What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like? and How To Kill Them

Last Updated on December 9, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

Bed bugs are mostly found underneath your bed mattress. They cause redness, itching, swelling, anxiety and sleeplessness. They are a tiny being that appears to be brown in color and it changes whenever filled with blood through feeding on humans.

As tiny as they are, but they can be easily recognized because they are seen clustered together and when touched, a feeling of stickiness can be observed. 

However, there are still some nuances to their appearance which makes recognizing them harder for some people. They are also easily mistaken for other insects that is why it is important for us to get to know what bed bug eggs look like.

Most importantly, studies show that there is a continuous increase of the bed bug population which can result in a higher bed bug infestation in your homes. As is the case, sift through this post to know what bed bug eggs look like. 

bed bug eggs identification guide

What do bed bug eggs look like?

Bed bugs are very small which appear either transparent or in color white that is likened to a grain of an uncooked rice. Over a lifetime, lady bed bugs can lay up to 500 bed bug eggs, hatching every week.

Known as insects that are good at hiding, they spread and increase in number gradually because they keep themselves from humans, especially when the lady bed bug is ready to hatch. 

What do bed bug eggs look like on clothes?

bed bug eggs on clothes

Bed bugs can easily be recognized on bold and dark-colored clothing because of their white to transparent color. They appear as white streaks, sometimes looking like dandruff or stray rice or white lice on dark clothes. On a lighter clothing, you can see them through blood stains. 

It is important to know this because it would save you from being a blood bank for bed bugs. Eliminating them immediately on clothes also helps you in avoiding itchiness, redness and other bed bug bite results. 

Related: How Big is a Bed Bug? (Sizes At Different Life Stages)

Can you see bed bug eggs?

Bed bugs are known to be good at hiding that is why they are hard to eliminate when infestation happens. They are considered microscopic in size so it might be hard to see them without a magnifying tool. They grow at just 1.5-2.5mm. 

Nonetheless, through their distinctive characteristics, they are not impossible to see. They can be seen, though usually in late recognition, on clothing, first and foremost.

They also appear as white grains on beddings, pillows, mattresses, and even on the carpets and rugs.  

What color are bed bug eggs?

Bed bugs are mostly seen as transparent or pearl white in color. They look like sesame seeds or poppy seeds to the human eye. As they feed on blood, their color shall change into a reddish-brown tone. The more blood they are filled with, the deeper their color will be. 

Are bed bug eggs hard or soft?

Bed bugs are soft and easily squashed, and so are their eggs. When touched, bed bug eggs can be sticky. As such, removing them from an object or material can be challenging because the substance in their quashed shells work like glue.

The softness of the bed bug egg is also the reason why it is often mistaken for a bed bug nymph or even tiny bits of food.

Do bed bug eggs look like salt?

Eggs are tiny white beings that are often likened to salt. They are on the same level of length and color but with different texture. While salt is rough to touch, the bed bug eggs are very soft and sticky that you may mistake them for cooked grain rice. 

Related: Bed Bugs Vs. Ticks Side By Side: Differences and Similarities

How big are bed bug eggs?

how big is a bed bug egg

Bed bugs are about ¼ inches in length and are typically just about the size of a pumpkin seed. However, they double their size after feeding on human blood.

Almost 50% of their typical size will increase after filling itself. Even so, they are still tiny to be easily recognized and you would still need a magnifying tool to see them in their full glory. 

How long does it take for bed bug eggs to hatch?

Bed bugs hatch for about seven to ten days depending on the place and temperature. The higher the temperature, the more days they need to hatch. In a range, bed bug eggs hatch every 6-10 days. Note that after hatching, it would take 5-6 weeks again for a bed bug to lay eggs and hatch eggs again. 

Dried bed bug eggs

Now that we know that bed bugs look like sesame seeds at a far glance, it is equally essential to note what the bed bug eggs look like when they are already dried. Up close, dried bed bug eggs appear curled up and shriveled. They also are empty and crisp. 

Related: 10 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs But Aren’t

What do dead bed bug eggs look like?

Dead bed bugs look like all the legs curled inside the body and the stomach becomes thinner than what it looks like when fed. This goes for bed bugs which are killed through pesticides.

On the other hand, some says that dead bugs are not easily recognizable, though they will leave traces of blood to a certain material 

However, dead bed bugs, as they are already dead, are no longer in moving condition and they already cast skin they leave throughout their molting process. 

Where are bed bugs usually found? 

Like any other pesky insect, bed bugs can thrive even in the smallest crevice in the home. Nonetheless, they have favorite spots, so to speak, and the following would be where they are most commonly found attaching themselves to for blood sucking purposes. 

1. Bed bug eggs on clothes

Because bed bugs want to stay closer to their hosts for easy food hunting, they go and keep themselves in human clothing.

Some do not even recognize their presence in their clothes because of how tiny they are but they are very harmful for humans that is why there is a need to locate and kill them immediately.

