When it comes to controlling bed bugs (Cimex lectularious), knowing what to look for (pictures of bed bugs) is your best defense.
Below I’ve listed 99+ best images & pictures of bed bugs including baby bed bugs, nymphs, fertilized females, eggs, and adults.
By definition: Bed bugs are flat- to oval-shaped reddish brown insects that are 4-5 mm long. They suck blood while you’re sleeping or resting – mainly at night. We all feel itching when we hear or read about these bugs – psychosomatic effect.
99+ Pictures of Bed Bugs (Stages, Real Size & Color)
Size comparison: Bed bug vs Regular objects
So, what do bed bugs look like? What’s their size, color, and body shape in comparison to objects such as liberty coins, Petri dish, suitcase etc. Let’s get started!
1. Actual Size of Adult Bed Bugs (See Pictures)
Size: Adult Bed bugs are rusty-brown insects that measure 4-5 mm long – about ¼ inch or the size of an apple seed. You’ll notice reddish or Rusty stains on your mattresses or bed sheets that’re caused by the bugs.
The size of bed bugs tend to change as it feeds and grows from one life stage to the next. Their eggs measure about 1/32 inches long while adults will measure 3/16 inches in length. Once the bugs sucks blood – it’ll engorge to roughly 1/5 inches to 1/4 inches.
Color: The color of Adult bed bugs will vary depending on when lately they fed on a meal of blood from their host. They’ll be light brown and have oval-shaped/ flat body when they’ve not recently fed on blood.
Shape: Adult bed bugs are a small, flattened and oval-shaped insects that have considerably reduced wings. They’re visible to the human eye. Other names of these bugs are mahogany flats, chinches, or red coats.
Adults are about one-sixth of the whole bed bug population. The hemelytra (fore wings) are broad and short with a rectangular shape. Also, the bed bug’s sides are covered by stiff and short hair.
Bed Bug Legs: Bed bugs have 2 antennae plus 6 legs. The bugs’ body definitely looks stripped due to their short body hair that’s golden looking in color.
Media coverage on bed bugs recommend searching behind walls, examine bed and mattress, look behind picture frames/ pictures, and in walls.
Real bed bug waste: Bed bug poop will look like tiny clustered spots on the bed frames. The poop is mainly made of digested blood that turn black, rust colored, and darker after drying.
2. Bed Bugs on Tape Measure
This must have been a notorious one – well it was dead when taking these pictures. I found it on the bathroom floor. For this I used Diatomaceous Earth – and its evident that it worked.
Definition: Adult bed bugs will measure about a quarter-inch (4 – 5mm) in length and are reddish-brown in color. They are flat to oval shaped depending on the amount of blood they’ve sucked. However, adult bed bugs and that makes just one-sixth of these bug’s population.
Baby bed bugs: But, baby bed bugs will mainly be pale white and about a millimeter in millimeter at birth and will readily blend with the background. So, let’s get into the details.
3. Massive Bed Bug Infestation on Sofa
Bed bugs will hide in most types of furniture – particularly in their undersides, seams, and corners. The rule of thumb is that bed bugs will fit in any crack that can also take a credit card. Check the bugs below hanging on sofas!
Rarely will bed bugs hide in vinyl, suede, or leather sofa or couch materials. So, if you sit on an infested chair or couch – its highly likely that you’ll carry the bed bugs to your home.
So, you’re wondering, would keeping your very clean prevent a bed bug infestation? Well, not really, bed bugs will attack whether the place is dirty of clean. However, with a clean house, you’ll find it easy to spot any bed bugs lucking around.
Exterminators recommend that you wash the bed sheets using hot water, avoid buying second-hand furniture, use a mattress cover, reduce room clutter, and inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs.
4. Dead Bed Bugs, their Eggs, and Nymphs
You’ll find most dead bed bugs to be shriveled and lying on their back. If you inspect your mattresses and box spring, you might notice signs of bed bugs.
Some may include dead bed bugs or small specks of blood. Have you found some dead bed bugs in your house? – Check one below.
Definitely, bed bugs don’t play or pretend to be dead – according to behavioral sociology. Therefore, any of them that remains fully still after some disturbance is most likely dying or dead. Any of the bugs that’s still alive will run away with slight lighting (afraid of light) or disturbance.
You might also want to inspect hidden areas like wall joins, ceiling and cracks, bedroom furniture, and carpet and your beds. Below is video of some dead bugs. Disclaimer, there are also some live ones that were filmed.
2. Pictures of baby bed bugs
Baby bed bugs will hatch from eggs (they’re pinhead sized) and consequently grow to be adults in only 1 month. But these insects will require a dry and warm environment.
Bed bug eggs (nymphs) are visible using your naked eye – they’re colored translucent (when freshly hatching) to whitish-yellow/ brownish as they continue feeding.
After hatching from the eggs, baby Cimex lectularius quickly hunt for a good blood meal. Without a blood meal, the bugs won’t develop to their next stage. Despite that they can endure days even up to 1 month devoid of feeding, the bugs can feed even once daily while also casting their skin.
Bed bug larvae measure about a millimeter when they are born and they tend to be pale white, which makes them blend readily with the background.
You can see blood inside a nymph babies’ body after it has had its generous blood meal. In fact, you’ll notice that these bugs look anything like small swollen balloon. To treat these bed bugs infestations, check here.
Well, for a small bed bug infestation, could be just one female who’ve mated and she’s in a package or in your home – and that’s all they’ll require. The bed bug needs to feed on blood to nourish the eggs she’d produce.
