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  • Writer's pictureRobert Bate

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bug problems

Close up of a bed bug

In the early stages, you’ll probably never notice bed bugs. In the first stage, immature bed bugs are light in colour, somewhat translucent, and only 1mm in length – about as big as the period ending this sentence.

Bed bugs go through five developmental stages, becoming larger and darker with each stage. The adult bed bug is around 6.5mm long and consists of a reddish-brown colour and an oval shaped body. Adult females will lay up to five eggs per day, and after the eggs are deposited, they will take roughly 7-10 days to hatch. Depending on availability of a food source and environmental considerations, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks for a newly-hatched egg to develop into an adult bed bug. This is when humans and animals come into the life cycle of bed bugs.

Bed bug markings found on the seam of a sofa

Bed bugs found on the back of a couch

Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal insects which feed exclusively on blood. They sense where a food source is and climb on top for a meal. After feeding on a blood meal, the immature bed bugs may appear bright red in colour. Then they return to their hiding area behind the bed, in the mattress, under pictures on walls and other innocuous places.

Bed bug bits may also look similar to flea bites

Individual bed bugs do not need a daily blood meal, and may go a week or longer between feedings. In some cases bed bugs can survive for months if no food source is available.

Under normal conditions, the bed bug’s life span is about one year.

Do you suspect bed bugs? Call us at 07 3823 2500 for a free quote. To learn more about bedbugs see our bedbug page.

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