Bed Bug Size.A common reoccurring question people have is, what is normal?
Since people are concerned about trying to find them either in their hotel room or their bedroom, it makes sense to know what size of an insect you are looking and inspecting for. Its best to know what your target is and the most common sizes you should be seeing. Since there are other bugs that may be mistaken for bed bugs, it is important to know more about them. Here is a good book to quickly understand more about bed bugs.
Well the best answer to the question is….When? It’s a mixed answer since bed bug size will change over their life time. They change during their life cycle ..as they start out as nymphs, or when they mature into adults or when they are completely engorged after they have recently finished a blood meal. Some of their remains, (molting debris) will also be in the mix if you discover an area where they are currently populating.
Bed Bug Size
1. 1. The adult Bed Bug is about one quarter inch long and flat and does not have wings. It is usually brown unless it has engorged itself on a recent blood meal.
2. 2. The adult will become swollen and changes to dark red because of the blood it has ingested.
3. 3. Eggs are typically about 1/25 of an inch long and will usually hatch between 1 to 3 weeks.
4. 4. Newly hatched nymphs are hard to see without magnifying equipment. They are straw brownish colored except till after feeding when they become purple or reddish.
5. 5. There are 5 nymph stages until bed bugs will reach maturity. This is typically a process that will take anywhere between 35 to 48 days.
6. 6. The bugs will continually increase in size as they molt until they reach their ultimate size of one quarter inch. Most people think of this as the normal Bed Bug Size.
7. 7. It is likely that one will see multiple different sizes and or stages of the insect. Use a flashlight to inspect especially when traveling.
8. 8. An adult which has not eaten recently versus an adult which has recently had a blood meal can vary in overall size but will typically remain around ¼ inch long.
While it is important to remember that these insects can be fully one quarter inch long as an adult…they will appear larger as they feed on a blood meal. Their length may remain about the same but their overall size will increase as they become engorged. One blood meal has been shown to allow adults to survive actually up to six or seven months. In some cases these bugs will actually live and survive without feeding on humans and will attack birds and rodents instead. They are opportunistic feeders and will take whatever food source may be present. Since they are attracted to CO2 , heat, and certain odors emanating from hosts, they can locate search out, and locate the hosts that can provide a blood meal for them. Which is why bed bug traps are particularly effective if the bed bugs are moving from the floor and up onto the bed in search of food. They will feed until they are engorged and will typically feed at night. The female is often transported to new sites in luggage and is usually pregnant as she can store the male sperm for up to six week., thus beginning a new infestation. Check out this cool luggage idea to try and help minimize bed bug movement when traveling.