Are you afraid of bed bugs — you know, those scary little critters that sometimes find their way in your bed (or your sleeping bag) in the dead of night.
But have you ever seen one up close? It’s certainly no sight for the faint of heart!
So let’s do it. Yep, that’s right… let’s get up and close and see them for what they are!
Bed Bug Quick Facts
A bed bug can survive for upwards of an entire year without a meal!
Bed bug eggs are small — generally between 0.08 and 1 millimeters in length, which is just under half the size of a grain of salt.
Fully grown adult bed bugs can reach lengths up to 5-6 millimeters (3/16 – 1/4 inch) with an approximate width of 3-4 millimeters (3/32 – 1/8 inch). They’re oval in shape and have a reddish-brown color.
Newly hatched bed bugs (nymphs) can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but will grow to adult size within a few weeks if they’re able to feed on blood.
Bed bugs don’t spread disease — that’s right, despite biting their hosts for its blood, their digestive tracts break down disease.
How Big are Newly Hatched Bed Bugs (Nymphs)?
Bed bug nymphs are smaller than adults, growing from 1.3 to 4-5 millimeters in length.
They have translucent bodies, but as they grow, nymphs molt and shed their skin many times over the course of multiple weeks.
Can a Bed Bug Change Its Size?
In short, yes. The average adult is about a quarter (1/4) of an inch long, but their flat bodies look significantly bigger after they’ve had a blood meal.
Once engorged with food, the pest will increase in length (and width) for upwards of 12 hours before returning to its normal size. This happens after it finished digesting its previous meal which can last from two days to several weeks!
How Big Are Bed Bugs? (Let’s Use Visual Comparisons to Gain Perspective)
Visualize a Bed Bug on a USB Type-A Connector
Visualize a Bed Bug on a U.S. Quarter (0.25 cents)
Visualize a Bed Bug on a SIM Card
Visualize a Bed Bug on a Credit Card
Visualize a Bed Bug on a Pillow
Join 712+ Passionate RVers
7 Things to Know About Bed Bugs (Video)
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide