Bed bugs are small – about one-fourth inch long – and can fit into a tiny crack or crevice. The eggs are one-sixth of an inch in size, and the nymphs, which are around the size of the letter “R” on a penny, are only a few millimeters long. Once they hatch, they molt and grow into adult bugs. When they are first born, they are white, but their colors change to brown during the next stage of development.
A bed bug’s body is oval, with six legs and two antennae. The coloration varies depending on the species of insect, age, and feeding status. Young bed bugs are semi-translucent and have a spotted pattern due to blood in their abdomen. Adult bed bugs are light brown with a flat oval belly.
Bed bugs go through five stages of development before they are fully mature. They start off small and flat, but grow larger as they feed. The first two stages are smaller than the next, and the adult stage is about half the size of the baby. As the bed bug grows larger, the number of eggs lays more eggs.
Adult bed bugs feed just once or twice a week. If a bedbug is overcrowded, you may be woken up by itching and discomfort. While they are not harmful, a bite from a bedbug can be painful and can take up to a week to heal. However, if you are allergic to the saliva of an adult bed bug, the reaction may be different.