What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

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The Resurgence Of Bed Bugs In The United States Is Alarming

In only a decade and a half, these bugs have gone from being a pest control problem only found in other countries, to one of the top 5 pests that pest control companies in the United States have to treat. Experts say a lack of public knowledge is mostly to blame. If more people know how to recognize bed bugs when they see them and take proper measures to keep these bugs from hitchhiking, we can significantly slow the spread of this pest.

Recognizing a bed bug is not as easy as you might think. Not only are these bugs incredibly small (sometimes less than 1mm) they change their appearance as they mature. For this reason, it is important to recognize bed bugs in all stages of their development.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Close up of a bed bug

Observed with the naked eye, bed bug eggs aren't much more than a white speck, or a batch of white specks. A batch of twenty eggs can easily fit on the fingernail of your pinky. That's small. So, you're going to have to look closely if you're checking for eggs in the seams of your luggage and bags, or attached to the stitching on upholstered furniture and in the creases of mattresses. These eggs are most often found with other bed bug evidence, such as black droppings or black streaks, bloodstains, shed insect skins, or the bed bugs themselves.

What Do Bed Bug Larvae Look Like?

When bed bugs hatch from their eggs, they are only about the size of the tip on a pen, and they don't have the recognizable rust color of adult bed bugs. Their skin is a pale yellow and is mostly transparent. If they are feeding, their abdomen will be a bright red color from the blood inside. And, while bed bugs have six legs and two antennae, like during other stages of bed bug development, it will be much harder to see these attributes.

What Do Bed Bug Nymphs Look Like?

Bed bugs go through five stages of development. These are called instars. In each instar, they will look slightly different. Their skin will be less transparent, making it harder to see their black feces-coated insides. Their skin will take on more of the brown coloring as they mature. And they will grow larger. Bed bugs begin at only 1mm and grow to nearly 5mm in length.

What Do Adult Bed Bugs Look Like?

A full-grown adult will have its full reddish-brown coloring, but it is still slightly transparent. Under the right lighting conditions, it is still possible to see their black feces-coated insides.

If the bed bug has not had a feeding, it will appear oval and flat. Males will have an arrow tip to their abdomen. Females will have an abdomen that is much more rounded, but the point where feces are excreted is still noticeable.

If a bed bug has had a blood meal, it will be darker, and more reddish. Its abdomen will be 1/3 larger than its normal size, and pill-shaped, rather than oval and flat. After a feeding, it is much easier to see the division between the thorax and the abdomen on this insect.

What Do Bed Bug Signs Look Like? 

When protecting yourself from bed bugs it is not only important to know what bed bugs look like, but also what the signs of bed bugs look like. When these bugs infest, they leave black feces, black streaks, white eggs, shed skins, and bloodstains behind. These can be found anywhere, but check the following areas first: mattress seams, the underside of box springs, sheets, pillowcases, backboards, alarm clocks, baseboards, carpet edges, wall outlet covers, stitching on upholstered furniture, the underside of the furniture, and the seams of bags and luggage.

If you see bed bugs or the signs they leave behind, get professional assistance. These insects are extremely hard to get rid of without a proper understanding of their habits, habitats, and physiology.

At Action Pest Control, we are so sure that our team has the education and resources necessary to solve your bed bug problem, our bed bug control services come with a warranty. Reach out to us today for immediate, and guaranteed, relief from these frustrating bugs.

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