How big are bed bugs? – see pictures to compare actual size

Bed bugs are a real nuisance if you have them in your home, but one of the things many people are unsure of is what these insects look like, their shape, their appearance, their eggs and to know what size these pests grow to. Before calling a pest control expert, find out if you really have a bed bug infestation in your home or room and not something else that looks like bed bugs, such as other types of beetle. And of course if you have never seen one before you may wonder about ways to identify them and how they can be visually compared to other pests that you know well. 

What do they appear like to the human eye?

The first things to look out for is bug bite marks on the skin and other possible symptoms before assuming a bug invasion. A correct identification is necessary for the proper treatment needed, if any. If you or one of your children have bites like the picture below, and they are sore and itchy, it could well be the result of bedbugs. It’s always best to check with a doctor just to make sure it isn’t some other condition. See the bed bug pictures and photos of bed bugs below to get an idea of signs to watch for. Check out my other post about bed bug nymphs and what to look out for(with pictures).

adult bed bug bites

Image of bed bug bites

A bed bug will tend to show up as dark brown color, and  so are quite easy to spot against a whole bed sheet or duvet. Check out my other post on the question, does lavender oil repel bed bugs.

If you do suspect an infestation, you will need to turn over all your bedding, duvet covers, pillow cases and all around the mattress. This photo shows ways that bed bugs appear on bed covers.

pictures of bed bugs on mattress

bed bugs size

Pictures of bed bugs on mattress

Check out my other post on getting rid of beg bugs fast.

What length and width are Bed Bugs?

Well it depends. Bed bugs grow significantly though their life cycle and can start off quite small from the nymph stage before becoming adult bed bugs, which are between 5 and 7mm long, about the dimensions of an apple seed. After feeding on human blood, they can also swell to about twice normal bed bug size during their life cycle. Adult bed bugs have flat oval shaped bodies compared to the babies. Also they lay eggs which are a bit harder to see and much smaller, sometimes found on the skin.

Visual comparison

picture of bed bug comparison

The images below will give you a sense of scale next to a person’s fingernail.

Photo – actual size

bed bugs photos

Bed bug nymphs can appear the one in the picture below.

bed bug nymph
Bed bug nymph

So can I know if I have an infestation?

If you look carefully, you will be able to find signs of bed bugs around your house. The bed bugs, if they have fed recently, will appear as a brown or reddish color, as they feed on human blood and have quite a flat shape.  You might also find bed bug eggs, which are a white color and are smaller than a grain of rice. The nymphs are harder to see as they have transparent bodies, but can appear white.

Check out the SayByeBugs Bed Bug Spray. Many people report it to be very effective.

Treatment options

If you do find any, you will need to treat the pest problem thoroughly to remove of all the bedbug eggs, nymphs and adults, to prevent them returning, even though they don’t present a serious health risk. For a light infestation, you may get away with just washing all the bed coverings.However, for a bad pests infestation, you might need to throw all your bedding in the bin and replace your mattress too. If it is a devan bed, these insects can also live inside the bed, so best to replace everything if necessary. It is also well worth checking all your clothing as a bed bug can transport itself on clothes too. Also, it may be worth while calling in a professional pest control company who have experience with bed bug infestations. Find out about the eco defense bug spray.



Can you see them with the naked eye?

If you know what to look for, such as some of the signs mentioned above, then you will be able to see bed bugs with the naked eye. They vary in dimensions, but depends on where they are in their life cycle. Typically, bed bug nymphs will be smaller than a fully fed adult bed bug, but still visible. A bed bug that has eaten a blood meal, will be bigger than a regular one. On average though, they appear about the size of an apple seed. The adult insects have a flat body shape compared to the nymphs, especially after they feed.

Are bed bug eggs hard?

No, they are in fact quite soft and you can squeeze them with your fingers. A bed bug egg is about 0.5mm in length, however, they may be difficult to pick up as they have a sticky substance that makes the eggs stick to surfaces.

What do they look like on a mattress?

Bed bugs on a mattress will tend to appear dark in color against the backdrop of a light colored mattress and other objects around your home. The bed bugs may appear like little black seeds, as shown in the photograph above, with the adult bed bugs a bit larger.


If you found this post on bed bugs helpful, then check out other related posts on our site –

Do bed bugs bite the scalp?

Do bed bugs smell?

To get back to the home page, click here – DeadPestz

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.