Bed Bug Nymph

What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

The life cycle of bed bugs undergoes three developmental stages. They start as eggs, develop into nymphs, then go through five molts to become adults. Adults look a lot like apple seeds.

However, what do baby bed bugs look like? They’re tiny white-ish bugs, just barely visible to the human eye. See the image at the top.

Here are the basics on bed bug nymphs:

  • They are only 1mm long, about the size of a sesame seed or a grain of rice.
  • They resemble rice grains and are white, making them very difficult to see, especially on white sheets and pillowcases.
  • They start out clear or white, and turn red as they feed on your tasty, tasty blood.

Before they can mature, they molt five times, and each one requires a blood meal. But wait, are you willing to provide such accommodation and be a host? This article will examine baby bed bugs to stop that kind of parasitic relationship as early as possible.

Overview: What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

Image from CDC

If you encounter a bed bug nymph (the term for baby bed bugs), this is a strong indicator that you have an infestation. Nymphs indicate an infestation and that females are depositing their tiny rice-grain-shaped eggs

Additionally, it indicates that all mature bed bugs are consuming the blood of human hosts. You have an active infestation — nightmare! If you’re finding nymph bed bugs, you likely have a much worse issue.

Bed Bug Babies and Nymphs

Nymph Baby Bed Bug

Nymphs are usually flat and are about the size of a small rice grain. Because they are white and have a delicate shell, homeowners can easily kill them by pressing on them. Nymphs, or baby bed bugs, are not as little as many people think.

They can be seen with the naked eye, but just barely.

Nymphs don’t undergo metamorphosis as other insects do. They are very much the same shape as an adult bed bug, with 6 legs and two antennae. They’re just smaller and usually a pale white color.

Also, bed bugs aren’t flat only when they’re feeding. Consuming food makes their abdomens grow, although you need a microscope to see this because it is invisible to the human eye. As a result, it is not a practical way to tell nymphs from adult bed bugs.

What Is the Color of Baby Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are completely white or off-white when they first hatch. Because bed bug eggs and other eggs have the same hue, some people mistake them.

Nymphal bed bugs will continue to be this hue until they start feeding.

A bed bug’s abdomen will have a circular red spot once it feeds for the first time (again, see the image at the top of this article). After feeding, they store their blood in this location. After they have digested this meal, they will grow larger and shed their skin. 

Nymphs start changing colors from white to reddish brown as they digest and grow. The bed bugs’ consumption of the nutrients from their host’s blood causes this.

The baby bed bugs then turn increasingly brown as they develop into adult bed bugs.

In comparison, the entire body of an adult is brown. That is a result of consistently feeding on a host. Bed bugs that have turned brown can never go back to being white.

What Is the Size of Baby Bed Bugs?

Nymphs are roughly the size of a grain of rice and considerably smaller than adults. Due to their size and color, they are hard to see. That is especially true if your bedding and linens are white.

However, you must also consider larger baby bed bugs. Bed bug larvae go through five stages. As a result of the bed bugs’ reduced size, the first two or three are arguably their “baby” stage or instar. They continue to be a different color as well.

These stages get bigger and bigger with time. Second-stage instars are one-third the size of an adult from head to abdomen. They also take up a third of the breadth. Third-stage instars are half as big from side to side and from head to end as an adult.

As a result, the tiny bed bugs are nymphs, while the larger ones are adults.

What Areas Do Baby Bed Bugs Live In?

Baby bed bugs live in the same locations as adults. For instance, there are many spots in a normal home where they can hide.

Baby bed bugs live in the same locations as adults.

The bugs are hard to identify because of their flat bodies, which makes it simple for them to conceal themselves in small spaces. Nymphs and eggs are frequently seen in the following locations by homeowners:

  • Box springs, mattress seams, or interiors of furniture (see our guide to finding bed bugs in a couch).
  • Between baseboards, headboards, and picture frames.
  • Beneath wallpaper.

The bugs prefer regions near where people sleep, in locations that are rarely disturbed. They are usually active at night. They gravitate toward their hosts’ body heat, odors, and carbon dioxide emissions.

