How Big Are Bed Bug Nymphs
Baby bed bugs (simply nymphs) are the bed bugs going through the initial 5 stages of their life-cycle.
They’ll be straw or light brown (before taking a blood meal) and the size of a pin head.
Bed bug (Cimex lectularius) infest over 20% of Americans homes.
Its important to control the bed bugs nymphs in your house, bed frames, or mattress encasements. Check what bed bug look like?
What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like? 99+Images
First, check out the below video. Its a quick preview of how bed bugs look like – luckily this video shows the bed bugs in all their life-stages – including the baby bed bugs-nymphs.
What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?
The bed bug species that mainly attack human beings are theCimex hemipterus or the Cimex lectularius. Adult bed bugs (females) lay about 250 viable eggs.
The baby bed bugs-nymphs pass through 5 juvenile “nymph” stages as they molt towards attaining the adult stage – the wingless, reddish-brown, blood-sucking insects.
Sidenote: Always spray against bedbugs, fleas or roaches on used clothes and furniture before you get them into your house. But also, check this guide on how to use steam heat treatment, rubbing alcohol, Ammonia, bleach, or Lysol to kill bed bugs
1. Appearance and Size
In exact size, Nymphs are in between the bed bug eggs (1 mm / 0.09 inches) to the size of an adult bed bug (4.5 mm / 0.18 inches).
However, immature bed bugs are tiny in size (definitely) but will grow bigger as they suck more blood and molt.
It’s important to note that it’s possible to see nymphs with the naked eye. An adult bed bug will be something like an apple seed in size (about 4.5mm), and its red or brown in color.
Bed Bugs Life cycle. Credit: phdmc.org
The baby bed bugs-nymphs add about 0.5 mm of its size at each molting stage (of the 5 juvenile “nymph” stages). However, do not confuse a cluster of bed bug eggs (with each measuring about 1 mm) with the nymphs.
At the 5th nymph stages, the baby bed bug has a size almost equal to their adult counterparts. But for more clarity, check out the video (Courtesy of Sandy Honess) and see how you can differentiate the nymphs from the adult bed bugs.
2. Shape andColor
Nymphs have an oval just like their counterparts. So, the main difference between the nymphs and the adult bed bugs is just the color. Immediately after hatching, nymphs will be yellow-white (almost colorless) but will turn reddish or brown as they feed on blood.
Before they suck blood, bed bugs are relatively thin and hence will easily slip through cracks and crevices into mattress covers, and furniture spaces where they hid waiting to lay eggs or attack their next host.
Do baby bed bugs Jump or Crawl?
First things first, baby bed bug, just like the adult bed bugs, can fly or jump. However, these bugs have a very fast speed when running on a flat surface, ceilings, walls, and floors.
To be specific, bed bugs will clock about 4 feet every second. Wondering if even adult bed bugs can fly? Do Check this Guide for more details.
Nevertheless, compared to insects like fleas that can hop and jump around, bed bugs can only crawl or run very fast on floors and other surfaces. Actually, nothing would qualify as an adventure in the movement of bed bugs.
Further, because of the bugs wide body and short legs, they’ll only crawl low in the ground. However, despite moving very fast, they would not easily significantly exceed their regular crawling speed.
Will bed bugs climb up rough surfaces?Bed bugs, including the baby bed bugs-nymphs, have small hooks on their legs. Therefore, these structures the bugs hold onto pores, cracks or crevices of different rough surfaces and thus quickly climb up metals, plastics, walls, cloths, or timber. On the flip side, bed bugs cannot climb up on smoother covers such as glass and porcelain.
Can bed bugs push off heavy obstacles?Equally, because of their wide body and short legs, the bed bugs won’t do great in moving in thick carpets, hair, or some busy terrain.
Further, the short legs are also too frail to push heavy objects aside particularly when moving in thick hair, carpets or grass. Therefore, in such cases, they would opt to climb up the objects and drop on the other side or simply circumnavigate them.
Do Baby Bed Bugs Bite?
Immediately after hatching, the nymphs from the eggs ( nymphs ) need to suck a pint of human (of your pets’) to allow it to grow, live and molt into other lifecycle stages.
