When you suspect that you may have bed bugs in your home, it is easy to panic and start seeing lots of work and dollar signs in your future. Instead, it is important to be calm and learn how to identify bed bugs correctly so that you can perform the right treatments for the problem. Knowing how big bed bugs are is a great start.
Adult bed bugs can be easily seen with the naked eye. They are about the size, color, and shape of an apple seed (approximately 5 mm or .2 inches). When a bed bug has recently fed and is full of blood, it can balloon to be larger and more round in shape.
Unfortunately, identification is not quite that simple because where you find adult bed bugs, you are likely to find immature nymphs and eggs as well. The following picture gives you an idea of what different ages of bed bugs look like in relationship to a quarter.
Bed bug sizes from nymphs to adults in relation to a quarter By NY State IPM Program at Cornell University [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)] via Flickr
Bed bug nymphs look similar to adult bed bugs, but depending on their age, they can be significantly smaller. Nymphs will molt and shed their skin 5 times. During these different stages, they range in size from about 1.3 mm – 4mm. To put this into perspective, the smallest nymphs are about the same size as the thickness of a quarter (1.75 mm) or a poppy seed. Although they are still visible at that size, their translucent color can make them difficult to spot.
Bed bug nymph
Bed bug eggs are creamy white and very small. The eggs are only about 1 mm long and are often compared in shape to a grain of rice. Without careful examination, bed bug eggs will often be missed.
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