How Does Bed Bug Eggs Look Like

What do bed bug eggs look like? Pictures of bed bug eggs

Bed bugs live for nearly 10 months and go through a life cycle from egg to adult. Infestations typically begin with a female bed bug who bites her victim for blood when she arrives in her new home, and after that for another meal 2 weeks later. Then, she would lay eggs at a rate of 3 every day. Eggs would hatch in 2 weeks. The newborn nymph starts searching for food immediately and grows into an adult bed bug in 4 months. The speed of reproduction and general life span is influenced by heat in the room and what is described above assumes a room at 68F (20C). Every female bed bug lays nearly 3 to 8 eggs at once and up to 500 eggs during her 10-month life. What do bed bug eggs look like? All eggs are 1/25 inch and oval-shaped. Bed bugs usually lay eggs in a sticky group. A nymph will drink blood 24 hours after hatching.

What do bed bug eggs look like?

Bed bug eggs and feces

Bed bug eggs are shiny and differ from slightly transparent to white. That’s what do bed bug eggs look like. They are laid both in bed bug harborages and places far from them (female bed bugs often lay some eggs away from the main population). They have a sticky surface when they are fresh. It glues them to surfaces and makes them look shiny. Bed bug eggs are nearly 1 mm long.

They are more frequently laid on wooden and fabric surfaces than on plastic or metallic ones.

Eggshells

Empty egg shells

Empty egg husks are definitely signs of an increasing multi-generational bed bug infestation. Despite their small size, they can be seen by the naked eye, especially with the help of a magnifying glass.

They resemble dried out casings of live bed bug eggs but are not so shiny and more flattened.

They can be discovered in the locations where bed bugs hide, usually on rough surfaces.

While none of these signs are 100% proof of an active bed bug population, bugs don’t vanish on their own. So think of them as certain clues of the infestation – but don’t stop there. You have to prove the presence of bed bugs themselves to confirm it.

Nymphs

Newborn bed bug nymph

Newborn bed bugs, also known as nymphs, have smaller size and lighter color than grown-ups. They can be almost transparent until feeding, when they become blood red.

Depending on their age, bed bugs vary from tiny size (like a pin-head or poppy seed) when they’ve just hatched to approximately ¼” as they become adults.

Nymphs are often the first live bugs that are discovered because they usually drink blood more frequently than mature bugs.

What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?

Knowing what bed bug eggs look like could help you defeat an infestation faster—and help prevent the bugs from coming back.

Courtesy Dini M. Miller, Ph.D

A bed bug’s life starts as a tiny egg, barely noticeable to the human eye. But in just days, this tiny, blood-sucking insect will hatch and be searching for its next blood meal in you.

Don’t believe this myth about bed bug eggs

You may have already read on some websites that bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in a lifetime. That’s something to freak out about—if it were true. Thankfully, it’s not. Virginia Tech entomologist Dini M. Miller, PhD, says that number is from dated research but still circulates today. The reported 500 eggs were based on one bed bug in a lab that was very fertile. Here’s something you can believe—the real causes of bed bugs.

How many eggs do bed bugs lay?

Dr. Dini Millers’ research lab at Virginia Tech says the more meals the female gets, the greater the number of eggs she will produce. So, if she is able to feed every week, she could produce five to 20 eggs. But she might not get to feed every week, in which case she would produce fewer eggs. According to Dr. Miller’s research, bed bugs can lay up to 113 eggs in a lifetime, which can be around a year.

Male bed bugs get frisky after a blood meal

After female and male bed bugs get their fill of blood from you, they head back to the harborage (their home) to digest their blood feast and mate. Dr. Miller’s research tells us male bed bugs are particularly interested in mating after a blood meal. Afterward and for the next several hours, their sperm will migrate to the female’s ovaries and fertilize her eggs. Check out what bed bugs look like after they eat and when they mate.

Bed bug eggs are dropped

Courtesy Dini M. Miller, Ph.D

Bed bug eggs are cream-colored and have an elongated shape that measures a tiny one millimeter in length. The female can lay her eggs singly or in groups. “Bed bugs can ‘glue’ their egg to a surface and it can remain there until it hatches if in an undisturbed location such as a crack or crevice. They can be dislodged though, so they can be found on the floor if scraped off,” says urban entomologist Jody Green, PhD, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The eggs are usually pretty safe unless a human comes along with a scraper or strong vacuum to suck them up. Vacuuming is one way to stay on top of bed bugs. Here are some other things you should be doing to keep bed bugs out.

