Bed bugs can be very small and that is why they can be hard to see most of the times.  However, it does not mean you cannot see them with naked eye. An adult bed bug could be up to 5-7mm large – they are usually as large as an apple seed. A nymph is usually difficult to see and can be as small as 2.5mm. You can identify them because of their long, brown, oval-shaped body, which looks reddish-brown when they have fed recently.

Most people know they have a bed bug infestation when they find bites on their bodies or notice the presence of bed bug feces. They usually bite you during sleep and attack exposed body parts, such as face, neck, hands, arms, and legs too. If you have bite marks that occur in a zigzag pattern, it usually means you have bed bugs in home.

Bed bug bites can be of different sizes, but they can all cause itching and other problems. That happens because bed bugs transfer an anticoagulant in your body – your body reacts to it and you end up experiencing itching, swelling, and pain. To prevent all the discomfort, it is important to confirm you have a bed bug infestation. For this, you will have to look in all the right areas.


As mentioned already, you can see bed bugs without any specialized equipment. You can still invest in a hand lens or magnifier lens to be able to see bed bugs in different life stages. You will also need a flashlight to inspect corners and crevices. Here are some other things you should have on hand during the inspection:

  • A pair of latex or vinyl gloves
  • A zip-lock bag or pill bottle to keep specimens for further identification
  • Sticky tape or tweezers to grab the bugs
  • An index card, knife, or credit card to help swipe bugs out of cracks
  • Tape and trash bags to store infested items

Once you have this stuff with you, get ready to start your inspection. Keep in mind that you should look for bed bugs in different life stages, including nymphs, eggs, and adults. A flashlight is your best friend in this case. Make use of a magnifying glass to see in hard to see spots. Always work systematically – start from one corner of your mattress and then check down the sides, around the piping, and underneath the mattress. You may also have to remove the dust cover on the bottom of the box to find bed bugs. They can also hide in the joints, as well as behind photos on the walls and on furniture around your bed.

It may take a while to complete your inspection and eventually see bed bugs with your own eyes, but you should be willing to invest your time because you have to deal with a bed bug infestation in a timely manner. Not doing anything and thinking that you cannot see the bed bugs and do not have specialized equipment to see it yourself is only going to make matters worse. You need to have a keen eye, but you can definitely see bed bugs with little effort.