Check the nymphs (Nymphs) – Color, Pictures, Movement. Side note: Bed bug eggs take 2 weeks to hatch after which the nymph move through the 5 molt stages during which they must feed on blood.
Therefore, the short answer isthat just like the adult bed bugs, the baby bed bugs-nymphs do bite human beings for blood. Interestingly, due to their growth requirements, the nymphs will bite humans (and such blood) more often. However, the bed bugs bites will disappear with 1-2 weeks.
But how do the bites from nymphs look like?Well, bites from the nymphs will look just like those from the adult bed bugs. As a reminder, such bites leave reddish bumps on your skin and are itchy too. Equally, nymphs will mainly bite your shoulders and arms – this can be compared to fleas that mainly bite the feet and ankles.
Where can baby bed bugs be found?
Despite that bites from bed bugs could be a significant sign of their presence in your premises, you must know how and where the bugs tend to hide so that you can easily control them.
First things first, the signs to look out for include blood spots or fecal matter (colored like rust) on your bedding or mattress.
Sadly, human beings can carry bead bugs and their nymphs in their clothes from one house to another. For example, the bugs may hitchhike your bags, purses, clothes, and luggage. However, they do not love the hairy pets such as cats and dogs.
But of course, you know that the nymphs can also trigger skin irritation and transmit diseases. Therefore, the best solution when you believe you have a bed bug infestation is to hire the services of a bed bug exterminator or spray on the adult or babies of bed bugs directly.
The BedBug Life Cycle
Understanding the bedbug life cycle is vital if you want to get rid of bed bugs! Get quick facts about bed bug eggs, nymphs and adults; watch the video to see what they look like in real life; and learn what you need to know about all life stages to successfully identify and kill them.
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BedBug Life Cycle Quick Facts
While you may not be all that interested in their biology and behavior, here are 8 quick facts about the bedbug life cycle you should know:
- You can see all stages of bed bugs (even eggs) with the naked eye
- An adult female can lay 200-500 bed bug eggs in her lifetime
- Bed bug eggs are harder to kill than nymphs (baby bed bugs) and adults
- Bedbugs can grow from a hatched egg to a full adult in about a month
- Baby bed bugs cast their вЂњskinsвЂќ (exoskeletons, technically) as they grow
- Bed bugs need a blood meal to live, to grow, and to reproduce
- Baby bed bugs may feed as much as one time per day
- Adult bed bugs can live up to 18 months without feeding!
For a look at live bed bugs in all stages of their life cycle, click on the video below. You can jump down to the full discussion of the key things you should know about the bedbug life cycle in order to get rid annoying little buggers successfully by clicking here.
Bed Bug Life Cycle Video
I love this video because it show all stages of bed bugs (including eggs) in real life so you can get a better idea of what they look like. It also shows what cast skins look like which is important because they are one of the 9 symptoms you should look for to figure out if you have a bed bug infestation. One note though, the nymphs (baby bed bugs) in this video still have remnants of a blood meal in them so they look darker that they would if they had not been fed. For more photos of baby bed bugs, check out our bed bug picture gallery.
The video does start out a little goofy and may not seem that serious at first, but entomologist Mark вЂњShepвЂќ Sheperdigian knows his stuff. Its actually jam packed with useful information about what bed bugs look like in all stages of their life cycle. Definitely worth the2 minutesit takes to watch!
This video is shared via the Bed Bug Answers Channel on YouTube. For more helpful videos, visit (and like!) us on YouTube 🙂
Keep reading for a more detailed look at each stage of the bedbug life cycle.
Bed Bug Eggs
What do bed bug eggs look like? Believe it or not, even bed bug eggs are visible to the human eye although they can be hard to see.
Personally, I think bed bug eggs look like little pieces of rice. But they can be compared in size to a large grain of salt as shown in the video above. They are tiny (about 1mm long) and are very light in color вЂ“ ranging from translucent (almost clear) to a milky sort of white color.
This is why a magnifying glass can be helpful when you are looking for signs of bed bugs. They have a sticky film which gives them a kind of shiny appearance and helps them stick to surfaces until they hatch. More photos of bed bug eggs.
