Bed Bugs - Pictures

Jack DeAngelis, PhD
OSU Entomologist (ret.)
my resume

Identification: Bed bugs are about 1/4" (65mm) long when fully grown, reddish-brown in color, wingless, and can vary between flattened when unfed to somewhat "football"-shaped after ingesting a large amount of blood.

Bed bug bites are usually painless

Bed bug bites are painless and generally cause red and itchy lesions, like the marks left by bad mosquito bites. Unlike many other insects that feed on human blood, such as mosquitoes and fleas, bed bugs do not transmit diseases and therefore are generally not as dangerous as these other blood-feeders.

Secondary, and sometimes serious infections can develop when itchy bites are scratched. Also, bites (lesions) can occur in lines or clusters because a single bed bug often bites multiple times during a single feeding event.

bed bug
Front view, with mouthparts (between eyes) partially inserted. Photo by CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack

Bed bugs swell up during feeding

Bed bugs expand or "inflate" as they feed and ingest blood (see photo right). After feeding bed bugs usually retreat to their hiding places to digest the blood. The black, greasy stains that are found in the hiding places are what remains of the digested blood.

back to: Bed Bug Identification & Treatment

bed bug picture -
                                side view
Side view, feeding (biting). Photo by CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack.

Mission: To provide accurate, up-to-date and unbiased information for solving common insect and mite problems in least-toxic ways.

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