What do bed bugs look like?
What bed bugs look like varies by life stage and other factors. For instance, adult bed bugs are flat, broad, and oval-shaped insects (think apple seeds) that are mahogany in color. After they’ve enjoyed a blood meal, their bodies become swollen, elongated, and reddish brown in color. Young bed bugs, also called nymphs, are smaller and nearly colorless. Bed bug eggs are about the size of a pinhead/ grain of salt and are pearl-white in color.
Did you know?
- Bed bugs don’t just live in beds.
- According to the National Pest Management Association, the top three places where pest control pros find bed bugs are single-family homes, apartments/condos, and hotels/motels.
- Bed bugs can survive several months without a blood meal.
- Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not attracted to dirty places; they are attracted to warmth, blood, and carbon dioxide.
When are bed bugs most active?
What are the signs of bed bugs?
The most obvious sign of a bed bug infestation is finding live adult bed bugs. Since they are primarily nocturnal, you might not see them. At least, not right away. In order to determine if you have a bed bug problem, you should look for:
- Bed bug bites
- Blood marks on bedding and other fabric
- Bed bug feces (dark, ink-like stains or blotches)
- Bed bug eggs
- Shed bed bug skins
What do bed bug bites look like?
It’s fairly easy to mistake bed bug bites for the bites of mosquitoes, flees, and other insects. To identify bed bug bites, look for small, red bites on the neck, hands, legs, and arms. Bed bug bites may form a line but could also appear in a zig-zag or completely random pattern.
Where do bed bugs hide?
When they’re not feeding, bed bugs will hide in mattress seams and other parts of beds but also in a variety of other places including, but not limited to:
- Seams of upholstered furniture
- In the cracks of nightstands, bed frames, and other furniture
- In outlets and switches
- In electronics and appliances
- Under flooring
- Wall voids
- Areas where walls meet the ceiling
What do bed bugs eat?
Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood. They prefer human blood but will feed on other mammals.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Bed bugs do not transmit diseases and are not considered dangerous. It should be noted that excessive scratching of bed bug bites can result in skin infections. There are also published reports that suggest bed bugs can induce anxiety and mood changes as well as disturb sleep.
How do I get bed bugs?
A common misconception about bed bugs is that they show up in homes and accommodations that are less than tidy but that is not true. Bed bugs are attracted to places where people congregate. School dorms, apartment buildings, single-family homes – the list could go on and on.
If you’ve found bed bugs in your space, it could be from introducing second-hand furniture or clothing or because you or a visitor carried them in on bags or luggage.
For those that live in multi-unit complexes, it’s even possible that bed bugs crawled over from a neighboring unit.