It takes about 6-10 days for a bed bug egg to hatch. The hatched egg looks clearer in color and kind of like tiny deflated balloon. Once an egg has been hatched is not shiny any more and has a dried out appearance.
Its important to note that many of the treatments that will kill bed bugs will not kill their eggs. The only things that are known to effectively kill eggs are heat and gas fumigation. This is something to keep in mind when choosing bed bug pest control options.
Fear not. If you can kill the babies before they reach adulthood and reproduce. you can stop the bedbug life cycle in its tracks!
Baby Bed Bugs (Nymphs)
The first thing a newly hatched baby bed bug does is search for a blood meal. Baby bed bugs (technically called вЂњnymphsвЂќ) go through 5 stages of development instars. So a 1st instar nymph is a вЂњnewbornвЂќ and a 5th instar nymph is a вЂњbedbug teenвЂќ, so to speak.
What do baby bed bugs look like?Well, basically they look like mini versions of adult bed bugs, but they are very light in color вЂ“ almost clear.
Like the eggs, they start out very tiny (approx. 1mm), about the size and color of a sesame seed and grow to about 5mm (Вј inch) as adults.
The blood is clearly visible in a nymph that has just fed.They look like tiny swollen purple balloons!
As baby bed bugs develop toward adulthood, they do get darker in color.
They can feed as often as once every day and they have to have a blood meal to grow from one stage to the next. They can also survive months without feeding, but they basically get stuck at whatever developmental stage of the bedbug life cycle they’re in until they get their next meal.
They develop through a process called molting. Baby bed bugs literally вЂњcrawl out of their skinsвЂќ as they move from one stage to the next. Cast skins (some people call them bed bug shells) are one of the key symptoms of a bed bug infestation. You can also see more pictures of cast skins here in the bed bug picture gallery.
Adult Bed Bugs
Adult bed bugs are about Вј inch long, about the size and shape of an apple seed. They are extremely flat like a business card or a credit card, which allows them to hide in very surprising places.
They are brown to reddish-brown in color and become more shiny and purple-ish red after they’ve fed. As they feed, they swell up into a capsule like shape вЂ“ kind of like little blood balloons. (Okay, I know that’s gross вЂ“ but its an accurate description). See more adult bedbug photos here.
On average, they feed about every 3-10 days. Again the estimates vary, but it most experts agree that it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes for an adult bed bug to fill up on blood at one feeding. They must have a blood meal to reproduce.
Female bed bugs can lay an average of 3-5 eggs per day. The jury seems to be out on exactly how many bed bug eggs an adult female can lay in her lifetime, but the estimates range from 200 вЂ“ 500!
Bedbug Life Cycle & Life Span Factors
The full growth cycle from egg to reproducing adult can range from 1 month to 4 months. Two factors that affect the time-table of the bedbug’s life cycle aretemperatureand theavailability of food(blood).
In warmer conditions bed bugs bed bugs mature more rapidly and are likely to feed more frequently if there is a source of blood. In cooler temperatures, bed bugs can go into semi-hibernation allowing them to live much longer – even without feeding.
In the absence of a host on which to feed, bed bug nymphs can still live for a few months. But they can’t develop from one stage to the next. Basically their growth is вЂњstuntedвЂќ until they can get another meal.
Adult bed bugs can be surprisingly hardy. Under the right conditions, they can survive up to 18 months without feeding. T hat’s right, a year-and-a-half!
This is why sleeping somewhere else, like a friend or relative’s house, will not solve your problem . When you return, they will still be there waiting. and hungry.
Hopefully, this overview has made you better prepared to identify and get rid of bed bugs.
Want to explore the bedbug life cycle further?This fact sheet from the Medical Entomology Department of the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research has lots of useful info includinga greatphoto infographicof the the bed bug life cycle by Dr. Stephen Doggett.
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HOW LONG DO BED BUGS LIVE?
Bed bugs are small, blood-feeding insects that go through multiple stages of development as they mature. After they emerge from the eggs, developing juvenile bed bugs are called “nymphs.”
The time it takes bed bug nymphs to mature varies based on the temperature and how often they are able to obtain a blood meal. With an available host, bed bug nymphs can become adults in about 21 days at room temperature.
