Can You See Bed Bugs with the Naked Eye?
Detecting bed bugs is not an easy task, as they are minuscule in size and can hide in the tiniest cracks. Because they are so small, bed bugs can often be missed until there are signs of an infestation. Their bites are also often confused with those of other pests. Informing yourself on what these little pests look like, and learning about their behaviors, will help you identify any bed bugs you may have in your home. If you know what to look for, yes–you can see bed bugs with the naked eye!
Adult Bed Bugs vs. Baby Bed Bugs
Bed bugs undergo two stages of development once they hatch from their eggs. Baby bed bugs, or nymphs, look different and are much more difficult to spot than their adult counterparts. However, both adult and baby bed bugs share most of the same characteristics:
- A beak with three segments
- Four-part antennae
- Non-flying wings
- Six legs
- Cone-like eyes
- Cause a musty, unique odor
- Move slower than other insects
- After eating, their bodies elongate
Adult bed bugs have the following unique characteristics:
- Range in size from 5–7 mm
- Red-brown in color after eating, brown in color otherwise
Some of the identifying characteristics of nymphs include:
- Range in size from 1.5–4.5 mm
- Typically translucent or white-yellow in color
Bed Bug Behavior and Habits
In addition to their physical attributes, knowing how bed bugs behave is a reliable way to identify them. Some of their distinguishable habits include:
- They prefer to spend their lives in hiding, which is why they’re so difficult to locate.
- Bed bugs can travel by hitching rides on clothing, luggage, furniture, and other household items.
- As their name implies, they are nesting pests that dwell where people or pets sleep, and feed when the subject is at rest. Once they finish feeding, they return to their hiding spot.
- They tend to live in small populations but may move on in search of other food sources.
- Bed bugs dislike daylight and thus will typically only feed at night–unless they are starved and a resting host is present.
Debunking Bed Bug Myths
There is a lot of misinformation about bed bugs that adds to them being misidentified so often. It’s important to dispel myths about bed bugs in order to better inform people on what to expect in a bed bug infestation. Contrary to what people may think, some important things to know about bed bugs include:
- Bed bugs do not fly. They are slow crawling creatures that are not capable of jumping or flying.
- Bed bugs are not attracted to dirty places. Although a messy space provides more hiding opportunities, bed bugs are drawn to warmth and blood.
- Bed bugs don’t only live in beds. They can be found in headboards, couches, luggage, and a variety of other household items.
- People cannot carry bed bugs on their bodies like ticks or lice. Instead, they typically travel via luggage, shoes, backpacks, etc.
- Most importantly, bed bugs do not carry or spread disease. There have been no studies proving that bed bugs transmit diseases between humans.
Professional Help for Identifying Bed Bugs
Even though bed bugs can indeed be spotted by the naked eye, it isn’t always easy to locate them. If you suspect you have bed bugs, try looking around headboards, in furniture cushions, and along mattresses. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, Enviro Safe Pest Control has the experience and resources necessary to locate, identify, and diagnose any bed bug problems you may be experiencing. Call us today to learn how we can protect your home from bed bugs!
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