If you’re afraid the your home might be infested with bed bugs, don’t panic. You can be worrying over nothing, as numerous bugs room often confused with bed bugs. If girlfriend do have actually an infestation, though, it’s crucial to determine them so that you have the right to seek the end the suitable treatment.

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Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown, oval-shaped insects. They are 4mm – 7mm long, and also loosely resemble apologize seeds. Bed bugs have six legs, quick antennae, and also segmented bodies. Their bodies are flat when unfed, and swollen after a blood meal. Nymphs are small and pale, and eggs space tiny and white.

This post will aid you to spot a bed pest infestation. We’ll talk about what bed bugs are, what lock look like, and their distinguishing features. We’ll likewise cover how to recognize bed bug nymphs, eggs, feces, and also bite marks.

Table that Contents:

1 What space Bed Bugs?2 What walk a Bed pest Look Like?3 What Bugs can Be Mistaken for Bed Bugs?3.6 Fleas

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs space insects in the order Hemiptera, or “true bugs.” They space loosely concerned stink bugs, aphids, and even cicadas.

However, fairly than innocently feeding on tree juices or sap, bed bugs have a more sinister idea the a an excellent meal: lock only drink human blood.

They are parasites, and cannot endure without feeding on warm-blooded animals, much like fleas or lice. However, bed bugs carry out not live straight on or in our bodies. Instead, castle live in our beds, bedroom furniture, carpets and also rugs, walls, and also even electronics. At night, when we’re asleep, they follow our scent and settle down to feed.

A bed bug’s bite does no hurt at first, since their saliva has an anesthetic, i beg your pardon stops united state from feeling it. However, a few days after the bite, that turns into a small, an extremely itchy red lump.

Bed bugs breed and also reproduce quickly. One woman can develop up to 6 eggs per day, according to a research in the clinical journal Insects. A tiny infestation can turn into a big one quickly.

Where perform Bed Bugs Come From?

Since 2004, the population of bed bugs in the USA has actually exploded into an epidemic. Every state in the U.S. Is now residence to bed bugs, and also you deserve to pick them up nearly anywhere.

Hotels, movie theaters, friends’ homes, residential homes, hospitals, and even schools might be playing hold to the helminth creatures. It just takes one pregnant female to sneak right into your coat pocket or your purse because that you to bring a whole brand-new generation that bed bugs residence with you.

The an initial step toward managing an infestation is gift able to identify bed bugs accurately.

What go a Bed pest Look Like?

One of the many common myths regarding bed bugs is the they room too little to watch clearly. But can you see bed bugs with the naked eye? Surprisingly, you have the right to – castle are much more than big enough, specifically the adults.

If you discover a small, mysterious an insect in her home and also you’re not certain whether the a bed bug, shot to record it in a clean glass. Then, you deserve to begin evaluating it.


How big Are Bed Bugs?

Adult bed bugs are roughly 4mm – 5mm lengthy when unfed, and also can grow to 7mm lengthy when they have actually recently consumed a blood meal. Their bodies stretch and swell come accommodate your food.

If you’ve ever before seen one apple seed, climate you know what come look the end for when identifying bed bugs. Lock are approximately the exact same size. Castle are additionally a similar shape – they have an oval-shaped abdomen and a little head.

What color Are Bed Bugs?

Interestingly enough, bed bugs are about the same shade as an apple seed, too. They space a deep, rich reddish-brown. The best method to define the shade of a bed an insect is “mahogany.”

The brown shade comes from the great of their hard exoskeleton, which come to be darker in ~ every stage in your life cycle. The red tint comes from their foodstuff of selection – blood.

When a bed pest has recently consumed a blood meal, they will certainly be a brighter red shade than usual.

