What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

In case you’re wondering, can you see bed bugs with the naked eye? We have a simple answer for you here. The pictures compiled below should give you an exact idea of how bed bugs look like.

Let’s begin by going through some of the bed bug images I feel best portray the little nocturnal creatures. By asking random people online to send me picture of the insects if they were struggling with infestations, I was also able to receive some great images.

Can You See Bed Bugs With the Naked Eye?

Yes, you can see bed bugs with the naked eye. The normal human eye can see objects about 0.03mm but bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 – 1/4 inch long) according to EPA. They are large enough to be visible to the normal eye without any visual aid.

Both adults and baby bed bugs are visible to our naked eyes. Most newly-hatched bed bugs will be difficult to spot with human eye without assistance of glasses.

However, for rooms that are disorganized and contain a lot of items, visualizing the insects may be difficult, especially when the bedding are white or brown.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny, flat, oval-shaped and slightly smelly insects about the size of apple seed or 5-7 mm. They are wingless and have relatively tough exoskeleton. The insects are fully develop and nymphs or baby bed bugs often resemble adult bugs. Their bodies redden or darken (brownish) after feeding on blood meal.

bed bug sucking blood from an arm
Bed bug on a person’s arm

Young bed bugs, adult bed bugs and even bed bug eggs are visible to the human eye. It is possible to identify them with their distinct features to ensure that you when you begin treating for pests, you’re sure about not mistaking any of them.

Since bed bugs hide during the day, it may be difficult to spot them until night time.

And where do these bed bugs come from? We have some great explanations for you. More questions about where bed bugs hide and how long they live at the bottom of the post.

Bed Bug Pictures

Based on the pictures below, you will notice that mature bed bugs are dark brown and wingless are can be seen with the naked eye. Their color depends on the amount of blood they have sucked.

A darker color indicates that the insect has had a fair share of human blood meal.

two mature bed bugs resting on a fabric

This image of a pair shows bed bugs looking like someone was toasting them. Do not be deceived about their appearance because these are mature ones.

Scroll down further to see young bed bugs immediately after hatching.

bed bugs hidden on a bed frame

The bed bug family you see here was pictured on a bed frame joint. The insects like to crowd in specific hidden corners of the bed or other pieces of furniture. They don’t hang around in the open like houseflies.

dead bed bugs after spraying with insecticides

By now, you might be scared. We have an army of bed bugs here. They are dead though. The guy who took the picture had just sprayed their hiding joint. One cannot find this many bed bugs in one spot.

a fully engorged bed bug after feeding

A small engorged bed bug resting on a toe. It is just one week old and well-fed. The insects do not require much blood to swell like this. However, when it is time for them to suck, they know how to exploit their victim.

After feeding, bed bugs become engorged and swollen.

What do Bed Bug bites look like?

an image of what bed bug bite looks like
An image of what a bed bug bite looks like

Bed bug bites will be visible as small, red, and itchy swellings with a dark center. The bite is usually marked with a swollen surrounding and is less than an inch across. The most common places bed bugs bite are exposed skin surfaces including the face, neck, arms, hands, and legs.

As if it would get any better, bed bug bites are even scarier. These bites are usually in the back, inner arm, calves, and the back of the neck. Those are usually the most vulnerable body spots.

Some researchers suggest that the reason the bugs bite those regions is because they are lie toward the mattress.

Others think that those areas of the body have thin skin surface making it easy for bed bug’s stylet fascicle to penetrate. The stylet fascicle is the straw-like tube at the mouth that bed bugs use for feeding.

bed bug bites looking like tiny swellings on the back of a person

The image above shows a female victim who has experienced some rough moments with bed bugs. The bites can get quite itchy for those who are allergic to bed bug saliva.

What do Bed bug eggs look like?

Bed bug eggs look like milky white grain about 1 millimeter long. Their size is close to that or a grain of salt, but are covered with a sticky substance for attachment on surfaces. The whitish eggs are tiny and difficult to see without magnification but they are usually visible to the naked eye.

Bed bug eggs are visible to the human eye. They are tiny but quite visible. Other people confuse the eggs with wood dust. But if you examine them carefully, they are closer to white rice grains than wood dust.

bed bug eggs an image of several eggs
An image of what bed bug eggs look like

All these are not some grains bed bugs feed on. The picture above is a true definition of procreating to survive. Bed bugs lay many eggs and their population can multiply in no time.

The infestation can get so big that within a short period that they become almost impossible to eradicate.

more images of transparent bed bug eggs
Transparent white dots that are bed bug eggs

These are just some more images of bed bug eggs. Like I said, if one of these is dropped into a bucket of rice, it would be just so indistinguishable.

several white bed bug eggs on a black fabric

This is how they look like on a fabric. The above picture was sent to my inbox from one guy who complained that he no longer enjoys sitting in his couch. He suspects that one of his visitors might have brought him some because in his bedroom, there were no bed bugs.

