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What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Updated on August 30, 2010

The first step in getting rid of bed bugs is to properly identify that suspected insects are in deed bed bugs. The information and pictures below will give you a vivid description of what bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adult bed bugs look like.

A bed bug egg is about the size of a grain of rice, and is whitish in color. A female bedbug can lay 1-5 eggs per day, and more than 200 in her lifetime. It typically takes about ten days for a bed bug egg to hatch after it was laid. The picture to the right shows some bed bug eggs accompanied by bedbugs and their excrement. Once the newly hatched bed bugs have matured, they will begin to lay eggs of their own.

Nymph Bed Bugs
Nymph Bed Bugs

Nymphs, or juvenile bed bugs are extremely small (about the size of a poppy seed), and are a white to yellowish-white color. They are extremely difficult to see, especially when they have infested a mattress of similar color. The picture to the right shows two nymph bed bugs, which are smaller than the head of a pin.

A bed bug before feeding on blood
A bed bug before feeding on blood
A bed bug after feeding on blood
A bed bug after feeding on blood

Once fully matured, adult bed bugs are usually about the size of an apple seed. They are flat, wingless oval shaped insects. Adult bed bugs are brown, but once they feed on you and become engorged with your blood they will turn a very reddish brown. See the pictures to the right for a color comparison of bed bugs before and after feeding on human blood.



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    • profile image 5 years ago

      I kept killing these very, very small reddish colored ants. I'm originally from down south so to me they looked like very small fire ants. Now that I've come and visited your fantastic site I'm positive I'm killing juvenile bed bugs. And one time I killed an adult bed believing it was a tick. Dave, you are an incredibly kind person to do all this investigation and put it in easily understood format. You're forever a hero in my book.


      Katie Bergsrud