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How Small Are Bed Bugs and Other Facts

Bed Bug University

Bed Bug University

When viewed from the side, these bugs are very flat and adult bed bugs are thin enough that they are about the width of a business card. Due to their flatness and apple seed size they are able to hide well in any hotel, home, business, etc. Adult bedbugs are about ΒΌ of an inch long by about 3/16 inch wide but can be slightly bigger or smaller. They have an abdomen that stretches many times its original size as it takes in your blood. After taking a blood meal, they are fully elongated and are about six times their original body weight. Adult bed bugs grow about two or two and a half times their size after taking a blood meal. If you would like to see feeding bed bugs enlarge just check out one of the many online videos.

YouTube Video of bed bug feeding and how it changes size . . .

Bed Bug Size

Since adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed they may resemble a tick. People have asked, “can I feel the bed bug bite me?” It’s doubtful that you will feel the bite as these bugs are sneaky and they inject an anti-coagulant and an anesthetic which numbs the area.

A recent study isolated a fully engorged 2nd instar bed bug and noted that it produced 20 fecal stains over a sixty day period. A 3rd instar bed bug produced 26 fecal stains over the same time period. An adult bed bug also fully engorged produced just six fecal stains over a 2 week period. While this is interesting it should be noted that a much larger population sample size is needed to gather accurate average number of fecal stains produced by a bed bug. In general it can be said that a well fed bed bug will produce about one fecal stain per day. Bed bug feces will “run” when sprayed with water or cleaners.

Check out Bayer Crop Science Environmental Science Division bed bug training video on DVD produced in August 2011. It features Dr. Austin M. Frishman and Joe Barile.

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