How to Identify a Bed Bug

Various bed bugs may have different shapes and colors depending upon where they are in their life cycle and the length of time since their most recent meal.  Prior to a meal, an adult bed bug is oval-shaped and flat. It has six legs and two antennae. It is normally reddish-brown in color after it has had a meal. The size of a fully grown bed bug is often compared to an apple seed. They do not have wings. A bed bug never stings, and seldom jumps, or hops; it only bites. A bed bug is generally active at night; however, they can be seen occasionally during the day.  

Eggs from a bed bug are a pearl white color and are about the size of a pin head. It has been said that the eggs feel like a grain of salt or sand. The eggs are laid in clusters within a tight crack or crevice. The youngest life stage, fresh out of the egg, is called a nymph. The nymph is either translucent or a white/yellowish color. The nymph will turn a bright red color immediately after feeding. As the nymph matures, it will develop through five life stages to reach adulthood.  The young bed bug will molt each time it transitions to the next life stage. The molted skins, which are yellow in color, will be present where the bed bugs have been

Blood is the only food source for a bed bug. They do not have teeth or a tongue; so, they cannot eat crumbs that are left on the bed, and they cannot chew holes in material. Instead, they have a piercing mouth piece similar to a needle with which they suck the blood from their host. 

An adult bed bug can nearly double in size after a blood meal. While eating, it’s body will change from flat & dark in color to elongated & reddish brown in color. The color of the bed bug will change back to a dark color once the blood begins to digest. 

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