What does a bed bug look like?

bed bug on hand

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Identify a Bed Bug by Knowing What it Looks Like

People call every day wondering if they bed bugs. Some people claim to have seen them, captured them, or get bit by them. Bed bugs are not microscopic insects that require special equipment to find them. If you know what you are looking for they can be found with a very detailed inspection using a flashlight and your eyes. 

Description of a Bed Bug

Bed bugs are normally a brownish red color with a  black dot on the abdomen or back. The are generally very flat bugs and have an oval shape. The adult bed bug is about 3mm to 5mm or the size of an apple seed (insert apple seed picture). Young bed bugs, or nymphs can be hard to see. As they grow they become easier to see.

pictures of bed bug life

Young nymphs are very small and may appear to be gray or translucent until they feed and gain a more red color. They are about the size of a head of a pen.

Not sure what you are seeing. Here is a link to the New York City health department that compares similar bugs to bed bugs.

Read our blog on inspecting your home for bed bugs for more information. 

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