Bed bugs are wingless and their bodies are oval-shaped
, flat, small in size (about 4-5 mm), and brown (though they do have a reddish tint if they have fed). While adult bed bugs develop vestiges for wings, they are not functional. It is a common misconception that bed bugs cannot be seen with the naked eye because of their size but this is untrue. However, nymphs, which are newly hatched bed bugs, can be difficult to detect. They are about the as big as the heads of pins and their coloring ranges from white to tan until after they have fed. Further developed nymphs tend to be the of the shape and size of apple seeds.
Bed bugs do not spread disease, but their bites can become red, itchy welts. Typically, bites will appear on more exposed body parts, such as the arms, legs, hands, face, neck, and shoulders. The bites tend to be located in a centralized location and can form zigzag patters or a line. The bites are flat or raised and small. They might become red, blistered, itchy, or inflamed but those conditions don’t occur immediately after being bitten. Bite sizes can vary based on several factors. When they bite, bed bugs release an anti-coagulant through their saliva. Size bites will vary based on a person’s level of sensitivity to the anti-coagulant.