How Big Can A Bed Bug Grow

Bedbugs

Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.

Check if it’s bedbugs

Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo

Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.

Signs of bedbugs include:

  • bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.

Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo

Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.

How you can treat bedbug bites

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.

Things you can do include:

  • putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
  • keeping the affected area clean
  • not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
  • antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
  • the redness around the bites is spreading

You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.

Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP

It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

How to get rid of bedbugs

contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides

wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes

put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)

clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early

do not keep clutter around your bed

do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first

do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs

Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022

HOW BIG ARE BED BUGS ?

BED BUG TREATMENTS: HOW BIG ARE BED BUGS ?

So, how big are bed bugs actually and can you see bed bugs? If you are worried about bed bugs in your home then the first thing you must learn is how to identify a bed bug.

Bed bugs are often mistaken for cockroaches or booklice and they are very often overlooked, as they are usually nocturnal insects and they come out only at night, every 1 or 2 weeks, to feed on blood.

If you have seen an insect in your home, at or near your bed, then have a look at the bedbug picture below, to see if you can recognize the insect.

HOW BIG ARE BED BUGS ? – Bed bug treatment.

How big are bed bugs then?

The Adult bed bugs grow to 4–6 mm in length and a width of 1.5–3 mm wide. They are brown in color.

The Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and lighter in colour. They are around 1,5 mm in length and they become browner as they moult and reach maturity. Insects at the larva stage can often be almost red in color.

HOW BIG ARE BED BUGS? Bed bugs are certainly very visible..

CAN YOU SEE BED BUGS ? Yes.. Here you can see the different sizes of bed bugs at their various life stages.

Click twice on the images to enlarge them.

Please search this website for more information on bed bug treatment and prevention

How Big Are Bed Bugs?

Are Bed Bugs Big Enough to See?

Since the size of an adult bed bug is similar to an apple seed, most people can see the pests without magnification. However, because these insects are nocturnal and cryptic, they are experts at avoiding detection. Bed bugs feed while humans are asleep, so residents typically have to rely on other signs to notice an infestation.

How Big are Bed Bug Nymphs?

Juvenile, first stage nymph bed bugs are about the size of a pinhead and have translucent bodies. These nymphs gain color after feeding, but they are hard to see before a blood meal. It takes around six weeks of molting until the pests reach their adult bed bug size, so populations often grow unchecked.

Can a Bed Bug’s Actual Size Change?

The average adult bed bug size ranges from 1/4 to 3/16 of an inch in length. Their flat, wide bodies look significantly bigger after they’ve taken a blood meal, so a bed bug’s actual size varies depending on whether the pests have fed. Once engorged, the pest’s body expands into a longer, more cylindrical shape.

Controlling Infestations

In addition to a bed bug’s small size and feeding schedule, the insects breed quickly. As a result, infestations easily get out of hand. Homeowners with concerns about bed bugs can call Orkin for professional removal.

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;
  • Raches;
  • 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:
  • Wingless
  • 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.

How Big Can Mosquitoes Get?

Growth & Development

Mosquitoes develop into adults by complete metamorphosis, a process that involves four different life stages – egg, larva, pupa and adult.

How Big Are Mosquito Larvae?
Of the life stages, only the mosquito larvae stage grows, doing so by molting and shedding their “skin” as they grow from small 1st instar (stage) larvae that may be as small as ⅛ inch long, to 4th instar larvae that are about ½ inch long. Adults and pupae do not molt and therefore do not grow in size.

Adult Mosquito Size

How Big Are Mosquitoes?
The size of mosquito adults are species-specific, meaning size depends upon the species and also somewhat by the nutritional conditions of the larvae’s aquatic environment.

Less Than an Inch Long
In general, adult mosquitoes are relatively small insects that generally are about 0.15– 0.4 inches long, although some species can be less than 0.1 inches long. However, most mosquito adults commonly encountered are close to the same size.

Examples of some common mosquito adults and their respective sizes include:

  • Southern house mosquito –0.2 in.
  • Anopheles mosquito –0.2 in.
  • Northern house mosquito –0.25 in.
  • Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) –0.3 in.
  • Asian tiger mosquito -0.35 in.

Larger Species
Mosquitoes belonging to the genus Psorophora are exceptionally large when compared to other most other mosquito genera. One of the largest species among this group is Psorophora ciliata, a floodwater-inhabiting mosquito that is about as long as the diameter of a quarter.

The Largest Mosquito in the World

The mosquito recognized as one of the largest in the world is the Australian elephant mosquito Toxorhynchites speciosus, which is about 1.5 inches long. Fortunately, this mosquito is not a blood feeder.

Mosquito Size & Blood Meals

Do female mosquitoes get bigger after consuming a blood meal? Anyone who has watched a female mosquito take a blood meal knows the answer is yes.

However, the increased size of her abdomen as it fills with blood is only temporary and the female returns to her normal size after digesting her blood meal.

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