What do bed bugs look like? If you find yourself asking this question, you are definitely not alone. With the resurgence of worldwide infestations, more and more people are asking this very same question.
This article will provide you with a good description of Cimex lectularius (the common bedbug). You will get some good descriptions of them in their egg and juvenile stages.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at some of the insects that are often mistaken for bed bugs. The first one is book-lice. They are often confused for bedbug nymphs (juveniles). Spider beetles, swallow bugs, and young German roaches are often mistaken for C. lectularius adults.
Now you can see why it is so important to make positive identification. When you do, you won’t stress-out every time you find a look-alike bug in your home.
So, what do bed bugs look like? Starting with the adult, let’s take a look at some descriptive characteristics of this pest in various life stages.
Adult bed bugs range in color from beige to reddish-brown. They are wingless insects with flat, oval-shaped bodies. Their bodies are covered with blonde colored feeler-hairs. These tiny hairs provide them with many of their sensory abilities.
Prior to feeding, their bodies are approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ in length (about the size of an apple seed) and as flat as a thin piece of cardboard. After gorging on blood, they experience a 50% to 75% increase in size. At that point, they appear bloated and turn dark-red in color. Some pest professionals call them animated blood drops and crawling blood drops.
Bed bug eggs are white and slightly pear-shaped. They are so small that one or two of them could easily fit on the head of a pin. If you have occasion to find some of these eggs, you will see that they are often in clusters of 10 to 50 or more.
When the young bugs (nymphs) are ready to emerge, they do so using a tiny lid located at one end of the egg. One of their first urges after escaping the egg casing, is finding a blood meal.
Even though they resemble adults in shape, juvenile bedbugs are almost colorless and much smaller. After feeding on blood, they become a miniature version of the adults as described earlier. Because of their see-through bodies, they turn a brighter shade of red than the adults.
While words go a long way in providing accurate descriptions, clear bed bug pictures are the ideal. Use the resource links at the end of this article to get a good look at this blood-sucking menace.
The ability to accurately identify these parasites will help you when it comes time to inspect your home for infestations. Now when someone asks you “what do bed bugs look like?”, you can provide them with an accurate description. This is especially useful when working with licensed pest professionals.