Both the eggs and nymphs are nearly colorless, which makes them hard to see on light-colored bed sheets and carpets. The nymphs darken as they mature and may look red after feeding.
Bed bug nymphs can represent a large number of the total bed bugs in an established infestation. Due to their small size, they are even harder to detect than adult bed bugs.
Nymphs are quite small and range in size from 1.3 millimeters to 4-5 millimeters in length. This means they spend most of their development time at a size smaller than a sesame seed. At their smallest, they are no bigger than the letters on a U.S. dime.
There are many other insects commonly mistaken for bed bugs. If you suspect bed bug nymphs or adults, call Terminix® to assist with identification and, if needed, control of these pests.
How Big Are Bed Bugs
Last Update: 18.07.2018
It’s hard to say exactly how big bed bugs are, as they need to go through 7 stages in order to complete their life cycle. In each particular stage, the bed bug changes its size, appearance and behaviour, that’s why we decided it would be best to give you a deep description of the bed bug’s size in all phases.
Bed Bug Eggs Size
The size of the bed bug is not constant as it goes through many life stages before it reaches maturity. The lifecycle of the bed bug contains 7 stages (5 of each larva) and the insect grows progressively in each of them.
Size of a Bed Bug Egg
The bed bugs eggs are the first stage of the cycle and at that time it is about 1mm long. It’s white and is very distinctive. You will see many of these at the place of infestation – usually under the mattress of the bed. If you notice bed bugs there, make sure to treat the bed bugs on the mattress properly.
First Stage Larva Size – Nymph Phase
During the first stage of the larva, the bed bug grows in size a little bit and reaches a length of about 1.5mm. In this phase, the bed bug isn’t sexually mature yet and the nymph needs to complete a moulting stage that may happen only after the first blood meal. In this phase, the insect is usually white or light yellow.
Second Stage of Bed Bug Larva
When the insect reaches this larval stage, it grows with additional 0.5mm and becomes 2mm long. To go further, it needs to feed with blood again to complete another molt stage. The colour becomes darker than the first stage. The insect gets a red-brown body and distinctively yellow head.
Third Phase of the Bed Bug Life Cycle
Without exception, the bed bugs grow exponentially with additional 0.5mm and become 2.5mm long. It still needs another blood meal for the next molt stage and doesn’t change its appearance significantly.
Size of Bed Bugs at Fourth Stage
During this phase, the bed bugs become a little darker and its colour is red-brown. It reaches a length of 3mm and takes another blood meal for the penultimate moult phase. Luckily to everyone, professional pest treatments can take care of bed bugs in all of their life stages.
Fifth Larva Stage
This is the last larval stage of the bed bug and it’s also the phase during which the bed bug goes through the molt stage for the last time. At this time the bed bug increases its size significantly with about 1.5mm and becomes 4.5mm long. This growth is 3 times higher than in the previous stages.
The bed bug’s body shape also alters a little bit and the back of the insect becomes wider.
Adult Bed Bug – Last Stage of the Life Cycle
This is the 7th and final phase of the bed bug’s life cycle. It’s the time when the bed bugs reach its limits in terms of size and maturity. It becomes about 5.5mm long and is now able to take repeated meals instead of just one. There aren’t any molt stages at this time.
The adult female bed bug is able to lay up to 5 eggs each day and this repeats until the end of the bed bug’s life cycle. This makes this insect able to multiply really fast. That’s why it’s reasonably to exterminate them immediately when you spot the bugs. If you can’t deal on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help for professional bed bug extermination.
When completely fed, the bed bug changes its form slightly. It becomes a little longer and thinner. If you notice any of these, it means they’ve just finished feeding and best to not be smashed as it this will leave a blood spot on your sheet, mattress or furniture.
What is the size of a bed bug full of blood?
How big do bed bugs get, you probably wonder, don’t you? When completely grown, adult bed bugs can reach a size of about 5.5mm long. While feeding with blood their diameter grows mostly in length. This means that right after the feast a bed bug can significantly increase the size of its diameter and becomes about 6mm long.
The crawling insect needs roughly 3-10 minutes to become fed up with its victim’s blood, often leaving a severe rash and itchy bite marks after that.