Identifying features of Bed Bugs

Like every insects, bed bugs have actually three key parts to your body:

Head. A bed bug’s head is very small, with one small eye on each side, and also a sharp “beak.” They have actually a lengthy proboscis because that drinking blood, i m sorry they save tucked underneath your bodies when not in use. Bed bugs also have 2 antennae, which are quite brief – around as long as their first pair that legs.Thorax. The following section the a bed bug’s human body is the thorax (midsection), which is also tiny.Abdomen. A bed bug’s abdomen is around four times as lengthy as the thorax, and also twice as wide. The abdomen is round as soon as viewed from above. If a bed an insect hasn’t newly fed, that is abdomen will show up flat as soon as viewed side-on. As soon as it feeds ~ above blood, the abdomen will come to be plump and elongated.

A bed bug’s human body is segmented. There are two small, rudimentary “wing casings” close to the thorax. These room a functionless evolutionary remnant from a time long ago, when bed bugs can fly. Luckily, castle can’t no longer – therefore if your pest takes off, it’s not a bed bug.

Bed bugs likewise have 6 legs. Viewing indigenous above, the first pair of legs extends the end from the thorax, and also the 2nd and 3rd pairs prolong out native the abdomen. Every leg has one bend, and also ends in a foot through microscopic hooks, because that gripping human being skin.

Male vs. Woman Bed Bugs

It is possible to call the difference between a masculine bed bug and a mrs bed bug, though it’s quite tricky. The distinction is every in the abdomen.

Female bed bugs are lot rounder than males. Males space slightly an ext elongated and slim, also when unfed. However, the distinction is subtle.

The obvious difference have the right to be uncovered at the guideline of the abdomen. Woman bed bugs space almost fully smooth and rounded, conversely, males have a spicy tip. This is where the male sex body organ is.

How to identify a Bed bug Nymph

The indigenous “nymph” is supplied to refer to bed bugs that have not yet got to the adult phase of your life cycle.

Once a bed bug hatches indigenous the egg, it emerges together a nymph. Nymphs begin extremely small – roughly 1.5mm long. They are off-white in color.

Their shells are fairly thin, so you deserve to see v to your stomach fairly easily. It will show up as a dark dot as soon as unfed. After ~ a blood meal, it will be bright red and engorged.

Nymphs look very comparable to adult bed bugs, other than size and also color. They have actually the same general body shape and variety of legs. Castle go through 5 different stages that growth, called instars, prior to they reach full adulthood.

At each stage, the bed bug will acquire slightly bigger and slightly darker in color: cream, climate honey, climate pale brown, and also eventually mahogany.

Between every stage, the nymph will certainly molt and shed the exoskeleton (“skin”), to enable room for much more growth.

Identifying shed Bed bug Skins

If you know exactly how to recognize bed bugs, then you’ll additionally know what shed exoskeletons look at like. When a bed an insect sheds its skin, the whole thing comes turn off in one go.

The shells look almost exactly prefer the bugs us – you’ll have the ability to see the legs and the head. However, they are lot paler in color, and of course, they are empty. If friend poke one, it won’t begin crawling away.


How to identify a Bed pest Egg

Now the you know just how to acknowledge the bugs themselves, you might be wondering: deserve to you check out bed bug eggs?

Yes, you can – however you might have an excellent difficulty. Bed bug eggs room very little – less than 1mm long. They are not technically microscopic, as they can be seen v the nude eye.

However, because they’re for this reason tiny, they’re easily missed. And also if you don’t have actually the best eyesight, you may not have the ability to see them in ~ all.

Bed bug eggs space long and also oval in shape. Photo a item of uncooked short-grain rice, only much smaller. They space whitish in color, and also slightly translucent together the shells aren’t an extremely thick.

You’ll usually uncover bed an insect eggs stuck to surfaces about your home with a sticky, glue-like substance the bed bugs produce. Usually, bed bugs have tendency to lay your eggs in the smallest, most secluded point out they have the right to find. You’ll need to go looking with a magnifying glass and also a flashlight to have any type of hope of recognize them.

