What Do Bed Bugs Look Like? FAQ

When we hear of bed bugs most of us think of small bugs which are close to invisible, that infest our beds due to improper cleaning of the beddings or immediate surroundings.

Are Bed Bugs Visible to the Human Eye?

Contrary to this popular belief, bed bugs are actually visible! We hardly see them because they are usually active in dark places. During your sleep, the bed bugs will silently climb on its prey and when this is done, start the feeding process sucking of human blood.

During the day, the best place to find the bugs will be in the furniture, luggage, clothing, crevices, or in some cases the folds of a mattress.

The eggs are tricky to see despite their resemblance to salt grains. Although the bed bugs can be seen clearly under a microscope, they are usually hard to come across yet easy to notice with naked eyes once you know how they look, including the bites as witnessed in a number of places on the victim’s body.

Reddish-Brown Adult Bed Bug

Bed Bug Description

Translucent Bed Bug Nymph Filled With Blood
Translucent Bed Bug Nymph Filled With Blood

A bed bug is a small six-legged, nocturnal creepy-crawly that feasts on human blood. Mainly attracted by warmth, the bug pierces on your skin using two hollow tubes, injecting an anticoagulant accompanied by aesthetics through its saliva which helps to keep the host’s blood from clotting. Bed bugs may be small but for sure these tiny insects can live for a whole year or up to 18 months without food – in this case is blood.

What color are bed bugs? Well, an adult bed bug is reddish-brown, wingless, flattened, and oval; with minuscule hairs giving them a banded exterior (may also range in color depending on the time after the most recent blood meal).  Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and this light color will gradually change to browner as they will be approaching maturity.

How Big Are Bed Bugs?

Bed Bug Actual Size and Size Comparison
Bed Bug Actual Size and Size Comparison

It grows to 5mm in length. When fully fed, the bug can swell to a bulgy height such that its appearance may no longer be flat. Obviously, the nymphs are smaller and the eggs even smaller. These are both rather difficult to spot due to the the fact that they’re so small, and translucent.

To the left you will see both a size comparison of a bed bug as well as the bed bug at its actual size. The “actual size” bed bug might not be precise as its size may vary from screen to screen. Usually when it comes to size, bed bugs are often compared to apple seeds or lentils.

Female bed bugs are capable of laying close to twelve eggs in a single day, and the eggs deposited in crack and crevices, or in rough surfaces. These eggs are coated with a sticky substance that enables them adhere to whatever they are placed upon. They (the eggs) hatch from 617 days, and can begin feeding immediately. The bugs require a blood meal to help them molt. When this happens, the skin can be found around their nests including the eggs and the fecal matter.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

bed bug bites look like
These Bed Bugs Bites Are On The Chin, But They Can Appear Anywhere On Your Body

Normally there is no immediate sign after actual biting, but the bite marks will appear swollen after an hour or so. The bump will at first look like a small flea/mosquito bite inflammation but as time goes, this rash will start to itch, and in case the host continually scratches the swelling this could trigger an infection.

Bed bugs tend to feed on human blood for about two minutes, going up to ten minutes if left undisturbed leaving the victim with severe itchiness which may also lead to serious allergic reactions according to some people. The urgent treatment for the rash or bites is by simply washing the swellings with soap and water. Ice or natural herbs like plantain, mud and fresh-herb poultices, would then be used so as to help speed up the healing process. Do not scratch, since this could lead to a more serious infection that would definitely require a more advanced medical aid. More: [What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?]

Bed bugs may be small but the fact is that they can be killed only if only you know where to find them. While this may not be a permanent solution to your bug problem, prevention is better than cure! Better be prepared the next time you notice an infestation. You can opt for extermination services which will definitely cost you some cash. And in case you decide to do this on your own, there are other procedures you can follow to effectually kill off the bed bugs; for example using cleaning elements such as Lysol or even commercially available sprays. Thorough inspection of every room should be done, not just the bedroom. The living room, den, family room, or any other room with fabric covered furniture and carpet should be expediently cleaned.