2. Bed bug eggs on sheets and mattress

bed bug eggs on bed slate

For most common cases, bed bugs are known to be found mostly on sheets and mattress because these are the places that are close to the host and it is where they can easily hide.

Aside from that, warm or on standard temperature places like the mattress can give the lady bed bugs to lay eggs easily that is why they keep themselves hidden and dangerous underneath. 

3. Bed bug eggs on wood

bed bug eggs on draw

Woods are also vulnerable to bed bug attacks. They go on the wood panels on your bed mattress or anywhere where blood is near. The nearer the host, the closer they are. They will not live on a single, plain wood unless it is where the host is sleeping. 

Where are dead bug eggs found?

Bed bugs are found anywhere, especially in behind-the-scenes places that is why they are hardly found. Dead bugs are generally also found where they thrive. As such, the empty bed bug eggs can be found mostly beddings, mattress, couch, underneath furniture, and other secluded and humid places where they lay and hatch their eggs. 

How to kill bed bug eggs

Bed bugs can easily transfer from one place to another and whether or not you want them in your homes, they easily put themselves in a place where they could survive and that is near the living spaces of their hosts.

Since bed bugs are generally considered as pesky and harmful, here are some easy steps which you can employ to kill bed bugs: 

1. Bedding hygiene

wash the clothes

One way to kill bed bug eggs would be through washing your sheets, pillow covers, bed covers, blankets and other more inside your rooms.

Wash and rinse them thoroughly then after, put them on the dryer and go with the highest number of heat. Remember that the higher the heat, the higher they are unable to hatch eggs that is why it is best to go with a heating solution. 

2. Vacuum the room

Using vacuum for cleaning is the best way to keep things clean. Running the vacuum thrice a week around a house with bed bug infestation would surely work to suck in all those brittle, unhatched bed bug eggs.

After which, make sure to remove the vacuum cleaner bags to make sure that they do not return at once. 

3. Pesticide intervention

If all else fails, the use of pesticide is the last resort. Ask for the best brand to use and how to apply them. Not all pesticides work for anything. That is why it is best to ask professionals about this one.

Using the right ones will help you minimize or even clean out bed bugs in your homes, preventing the host from feeling itchiness, redness, anxiety and sleeplessness. 

What temperature kills bed bugs?

At 37.7C, bed bugs would not function anymore. This temperature does not directly kill them but they slowly impair their major functions just like feeding and mating.

At 47.77C, adult bed bugs die in just a span of 20 minutes. Keeping the heat for 90 minutes will kill both bed bug eggs and also the adult ones. 

Does the dryer kill bed bug eggs?

Yes. A dryer that is set on high is very much capable of killing all bed bugs from all stages plus the eggs it lays in just the span of 30 minutes.

The dryer can also be more at a higher heating point in order to kill bed bugs that are seen or are hidden on leather shoes, handbags, knick-knacks and even books. 

Does alcohol kill bed bug eggs?

Alcohol can kill all bed bugs in all their stages. Nonetheless, you have to note that isopropyl alcohol is not the best choice because it can be inefficient and harmful to the host.

Killing bed bugs with alcohol works with the outer shell. The alcohol is absorbed by the shell and as it dissolves, it dries out the bed bug egg, killing the unhatched bed bug inside. 

Just a word of caution, however. Bed bugs are usually laying on hard-to-reach areas and sometimes, spraying alcohol unsparingly can damage items or materials inside the home that is why it is not recommended as a solution to kill bed bugs.

Does bleach kill bed bug eggs?

Yes. Bleach is one of the best substances to kill bed bugs however, it is considered as a harsh chemical which makes it not a recommended solution to kill bed bugs.

Bleach is a potent substance for discoloration and it smells bad too. When used in beddings and other sheets, it can provide harmful effects especially when directed towards the human skin. 

As is the case and in as much as it could kill bed bugs, the use of bleach should be used sparingly. Or in specific cases, it must be used only for laundry. 

Does steam kill bed bug eggs?

When you want an environmentally safe and highly effective bed bug intervention, go for a bed bug steamer that can be bought on physical and online stores. Bed bugs can hardly live in heat, which is why using a steamer is a top choice. 

Unlike the spraying of alcohol, steamers can penetrate hard-to-reach areas and can get through cloth wrappers, mattresses and box springs which bed bugs are mostly hiding.

They are also safe to use on mattresses, furniture, the edges of carpet and beds with wooden frames. Steamers can be costly depending on the quality and brand but when you want to have an efficient bed bug killer, go for the steamer. 

Does diatomaceous earth kill bed bug eggs?

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Another considered natural solution to killing insects and their eggs would be the all-around diatomaceous earth. It is a powdery pesticide that looks like a tiny bit of shell.

Diatomaceous earth is very abrasive and brings out the lipid layer from the exoskeletons of insects which causes dehydration of insects, eventually causing its death. 

It must be significantly noted, however, that unlike other insects, diatomaceous earth does not really kill bed bugs because it has developed resistance to dehydration. Therefore, though it might be natural and safe, this will not kill your bed bugs and its eggs. 

