The words “bed bugs” can put fear into even the best of us. However, even if you see a bug on your bed, it doesn’t mean it is actually a bed bug. So what do bed bugs look like? Most people are not sure how to identify a bedbug. It is important to know what to look for to determine if you bed bug bites and a bed bug infestation. It’s hard to know the solution to a problem if you don’t know what the problem really is! Read on to learn about bed bugs and how to identify them.

Finding bed bugs in your home can be stressful!

The Bed Bug Life Cycle

The life cycle of the bed bug is very interesting. Bed bugs start as eggs and then hatch after 7 to 10 days.  They then go through a 5 week time period to become adult bed bugs, molting 5 times.  The bed bugs need to eat at least once during each life cycle phase.  Once the bed bugs reach adult status, they then are able to reproduce. Adult females can lay 3 to 5 eggs each day. And this is why a bed bug infestation can grow rapidly.

When the bed bugs molt, they leave behind a yellowish exoskeleton that mimics their exact shape.  These can often be found in clusters near fecal stains and tight spaces. We have found exoskeleton in many bed frames.

What do bed bugs look like?
What do bed bugs look like?

Eggs and Nymphs – How to identify them

During each stage of the bed bug life cycle, they look somewhat different. The bed bug eggs are white and VERY tiny.  They are very hard to see with the naked eye, especially when the bed bug eggs are on light surfaces.  The are much easier seen on dark colors. They tend to be clustered together. It would be very usual for them to be situated in random areas of the bed. The bed bugs tend to be in cracks or along the underside of box springs, where the backing fabric is stapled to the wooden frame. It is also common to see them on the undersides of mechanical frames where seams come together.

Once the bed bug egg hatches, the bugs are also very tiny and translucent in color. They can be very difficult to see!  This is because they have not eaten yet.  As they begin to consume blood, the bug then turns reddish. The bed bugs eventually turn to a dark reddish-brown color. They become easier to see if they are moving. But again, you have to be looking very closely! These are very typical signs of bed bugs, even if you haven’t seen an actual bed bug yet.

Bed Bug Eggs

Adults – What do they look like?

Adult bed bugs are about 1/4 centimeter in length. They are a similar size and have an oval shaped body, about the size of an apple seed.  Adult female bed bugs appear more elongated after feeding, while adult males are rounder in appearance.  Prior to eating, however, the females have a rounder hind end, while the end of a male bed bug tends to be pointier than that of a female. The adult bed bug has a set of antennae and 6 legs.  They also have very short hair on their bodies. They prefer to live in clusters in tight spaces on the box spring or bed frame. 

Something to note about a bed bug’s appearance is that they do not have wings. And the legs of bed bugs are rather stubby. So, this means that bed bugs do not fly or jump. Contrary to popular belief, they won’t jump on you when you enter a room and they don’t fly around. They can only crawl from one place to another. If you find a bed bug on your body, it mostly got there from the furniture on which you are sitting or laying. Once they come out of hiding, they can crawl rather quickly and erratically.  READ MORE

Bed bugs will come out of their nesting spaces when they detect the carbon dioxide emitted from human bodies.  The bed bugs typically dislike hair and fur, so they prefer to feed on humans rather than animals.  However, we have been in homes that have had a major infestation. At this house, we did find clusters of bed bugs in the dog’s crate. But this is not very common.

Bed bugs tend to stay away from hairy places on your body which is why bites tend to be found on your upper arms or legs. They will rarely be found on the head, but bites may be found on a face.

Mistaken Identity – There is another bug that looks like bed bugs!

Bed bugs can often be mistaken for carpet beetles.  They are about the same shape and size as bed bugs but have slightly different coloring.  Bed bugs are also very similar to bat bugs, which typically feed off the blood of bats.  However, if a bat infestation is removed from a home and the bat bugs are not destroyed, they can move down into the living portion of the home and begin feeding off of humans.  The only difference in the appearance of bat bugs and bed bugs is that the hair on the body of the bat bugs is longer than that of the bed bug.  This difference is only visible under a microscope. READ MORE

Sleep easy after a heat treatment to kill bed bugs.

Treatment – Get rid of bed bugs in 24 hours!

Once you have positively identified bed bugs, a decision on treatment needs to be made.  We believe heat treatments are the best option.  Heat kills all stages of the bed bug life cycle, even the eggs.  Chemicals can only be sprayed on surfaces that are not touched by pets or humans because they are harsh and harmful.  On the other hand, heat permeates all areas of a room, even tough, hard-to-reach spots and highly touched surfaces. Therefore heat is safe for children and pets alike. READ MORE

We offer many different options to treat your home or office infestation.  We recommend an initial inspection with a canine as the dogs can even smell the bed bugs’ eggs.  Once you know the scope of the problem, we can help you determine which plan is best for you.  For large areas and entire homes, we offer a propane heat treatment.  For treating one or two rooms in your home, we have electric heaters and fans to eradicate bed bugs. We even offer heater rentals if you want to treat your home on your own.  We provide videos and instructions so you can have a successful treatment and get rid of all the bed bugs.

Give us a call if you think you have seen a bed bug in your home.  We want to help you avoid a large bed bug infestation, prevent you from getting bed bug bites, and help you get back to your normal life. A life where you are not worried about getting bit at night or having bugs invade your home. We are the pest control company that you need to help you get rid of the bed bug infestation once and for all!