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Identifying Bed Bugs

At The Bugman Pest Control, we equip you with the knowledge to accurately identify bed bugs (bed bug identification) as opposed to common mix-ups like fleas and mosquitoes. We understand that correctly identifying a pest is the first step to effective eradication. This guide also provides a clear insight into different stages of bed bugs and their comparison with various insect bites.

Unveiling Bed Bugs: Eggs and Juveniles
Bed bug identification and life cycle

Bed Bug Eggs: Resemble grains of salt or pinheads, often exhibiting a pearly white hue. Five days into their lifecycle, these eggs will exhibit a distinct black eye-spot.

Juvenile Bed Bugs (Nymphs): Juvenile bed bugs, also known as nymphs, span 2-5mm in length and exhibit a yellowish-white hue. Their progression to the next nymphal stage is contingent upon feeding, post which they display a bright red, translucent abdomen. Digestion induces a color transition in their abdomen from red to brown, and eventually black.

Adult Bed Bugs

Adult bedbugs are flat and oval and can be dark yellow, red, or brown. They have 6 legs and 2 antennae but do not have any wings. Adults are around 5mm long, which is about the same size as an apple seed. However, their size increases after feeding.

Top Photo: Adult male (left) & adult female (right)

The shape and size of an adult bed bug change based on whether it has had a blood meal or not. The photo shows the difference in size based on how long the bed bug has been feeding

Juvenile bedbugs cannot reach the reproductive stage without a blood meal, so preventing them from biting can help slow down the infestation by starving them. However, bedbugs can go several days or months without food, and adult bedbugs can go a year without feeding.

Bed Bug Identification

Interpreting Bed Bug Bites

If you find yourself counting fresh bites every morning despite not spotting bed bugs, this section is for you. Bed bug bites are initially painless due to the anesthetic they release before feeding. These bites eventually turn noticeably red and swollen, with a delay of a few days.

bed bug bite back
bed bugs bite image
bed bugs bite image
About Bed Bug Bites
  • You won’t feel it right away, bed bugs eject a small amount of anesthetic before feeding
  • Become noticeably red and swollen, but it may take a few days before this occurs
  • Multiple bites often appear in a line or cluster
  • Bites are usually itchy
  • Bed bugs can bite anywhere, but usually do so along exposed skin, such as the face, neck, arms, and hands
  • If you wear pajamas, bed bugs will often bite along the line of the pajamas
  • Bites don’t generally get puffy, instead, they get hard, even when inflamed
  • Bites are generally under 12 mm
The Bug Bites Look-Alike Challenge: Bed Bug Bites Vs. Others
mosquito vs bed bug bite image
Mosquito Bite (left) & Bed Bug Bite (Right)

Mosquito Bites vs Bed Bug Bites

While both bites can be itchy and appear swollen, mosquito bites are sporadic compared to bed bug bites, which typically appear in a line or cluster. Mosquito bites exhibit puffiness with a pale middle, while bed bug bites harden.

Spider Bites vs Bed Bug Bites

Spider bites, like bed bug bites, can be itchy and swollen. However, spiders usually bite once, and the entry point of the fangs is noticeable. Unlike bed bugs that primarily bite at night, spiders can bite at any time.

spider bite
Spider Bite
flea vs bed bug bite image
Flea Bites

Flea Bites vs Bed Bug Bites

Flea bites and bed bug bites can both be itchy, red, and appear in clusters. Fleas often bite the lower half of your body, commonly the legs, feet, armpits, knees, and elbows, and leave a noticeable point in the middle. On the other hand, bed bugs are more likely to bite hands, arms, neck, and face.

If you find yourself uncertain about the identity of your pests, don’t hesitate. Reach out to us, The Bugman Pest Control at 604-854-2847, and we’ll assist you with bed bug identification and recommend the most effective treatment method.