Bed bug eggs are tough

You would think something as small and seemingly frail like a bed bug egg wouldn’t have much of a chance, yet Dr. Miller’s research says that under optimal conditions, just about 97 percent of the bed bug eggs hatch. Insecticides sold at the local hardware store can’t penetrate the protective eggshell, says Green. Even diatomaceous earth, one of the home remedies for bed bugs, only kills nymphs and adult bed bugs—not the eggs. Here’s what’s lethal to the eggs: Temperatures above 120 degrees, or below 0. Green says some professional products may be successful at wiping out the eggs but only with precise and proper application techniques.

Hatching time

A new generation of bed bugs will hatch between nine and 12 days of optimal room temperatures—around 72 degrees—Green says. Hatching takes longer under cooler conditions. Once the nymphs emerge, they immediately start searching for a blood meal. “Literature has suggested that nymphs require a blood meal soon because they may desiccate. A blood meal will help them with moisture, but they can also survive by hiding out in crevices in optimal temperatures of 70 to 90 degrees,” says Green. Even without a blood snack, nymphs may live for two to four months. Check out some more secrets bed bugs don’t want you to know.

Everything you need to know about bedbugs

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Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Humans are the preferred hosts for the two main species.

There are two species of bedbugs that are known to feed on human blood. They are known scientifically asCimex lectulariusandCimex hemipterus. They have been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians from 3,500 years ago.

Over millions of years, bedbugs have evolved as nest parasites, inhabiting the nests of birds and the roosts of bats. Some of them have learned to adapt to the human environment.

Newborn bedbugs, called hatchlings or nymphs, are tiny but visible and about the size of a poppy seed. Adults grow to about 0.25 inches long with an oval and flattened shape when they are not feeding. After feeding, they can double in size. Nymphs, eggs, and adults are visible to the naked eye.

They are called bedbugs because of their preferred habitat in human homes: Sofas, bed mattresses, clothing, and other soft furnishings. They also prefer the dark.

Bedbugs are seen as a growing problem within all types of dwellings, including private homes, dormitories, cruise ships, army barracks, and shelters.

When seen close up, their color may range from a white, light tan to a deep brown or burnt orange color. When they have fed, a dark red or black blob may be observed within their body. They seek shelter in dark cracks and crevices when disturbed.

Fast facts on bedbugs

  • Bedbugs are small wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals.
  • Most bedbugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep.
  • The peak time for feeding is between midnight and 5 am.
  • Bites can be seen quickly but may take up to 14 days to become visible.
  • Bed bugs need to feed regularly to reproduce, lay eggs and survive.

Share on Pinterest A bedbug may cause a coriander-like smell.

The most obvious sign of bedbugs in the home is that people complain of bites that occurred while they were asleep. If this happens, examine the bedrooms for bedbugs and signs of bedbug activity.

Look carefully in bed linen and the seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs for bugs or eggs. The eggs will look like tiny, pale poppy seeds.

Signs of bedbug activity may occur beneath loose areas of wallpaper near beds, in the corner of desks and dressers, in the laundry, and in drawers.

Keep an eye out for dark brown or rust-colored bedbug droppings that stain material and mattresses. Bedbug excrement is a liquid that looks either light brown or black, and it usually either beads up or is absorbed by the material around it.

A large population of bedbugs may produce a coriander-like odor.

Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and includes:

  • topical creams, such as cortisone, to relieve itching
  • an oral antibiotic, if infection occurs because of skin irritation around the bite
  • corticosteroids, if a person has a severe allergic reaction
  • antihistamines, to help relieve allergic reactions

Most bites heal within 1 and 2 weeks of occurrence.

Some of these treatments are available for purchase online, including cortisone and antihistamines.

Since bedbugs can hide in a wide range of places in the home, they are not easy to remove. It is advisable to bring in a pest control professional.

Removing excess clutter from the house, giving the bedbugs fewer places to hide, makes inspection and removal less difficult.

Some pest control companies request that furniture is pulled away from walls and mattresses and box springs stood on edge before they enter the home. Other companies prefer everything to be left where it is so that they can perform a check before moving the furniture themselves.

Scientists at Ohio State University have determined that combining the chemical signals of bedbugs with a common insect-control agent can make it an effective treatment for killing the bugs.

Most bedbugs feed on their hosts while they sleep. They draw blood in a painless way.

While feeding, they inject a small amount of saliva into the host’s skin. If they feed on one particular person for several weeks, the individual may become more sensitive to their saliva and the chemicals that it contains. The host might eventually develop an allergic response.

Bedbugs, like fleas, tend to bite in rows. There are likely to be two or three bites in each row. This is probably because the bedbug is interrupted while feeding, and then comes back about half an inch further down for its next bite.

Bites can take up to 14 days to become visible but often appear within several days. Bedbug bites are larger than fleabites and do not usually have a red dot at the center. The bites tend to be raised and red.

They can be scattered or occur in clusters of three over the paths of blood vessels, known as the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner sign.”

Most people who are bitten show no symptoms at all and often do not know it happened. This makes it more difficult to prevent or identify potential infestations. Some individuals, however, may become ill and nauseous. It is possible to get scars and skin infections from scratching the bites.

Very rarely, people might have an anaphylactic reaction to bedbug bites. It is possible but rare to have an asthmatic reaction to bedbugs.

Bedbugs are adaptable, and there are many ways in which a bedbug infestation can occur.

They may get into a new home as stowaways when luggage, furniture, and bedding is moved in. People should be careful when purchasing second-hand furniture and should never purchase used mattresses. A careful visual inspection should allow a person to detect bedbugs or their droppings.

Even vacant and seemingly clean homes may have bedbugs in them. They can survive for over two months without any food. It is also believed they can move from apartment to apartment through hollows and holes in the walls and the tubes through which wires and pipes run.

Bedbug infestations can be difficult to prevent.

It is possible to encase both the mattress and box spring in a protective cover, as some people do for allergy relief. Some pest control firms sell them, as well as a number of retail outlets. Click here for a range of products that can help to protect a bed against infestation.

Once encased, any bedbug trapped inside and prevented from feeding will eventually die. Some people keep their new beds encased, as it prevents the bugs from getting into the crevices in the mattress and makes it easier to keep the surface clean and bug-free.

When traveling, avoid putting luggage on the bed to reduce the risk of bringing bedbugs home in a suitcase. It is also worth vacuuming any luggage after you return home and making sure you get rid of the contents of the vacuum in a tightly sealed bag. Dispose of this bag in a trashcan outside.

Separate travel clothes from laundry and immediately wash them in hot water.

If you spot bedbugs in the home, call a professional and do not attempt to resolve the infestation. Bedbugs can spread from room to room in clothing, and trying to remove them yourself can often make the matter worse.

Although they are not known to carry diseases, bedbugs can affect an individual’s quality of life, causing distress, discomfort, embarrassment, and broken sleep.

Here are the important facts to have in mind when trying to remove or identify a bedbug infestation:

  • The peak time for feeding is between midnight and 5 AM. Hungry bedbugs will try to feed at any time, but they do not like sunlight and prefer the dark. One feed will take between 5 and 10 minutes. The bug will then return to its hiding place.
  • Bedbugs will feed every 5 to 10 days. They can, however, last for about 70 days without feeding. A well-fed bedbug has a lifespan of several months.
  • They find their host by seeking out human body heat and sensing the presence of the carbon dioxide on the breath.
  • A bedbug will pierce the skin of its host with its mouth part. It first injects saliva that is a mixture of an anesthetic, so that the host feels nothing, and an anticoagulant so that the blood flows out freely. It then sucks out blood until it is full. The bites are not noticeable until after the skin reaction has occurred. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take up to 14 days for bites to appear.
  • Bedbugs can only reproduce when they have reached maturity. A female bedbug lays approximately seven eggs in a day and hundreds during her lifetime.

A review of bedbug research conducted in 2016 found that while they are highly resistant to removal methods, bedbugs seem to be more of a nuisance than a serious health problem. Research has failed to show any link between the bedbugs associated with humans and human disease.

