What do Adult Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed Bug

Bed bugs can be easily mistaken for other small household pests such as cockroach nymphs and carpet beetles due to their tiny size. Here is a list of characteristics to look out for when identifying a bed bug in your home.

Bed Bug Characteristics

Body Color: full-grown bed bugs have a reddish-brown or black body. Bed bugs that just hatched, on the other hand, are much lighter, especially if they haven’t fed recently.

Body Size: adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed (5 – 7 mm in length). Bed bug nymphs are much smaller and their body length can range anywhere between 1.5 – 4.5 mm.

Body Shape: adult bed bugs have oval-shaped bodies. The body of an adult bed bug will stretch and become narrow-shaped once they start feeding.

Wings: Bed bugs do have greatly reduced wings. The good news is they can’t actually fly around with those tiny wing pads. That said, bed bugs are still very agile insects that can crawl and climb fairly quickly.

Bed Bug Look-alikes

Here is a list of common household pests that resembles the appearance of an adult bed bug.

Cockroach Nymphs: baby cockroaches can be mistaken for bed bugs due to the similarity in appearance and size. They also like to hide in similar places, such as small cracks and crevices. The main difference is their body shape. Cockroach nymphs have a more cylinder-shaped body.

Carpet Beetles: these insects also have flat-shaped bodies and are about 3 mm in length. Carpet beetles do not bite humans and pets. Instead, they feed on organic debris and fabric.

Spider Beetles: these insects can easily resemble bed bugs if people don’t know what they are looking for. They have relatively large, rounded abdomens and elongated legs.

Knowing what kind of bug you are dealing with at home will vastly improve your chances of removing them. Check out our bed bug control article to learn how you can remove bed bug infestations with natural remedies.