Bed bugs are small insects with flat, oval-shaped bodies, often described as looking similar to an apple seed. These pests are wingless meaning they are unable to fly around the room. Adult bed bugs have wing pads, but they never develop into fully functional wings.
If you have bed bugs in your home, you may find their eggs in the seams of your mattress or even under the footrest of a recliner. Their eggs look like small grains of rice and are around 1mm in length.
Bed bug nymphs emerge from the egg no larger than a poppy seed with a white/clear color. This can make bed bug larvae very difficult to see. As the larvae mature and molt their coloring will change to yellow/tan. By the time a nymph reaches the adult stage of development, its color will be a reddish or rusty brown.
After becoming an adult a bed bug’s color will only change when it feeds, and its swollen body takes on the red of the blood inside. As a bed bug goes too long without feeding its abdomen will flatten giving the insect a deep-brown color.
A prevalent myth about bed bugs is they are impossible to see. While it may be difficult to see a 1.5mm nymph, by the time one of these pests is full-grown it will measure somewhere between 4 to 5 mm. At this size, adults can be detected visually.