The biggest risk for humans comes from secondary bacterial infection. With bedbugs, this would occur as a result of scratching the skin. Scratching, if it breaks the skin, allows normal bacteria from the surface of the skin to penetrate deeper.

The source of any bacterial infection is, therefore, the human host and not the bedbug.

What do bed bug eggs look like?

Bed bugs are ectoparasites that feed on the blood from a host animal. Unfortunately, these disturbing pests’ animal of choice is a human. In order to produce bed bug eggs, the female must first have a blood meal. After this blood meal, a female bed bug is capable of laying large numbers of eggs. With continued access to blood, she can lay as many as 500 to 600 eggs in her lifetime. If you are concerned about bed bugs in your home, there are two questions you might be asking yourself: “What do bed bug eggs look like?” and “Where do bed bugs lay eggs?” Let’s examine the answers to each.

Physical appearance of bed bug eggs

What do bed bug eggs look like? They are very small and white to pearl-white in color. They appear to be shaped like a barrel and are about the size of a pinhead or a grain of salt. They are covered with a sticky substance, which adheres to almost any surface the female places them on. If the eggs are more than five days old, they will have a conspicuous dark mark on them that resembles an eye.

Common areas where bed bug eggs are found

Where do bed bugs lay eggs? Once inside a structure, bed bugs do not travel far to feed or lay their eggs. Most eggs are laid in protected sites, as close to a food source as possible. These pests can fit into a crack no thicker than a business card and lay eggs.

Bed bugs feed most often at night while the host animal is at rest. Since they primarily feed on the blood of humans, the most likely place to find bed bug eggs is on or near the bed. Look closely for bed bug eggs on mattress seams and joints. It’s also common to find them on the box spring and behind the headboard, if it abuts or is attached to the wall. Near these sites you will most likely find markings of red or black “specks.” These markings are feces from the bed bugs that consist of partially digested blood. Large concentrations of bed bugs may be accompanied by a pungent, sweetish odor caused by secretions from their scent glands.

Although it has not been proven that these disgusting creatures transmit diseases to humans, just the thought of having a bed bug infestation in your home sucking your blood is enough to make your skin crawl. Take the worry out of trying to identify bed bug eggs and trying to find where they might be located in your home. Call the pest management professionals at Terminix® for a free bed bug inspection today. They know how to locate bed bugs and eliminate them.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Here you’ll find pictures of signs of bed bugs like eggs, fecal stains and cast skins on mattresses, different types of furniture and other hiding places. Whether you think you might have bed bugs or want to make sure you avoid bringing them home, these photos give you a good idea of what to look for and where to look.

Looking for something in particular?This page is pretty long, so these links will take you straight to the sections you most want to see.

Blood Smears and Fecal Stains

Smears of blood on sheets are one of the early warning signs that bed bugsmightbe sharing your bed.Stains like the ones in the picture below happen when recently fed bugs get squashed in the bed by a person moving unexpectedly.But, many other things could cause stains like this.For this reason, blood stains alone arenotevidence of a bed bug infestation.

If you are being bitten by bed bugs, you will also see fecal stains.

Fecal stains on sheets look like the marks of a felt tip pen and tend to bleed into the fabric. The picture below is a great example of what bed bug fecal stains look like. Note the live bed bugs in the photo and how flat they are.

Pictures of Bed Bug Infestions on Beds

The photo below shows evidence of bed bug infestation on the side of a mattress. In this view mostly just spots and a few adult bugs are visible.

The picture below is a closeup of the same mattress. Here it’s apparent that there are live adults and nymphs (bed bug babies) as well as fecal stains – but can you pick out the eggs?

Now look at this magnified view. See how closely the eggs resemble the shiny white fibers of the mattress fabric?

Bed Bugs Hiding in plain sight!

This set of pictures is a great example of how bed bugs easily "hide in plain sight". Take a close look at the picture in the upper right corner of the collage. See any bed bugs? If you found a couple – that’s not bad.

Now look at the at the picture to the upper left. See all the beige colored spots especially around the open grommet hole? Those are baby bed bugs (nymphs) and there are a lot of them!

Even more surprising is the lower-right magnified view of a grommet hole (above) that is completely filled with nymphs and their cast skins. That same hole is located on the right edge of the upper-right image you looked at first.

