Photos of Bed Bugs

Photos of Bed bugs and bedbug video shown below demonstrate how they change in appearance from birth through adulthood.  A bedbug will move through 5 stages.  To move from stage to stage they need to have a blood meal.  The bed bugs will change in size and color before and after feeding.  It takes a bed bug to about 10 months to pass through their life cycle.

A female will lay about 3 eggs per day, with the eggs hatching in 14 days.  It takes 4 months for a nymph to become an adult.  These times are only estimates since as mentioned moving through the bed bug life cycle depends on feeding and also on room temperature.  A bed bug lives for about 10 months, but could live longer.  

Bedbug Video from National Geographic

National Geographic Bedbug Video

Bed Bug LifeCycle

The photos of bed bugs below show images of bedbugs as they move through their entire lifecycle. The Bed Bug Life Cycle takes 4-5 weeks (egg-to-egg) in ‘good’ conditions ( 83-90o F).

photos of bed bugs

Photos of Bed Bugs: Eggs

Bed bug eggs are the size of a pin head or 1/25th of an inch.  The oval shaped eggs are usually in small clusters and are attached to the surface with a cement like substance.  Since they are stuck to the surface, methods of bed bug removal such as vacuuming are not effective.  When killing bed bugs, it is important to use an approach that can penetrate the shell.  Some bedbug sprays such as SterifabPhantom and Bedlam are effective against eggs.  A popular non chemical approach is to use a hand steamer, which super heats the eggs to the required 113 degrees (F) to kill the egg.

In 4 to 12 days the eggs will hatch.  A nymph or just hatched bedbug will look for a blood meal within 24 hours after hatching.  A female may lay 200-500 bedbug eggs in her life.

pictures of bed bug eggs
Enlarged Pictures of Bed Bug Eggs

pictures of bed bug eggs
Picture of Bed Bug Eggs

Bed Bug Eggs Pic
Bed Bug Eggs Pic

photos of bed bugs
Bed Bug Egg Picture on Surface

Photos of Bed Bugs: Nymphs

Bed bug nymphs pass through 5 instars or bed bug developmental stage as indicated above in the life cycle chart.  They can live for 3 to 4 months without feeding.

photos of bed bugs
Pictures of Bed Bug Adults and Nymphs

photos of bed bugs
Picture of Bed Bug Nymphs after Blood Meal

Photos of Bed Bugs as Adults

Adult bed bugs are approximately 3/16 inches long.  They are oval and flat and have a red/brown color.  Other characteristics include:

  • 3 segment beak
  • 4 segment antennae
  • vestigial wings (they can't fly)
  • thin fine hairs that are gold colored on the body
  • the female abdomen is more rounded
photo of bed bugs
Picture of Bed Bug as Adult

After feeding a bed bug will expand in size:

photo of bed bugs
Photos of BedBugs Before and After Feeding

photo of bed bugs
Picture of Bed Bug Dorsal View

A bed bug has a very thin profile, making it easier for them to hide in tight locations.  When searching for bed bugs look in every crack, under furniture drawers, around the bed frame and under any mattress tags.  Most bedbugs are usually found inside the box spring as this provides many convenient hiding places.  See our guide to killing bedbugs for step by step instructions.

photos of bed bugs
BedBug Photo
(Source: University of Florida)

Photos of Bed Bugs:  Mattress and Furniture

You can spot bed bugs with the naked eye, with most found around the bed (approx. 50%+).  Bed bugs leave behind dark spots on the mattress which is a sign that they are hiding nearby.

photos bed bugs
Bed Bug Spots on Mattress

Be sure to do a bed bugs furniture inspection to ensure that you have treated all surfaces.  When using a bed bug spray such as Sterifab, be sure to test in a small area to avoid discoloring.

photos of bed bugs
Picture Bed Bugs Furniture

How to Identify Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are often confused with other pests such as bat bugs.  To be sure you have a bed bug problem, you can send a specimen to a local government agency that specializes in bed bugs (see our Local Bed Bugs Information Directory) or to the Harvard School of Public Health (small fee).

More information can be found on our guide on how to identify bed bugs.

photo of bed bugs
Source: Bed Bugs - Importance, Biology, and Control Strategies;
Armed Forces Pest Management Board

What You Need to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Several products are needed to get rid of bed bugs.  This includes:

  • BedBug Spray: Buy a mattress safe product.  Also check regarding pet and child safety if this is a concern.  A good choice is Sterifab or one of the kits listed below.
  • Dust to Kill Bed Bugs: A natural product call diatomaceous earth will cling to the bed bug.  Dust is spread into cracks and other locations after treatment to kill any late hatching bedbugs from eggs that might have been missed during treatment.
  • Hand Steamer: After spray treatment, use a hand steamer in cracks and around the mattress and box spring to kill any eggs that might have been missed.
  • Mattress Covers for Bed Bugs: Buy zippered covers for both the mattress and box spring.  This will trap any bed bugs that were missed during treatment.  It is not necessary to throw out a mattress or box spring that is in good condition.  Mattress covers for bed bugs must be clearly marked that they are made for the purpose of keeping bed bugs from breaking through the surface or zipper.
These products in addition to vacuuming the room with both the vacuum and brushless crevice tool should treat the average room.  Of course, a professional that has bed bug experience may be preferred, although the cost is upwards of $1000.  You can buy a kit with all of the above for about $160 from Dermisil or All Stop.  Either will do the job and save you money.

It may take 2 to 3 treatments to be sure that all bed bugs are gone.  To be sure, consider purchasing Climbup BedBug Interceptors.  These are placed under each leg of the bed and will catch bed bugs before they crawl up onto the bed.  If the interceptors are empty after two weeks,  the infestation is probably gone, since it can take up to 12 days for bed bug eggs to hatch.  See the rest of this site for more photos of bed bugs.

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