One of the most common questions we are asked is:
What do BedBugs look like? and How do I know if I have BedBugs?
These are simple questions, but very difficult to answer in a web page with pictures, or without closely inspecting the bug(s) you have found. The internet is full of postings and pages, repeating some common myths and folklore over and over. We’ll post some images, a video, and specific symptoms at the bottom of this page, but first some advice.
BedBugs are the insect-world’s best “hide and seek” game players. They cling to any fabric to move from place to place with humans, then hide in the smallest cracks, only coming out in the dark of night. The average homeowner/renter is unlikely to see a bedbug, as portrayed in internet videos [used to sell fear and pest control services]. We occasionally hear stories of our customers seeing then, when the lights are suddenly turned on at night, [like roaches in the kitchen], but most often you will need to hunt them down to find/see them.
Often readers on the BBNReports, “think” they have BedBugs, only because of mysterious bites or rashes on the skin. This makes “guessing” even more difficult, because the first symptom of a new BedBug infestation IS usually the bite marks and skin reaction to a “feeding”. Many insect bites will give similar reactions. Pest control professionals will tell you that without “the bug” to inspect/autopsy, you are only guessing, and that is correct, but…..
We pride ourselves on practical and real-world advice about BedBugs. The pages of BedBug-News- Reports.com exist specifically so you can learn from the mistakes [and a few successes] of others. So here is the real problem with “guessing” about your BedBug problem.
- Each person’s skin reaction to a BedBug “feeding” is different. A few people are extremely reactive, with swelling and red-blotches, similar to the most dramatic pictures you will see elsewhere on the internet. [We refuse to post those images, because], Most people have mild if any reactions to a BedBug feeding.
- The skin reaction you experience from a BedBug feeding is often 1-2 days after the incident, when the itching/scratching starts. By the time you notice the skin reaction(s), the BedBug is “long-gone” [and you’ve changed hotels, forgotten the airline flight, don’t think of the dark movie theater or other common BedBug hiding places.] It is also unfair to “assume” that the BedBugs fed on you at the last resort/convention hotel you stayed at, when the source could have been the airline seat on the way home or the taxi to the airport. Hotels often get unfair “reviews” with BedBug claims that are rarely proven. [In fairness, some hotel rooms ARE transmission points for BedBugs, but assigning “blame” is VERY difficult]
- In a residential setting, in cities with known BedBug infestations,[like the Top100 Most Bedbug infested Cities], the bite marks and rash-reactions are usually the earliest indicator of a BedBug infestation in YOUR home. While it is not very scientific, early detection makes cleaning an infestation easier. The question you REALLY need to ask is: How early/late am I at detecting a BedBug infestation in my home? The smaller the BedBug population in your home, the more difficult it is to confirm you have an infestation.
If you can’t “confirm” an infestation, is it worth the [not inconsiderable] expense and inconvenience to do the full-scale cleaning needed to remove the BedBug infestation. It is a circular argument [and yes, it is frustrating for pest control professionals too.] This is why EcoBugFREE, the BedBug Eliminator is so effective. It is a non-toxic, [kid-safe and pet-friendly] solution that can be used early and often, at a lower cost than expensive contract/franchise pest control companies. The work to clean a BedBug infestation is a huge chore, but 90% of it, you CAN do yourself.
BedBug sniffing dogs detect the odor of a BedBug’s “farts”…[that’s technically untrue, but makes for a better explanation]. If you’ve only brought home one BedBug [ with your luck a pregnant female BedBug], it could take two life-cycles before you notice a problem big enough to cause a reaction.
A single female can lay 2-3 eggs per day [200-250 eggs in her 6-10 month lifetime.] The first eggs will hatch in about 10 days and those newly emerged bedbug nymphs will seek a feeding meal to grow through each of 5 life stages to adulthood. One active and well-fed female could create several “generations” of Bedbugs, before you “notice” a problem. Small 1st and 2nd stage nymph BedBugs cause smaller skin reactions than an adult BedBug, again creating a situation where early detection is accidental or unlikely. Never dismiss the symptoms of a BedBug infestation, without investigation.
Bedbugs have several life-stages, from eggs to adults. They need to feed, after each stage to grow, just like your children. It is most like you will see Bedbugs as eggs in a harborage [the technical term for a “nest”] or as juveniles and adults, so we’ve posted those photos, with a video from MrBedBug [the Chief “spokesbug” for FLfresh LLC and EcoBugFREE, the BedBug Eliminator.
This is an instructive photo for several reasons. You can see BedBug eggs, [they usually look “clear” not white”], but also a juvenile. The honey-golden colored BedBugs have not had a “blood-meal”, or they would be a rusty, brown color. Notice the one in the lower 1/3 of the picture, blending in with the brown wood-grain, that’s a recently fed adult Bedbug.
This is a macro close-up of an adult BedBUG. You’ll almost never see them like this.
This is a more accurate image of “what a BedBug looks like”, if they are in your home.
Would YOU notice this BedBug? This is a real-world photo of a juvenile-age Bedbug. It is unlikely you would notice him in the dark, when you are asleep at home, while napping during an airline flight or while watching a movie in the mega-theater. It’s no wonder that it is easy to bring Bedbugs home, from places other than “seedy, low-rent” motels. Bedbugs feed on human blood, so they are potentially anywhere that we sit, rest, gather or sleep.