What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

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A bed bug is about 3 to 9 millimeters long, and bed bugs are often found in clusters. Discover how bed bugs are flattened and possess small swings with information from an entomologist in this free video on insects and bugs.

Part of the Video Series: Insects & Bugs
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn. I've been an entomologist for 20 years. We're here in Austin, Texas talking about what do bed bugs look like? They're a true bug that's about three to nine millimeters long, so they're quite small and they're typically found in clusters. They're somewhat communal in that regards. You typically find them in bedrooms on the beds, typically in the folds of the mattress. And so if you go to a hotel room, you might want to pull back the sheets all the way down to the mattress itself and look there for any small insect clusters and sometimes after they've fed on the host of a person, as they digest the blood meal they'll be some red discharge there so if you see any red spots that's an indication that bed bugs have been there or may still be in the area. Obviously you want to get a different room if not a different hotel if you do find bed bugs. They're very difficult to control, so it's best to identify them and don't open your luggage until you're sure that the room is OK. And there's been a resurgence of bed bugs and we don't really know why this is, but it might be due to more traveling and such. But they're flattened bugs that have very small wings or wing buds as they're sometimes referred to and they're flattened until they take a blood meal and then they swell up to a degree. Not quite like a tick, but small size of critters in a little cluster in the mattress area is generally what a bed bug looks like.


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