Can Baby Bed Bugs Crawl?

Bed bugs do not move quickly. Unlike other home pests like cockroaches, they don’t crawl as swiftly. 

There are three primary causes for this:

  • They don’t normally move at top speed, although they usually move as quickly as possible to avoid danger if disturbed.
  • There’s no rush to crawl quickly. Instead of trying to flee, they prefer to remain hidden.
  • They have shorter legs. Their legs are tiny and stubby, but their bodies are relatively large.

As a result, they only leave their shelter at night to forage. Therefore, it’s probably a baby bed bug if you see a small bug moving slowly.

Are Baby Bed Bugs Hard to Kill?

Compared to adults, baby bed bugs have a thinner exoskeleton. Although this is not the best bed bug removal technique, they are pretty easy to crush.

However, if you only focus on eliminating individual bed bugs, you’ll never get rid of them.

Cracks and gaps are excellent hiding places for bed bugs. Some of them will even slip your mind, leaving behind families of bed bugs.

You should, therefore, hire a specialist to use heat treatment or a chemical to eradicate them.

Do Baby Bed Bugs Bite?

Like adult bed bugs, baby bed bugs can bite.

They must consume human blood or else they will starve. Like any other parasite, bed bugs need a host to survive. They do not live inside or on their host, unlike other parasites. Instead, they stay in spots close to their host, like mattresses.

They access you from here when you are unaware, like when you’re asleep.

There is also another factor that makes feeding crucial. The size and mass of bed bugs can double as they progress from one instar to the next. They need large amounts of nutrients for such rapid growth (that would be your blood!). The bottom line: when bed bugs hatch, they immediately start feeding on blood.

When bed bugs hatch, they immediately start feeding on blood.

Baby bed bugs can only survive by feeding only on blood. They have different mouthparts than other animals. They have a tool to open holes in the skin and a straw they use to drink through.

How Can You Identify Baby Bed Bugs’ Bites?

Bites from a baby bed bug resemble bites from an adult bed bug. The body’s histamine or allergic reaction causes a bed bug bite’s swelling or redness.

Bites from a baby bed bug resemble bites from an adult bed bug.

That happens due to the bed bug’s saliva numbing the biting site. The body swells up to help remove this saliva because it perceives it as a foreign substance. The body’s response is the same as after an adult bite.

That is as follows:

  • Histamine response in the body results in painful itching.
  • The body sends extra autoimmune cells and blood to the bite site.
  • The bite site will swell if there is more blood around.

Baby bed bug bites have the same duration as adult bed bug bites since the bite mark is produced similarly. Within two weeks, they will become clear, although you’ll get bitten a few more times in the interim.

Often the bites will be in straight line or zigzag patterns.

What Other Insects Look Like Baby Bed Bugs?

People confuse different insects with bed bugs and become alarmed. However, finding any insect in your home or office can be an unpleasant experience, no matter how benign the bug might be.

There are several insects commonly mistaken for bed bugs. They include Bat bugs, Cockroach and Water bug nymphs, Spider beetles, Booklice, Fleas, Head lice, Ticks, Carpet beetles, and Swallow bugs.

How to Prevent Adult and Baby Bed Bugs

Check any used clothing and furnishings before bringing them inside to prevent bed bugs from getting inside. Take extra caution staying in hotels. Leave your luggage on a luggage stand and wash all your clothing in hot water when you arrive home. If you stay in an infested hotel, you may bring bugs home in baggage or personal items. 

Here are other helpful tips you can apply.

  • Vacuum daily to remove bed bugs and their eggs from gaps and crevices.
  • Use a silicone crack and crevice sealant to fill up all cracks and crevices.
  • Use Diatomaceous earth, one of many natural medicines that can work well when applied.
  • Wash all clothing, bedding, and pillows in hot water, then dry on a high-heat setting.

Additionally, if you discover eggs, adults, or baby bed bugs, you should contact the experts for safe extermination.