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Bed Bugs Pictures

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How big are bed bugs?

Bed bug size changes at each life stage as shown below. A bed bug egg is 1/32" long.   Adult bed bugs size that has not recently fed will be about 3/16". After feeding the body swells and grows in length to about 1/5"  to 1/4".

bed bug actual size chartBed Bugs Actual Size at Each Life Stage
bed bugs pictures actual sizeBed Bug Pictures, Actual Size Compared to a Penny

Overview: What bed Bugs look like to the Naked eye

The following Bed Bugs pictures can help identify bugs in your home or apartment as well as any bites or symptoms on your body.  Bed bugs at all stages can be seen with the naked eye. When they hatch the insects are small, so a magnifying glass and flashlight can aid in the inspection process.

Bed bugs have a flat, oval-round body shape and have 6 legs.

bed  bug on human thumbBed Bug on Person's Thumb

When looking for bed bugs in the home, first realize that they follow a lifecycle. The insects start as an egg, move through infancy (called being an Instar or nymph), followed by adulthood (see life cycle chart below and National Geographic video).

baby bed bugsPictures of Baby Bed Bugs

In terms of skin reactions, it varies by person. Some people are not allergic to bed bug bites and will show no skin reaction. Others are highly allergic and will experience red skin bumps, irritation, and rash. Severe cases result in rashes.  See pictures below for examples.

Bed bugs live for approximately 10 months and move through a life cycle from egg to adult. Infestations usually start with a female bed bug who would bite the host for blood upon arrival in the bed, and then for another "meal 2 weeks later.

At that point, she would lay eggs in the home at a rate of 3 per day. It takes 2 weeks for an egg to hatch. The just born nymph looks for food right away and becomes an adult bed bug in 4 months. The speed of reproduction and total life span is affected by room temperature and what is described assumes a room at 68F (20C).

The adult bed bug lives for approximately 10-months, but can live without feeding up to a year if you decide to move to another room. A typical infestation has between 4 and 500 bed bugs.

female and male bed bugsFemale (left) and Male (right) Adult Bed Bugs. Males are oval shaped. Females have a more pronounced oval shape. After a blood meal appearance differences disappear.

Physical Appearance for Identification


Adults: Bright red after feeding, dull red if haven't fed. Baby bed bug (nymph) straw, yellow color


1/5" to 1/4", eggs 1/32"


Oval with a flattened body. Antennae, small eyes.

Bed Bugs Lifecycle

Types of Bed Bugs Pictures

types of bed bugs pictures at each lifecycle stageBed Bug Lifecycle. Note how each bed bugs image changes as they move from stage to stage.

Bed bugs move through 5 developmental stages before they become an adult. They must eat a blood meal before they move from stage to stage. The insects shed their exoskeleton between each stage. It takes 37 days for a bed bug to move from egg to adult in ideal temperatures which is greater than 72 degrees Fahrenheit.. An adult will live for about 1 year and for only 70 days if living without food.  They can live longer in colder temperatures without a meal.

pictures of bed bug lifecycleBed bugs images at each lifestage. To lay eggs and grow, bedbugs need a blood meal. They hatch in 10 days and become adults in 2 to 4 months.

How do you get rid of bed bugs?

bed bug hiding spots

There are two ways to get rid of bed bugs, do it yourself, or our recommended method, which is to call an exterminator.

Why an exterminator? Bed bugs are the hardest insect to eliminate, even for a pro. They require up to 3 treatments to eliminate an infestation. A good place to start is with a call to a national network such as Home Advisor that can certify the skills of a local exterminator (or call 866-214-8380).

If you are going to "do it yourself", the best way to remove an infestation is to buy a kit which contains a collection of products and zippered covers needed to

  1. kill the bugs that you can see
  2. kill the bugs you can't
  3.  protect against eggs you miss. 

Good reasonably prices choices and kits are offered by Bed Bug Supply. More than one type of spray is needed to kill bedbugs, which is why a kit is essential.

If your mattress is over eight years old and showing signs of wear you may consider replacing it. See our guide for detailed instructions on pest control for eliminating bed bugs.

Bedbug Video

National Geographic Bed Bugs Video

An army of bed bugs can attack a person 500 times in one night! See these insects in action.

