Show Me What 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.

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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Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed bugs are nocturnal, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. These wingless insects have dorsoventrally flattened bodies that allow them to hide in areas such as floor cracks, carpets, beds and upholstered furniture.

A bed bug’s life begins with an egg, grain like and milky white in color. Female bed bugs lay between one and five eggs each day and may lie up to 500 eggs within one lifetime. Eggs are laid singly or in clusters and are placed within tight cracks or crevices. The egg is approximately 1 mm in length and is comparable in size to two grains of salt. Within two weeks, eggs hatch and immature bed bugs begin immediately to feed.

Nymphs

These young bed bugs, or nymphs, pass through five molts before reaching maturity. Although nymphs appear similar to adults, they are smaller in size and are not yet sexually mature. Young nymphs are also yellow-white in color, while older nymphs and adults are reddish-brown. In order to complete a molting stage, each nymph requires a blood meal. At room temperature, nymphs molt and become adults within five weeks.

Adults

Upon reaching maturity, bed bug adults often make weekly feedings.


Adult Bed Bug

How Long Do They Live?
The life span of a bed bug most commonly ranges from four to six months. However, some bed bugs may live up to a year under cool conditions and with no food.

Bed Bug Control

Cimex lectularius L.

Learn what Bed Bugs look like, and how to detect if you have a Bed Bug Infestation.

Find out how Bed Bugs infiltrate your home and where they are attracted to.

Learn about Bed Bug bites. their feces and how they can impact your health.

Learn how Orkin handles Bed Bugs, homeopathic cures and the cost of Bed Bug extermination services.

Bedbugs Slideshow: An Informative Look at Bedbugs

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

As if you needed something else to worry about, bedbugs, those pests from the old bedtime rhyme are making a comeback. More of a nuisance than a health hazard, they’re showing up to suck blood from people in hotels, college dorms, and hospitals. Take an informative look at bedbugs: what they are, where they lurk, and how to spot them before they get you.

Know the Enemy

Bedbugs are small, flat, wingless insects with six legs that, like mosquitoes, feed on blood from animals or people. They range in color from almost white to brown, but they turn rusty red after feeding. The common bedbug doesn’t grow much longer than 0.2 inches (0.5 centimeters) and can be seen by the naked eye to the astute observer.В Bedbugs get their name because they like to hide in bedding and mattresses.

Am I at Risk for Infestation?

Bedbugs are most often found in hotels, hostels, shelters, and apartment complexes where lots of people come and go. Because bedbugs hide in small crevices, they can hitch a ride into your home on luggage, pets, furniture, clothing, boxes, and other objects. Bedbugs are found worldwide, but are most common in developing countries. Once rare in North America, they may be on the rise due, in part, to increases in international travel.

Feeding Habits

These nocturnal creatures can hide in beds, floors, furniture, wood, and paper trash during the day. We humans usually become their dinner during the night, with peak biting activity just before dawn.They can obtain their meal in as little as three minutes, after which they are engorged and drop off the host, then crawl into a hiding place to digest their meal. Bedbugs can live for 10 months, and can go weeks without feeding.

Signs and Symptoms of Bedbug Bites

Amazingly, these sneaky little bloodsuckers dine on you without waking you. You don’t feel their stealthy bite because they inject a numbing agent into your body, along with an anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing as they suck. The first sign of bedbugs may be itchy, red bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites.

Treating Bites

Bedbug bites do not usually require treatment. If a secondary infection occurs (usually from scratching), apply a local antiseptic lotion or antibiotic cream or ointment. Creams with corticosteroids and oral antihistaminesare used for the primary, unbearable symptom of itch. In these more severe cases, you may need to see your doctor.

Do Bedbugs Transmit Diseases?

Bedbugs are more of a nuisance than a health hazard. In a recent study, researchers reviewed 53 recent studies on bedbugs and their health and medical effects. The results showed that although bedbugs have been blamed for the spread of up to 40 different human diseases, there is little evidence to suggest they are carriers of human disease.

Bedbug or Imposter?

Don’t assume your bites are bedbugs. Bites can be hard to identify, even for doctors. Rule out mosquitoes, fleas, mites, and biting gnats by conducting a visual inspection. It’s best to collect and identify bedbugs to confirm bites. Look for the bugs themselves or their bloodstains, especially along the seams of mattresses. Further, look for dark spots of insect waste where bedbugs might crawl into hiding places on furniture, walls, and floors.

Bite Back Against Bedbugs

Professional exterminators should get involved right off the bat—tell your landlord, super, hospital administrator, hotel owner, or you call a professional right up front. The exterminator will locate the bed bugs (which may be found in more than one location) and exterminate as needed. YOU will have to do a lot of laundry.В

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New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene.
Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet.
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Lancaster County.
Washington Post.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 17, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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Bed Bug Eggs

Bed Bug Eggs

Bed bug eggs are about the size of a small dust speck.В They are off-white and are most easily seen under a magnifying glass.В Female bed bugs lay eggs in batches of 10-50 eggs, and can lay up to 500 eggs in a lifetime.В Eggs are initially covered in a glue-like substance that allows them to stick to surfaces.В Bed bugs are most commonly found around a mattress, and 85% of infestations are located in a bed. Bed bugs are sometimes found in carpet near the bed. Females prefer to lay their eggs on rough surfaces, such as on a mattress or in carpet.В Bed bug eggs hatch after an average of ten days.В The eggshell is commonly left in place after the nymph has hatched.В Maturation to an adult bed bug can be as short as 5 weeks, assuming that temperatures are moderate.

Finding bed bug eggs indicates a serious infestation.В A single female can quickly populate a dwelling.В If left untreated, bed bug populations can quickly increase, causing human inhabitants to be the subject of blood meals.В Removing all visible bed bugs may not solve an infestation, because the eggs often escape notice.

The casing of the egg renders some treatment methods useless.В When purchasing insecticides or consulting with a pest control company, make sure that the treatment plan not only targets adults, but also targets eggs.В Freezing and extreme heat are effective at killing bed bug eggs.В Insecticides are available that kill bed bug eggs through desiccation, which is the drying up of the moisture in the egg.

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