How Big Are Bed Bugs Compared to Fleas
Fleas are significantly smaller than the bed bugs but this can hardly be seen with naked eye. The average size of an adult flea is 3mm which is about 2 times smaller than the average adult bed bug (5.5mm – 6mm).
Both bed bugs and fleas can cause severe problems to humans such as:
- Itchy bites;
- Psychological effects.
While bed bugs prefer to bite humans and rarely animals, it’s exactly the opposite for fleas – they prefer to attack animals and bite humans pretty occasionally.
How Big Are Bed Bugs Compared to Ticks
The only similarities bed bugs and ticks have are the following:
- Both are flat:
- They bite people;
- Feed on people’s blood.
Now the differences. While bed bugs are insects, having 6 legs, ticks are arachnids (an adult tick has 8 legs) such as the spiders.
While in unfed condition, adult female black-legged ticks (red and brown coloured) are approximately from 3 to 5mm long. After being engorged with blood meal, female ticks change not only their size (about 10mm long) but also their colour appears darker.
Adult males are smaller than females and are uniformly brown in colour. Nymphs are between 1-2 mm long, also eight-legged and larvae are less than 1 mm long (about poppy seed sized) and have only 6 legs.
Matteo Grader is a senior pest technician and specialises in bed bugs treatments. He is knowledgeable and has experience in treating a wide variety of pest infestations in and around London. He likes helping people get rid of their pest problems and is always happy to explain to people how to prevent such problems.
Bed Bugs Quiz: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval winged insects that belong to the insect familyCimicidae, which includes three species that bite people.
How big are adult bed bugs?
Adult bed bugs reach 5-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm.
What color are adult bed bugs?
Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, appearing more reddish after feeding on a blood meal.
What color are bed bug nymphs?
Nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding.
Bed bugs can fly.
The wings of bed bugs are vestigial, so they cannot fly.
Which factors may have led to a recent increase in bed bug infestations?
Bed bugs were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT began in the 1940s and 1950s. They remained prevalent in other areas of the world and, in recent years, have been increasingly observed again in the U.S. Increases in immigration and travel from the developing world as well as restrictions on the use of stronger pesticides may be factors that have led to the relatively recent increase in bed bug infestations.
Bed bugs need a blood meal at least once a week.
Bed bugs can live for months without feeding.
Bed bugs tend to be commonly found in…
Bed bugs tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. Other sites where bed bugs often reside include curtains, the corners inside dressers and other furniture, cracks in wallpaper (particularly near the bed), and inside the spaces of wicker furniture.
What are symptoms and signs of bed bug bites?
The bed bug bite itself is painless and is not noticed. Small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin are the most common sign; redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur.
What is the treatment for bed bug bites?
Typically, no treatment is required for bed bug bites. If itching is severe, steroid creams or oral antihistamines may be used for symptom relief. Secondary bacterial infections that develop over heavily scratched areas may require the use of antibiotics.
How can people detect a bed bug infestation?
You can look to see if you can identify the bed bugs’ fecal stains, egg cases, and exuviae (shed skins) in crevices and cracks on or near beds. You should also look at other areas such as under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in couches and other furniture, in bed springs and under mattresses, and even in articles of clothing.
How can people get rid of bed bugs in their home?
The pest-control expert may recommend certain forms of deep-cleaning such as scrubbing infested surfaces with a stiff brush to remove bed bug eggs, dismantling bed frames and furniture, filling cracks in floors, walls, and moldings, encasing mattresses within special bags, or using a powerful vacuum on cracks and crevices.
What’s the best way for people to prevent bed bug bites in hotels?
Those concerned about the potential for bed bugs bites in hotels should examine hotel beds and mattresses for signs of a bed bug infestation.
Which of the following statements about bed bugs is false?
Bed bugs live in any articles of furniture, clothing, or bedding, so they or their eggs may be present in used furniture or clothing. They spread by crawling and may contaminate multiple rooms in a home or even multiple dwellings in apartment buildings. They may also be present in boxes, suitcases, or other goods that are moved from residence to residence or from a hotel to home.
Can you identify the bed bug?
Bed bugs are small, oval, wingless insects of the familyCimicidae, which have a flat, reddish-brown body and feed on human and animal blood.
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