Bed an insect Egg Casings

Egg casings room the shells of bed an insect eggs that baby bed bugs have currently escaped from. Lock look very similar to bed pest eggs, however they space flatter and also almost completely clear. Castle are even harder to spot 보다 the eggs themselves, yet they deserve to be uncovered in the very same places.

If you find any, it is a sure sign that baby bed bugs room lurking what nearby.

How to recognize Bed bug Feces

Like every living things, bed bugs have to expel waste native time to time. Bed bugs eat specifically blood, so they likewise poop blood.

But the blood that provides up bed an insect excrement has been digested, so that looks an extremely different to the kind of blood the you’ll watch if you accidentally reduced yourself.

Blood that has been digested by bed bugs is very dark – nearly black in color. It remains liquid in texture, therefore if a bed bug poops on miscellaneous porous (like your mattress), the feces will certainly sink right into the fabric. This leaves a mark that looks like a small, level black period – very comparable to octopus spots indigenous a pen.

These fecal spots will certainly occur almost everywhere that they congregate, live and breed. Element spots include:

In the piping follow me the edges of the mattressCracks and also crevices in the headboard, crate spring or bed frameAround the edge of the bedroom, consisting of in the carpet, top top the wall surface and baseboard

Bed an insect Feces vs. Blood Spots

Another telltale sign of a bed pest infestation is blood spotting. This is various from bed an insect feces since it is fresh blood that has not passed v a bug’s body.

Blood spotting occurs since bed bugs inject you with an anticoagulant as soon as they bite. This stops your blood indigenous clotting. A bite wound might bleed for part time after a bed an insect has drunk that is fill and unlatched. Also, you might sometimes role over and also crush a bed bug in her sleep, bring about undigested blood come leak out.

You might find blood point out on the within of your pajamas, on your bedsheet or your comforter. They’ll be lighter in color than fecal spots, and an ext uneven shape.

How to recognize a Bed pest Bite

As well as identifying the bugs, eggs, and also fecal spots, yes sir one other telltale authorize of one infestation: bite point out on your body.

Bed bugs commonly bite at night. This is due to the fact that we are mainly motionless if we’re sleeping, so there’s much less chance of us relocating around and dislodging the bed bug.

You might not notification bite marks right away. This is since it can take number of days for your skin to construct a reaction. The bite wounds themselves room tiny and also invisible – but most world are allergic to bed pest saliva, i m sorry is what causes the welt. Bed pest bite marks space usually:

Roundish, periodically with uneven edgesRaised and swollenPink or redVery itchy, or also painful

Usually, bed bug bites appear in lines. Each bug will just take one meal per night, however sometimes the pest cannot discover a suitable capillary to feeding on, so needs to unlatch and bite again. And of course, an ext than one pest may feed per night.

Bed pest bites occur most regularly on exposed skin, such together the feet, ankles, neck, and also arms. However, they deserve to crawl with gaps in her pajamas to bite the skin underneath. Bed bugs can not bite v your clothing.

Be aware, though, the some world do no experience any kind of bed bug bite symptoms. You may be gift bitten and also be totally oblivious, because your skin does no react.


What Bugs have the right to Be Mistaken because that Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are far from the just creepy crawlies that can infest your home, bite you and also cause a nuisance. Over there are lots of similar-looking bugs, and parasites the cause similar reactions to bed pest bites.

Spider Beetles

Spider beetles aren’t pertained to spiders. They are insects, and only have actually six foot – through their antennae room so lengthy that they deserve to sometimes look choose an extra pair that legs.

There space many types of spider beetle, but the one the looks most comparable to bed bugs is the smooth spider beetle. They space oval, red-brown and about the very same size. Spider beetles nothing bite humans – they feed on tree matter.

Spider beetles aren’t segmented prefer bed bugs. They have actually smooth, shiny, plump bodies. Your antennae are much longer than bed bugs’ – around as long as their whole body. Spider beetles’ legs are really long, and a yellowish-tan color.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles come in miscellaneous shapes, sizes, and colors. They space six-legged beetles with quick antennae, prefer bed bugs. Rather than biting humans, though, carpet beetles feed on fabric. Lock infest carpets and also other soft furnishings.