Are Baby Bed Bugs Visible to the Naked Eye?

Yes, baby bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye, although detecting newborns may be difficult if one does not look keenly. Usually, people detect baby bed bugs through itchy bites. That is when a person is forced to do a thorough search to locate them.

young bed bug picture
An image of what baby bed bugs look like

Let’s move away from the bed bug eggs and switch to those that have hatched – the baby bed bugs.

The image above is that of young ones.

What do baby bed bugs look like?

Baby bed bugs, also called nymphs, are glassy in appearance about 2-4 millimeters long. These young bed bugs are entirely white or whitish-yellow. They are transparent until they start sucking blood and grow thicker shells. They have six legs, three body parts, and two antennae just like adult ones.

Aren’t they scary already this stage? No. But wait until they smell carbon dioxide and human blood.

They are translucent and almost colorless, but look exactly like mature bugs.

Bed bug shells

an image of what young bed bug shells look like

Bed bugs shed their exoskeleton as they molt to the next stage. You will find these “leftovers” in cracks, under furniture, or anywhere they may be nesting.

Dead ones leave shells that look like the picture above. The shells easily live ones. Sometimes, people get scared when they see shells. However, shells can be a sign that many of them have died.

Bed bug feeding cycle

a photo of bed bug cycle

A transparent bed bug with no blood gradually fills up to become darker as it suck more.

Are Bed Bug Poop Visible to the Human Eye?

Yes, the human eye can see bed bug poop without the need for glasses. Their poop is often black and may be confused for stains. These droppings do not smell and can be confused for normal stain or dirt.

an image of bed bug poop

Do bed bugs get messy? If you’ve been wondering then you now know that those little babies drop their waste everywhere without mercy. They can stain your mattress, bed sheets, duvet covers, pillows and all bedding.

When bed bug release their droppings, shells, and the chemicals they produce mix after heavy infestation, they create a strong unpleasant smell. The smell is often compared with coriander while others say it is like spoilt berries.

more bed bug poop on a mattress

After sucking blood, it is time to excrete. The image above shows bed bug poop on the edge of a mattress. The darks spots are the actual droppings.

They are usually mixed with live bed bugs and eggs. If you look closely, there are white eggs on the dark edge and young bed bugs around there too. The black spots are the actual poop.

bed bug poop stains

If you notice stains like these on pillows or bed sheet or duvet covers, you could be looking at clues about bed bug. The hints usually become visible when the infestation gets bigger. At this stage, it might be important to find a professional pest control service immediately.

Don’t bed bug poop stains look just so annoying? You might have gone to sleep a white spotless pillow but you wake up with something like this in the middle of the night. If you do not have any physical bruise or cut, then you can be certain it is feces dropped by bed bugs.

image of what adult bed bugs look like

An extremely up close image of bed bugs. If nothing about the insects has scared you so far, this image should. This image shows four large bed bugs.

I would not want to find bugs this size in my bed any time. Those little ‘vampires’ might turn your bedroom into a small hell.

what does a fed bed bug look like? This is its image

This engorged guy has probably fed for 15 minutes. Bed bugs feed for roughly 3-15 minutes. If you catch them in the middle of feeding, they will quickly vanish into their hiding places. Then they will come back again once you try to sleep. They just never stop until they are full.

How long does it take for bed bug eggs to hatch?

Bed bug eggs hatch after 6-10 days. After mating, the eggs, mostly found laid in cracks and crevices, hatch in less than two weeks. Did you know that an individual bed bug lays about 200-250 eggs during its entire lifetime?

an illustration of life cycle of bed bugs

Just before proceeding to the next images, the picture above illustrates the life cycle of bed bugs from eggs to hatching all the way to adult ones.

Where do bed bugs hide?

Assuming that you’re already unlucky and is currently dealing with bedbugs, here are the 15 places to look for if you suspect your bedroom has bed bugs.

  1. Corners of blanket
  2. Storage bin placed beneath the bed.
  3. Box springs
  4. Mattresses and box springs
  5. Crack and crevices in bed frames (hot spots)
  6. Headboard and footboard
  7. Pillow cases
  8. Comforters
  9. Bedroom rugs and carpet
  10. Couches and all upholstered furniture
  11. Luggage
  12. Wall décor  (a loose wallpaper and other hangings)
  13. Night stands
  14. Bedroom electronics such as alarm clocks or gaming consoles
  15. Drawer joints
How long do bed bugs live?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicates that bed bugs live for 6-12 months or even longer if not terminated during pest management.

It is important to give you a clue how long you might have to put up with bed bugs if you decide to not consult pest management experts. To grow from one stage to another, a bed bug would need at least a single blood meal. During the six stages of growth, it will need a minimum of six feeding sessions.

Each female bed bug lays 1-3 eggs per day.

Since they are active at temperature range of 7°C (46°F) – 45°C (113°F), applying extreme temperatures may contain some of them temporarily.