Pictures of Bed Bugs

Pictures of bed bugs and bedbug video can be found throughout the Bed Bugs Handbook.  It is important to be able to recognize the insects through all growth stages; from egg to nymph to adult.  All are represented below.


Bed Bug Nymphs


Bed bugs move through 5 nymph phases before adulthood.  They need to drink a blood meal to move from phase to phase.  A nymph can live for 3 to 4 months while they wait for a human or animal to feed on.

pictures of bed bugs
Nymph and Adult Pictures of Bed Bugs

Pictures of Bed Bugs: Adults

An adult bed bug is brown until it feeds on a human or animal host. After feeding the adult changes color into a dull red/dark brown. Bedbugs  are 3/16 of an inch in length (longer after a blood meal as depicted below).

They have what are called Vestigial wings (not fully developed), but can't fly. The bugs are covered by thin golden hair. Male bed bugs have a pointed abdomen while females have a rounded abdomen. An adult female bed bug can live as long as 277 days without feeding. If you are not sure the insect you are viewing is a bed bug you can send a sample bug to the Harvard School of Public Health for evaluation.

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

pictures of bed bugs
Up Close Dorsal View of Bed Bug

Bed Bug Video

National Geographic has created the bedbug video below which shows the insects in action:

National Geographic Bedbug Video

Bed Bugs Mattress

Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide we give off when sleeping. A typical bug will feed for 10 minutes every 3 to 4 days. After feeding they will crawl back into a crack or crevice that is nearby. Most bugs will live in are near a mattress. When infestations get large they will spread to the headboard, cracks in the bed frame and then in places around the bed. There small body and thin profile make it easy to hide. Favorite hiding places include the headboard, box spring, bed frame, and under any mattress tags.

pictures of bed bugs
Picture of Bed Bugs Mattress

Bed bugs leave behind stains on a mattress or nearby linen.  This is one of the best ways to determine if you may have a bed bug problem.


pictures of bed bugs
Bed Bugs Mattress Problem - Look for Stains


Bed Bug Bites on a Human Arm

Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Reactions on the arm from a bed bug bite are due to an allergic reaction.  Not everyone reacts to the bed bug bites.  Cutaneous or skin reactions range from a small raised red area to blistering of the skin.  

pcitures of bed bugs
Typical Bed Bug Bites 

Photo of Bed Bug Eggs

Eggs are white in color and slightly round and are 1mm long. Over their 10 month life span a female will lay 200 - 500 eggs in groups of 1 to 5 eggs per day. Eggs cannot be picked up with a vacuum cleaner. The best way to kill them is either by heating a room to over 120 degrees or by using a steamer that can get hot steam into contact with the egg's surface.

pictures of bed bugs
Pictures of Bed Bugs: Bed Bug Hatching from Egg
(Source: UNL Dept of Entomology)

Bed Bugs Furniture

Hiding in used furniture is a common way for bed bugs to enter the home.  Often, when bed bugs furniture problems occur, a home owner will leave it on the street unmarked.  Unsuspecting individuals will bring the furniture home along with the bed bugs.  Furniture rental companies are also aware of the problem and are supposed to inspect furniture before renting it out to a new individual.

There is even a problem with new furniture if the same truck is being used to cart away old furniture or a mattress. Bed bugs can jump from the old to the new.

Bedbugs are flat and can cling to surfaces on any angle. A homeowner needs to check behind every crack and crevice and in seams to make sure all the bugs are disposed of. 

pictures of bed bugs
Bed Bugs Furniture Picture
(Source: University of Kentucky College of Agriculture)

Be sure to inspect all furniture.  Be sure to empty and bag the contents of drawers so that you can turn them over during the inspection process.  Only move contents into sealed bags.  Every item should be inspected for bugs.

pictures of bed bugs
Pictures of Bed Bugs on Refrigerator Edge


bed bugs furniture

Bed Bugs Furniture Picture

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

See our guide on bed bugs getting rid of them. Our best advice is that if you want to try it yourself, purchase a kit that contains an instruction book, spray, powder, steamer and zippered mattress covers. A kit that contains everything you need is available from  Dermisil for Bed Bugs.  Every inch of a room being treated needs to be inspected and treated

To ensure that you actually have bed bugs you can send a sample bug to Identify with this form (PDF download)  They charge $20 for the service. You can also check with a local university, board of health or cooperative extension.

It can take 2 to 3 treatments to get rid of an infestation.  If  you decide to hire an exterminator, ask specifically about their bedbug experience and what equipment will be used.  Ask if the company will provide a written guarantee and what chemical, organic and mechanical methods (vacuuming, steam) are used.

Since treatment can cost $1,000 or more,, it pays to get more than one quote.  Start with Service Magic (1.877.233.1145), since they pre-screen local contracts before they can join the network and will provide up to 4 free quotes.  Follow this with a call to Terminix, (1.877.291.4849) since they provide a free quote and free on-site inspection. Another option is to search our bed bug exterminator database.

If you would like to see reviews and referrals from other consumers in your area, you can try Angies List.  

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