You have the right to tell a bed pest from a carpet beetle by your body. Carpet beetles space longer and also less round than bed bugs – castle are more pill-shaped. Your bodies space covered by 2 shiny wing casings, so they perform not appear segmented. Most carpet beetles room pale brown or mottled v brown, black and white. Your larvae space furry, and virtually look choose tiny caterpillars.


You’ll probably have seen one adult cockroach before. They are much, much bigger than bed bugs at around 4cm (1.6 inches). However, cockroach nymphs are regularly mistaken for bed bugs. They room small, reddish-brown, and also have segmented bodies.

There room two key ways come tell cockroach nymphs except bed bugs. Firstly, lock have exceptionally long antennae, longer than their whole bodies. Secondly, their bodies are lot longer and narrower.

Cockroaches feed on any type of organic matter they can find, favor starches, meats, and also plants. They can also eat books! If your food supply operation short, they may bite humans, though this is rare.


Booklice, also called barklice, are not true lice. They aren’t parasites – they feeding on fungus, mold, and also starches (such together the glue supplied to bind books). Booklice don’t bite human beings or pets, but they can be a nuisance.

Like bed bugs, booklice have segmented bodies and six legs. They room not as dark as bed bugs, though – they are cream come pale brown in color. They have long antennae and much larger heads and thoraxes 보다 bed bugs. Their abdomens are narrower and not as large.


You can’t check out scabies mites v the nude eye – they space much, much too small. The biggest males look prefer tiny white pinpricks. However, your bites do develop very similar symptoms to bed bugs.

Scabies mites are parasites that live and also feed on human skin. A scabies rash comprises many tiny bump that look prefer pimples, and also are itchy. Sometimes, girlfriend can even see the “tunnels” that they dig with the skin. A medical professional will be able to identify a scabies rash and recommend treatment.


Finally, fleas are frequently mistaken because that bed bugs. In particular, your bite marks space mistaken because that bed bug bites. Castle produce similar looking red, swollen welts that itch and also sting.

Fleas are very easy to tell except bed bugs, though. They room much, much smaller, with really long earlier legs and also no antennae. A flea regarded from above is an extremely skinny, rather than round prefer a bed bug. Many importantly, lock jump, whereas bed bugs don’t.

It’s rare the fleas will certainly live on humans, therefore if you have them, friend probably have actually a cat or dog that needs to see a veterinarian.

What deserve to I do to eliminate Bed Bugs?

By now, you must be an expert at identifying bed bugs and spotting indications of an infestation. Girlfriend should have the ability to tell bed bugs apart from similar insects and parasites v ease.

If girlfriend have discovered bed bugs in her home, speak to a expert exterminator because that a consultation. Be sure to choose a firm experienced through bed bugs.

Some exterminators sell the early examination because that free, or deduct its cost from any kind of future treatment. However, many charge a fee.

It’s precious it, though. One exterminator will have the ability to estimate the dimension of the population, and also a quote for the price the treatment.

There’s only one guaranteed means to address an infestation: warmth treatment. This can only be carried out by a professional. It entails warming your whole home to end 140 degrees Fahrenheit – a deadly temperature because that bed bugs, follow to research study by the University that Minnesota. This temperature kills all bugs, nymphs, and eggs. That expensive, but necessary, especially for larger infestations.

In the meantime, consistently wash and dry every soft furnishings – including bedding, rugs, stuffed animals, curtains, couch cushions, and also covers – in together high warmth as possible. This might not eliminate every bug, yet it will help keep number down.

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You can additionally purchase a mattress encasement to protect against bed bugs from obtaining to her mattress. Constant vacuuming additionally helps. Just be sure to dispose the the vacuum materials in a sealed plastic bag, in an outside trash can.