Lifecycle Pictures of Bed Bugs:
From Eggs to Adults

Picture of bed bugs at each stage of the bedbug life cycle is depicted below.  A bed bug starts life as an egg and then passes through 5 nymph stages (instars).  They are referred to as nymphs until they reach adulthood.  The entire bed bug life cycle and each stage is depicted below.

Nymphs (Baby bed bugs) are somewhat  small, (1.6mm, 1/16 inch), almost white and hard to see.  

picture of bed bugs
Picture of Baby Bed Bug (Nymph)

As bed bugs become adults, they turn brown. After a blood meal, they become reddish/brown in color. 

picture of bed bugs
Adults Bed Bug Picture

Adult bed bugs are approximately 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch (5mm to 9mm) in length.

pictures of bed bugs
Bed Bug Picture
Source: Federation of Metro Tenants Toronto

If you need help to identify bed bugs in your home in order to confirm that you have a bed bug problem, you can mail a sample with a small fee to the Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Laboratory.

Bedbug Video

National Geographic put together a helpful video on bed bugs and their behavior. This is a good first step in learning how to identify bed bugs:


Pictures of Bed Bug Eggs

Bedbug eggs are laid in small clusters in groups of 2 or 3.  A female will lay approximately 200 eggs in her lifetime.  The eggs are yellow-white, 1mm in length (about the size of a sesame seed) and are oval shaped.  It takes about 10 days before an egg will hatch.

Here's video of bed bug eggs and a bedbug hatching from an egg:

Here's a picture of bed bug eggs on a surface.  Eggs are attached with a substance that firmly adheres them to the surface.  This makes cleaning with a vacuum impossible.  Killing bed bugs in a room requires killing the eggs as well.  They can be killed with heat, such as from a hand steamer, and sprays such as Bedlam.

picture of bed bugs
Pictures of Bed Bug Eggs

Bed Bug Nymphs (Baby Bed Bugs)

Bed bug nymphs or baby bed bugs move through 5 stages after being hatched.  They need to feed on a host and molt to move from stage to stage.  Many people ask how long do bed bug nymphs live without food?  The answer is three to four months.  

pictures of bed bugs
Picture of Bed Bugs: Adults and Nymphs

The following picture shows a nymph after feeding:

picture of bed bugs
Bed Bug Picture: Nymph

picture of bed bugs
Picture of Bed Bugs - 2nd Stage Nymphs


Adult Bed Bugs


Adult bed bugs are flat (1/16th of an inch) and small.  Their small and flat profile makes it easy for them to hide in small space and fit through cracks in the walls and floors.  Bed bugs are so small, that they have been found inside electronics, and between the glass and window frames.  This is why when treating bed bugs, every inch of a room, including looking behind bed frames and pictures, is a required part of treatment.

picture of bed bugs
Picture of Bed Bugs -  Side View
Source: University of Florida

picture of bed bugs
Pictures of Bed Bugs Before and After Feeding

Bed Bugs in College Dorms or When Traveling


Bed bugs in college dorms or picking them up when traveling is a common problem. Given the transient nature of these institutions, people are constantly picking up and dropping off bed bugs.  They can be transported home in the seams of luggage or a back pack as indicated below:

picture bed bugs
Bed Bugs in College Dorm - On Backpack

picture of bed bugs
Bed Bugs on Luggage


To protect luggage from bed bugs, be sure to keep it off the floor when entering a hotel room.  Hang clothes on the shower rack, not in the closet.  Keep all items off the bed, the number 1 hiding place for bed bugs.  Consider sealing your luggage in a zippered bed bug proof casing, such as those offered by Bugzip.

Though not a complete solution, you can also pack a travel size of a Bed Bug travel spray such as Travel Safe Bed Bug Spray.

Bedbug Life Cycle

As mentioned above, the bed bug life cycle involves 5 nymph stages culminating in adulthood.  A bed bug needs to feed at least once to move from stage to stage.  Under ideal conditions/temperature, a bed bug will live for approximately 10 months. 

bedbug life cycle
Bed bug life cycle diagram
Source:
Department of Medical Entomology, ICPMR, Westmead Hospital

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