Bed Bugs Appearance and Life Cycle

Knowing what to look for is the first step in identifying and controlling bed bugs. There are many bugs that look like bed bugs, so an accurate identification is a critical first step to avoid costly treatment for the wrong bug. The types of bugs that look like bed bugs will vary somewhat depending on your region of the country, but photos and descriptions of common look-alikes have been compiled by researchers


Appearance of Bed Bugs
  • Adult bed bugs, in general, are:
    about the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 – 1/4 inch long);
  • long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body (if not fed recently);
  • balloon-like, reddish-brown, and more elongated (if fed recently);
  • a “true bug” (characteristics of true bugs include a beak with three segments; antenna that have four parts; wings that are not used for flying; and short, golden-colored hairs); and
  • smelly, with a “musty-sweetish” odor produced through glands on the lower side of the body.

Young bed bugs (also called nymphs), in general, are:

  • smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow in color; and
  • if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.

Bed bug eggs, in general, are:

  • tiny, the size of a pinhead;
  • pearl-white in color; and
  • marked by an eye spot if more than five days old.

Bed Bug Life Cycle

The life cycle of a bed bug is shown in the photograph below. During its lifetime, a bed bug will go through the following stages (Starting from the top left, moving counterclockwise):

  • Eggs (1mm).
  • 1st stage nymph (1.5 mm).
  • 2nd stage nymph (2 mm).
  • 3rd stage nymph (2.5 mm).
  • 4th stage nymph (3 mm).
  • 5th stage nymph (4.5 mm).
  • Unfed adult female.
  • Unfed adult male.


Bed bug




Bed bugs are pesky critters, and they pose a threat to any home they encounter. In fact, if bed bugs are brought into a living space, an infestation can pop up anywhere. It doesn’t matter how small or large a house is, and the infestation can thrive no matter how clean or dirty the home is.
If you have bed bugs in your house, you cannot simply increase your cleanliness standards and stay clear of where the infestation is obvious. You need to hire a reputable bed bug removal service to take care of the problem. Here are some significant reasons why you shouldn’t simply ignore a bed bug infestation in your home.


There are some instances where you can get rid of pests if you stop them from entering your home. However, this strategy just doesn’t work with bed bugs. Once they’ve entered your home, they can multiple very quickly. A female bed bug can lay an egg each day, and the eggs take about 10 days to hatch and become part of the infestation.
Since bed bugs can reproduce and continue the infestation, even if you prevent other bed bugs from entering your home, getting rid of them can be tricky. They are often difficult to see, so it can be hard to simply find them and get rid of them. They will not just go away with time if you ignore them, so it’s important to face the problem head on.


While bed bugs don’t pose a health risk to most people, they do bite frequently, and the bites can be irritating. Some people may be tempted to scratch the itchy bites, which can then lead to a secondary infection. People who are generally sensitive to bug bites may suffer more than others when they’re bitten by bed bugs, and some can develop allergic reactions.
Although allergic reactions to bed bug bites are not the norm, they can be rather severe. They can cause allergy symptoms like swelling and itching, and in rare instances, they may even cause asthma attacks for those who struggle with asthma. Occasionally, they may also lead to anaphylaxis. Should you experience any health issues after being bitten by bed bugs, seek medical help immediately.


Because people inevitably fear being bitten by bed bugs when they have an infestation in their home, many struggle with sleep issues along with the bed bug problem. When they close their eyes, they may start imagining the bugs climbing on them and biting them. They may not be able to fall of sleep at night because their mind is preoccupied with fears of being bitten by these unwanted house guests.
The truth is, some of these fears are well-founded while bed bugs run rampant in a home. Some people may wake up with many bed bug bites on their body, and that can be uncomfortable and unattractive. It can also gross some people out, but the best way to solve this sleep issue is to solve the bed bug problem. After that, sleeping patterns should be restored.

When you have bed bugs, it’s important to reach out to an experienced, reputable bed bug removal service like Triangle Wildlife Removal & Pest Control Inc. Don’t try risky chemicals that may cause more harm than the bed bugs do, and don’t ignore the issue. Rely on the pros to kick bed bugs to the curb and restore peace and comfort to your home.

DIY Bed Bug Removal

Stop the Infestation from Getting Worse

Items that are infested should be removed. Treat them by placing them in a sealed plastic bag. In the sections below, you can discover more about treatment options.

Items which can’t be treated should be sealed and left in a sealed plastic bag for up to a year to make sure that any active bugs have died.

After each use, empty the vacuum. Wrap the bag as tightly as possible and discard it in an outdoor trash can right away.

If you can’t get rid of the bed bugs safely, dispose of the furniture responsibly. Dispose of it so that no one else is tempted to bring it into their home. Pull covers and start by removing stuffing from furniture, for example.
Mark furniture with “Bed Bugs” spray paint.

Have the waste collection agency pick up the infested items as soon as possible.

If you can permanently remove bed bugs from furniture, don’t throw it away.

Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Ensure the methods you choose are both safe and effective, as well as legal. Check out What’s Legal and What’s Not.

Think about non-chemical ways to get rid of bed bugs. Depending on your situation, others are more useful than others. These and other strategies can be beneficial, but they may not be enough to completely eliminate the infestation:

Heat treatment: a high-heat clothes dryer can be used. In a hot, closed car in the sun, you can also use black plastic bags, but success depends on your climate and other factors. Heat treatments performed at home may not be effective. Experts have access to more thorough and proven methods, including the use of heat to treat entire houses. A portable heat chamber, which is usually quite effective, is also an option.

If the freezer is set to 0 degrees F, cold treatment can be effective at home. You must keep the objects in a sealed freezer bag for four days at that temperature. Because home freezers are not always set to 0 degrees, use a thermometer to check.

To treat rugs, baseboards, bed frames, and other furniture, steam cleaners (wet or dry) get into cracks and fabrics. The steam temperature should be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but there should be no strong airflow to prevent bed bugs from scattering. To avoid scattering, use a diffuser.