Bed Bug Identification Guide

Bed bugs are believed to have originated in the Middle East. These insects spread across the globe mainly because of humans transporting them from one place to another when travelling. They were discovered back in 1748 in North America. Though they were nearly eliminated in the US in the 1940s with using DDT, its use was eventually banned due to the increasing pesticide and international travel regulations.

Despite not being known as a carrier of any disease, one may experience problems with dealing with bed bug bites. You’ll often notice health problems from bites after they take their blood meals.

With the bites, you may have to experience red itchy welts that are often in clusters or in lines. There are more interesting facts you should know about bed bugs, but you should focus first on learning how to identify them properly.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like

Bed bugs look different in every stage of their life cycle. Find out how they look like in every stage below:


How do bed bug eggs look like? Check out the following:

  • Their eggs are really tiny and are about as small as a pinhead.
  • The colour is usually pearly white and translucent
  • When it reaches more than 5 days, it should be marked with a black dot like an eyespot.
  • It is common to find bed bugs and their eggs hiding in the undisturbed corners or spaces in your home or furniture


To identify nymphs, check out the guide below:

  • These look like a smaller version of fully-grown bed bugs.
  • They are whitish-yellow or translucent in colour.
  • These are almost invisible when not fed because of their small size and colour.

Adult Bed Bugs

To identify fully matured bed bugs, take the following characteristics as your guide:

  • The size of an adult bug is almost the same as an apple seed. It is 3/16 - ¼ inch long or about 5 – 7 mm. Though it doesn’t really look the size of an apple, it can actually look like it, especially when they are full.
  • If not fed, the bug will look brown and long. It also has a flat and oval-shaped body.
  • When fully fed, they look more like a balloon. The body is elongated and reddish brown.
  • It has the characteristics of a real bug as it has a beak divided into 3 segments. Its antenna has four parts and it has wings, but are not used for flying. They also have golden hair.
  • They create a musty-sweetish scent that is produced by the glands found on their body’s lower side.

With these identification guidelines, you’ll have a more detailed idea on what you are looking for if you are suspecting a bed bug infestation. You should also learn where bed bugs hide like cracks and crevices.

Other Quick Facts about Bed Bugs

Other things that you should know about these pests are the following:

  • The life cycle of this bug from eggs to adults usually takes 21 days to complete in ideal temperature.
  • Each bug goes through a simple metamorphosis from egg to nymph and lastly adult. During their nymphal stage, they go through five nymph instars.
  • They only feed at night. It is rare for them to go out in the morning unless they badly need to feed.
  • Every person has different reactions to bites. Most of the time, people don’t experience any allergic reactions.
  • Obvious signs of their presence are fecal spots and blood stains.
Once you confirmed the presence of bed bugs, there are various bed bug control products that you can use. A DIY bed bug treatment is definitely more affordable than calling for a professional pest control immediately. You can resort to calling an expert when the infestation is beyond control.