What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

If you know what bed bugs look like, you can confirm you have an infestation and locate the nest.

Maybe one of these pests hitched a ride home with you from a hotel, or perhaps you’re waking up with red itchy bumps – regardless, we have amazing pictures from around the world to help you make an identification; we’ll also explain their behavior and what to do if you find them!

There are 20 pictures of bed bugs below showing their different sizes and shapes, from egg to nymph to fully-fed adult. Many are displayed next to objects to show you how small they are and how difficult it can be to find them.

Pictures of Bed Bugs, Big and Small

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown, oval-shaped, about the size of an apple seed, and their bodies are usually between 4-5 mm long and 1.5-3 mm wide. Bed bugs have six legs and use their two antennae to sense the heat and carbon dioxide emitted by their human hosts. Bed bugs are reddish-brown and can become reddish after a blood meal.

Here are some key characteristics of bed bugs’ appearance:

  • Flat, oval-shaped body.
  • Rusty-brown color.
  • Six legs and two antennae.
  • Wingless, although they can hitch a ride on a bat and enter your home that way.
  • Adults are about the size of an apple seed (4-5 mm long and 1.5-3 mm wide). Nymphs (young bed bugs) are smaller and lighter in color, and translucent before their first feeding.

What Color Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are typically reddish-brown, although they can be lighter in color if they haven’t fed recently. After feeding, their bodies become more swollen and darker in color. Bed bug eggs are white and about the size of a pinhead, while nymphs are translucent and become darker as they feed on blood. As shown in the picture above, the eggs are sticky and will stick to a surface – the best way to remove them is with a fine tooth comb.

How Big Are Bed Bugs?

As mentioned earlier, an apple seed and an adult bed bug are about the same size, with a length of 4-5 mm and a width of 1.5-3 mm. However, nymphs are much smaller and range from 1.5 mm to 4.5 mm. Our page on the seven stages of a bed bug’s life cycle has a fantastic photo of an infested mattress with each stage clearly shown.

What Does a Bed Bug Look Like Up Close?

Bed bugs have a flat, oval-shaped body and six legs when viewed up close. They also have two antennae that are shorter than their bodies. In addition, bed bugs’ bodies are covered in tiny hairs, and they have a beak-like mouthpart that they use to pierce the skin and feed on blood.

Bed bugs’ bodies are segmented, giving them a striped appearance and appearing flat after a few days of not feeding, but once they feed, their bodies are oval-shaped from being engorged with blood.

What does a bed bug egg look like?

Bed bug eggs are tiny, about 1 millimeter in size, and have a pearl-white color. They can be challenging to spot due to their small size and are often found in clusters or hidden in dark, protected areas.

Do Bed Bugs Have Wings?

No, bed bugs do not have wings. They are wingless insects, which means they cannot fly. However, they can move quickly across floors, walls, and ceilings. They can also catch a ride on bats and enter your home that way; these are called Bat Bugs (I know, it gives me the willies also!).

Are Bed Bugs the same as Chinches?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus), also called chinches, feed off the blood of humans, bats, chickens, and other animals.

What happens when they bite me?

Bed bugs are notorious for their bites; see what they look like from visitors worldwide who have been sharing their pictures of bites with us for more than a decade!

If you want to know how to identify and treat bites, we can also help!

Where do bed bugs hide?

They love to hide in objects that are close to their feeding source, which is you. Your bed, the frame, your dresser, and so many other places.

Woman holding sign on how to find bed bugs.

Click to find out where bed bugs hide. We have a checklist of hiding places that will help you locate these pests!

Knowing what bed bugs look like is crucial for identifying and eliminating them.

So, now that you know what they look like, you’re ready to get rid of them – let’s get started.

FAQ about what bed bugs look like

The best way to identify bed bugs is to look for signs of their presence, such as bite marks on your skin, bloodstains on your sheets, and dark spots (fecal matter) on your mattress or furniture. You can also try to locate the bed bugs by searching for them in cracks and crevices, behind baseboards, and under furniture.

Bed bug eggs are white, and nymphs can be translucent and lighter in color. Look at the picture below and you’ll see the white and translucent eggs that look like rice.

These fecal spots and sticky eggs are a sign your bites are from bed bugs.

These fecal spots and sticky eggs are a sign your bites are from bed bugs.

Bed bugs reproduce through a process called traumatic insemination, where the male bed bug pierces the female’s abdomen with his genitalia and injects sperm directly into her body. Females can lay up to 5 eggs per day and up to 500 in their lifetime.

The emotional symptoms from bed bug bites are real; as for transmitting disease, no one has proved this is possible, but their bites can cause itching and discomfort. Some people have an allergic reaction that can cause more severe symptoms.