Adult bed Bugs Pictures

As this picture of a bed bug shows, adult bed bugs are approximately 1/4 inch to 3/8 inches long. After feeding on blood, the bug becomes a color that is a dull dark red. When the bugs are just born they have no color or look like a straw color.

magnified bed bug pictureMagnified View of Bed Bug

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bug photo - Flat view

bed bug flat profileThe Flat Profile Enables Bedbugs to Hide in Narrow Cracks

Side View

bed bug side viewBed Bug Side View

Picture of Bed Bug on Skin

A bed bug only feeds on the skin for up to 10 minutes. One bug may make multiple bites. Each bed bug will feed every few days and then move back to their hiding place until they need to feed again as this picture of bed bugs shows.

Bed Bugs Images - Engorged and not Engorged

In this picture, the bed bug on the left hasn't fed on a host yet. The bedbug on the right is engorged with blood.

adult bed bugs before and after a blood mealEngorged with Blood After Feeding on Host (left-A) and Not Engorged (Right-B) Bed Bugs Pictures

Bed bugs furniture photos

Bed bugs tend to hide near the bed, with 80% - 85% of any infestation found near the mattress or bed frame.  However, they can also hide in nearby furniture, particularly if they were dropped in the area.


bed bugs on furnitureBed Bugs on Surface of Couch

Furniture Fabric

bed bugs on upholstery couchBed Bugs Picture Showing Eggs, and Insects Hidden on Couch


bed bugs on chairBed Bugs on Chair Fabric

Bed bugs mattress pictures

bed bugs mattress seamMagnified View of Bed Bugs Hiding in Mattress Seam

Bed bugs usually climb up bed legs or a headboard. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide exhaled by humans when breathing. Hiding spaces such as mattress seams are convenient ways to stay close to a human source for their next blood meal.

pictures of bed bugs on mattressPictures of Bed Bugs On Mattress (Actual Size)
bed bugs on mattress picturesPicture of Bed Bug Fecal Smears and Blood Stains on Mattress
pics of bed bugs on mattressPics of bed bugs molted skins on the mattress surface. One way to confirm an active bed bug infestation is to identify actual bed bugs on a mattress

Picture of Bed Bug eggs on furniture including adult bed bugs and just born bedbug (nymph). Each bed bug (females) will lay approximately 3 to 8 eggs and up to 500 eggs over their 10-month life. Each egg is 1/25 inch and is curved. The common bed bug will lay eggs in a sticky cluster. A bug will feed 24 hours after being hatched. Eggs will hatch between 4 and 12 days.

baby bed bug hatching (nymph or Instar)Bed Bug Hatching from Egg

Egg Shells

picture of bed bug egg and shellsBed Bug Eggs and Shells

Bed Bug Bite Pictures

bed bug bite patternMultiple Bed Bug Bites Often Form a Linear Pattern
picture of bed bug bitesThis Picture of Bed Bug Bites Results in a Skin Rash 30 Mintutes After Bite. Skin Reactions Can Appear Up to 24 Hours After Being Bitten Usually Lasts for 1 to 2 Days.

While bed bugs will bite anyone, they only leave red, irritated skin reactions on people that are allergic to the bites. This is why two people sleeping in the same bed can experience no symptoms after getting several bedbug bites, or only one of the two people will see symptoms.

three bed bugs bites on armPicture of Bed Bug Bite

Not sure if you have a bed bug problem?

Not sure you have a bed bug infestation? Trouble evaluating your problem based on these bed bugs pictures. One good way to evaluate a bed bug is to complete this form and send to the Cornell Diagnostic Lab, with a sample bug for evaluation. See this page for more bed bug photos or here for more bed bug pictures.

Remember that each bed bugs picture will be different from being a baby bed bug or nymph through adulthood.

Call a bed bug exterminator

Bed bugs are difficult to exterminate. It's preferable to call in an expert who can confirm the presence of bed bugs, knows how to conduct a proper inspection, and who uses specialized equipment to treat the problem.  The bugs multiply quickly so be sure to act as soon as you think you have a problem.

Start by either getting a free quote from a reputable company like Home Advisor (call 877-673-2704 or check our list for a local bed bug exterminator near you.  Only use companies and representatives of those companies that have specific expertise in treating bed bugs.

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Free brochures for download with additional  bed bugs pictures and information.

Guide to solving bed bug problems.
Available in a free Ebook

Bed Bug Fact Sheet
Available in a free Ebook

Learn More About Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs: Get Them Out and Keep Them Out (U.S. EPA)

Federal Trade Commission

Common Comprehensive Bed Bug Prevention Techniques

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