3. Pictures of Bed bug Eggs (They’re Oval & White in color)
Females will lay about 250 eggs over their lifetime, which is about 2-4 months. The oval and white eggs are 1/16 inches in length – something like the grain of rice – and you’ll mainly find them in crevices and cracks.
The eggs have round ends with an elongated and oval-shaped body. The eggs are attached on glue-type substance that’ll render them challenging to remove or move.
But the eggs have a “wet spot” look – you can use a flashlight plus a magnifying lens to search for them. They’ll hatch into babies in about 6-10 days. Further, its nymphs tend to mold about 5 times prior to attaining adulthood. Need a video instead? Check this right below…
3. Males vs Female Bed Bugs
The main difference between females vs male bed bugs are that the females have a rounded abdomen while the males have a pointed abdomen.
Also, males won’t lay eggs like their female counterparts. They all have 6 legs, are brown in color, and are about an apple seed in size. None of them will take care of the young nymphs or eggs.
Females: Female bed bugs will only lay eggs if they mate with their male counterparts – they need the male’s sperm. Females have a hemocoel – an empty abdominal space to store their eggs.
After mating, the females will store sperm from the males and could even draw from it to create mature eggs multiple times. Besides sperms female bed bugs require a blood meal before creating and laying their eggs.
Males: Male don’t produce eggs and they lack ovaries. Males will break through the female’s shell, aim on the abdomen (its tiny dark spot) to deposit their sperms in the hemocoel.
The sperms spread via the blood of the female bed bugs until it reaches the ovaries – in what we term as traumatic insemination.
Bed Bug Patterns – Female and male bed bugs have stripes patterns that move right to left. They use this system to allow abdominal expansion when feeding on blood.
However, the females will show a small ridge at the back near its tail – the exact hemocoel location. Therefore, you’ll notice that the stripes will look somehow curved as they cross this ridge on their back.
Bed Bug Skin Color – Definitely, its possible to see through the bed bugs skin despite that its brown in color. So, we’ve noted that females and males hold (based on their functions) internal organs that are different.
Therefore, you can see the hemocoel and ovaries in the female bed bugs. Further, you can see a dark area on the female’s abdomen (at its back) – which we noted that is its hemocoel.
4. Bed Bugs Engorged with Blood
Bed bugs will mainly feed on blood meals during the night – this is time when sleeping humans release carbon dioxide that tends to attract these bugs. Withing 5 to 10 minutes, the Cimex lectularius will be fully engorge with your blood.
The bugs will also suck blood from different warm-blooded hosts despite that they prefer feasting on human blood. But for heavily-infested places, bed bugs will also feed take their blood meal at day time.
One hollow tube will inject anesthetics (saliva looking liquid) into the human skin that makes the area numb. The other hollow tube will draw the host’s blood. The bugs will hide for about 5 to 10 days during time which they’ll digest the blood, mate and in addition lay eggs.
Bed Bugs Engorged (Image A) Vs. Not Engorged (Image B)
4. Bed bugs on Curtains
The bugs may hide and live in drape fabrics. The fabric provides the bed bugs with hiding areas and dark folds. They easily get to your curtain buy climbing on adjacent walls or other drapes.
The bugs will lay eggs on the curtain that’ll stick more due to their glue. Here’s a couple of adult bed bugs, their eggs, nymph and flea dirt on the top inside of the curtains – this is so scary being in a kids room!
Some bed bugs may attack drapes in packing, shipping or on the production floor. The curtain may also pick bugs at the dry cleaner. This may also come from bed-bug infested luggage rugs or mattress to your drapes.
5. Pictures of Bed Bugs on Mattress
Female Cimex lectularius will lay their eggs in crevices and cracks particularly on the edges of your bed frames, box springs, and mattresses.
In addition, the pest will also occupy crevices and cracks – hiding in bed rails, headboards, hollow bed stands, mattresses tufts or folds, and spring soils. You’ll see cast skins, fecal stains , and even eggs.
To control these bugs, first, stay off the home, change your bedding, and clean up. Check reddish or rusty stains on mattresses and bed sheets from the pests that may have been crushed.
Check for nymphs and their skins (colored pale-yellow) or the dark spots mainly caused by Cimex lectularius poop. Further, examine the clothing and under crevices.
5. Bed bugs on a Petri Dish
These are the bed bugs that my neighbor collected in her daughters room. Sadly her kids had a meltdown – particularly with her son who has autism and thus they had to come sleep at my house.
This made the neighbor feel like a bad mother that the kids had to endure all this.
5. Pictures of Bed Bug Bites
In this video, Louis Sorkin (an entomologist) describes how bed bugs look and behave. You should know that mosquito bites, flea bites, and bed bug bites may look similar.
But WebMD states that bed bug bites will be evident from itchy and red skin initially – particularly on shoulders and arms – they are allergic too.
In addition, these critters will leave behind bites that are in straight rows. Further, itching from bed bugs bites may be severe to make one break their skin.
6. Bed bugs on Suitcase
Most people will either see bed bugs crawling, bed bugs dirt, have a skin reaction from a bed bug bite.
Most of the bed bugs will get into your home through hitchhiking your clothes or jump onto your briefcase or luggage when you’re traveling. Related: What will causes Bed Bugs?.
To control these critters, place the suitcases in special provided garbage bags and position it outside in the freezing cold. Further, you may position the lagguage in the car trunk if it heats to about 120 degrees.
7. Bed bugs on Liberty Coin
Below is a image of a comparison between a real adult bed bug and a liberty coin.
8. Bed bugs on Wiring
Also, bed bugs will easily migrate from one room or house to another through wiring. Bed bugs will usually feed on your blood when you’re sleeping. First, the bug injects a mumbling agent into your body such that you’ll only feel the bites after about 10 minutes.
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