change color after the suck blood from pets or humans. The Nymphs will molt within 6 weeks to become adult bed bugs. 

3. Signs of Bed Bug Infestation

So, what do bed bugs look like to the human eye? Well, you can see bed bugs with a human eye but their bite marks are even more prevalent. 

On the human skin, bed bug bites are itchy and sore but you must consult a medical practitioner for analysis and further treatment if confirmed. 

Therefore, examine these bed bug pictures and it’ll help you determine if you have bed bug infestation in your house or home – know how big the bugs can get.

As noted earlier, the baby bed bugs are dark-brown colored but their color will change as they suck blood and grow through the life cycles. 

Therefore, to control these bugs, wash and dry your mattress, bed covers, pillow cases, duvet covers, and other similar bedding. 

Can You See Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are visible to the naked human eye – but most humans prefer not to come across these bugs. The adults will measure about the size of a thumbtack’s head. 

But the bed bug’s actual size may vary with different conditions. For example, considering their life cycle baby bed bugs are tiny and grows in size as they nymph stages develop. 

Despite that you can see bed bugs with naked eyes, it would be impossible to see the bugs without using a microscope or some form of magnifying glass. 

Definitely, you may mistake it for other insects such as swallow bugs, bat bugs or also confuse bed bugs for mites. Therefore, its not recommended to use DIY bed bug control.

What’re the signs of bed bug infestation. Well, its possible to mistake bed bugs with other similar bugs and thus here are the signs to check: 

  1. Blood-stained pajamas and sheets
  2. Bites and irritating welts that are in rows or zigzag patterns or in clusters
  3. Bed bug shells, exoskeletons, or skins 
  4. Bed bug poop or feaces on bedding and mattress 

Will Size of the Bed Bug’s Change?

Bed bugs will appear like seeds but with some legs – they may look anything like oval and brown colored body. The body size and color will change when they take a good blood meal – brownish to red in color. 

The length of your regular bed bugs is about 1/4 – 3/16 inches – this will change as the bug progresses with the life cycle stages. The oval-flat body of these bug will become longer and more rounded as the bed bug sucks blood from pets and humans.

After taking a blood meal, and before the females mate and lay eggs, the bugs will have a cylindrical and long body shape. Being mainly blood-feeders, the bugs but will also eat bed bug poop – and survive for several months. 

The bloated body is derived from the blood meal and they’ll consume their food reserves slowly (a food conservation tactic) since they might not get another blood meal over some months.

How Big Are Bed Bug Eggs?

Once the small bed bugs feed on pet or human blood, they’ll get plumb about double their original size. Further, Bed bug eggs are even smaller – and off-white in color. 

Female bed bugs will lay roughly 500 – 600 eggs for their whole life-time. On physical appearance, the eggs are white and equally tiny looking like a salt grain or pinhead. 

But the eggs will also be wet – covered by some sticky substance making them get stuck on different objects. However, within a week the eggs will have a “dark eye” on their surface. 

Bed bug eggs have a tough surface that’ll withstand and survive most insecticides – reason why you must use steamers (with temperatures over 120 degrees) – and thus over 90% of the eggs will hatch successfully. 

Notably, home solutions for bed bugs such as borax, diatomaceous earth, vinegar, baking soda, or rubbing alcohol won’t kill the bed bug eggs or even break through their shell. 

So, where will you mainly find the bed bug eggs? The eggs will mainly be hidden on some protected sites (like cracks) but equally this must be close to some food source. 

Therefore, search for the eggs around the bed joints, on headboard or mattress seams plus on box spring or even attaching themselves on the wall and wall cracks. 

On smell, you’ll look for sweetish plus pungent  odor coming from areas that bed bugs and their eggs hide – the scent comes from the bug’s scent glands.

Hatching? Bed bug eggs tend to hatch within 2 weeks given the right or optimal humidity and temperatures (room temperature). Further, for cold temperatures, the eggs will hatch over a longer time.

How Big are Bed Bug Nymphs? 

Nymphs may be described like baby bed bugs that have not developed fully to become adults. They’re visible to humans eyes but won’t be brown in color like adults. 

After the bed bug nymphs come out, they’ll start searching for blood from a suitable pet or human being to allow them to desiccate withing a short time.

Blood helps the bed bug nymphs to gain moisture but will need to equally hide in some cracks or crevices behind living in the right room temperature. Nymphs will live even up to 4 months without a blood meal.

Nymphs may also look translucent and thus they may easily camouflage with the environment. Further, Nymphs will grow after taking their full blood meal. 

  1. 1st nymph stage – 1.5 millimeters 
  2. 2nd nymph stage – 2 millimeters 
  3. 3ʳᵈ nymph stage -2.5 millimeters 
  4. 4th nymph stage – 3 millimeters 
  5. 5th nymph stage – 4.5 millimeters 

Conclusion

These are tiny bugs but you may see them only clear when there’s a huge infestation. To effectively control bed bugs, you must know their average size, color and shape- try bed bug sprays for control

So, for the question on how big are bed bugs?: Bed bugs are tiny bugs measuring about ¼ inch in length – about apple seed’s length – they’re visible to the human eye.

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