What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

In order to find out whether you have bed bugs or not, you need to know what to look for. So what do bed bugs look like?

Bed Bug Nymph

Bed bug nymph after feeding

Here are some great information on what to look for:

  • small in size, about the size of an apple seed (1/4 inch or 5 mm long)
  • brownish red oval flat body if unfed
  • long elongated baloon-like reddish-brown body when fed
  • six legs and two antennae
  • eggs are about the size of a pin head
  • nymphs are between 1mm – 4mm long
  • nymphs are white or yellow in color until fed
Fed Bed Bug

Fully fed bed bug. Notice how long and pump it is

Adult Bed Bug

Fully mature adult bed bug


Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed Bug Life Cycle


Bed bug eggs are really tiny, about 1 mm in length and are milky white in color. Female bed bugs usually lay them within tight cracks or crevices to keep them protected. They usually hatch around two weeks and will immediate look for food once hatched.


Once hatched, bed bugs are called nymphs. When they first come out of the egg at the First Stage Instar their bodies are almost transparent until they feed. They remain as nymphs until they go through all 5 stages to become a mature adult.   They molt their skin after each stage and grow bigger in size. In order for them to molt, they need to have a blood meal. Take note that nymphs cannot reproduce and only become sexually mature once they become adults.


As an adult, bed bugs will often feed weekly. They’ll feed and quickly hide back in their favorite hiding spots which is why it’s so difficult to spot them. Once an adult, their lifespan can range from four to 6 months although bed bugs are known to live for up to a year without food under optimal conditions.  An adult female bed bug usually produce around 5 eggs per day and up to 500 during her lifetime. A study concluded that temperature affects the longevity of bed bugs. It showed that an adult male can live up to a year without blood at 50 degrees F but only a month at 80 degrees F.


Bed Bug Infestation - Check Mattress Seams

It may be hard to visually see bed bugs unless you really go looking for them as they are experts at hiding. One of their most favorite hiding spots are the seams of the mattress.  Some other places they like to hide are the frame of the bed or headboard, behind baseboards, under carpet edges, drawer joints, and curtains.

Inspect seams and other areas near your bed and if you see small black dots, you most likely have a bed bug infestation. The black dots are the fecal matter left behind by bed bugs. There may be light brown color things around there as well which is the skin they shed when they go through the molting process.

You may also notice small blood stains on your sheets which most likely happen when people roll over on bed bugs while sleeping. Eggs might be a bit harder to spot as they’ll be pale yellow in color and very small (about 1mm). If you see any signs of bed bugs, treat your bed IMMEDIATELY!

Want more information on bed bugs? Check out the following:

What Are Bed Bugs?

How to Kill Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Treatment Products


6 thoughts on “What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

  • Ewwww!!!!!! Thanks so much for the info. As awful as they are, at least I can now say I’m aware. I’m so sorry you had to experience they and so grateful your educating us all. Thank You!

    • You’re welcome Cary! Just want to share my experience so others won’t have to suffer as I did and hopefully the tips and products will help them get rid of bed bugs sooner so they can go back to enjoying their lives.

  • Great information about bed bugs. I always worry about bed bugs whenever I go travelling, as I know that hotels probably aren’t always checking beds for them. I have thankfully not had an experience with them thought, but I will stay on the look out. Thank for the info!

  • Yes, we had issue at a hotel and we had to wash all of our clothes etc in hot water luckily we weren’t in there for too long but still had to treat. It’s crazy I didn’t want to bring these things home at all. YUCK.. thanks for sharing..

    • It’s great that you reacted so quickly and washed your clothes in hot water. If they infested your house you’d have a nightmare.
      Make sure you check your bedding in your hotel room once you get there. If there are any signs of bed bugs, request to change your room.
      Here’s a recent example that’s pretty nasty. https://t.co/f58HXnaT9G

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