Bed bugs are small, blood-feeding insects that go through multiple stages of development as they mature. After they emerge from the eggs, developing juvenile bed bugs are called “nymphs.”

The time it takes bed bug nymphs to mature varies based on the temperature and how often they are able to obtain a blood meal. With an available host, bed bug nymphs can become adults in about 21 days at room temperature.

Both the eggs and nymphs are nearly colorless, which makes them hard to see on light-colored bed sheets and carpets. The nymphs darken as they mature and may look red after feeding.

Bed bug nymphs can represent a large number of the total bed bugs in an established infestation. Due to their small size, they are even harder to detect than adult bed bugs.

Nymphs are quite small and range in size from 1.3 millimeters to 4-5 millimeters in length. This means they spend most of their development time at a size smaller than a sesame seed. At their smallest, they are no bigger than the letters on a U.S. dime.

There are many other insects commonly mistaken for bed bugs. If you suspect bed bug nymphs or adults, call Terminix® to assist with identification and, if needed, control of these pests.