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Bed Bug Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from bed bugs by learning techniques for identification and control.

Bed bug illustration
4 to 5 mm
Dark down
Feed on blood
Flat, oval-shaped body


What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs have small, flat, oval-shaped bodies. They are wingless. Adults do have the vestiges of wings called wing pads, but they do not fully develop into functional wings. Adults are brown in color, although their bodies redden after feeding. Full-grown bed bugs move relatively slowly and measure between 4 to 5 mm. Homeowners sometimes have the misconception that bed bugs are too small to see with the naked eye.


How do I get rid of bed bugs?

What Orkin Does

Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger bed bug infestation.

Your Orkin Pro will create a customized bed bug treatment plan based on the level of infestation and the size of the area affected. Your Orkin Pro will use the Points of Service™ to investigate for any signs of bed bugs, protect and fortify to help get rid of bed bugs by targeting the bed bug lifecycle. Then, we keep watch helping to prevent future infestations. We're experts at recognizing the many signs of bed bugs and we know exactly what you need to help prevent and repel bed bugs from your home. Bed Bugs are the worst. Luckily our Pros are the best.

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Frequently Asked Questions

More Resources

Dig Deeper on Bed Bugs

Visit the Orkin Pest Library to learn how to identify and control other pests.
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How to Identify Bed Bugs

Anatomy of a Bedbug

Learn how to properly identify a bed bug based on its body's structure and how it looks.

Bed Bug Bite vs. Mosquito Bite

Find out how to identify the difference between a bed bug bite and a mosquito bite.

Bed Bugs vs. Fleas

Bed bugs and fleas differ slightly in appearance, preference of animal vs. human, and their method of movement.

Bed Bugs vs. Lice

While they’re both small parasitic insects that feed on human blood, bed bugs and lice differ in size and shape, as well as location of where they may live and hide.

Bed Bugs vs. Scabies

While bed bug infestations are difficult to contain, scabies may look similar, but can be eliminated in a few days with a topical cream prescribed by a doctor.

Bed Bugs vs. Ticks

Learn how to identify the difference between a bed bug and a tick by their appearance, movement and bites.

Insects That Look Like Bed Bugs

Learn more about other insects that share the physical appearance of common bed bugs.

Information About Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs and Disease

While they may cause skin irritation, bed bugs are not known to spread disease.

Bed Bug Droppings

Droppings on a mattress, or items around a sleeping area, are usually a good indication that bed bugs have invaded your home.

Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed bugs go through three life stages – egg, nymphs and adults – and have a lifespan commonly ranging from four to six months.

Bed Bugs in Comforters & Bedding

To control bed bugs on a comforter, a dryer on high heat to may be used to help kill bed bug eggs, nymphs and adults.

Bed Bugs in Mattress Covers

Bed bugs can infest the mattress itself, mattress seams and cover, box springs, and possibly the baseboards in close proximity to the bed.

Bed Bugs in Offices

Bed bugs can be accidentally carried into offices by hitching a ride on bags or other personal belongings.

Bed Bugs in Pillows

Indicators that a pillow is possibly infested with bed bugs include small, dark spots of bed bug feces and/or a sweet, musty scent.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Since bed bugs can be picked up just about anywhere, it’s important to understand how to reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation.

Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

Keep these important action steps in mind to help you avoid bringing bed bugs home with you while traveling.

What is the Bed Bug Registry

The Bed Bug Registry is a helpful resource that reports hotels that have had bed bug sightings.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Rubbing alcohol can kill some bed bugs, but cannot remove an infestation.

Questions About Bed Bugs

Can Bed Bugs Live in the Cold?

While bed bugs can live in cold habitats in nature, freezing infested items at extreme temperatures is sometimes used as a bed bug control method.

Can You See Dead Bed Bugs?

Since living bed bug adults are visible with the naked eye, it’s reasonable to assume that dead bugs are also visible – but it’s important to know what bed bugs look like.

Do Ants Eat Bed Bugs?

While there are a few ants that eat bed bugs, experts conclude that pharaoh ants are one of the most likely ants to target and feed upon bed bugs.

Do Bed Bugs Fly?

Bed bugs do not fly as they are wingless insects.

Do Bed Bug Traps Work?

Even though traps offer a fast solution to a bed bug infestation, the most effective trap will always be an Orkin Pro armed with knowledge, experience and the best pest control products and equipment.

Do Bed Bugs Come Out When the Lights Are on?

Bed bugs will come out in the daytime or at night when lights are on in order to take a blood meal, especially if they are hungry.

Do Bed Bugs Hibernate?

Bed bugs do not hibernate and can be active in the winter months if they are inside a temperature-controlled house or apartment.

Do Bed Bug Sprays Work?

As bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to most regulated chemicals, over-the-counter sprays and pest foggers are generally ineffective.

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

Bed bugs are not equipped to jump long distances, so they typically move from host to host by crawling.

Do Organic Cures Work?

Most homeowner-administered remedies, such as cedar oil, are largely ineffective at eliminating a bed bug infestation.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Bleach may get rid of individual bed bugs, but is largely ineffective at controlling or eliminating entire bed bug infestations.

How Big Are Bed Bugs?

The average adult bed bug size is similar to that of an apple seed, ranging from 1/4 to 3/16 of an inch in length.

How Do Bed Bugs Travel?

Bed bugs are transported by people, most often in personal belongings such as luggage, purses and items kept close to sleep areas.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Stay Dormant?

Studies show that the length a bed bug stays dormant is strongly related to the temperature of its environment, as well as its access to a meal.

How Often Do Bed Bugs Feed?

Bed bugs do not feed on a predictable schedule; however, they feed when in need of a blood meal and there is an available host nearby.

What Colors Are Bed Bugs Attracted to?

In general, bed bugs prefer red and black, rather than yellow, orange, green, lilac and violet.

What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like?

A musty, sweet smell, often likened to berries, is commonly attributed to these pests, although it typically takes a large infestation to detect this smell.

How Do You Treat Bed Bug Infestations?

Learn about bed bug infestation treatment options used by bed bug exterminators from Orkin.

Do I Have Bed Bugs or Rat Mites?

Rat mite bites and bed bug bites may look similar; learn more about these biting pests and how to get rid of them with our Orkin Pros.

Are Bed Bug Chemicals Safe?

Our Orkin Pros can tell you what insecticides are used to help treat bed bugs in your home.

Does the First Bed Bug Treatment Always Work?

Depending on the extent of the bed bug problem you may need more than one treatment from our bed bug exterminators to help remove the infestation.

What is the Cost of Exterminating Bed Bugs?

The cost of bed bug treatment depends on several factors including the size of the area that needs treatment, the type of bed bug treatment used, and the environment that's infested.

Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs in Mattresses?

When relocating a mattress that has been stored correctly, there's a small chance it might be carrying bed bugs.

How Do You Check for Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs typically hide in cracks and crevices, which makes them very hard to identify. Find tips on how and where to look for signs of bed bugs.

What Temperature Kills Bed Bugs?

When bed bugs are exposed to cold, they die at temperatures of 0°F if held at this temperature for about four days.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed bugs take advantage of their flattened bodies by hiding in narrow places like cracks and crevices, emerging at night to find a host.

Can Peppermint Oil Repel Bed Bugs?

Peppermint oil can be used as a natural bed bug contact insecticide, but may not be as effective as professional pest control.

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