Picture of a Bed Bug at Each Life Stage

"If you were to view a picture of a bed bug, it would vary depending on the bedbug life stage and whether or not the bedbug has just fed on a human host.  The bed buy life cycle and pictures from each stage is depicted below. Bed bug eggs are 1/32 inches long and are white in color. A female can lay batches of 10 to 50 eggs at a time. The eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days in average temperatures, but as long as 28 days if temperatures are cool. Eggs are not laid if the temperature is below 50F. Baby bed bugs molt 5x, feeding between each molting stage. This period, where they are referred to as nymphs, lasts approximately 6 weeks. Bed Bugs can create 3 generations in one year if temperatures indoors are around 70F. Adults are 1/4 to 3/8 inches."

Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bedbugs move through 10 stages during their life cycle as depicted below; from egg to adult.  The appearance changes with the egg being a small white object the size of a pinhead, to small brown straw colored nymph to reddish/brown adult.  It takes approximately 10 months for the lifecycle to be complete.  Bedbugs need to feed to move from 1 stage to the next.  

picture of a bed bug

picture of a bed bug
Picture of a Bed Bug At Different Life Cycle Stages
Before and After Feeding

Bedbug Eggs 

This shows a collection of bed bug eggs.  The eggs are usually laid on a corrugated or rough surface such as fabric and adhere to the surface with a cement like substance.  Eggs cannot be killed with spray products, as the spray will not penetrate the shell of the egg.  

picture of a bed bug
Magnified Bed Bug Eggs

The most effective way to kill them is with a hand steamer such as the one offered for this purpose by Bed Bug Patrol , which uses heat at 120F, which will kill both eggs and live bedbugs. Bed Bug Patrol also offers a kit that is an economical way to purchase all the products needed to remove these pests.

photo bed bugs furniture
Picture of Bed Bug Eggs in the Seam of a Couch

picture of a bed bug
Source: UNL Dept of Entomology - Bedbug Hatching

Bed Bug Nymph

A nymph is a bedbug that has just been born.  They are approximately 1mm in length and are light brown or straw color.  A nymph will go through 5 feedings before becoming an adult.  With each feeding they will not only grow in physical size, but also darken in color, becoming more of a red/brown each time as depicted in the life cycle chart above.  After they molt between stages, they will return to a white color until feeding again.

picture of a bed bug
Picture of Bed Bug Nymph

picture of a bed bug

Bed Bug Pictures - Adult

Adult bed bugs are flat and approximately 1/4 inch in length.  Their size will grow by approximately 1/3 after feeding as depicted on the right.

photo bed bug adults

Picture of a Bed Bug: Side View

One way to determine if you have Bedbugs is to look at them from a side view.  They are very thin from the side.  Another way to determine if you have bedbugs is to send a sample to Cornell Insect Diagnostic Lab filling out this form (PDF Download).  There is a $25 fee for this service payable to Cornell University.

photo bed bug side view

Source: University of Florida

Picture of a Bed Bug Feeding on Human Skin

To move through their life cycle bedbugs need to feed at each stage.  They will feed one time every two weeks for approximately 10 minutes, and with each feeding the picture of a bed bug changes.  They don't actually bite the skin, but puncture it with two tubes that are connected to their head.  Some people will have a hypersensitive reaction to proteins in the saliva the bedbug leaves behind, which leaves a small red papule, or red inflamed area around a clear center.

photo bed bug bites

Bed Bug Picture of Adult Bed Bugs and Nymphs (just born)
Source: PCT October 2005

Bed Bugs and Other Similar Insects

Bedbugs can be confused with other insects such as bat bugs, bird bugs and carpet beetles.  The pictures below depicts the differences.

picture of a bed bug
Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

picture of a bed bug
Picture of a Carpet Beetle (left) and Bed Bug (right)
(Source: Dr. Ridge, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)

For more information on Bed Bugs downlod this PDF from the Cornell Insect Diagnostic Laboratory. If you have any questions, feel free to fill out the form below and one of our editors will respond at no charge to you.

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