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The complete guide to bed bugs

With increased travel, vacation rentals, and hotels operating at high occupancy rates, bed bugs are always a concern. An estimated one in five people has dealt with a bed bug infestation or knows someone who has encountered the dreaded pest.

The key to identifying these blood-sucking pests is knowing what they look like and understanding their behaviors. If you think you have seen any of the signs of bed bugs around your home or business, contact your local Western Exterminator office today to discuss bed bug detection and removal options.

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Bed bug control

Find out how Western can control bed bugs in your home or business.

Bed bugs at a glance

What do bed bugs look like?

  • Size: ⅛” - 3/16” in length as adults
  • Color: Brown or reddish-brown
  • Body: Flat, round bodies divided into three segments, six legs, and two antennae

Get all the facts

What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bug life cycle

Knowing what bed bugs look like is a key part of bed bug control. Bed bugs are tiny and vary in size based on their stage in the life cycle.

Bed bug eggs

Bed bug eggs are often found near where the adult and young bed bugs hide during the day. They are pearly white and tiny, making them very difficult to spot with the untrained eye. Adult female bed bugs will lay up to five or six batches of 10-15 eggs per day.

Bed bug nymphs

After hatching, a bed bug goes through five nymph stages before reaching adulthood. At first, nymphs are white, but they get darker as they grow and consume blood meals. Similar to bed bug eggs, nymphs are also very tiny and difficult to see. The only way you may spot a nymph is by finding its shed skins.

Adult bed bugs

An adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. They are brown and flat with a wide head and segmented body. After a blood meal, they become engorged and can be a darker reddish-brown color.

What you need to know about bed bugs



Bed bugs prefer to find hiding places as they hate being out in the open. They can be found anywhere that humans are motionless for a long period. This can include places such as beds, including box springs, mattresses, headboards, and mattress covers; couches, including cushions and pillows; and reclining chairs. As an infestation grows, bed bugs can spread to curtains, ceiling edges, electrical outlets, and behind pictures.


A bed bug’s anatomy is designed to feed on blood, however, bed bugs do not have to feed every night. They can go for several days, even months, without a meal, but they do require a blood meal every time they shed their skins and enter a new life stage. After a blood meal, a bed bug will become engorged and its skin color will appear a darker reddish-brown.

Home bed bug treatment

Frequently asked questions


What are the first signs of bed bugs?

Discarded bed bug shed skins are one of the first signs of an infestation. Before each life stage, bed bugs molt and leave these shed skins behind. Shed skins are nearly translucent shells and are usually found in clutter.

Another initial sign of bed bugs is waking up with bed bug bites on exposed parts of your body, like your arms and legs. Bed bug bites are generally pretty small. They can be raised welts, similar to mosquito bites, but can also be flat and appear like a rash.

How does a person get bed bugs?

To put it simply — travel.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can easily travel from place to place. If you find bed bugs in your home, they were most likely brought in with you on your luggage after a trip. Bed bugs can also be brought into the home on an item that was previously infested and carried into your house.

Where do bed bugs hide on your body?

Bed bugs can hide anywhere on your body, but they are most attracted to exposed skin. Bed bug bites typically appear in a straight pattern and are most commonly found on faces, necks, arms, ankles, and feet.

How do I completely get rid of bed bugs?

The best and quickest way to get rid of bed bugs completely is to work with a professional pest control company like Western Exterminator. Our Technicians are trained to find bed bugs in all their life stages, which is incredibly important as bed bugs are very tiny and difficult to see to the untrained eye. We have the most comprehensive bed bug detection, treatment, and prevention solutions to help property owners get rid of this biting pest.

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