Box springs are actually the #1 bed bug hiding spotaccording to a study of 13 infested apartments conducted by the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology. (Read more about where bed bugs hide and the results of the study.)

As the pictures below demonstrate, you’ll typically find more signs of bed bugs at the head of the bed (left image) than at the foot (right image).

Headboards and bed frames are also favorite hangouts for bed bugs. The photo below shows signs of bed bugs living in the decorative groove of a wood headboard.

Bed bugs are freakishly flat and can squeeze themselves into the most unlikely places. Notice howa bunch of themhave piled into this gouge in a bed frame.

Special thanks to Lou Sorkin, entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History for such a large selection of helpful pics. All of the images of bed bugs on furniture in this block as well as many of the photos throughout the site are Lou’s, and are used with permission via Creative Commons licenses, unless otherwise noted.

Signs of Bed Bugs in Other Furniture

These two pictures show multiple signs and symptoms of bed bug infestation on an upholstered chair. Note how the nymphs and eggs are clustered right in the seam area in the photo below. In fact, at first glance the eggs might be mistaken for dust or other fibers.

This photo on the right shows signs of much heavier infestation, including cast skins, fecal droppings and many eggs on theundersideof the chair upholstery – something to keep in mind when you are checking for bed bugs.

Bed Bugs can also be found on and inside wood furniture like night stands, dressers and book shelves. They like the cracks and crevices of joints between pieces of wood and can even be found in screw holes. The two pictures below show evidence of bed bugs on a wooden shelving unit. The little white spots on the side of the shelf are eggs, the beige spots are bedbug nymphs and the black dots are fecal matter. The bigger bug in the picture on the right is a German cockroach.

Bed bugs can also hide on almost any other type of surface including metal and plastic. The photo on the right below shows how a number of bed bugs found harborage together inside a the head of screw.

All of the photos of bugs above are also from Lou Sorkin’s vast collection of bed bug photos .

Bed Bug Cast Skins/Shells

As bed bugs grow from birth to adulthood , they molt, or shed their exoskeletons. The cast skins (bedbug shells) they leave behind can be found in and around their harborages (hideouts) and are definite signs of a growing bed bug population.

The photo above shows two cast skins in the upper left corner along with a live bed bug and fecal stain.

The image below is a bowl full of shed skins or exoskeletons. Yuck!

More Signs of Bed Bug Infestation – Eggs and Fecal Droppings

Here are some close-up pics of bed bug excrement and bed bug eggs. While the fecal stains on sheets at the top of the page look like back marker stains, the droppings themselves look like little black blobs.

Note how the the hatched eggs in the picture on the above look dull, dried out and flattened compared to the unhatched eggs.

Bedbug eggs are often found on wood, cardboard and fabric. They are covered in a sticky glue-like substance which helps them stick to the surfaces and gives them a shiny appearance.

Credit (all 3 photos above): Dr. Harold Harlan of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (CC).

Signs of Bed Bugs in Other Places

Typically, bed bugs hide out close to their source of food (see top 8 hiding spots). But, as infestations grow, bed bugs tend to spread out from the immediate vicinity of their feeding area. While they are not feeding, they will hide out in a wide variety of places. They’re super flat, so they can squeeze themselves in to very tight spots like picture frames, electrical outlets, carpet edges and behind window/door moldings and baseboards.

Signs of bed bugs on a door hinge.

And behind rubber baseboard molding.

Photos credit for collection of photos above: Lou Sorkin (CC)

Learn How to Inspect for Bed Bugs in your home or hotel

Hopefully, these pictures of signs of bed bugs help you have a better idea of what to look when checking for a bed bug infestation.

If you think you may have bed bugs, it’s time to get down and dirty. But before you do, check out our handy step-by-step inspection instructions in the bed bug detection section.

If you haven’t already done so, its a good idea to get familiar with what bedbugs look like in all of their life stages. Once you’re done here, I also recommend learning more about all 9 signs of bed bug infestation, where they like to hide, and how to look for them.

More Bed Bug Photo Collections

  • Pictures of Adult Bed Bugs
  • Bed Bugs on Humans and Common Objects (size comparisons)
  • Bed Bugs vs Other Insects
  • Pictures of Bedbugs Feeding
  • Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

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