Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What do bed bugs look like?

As a licensed NYC Exterminator and NJ Exterminator, I answer this question countless times every day on service calls.  With the onslaught of media centered around bed bugs, an exterminator may as well change their title to “bed bug exterminator.”  Personally, about 90% of our NYC exterminator service calls as well as our NJ exterminator service calls are all in the name of… BED BUGS.

So you want to see pictures of bed bugs because you are searching for an answer to the question that everyone seems to be asking these days:  “What do bed bugs look like?”

Knowing that I would be starting this blog, I have recently taken some pictures of bed bugs, as well as what signs to look for that indicate a bed bug infestation, so that you can see a clear example of bed bugs to use as a reference point if you want to look for bed bugs or signs of bed bug activity in your home or building.

Bed bugs and bed bug fecal matter on a box spring

A bed bug in the center, and the larger bed bug to the left is pregnant and will drop eggs shortly.  If you compare the size of these two bed bugs to the staple in the photograph, this will give you a good frame of reference to understand the size of a bed bug.  Black markings indicate bed bug excrement along the underside of a box spring along the seaming.

Picture of a bed bug
What do bed bugs look like? This is a standard example of a bed bug on the underside of a box spring and is a close up of the image above for a better view.

Bed bug excrement on mattress seam
"How do I know if I have bed bugs?"
In looking at the above picture of a mattress seam, you will see the dark markings that are hallmark of a bed bug infestation in your mattress or bedding.  Let's take a closer look at these signs of bed bug infestations:

Bed bug casings and excrement on underside of box spring
See how the edge of this box spring looks like someone took a sharpie pen and marked it up? The black markings that look like ink are bed bug feces.  Orange-brown matter are the expelled bed bug casings (ie. bed bug skin)  Bed bugs shed their skins with each growth phase.

Bed bug casings and excrement on box spring
Black ink looking markings indicate bed bug fecal matter along the edge of the underside of this boxspring.  Lighter brown matter are the shed bed bug casings.  (ie. bed bug skins)

Bed bug cluster on the underside of a sofa cushion
 Some more bed bug pictures.  Note that bed bugs tend to cluster together.  Each cluster typically contains about 6 to 12 bugs.  Also, bed bugs do not only infest beds and may be found on the bottom of a sofa cushion as well as almost all other furnishings.

Bed bug cluster on the underside of a sofa cushion
Close up view of the above bed bug cluster found on the bottom of a sofa cushion.  What do bed bugs look like?  The above bed bug picture provides an excellent example.

Bed bug signs of an infestation
In multiple dwellings, like apartments, hotels, condos, and townhouses, a bed bug infestation may easily move from one unit to the next.  See the small hole next to this electrical outlet and note that it is roughly the same size as one of the small plug holes.  A hole this size creates ample room for bed bugs to travel from unit to unit.

Stay tuned for more bed bug pictures from your bed bug exterminator.

-Steve Spinelli
AKA "Bed Bug Exterminator"

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