Does vinegar kill bed bug eggs?


Vinegars can kill adult bed bugs but not their eggs. As such, it is not the most potent substance for early bed bug infestation. So, if you are thinking of using vinegar for bed bug spray, make sure that you spray the vinegar directly to where they are latched. 

While vinegar is the most affordable and most recommendable home remedy, it still does not guarantee an ultimate eradication of bed bugs. Or if they do have an effect, it is said that it would not last long. 

What kills bed bug eggs instantly?

The love for natural and home remedies for bed bugs is understandable. They are not just cheap, but they are also safe and equally efficient. As such, here are some natural instant kills for bed bugs. 

1. Extremely high temperatures

For a one-time-big-time instant kill, go for raising the indoor temperature at home. This could be a gamble so make sure that there is no one at home while you run the heater.

You can also use the aid of dryers or steamers. These ones are expensive but the heavy-duty ones would always be worth the purchases especially when you are confronting bed bug infestation. 

2. Extremely cold water

Bed bugs are equally vulnerable to low temperature too. Thus, rinsing your beddings, clothes, and blankets using very cold water could do the trick. You can also consistently turn down the internal temperature of the home continuously for a span of thirty days for bed bug intervention. 

3. Products aimed at killing bed bugs

Some products do help as an immediate aid to bed bugs and their eggs. Some are found typically in the home and some are bought for external use like killing bed bugs.

If you do not have heating machines, use the ones that are present and effective inside your homes such as the following: 

4. Vinegar

The vinegar solution can be one of the immediate solutions in killing bed bugs that are affordable and can always be seen in your kitchens. When using this, make sure that you spray it directly to your bed bugs to make sure of the effect. 

5. Insecticide Dust

When you want a powdery solution, do not stick with diatomaceous earth if you can choose insecticide dust directly.

It works via putting the powder on suspected bed bug niches. It highly works and when applied well, could keep away bed bugs and similar pests for the next 10 years or so. 

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Though it is not very lethal, rubbing alcohol is still on the list for a bed bug solution. Having to spray areas that have a possible infestation of bed bugs can be an advantage for the host as adult bed bugs can easily be killed.

Take note that rubbing alcohol only kills adult beds but still, it is one of the solutions you can use immediately talking about bed bugs.

7. Egg removal

Removing the egg is the major goal of every host other than killing the adult bed bug. It can be a lot more challenging but removing the eggs is the most effective way of finally eradicating bed bugs at home. 

As you cannot just touch and remove them, steaming at high temperature in the area where eggs are present is very much the solution in preventing a bed bug at your home.

Can you vacuum bed bug eggs?

Yes. As a matter of fact, bed bugs can be vacuumed directly from the clothing, bed sheets, pillow covers, blankets, bed and the mattress. Vacuums are good in general cleaning because it easily absorbs all the dirt in the area where it is used.

Just note that when you are using them specifically for bed bug extermination, the vacuum load should be discharged far from the home so that they could not hatch within and around the vicinity. 

FAQs on Bed Bug Eggs

bed bug life cycle

The information about bed bug eggs is virtually endless. Apparently, there are a lot of things to know about how to best handle bed bug infestation in a home. As such, here are some notable FAQs about bed bug eggs. 

How long can bed bug eggs live?

The general lifespan of bed bug eggs would be 10 days before hatching. From the egg to nymph to adulthood, it would take five to six weeks for the bed bug egg to develop.

The bed bug egg lifespan, however, is considered debatable since it would take shorter days for bed bug eggs to live when they are at a room temperature of about 23C. 

How many eggs can a bed bug lay?

One lady bed bug can lay one to three eggs a day, hatching at a span of 6-10 days thereafter. At a general range, it is said that one bed bug could lay 250-500 eggs in its lifetime. The maximum number of eggs that it could lay would be a thousand eggs in its entire lifespan. 

How many bed bugs are in one egg?

Unlike other insects, bed bugs have a minimum when it comes to egg laying. As such, their population is relatively smaller compared to other pesky insects. Strikingly, each bed bug egg would contain just one bed bug which would potentially hatch into a nymph. 

Do bed bug eggs move?

Fortunately, bed bug eggs do not have the ability to move. In their minuteness of just 1mm, they are immovable and microscopic.

Strategically, they also do not need to move because bed bugs lay eggs in locations where they are not seen enough and where they could hatch surely within 6-10 days. 

Do bed bugs leave shells?

Yes. Bed bugs leave their shells and molts in different life stages. When this happens, they leave a rust color on the place or even leave their skin remains.

Just like other insects who molt, the shells could activate allergic reactions to some people as they would become powdery or dusty in time. Once you spot one, vacuum it and then start inspecting for probable infestation. 

At what stage do bed bugs lay eggs?

It would of course be at their adult phase. From egg to adult phase, it would take at least four to five weeks. The nymphs mature quickly and, in their lifetime, they would lay at least 250-500 eggs, contributing to the fast infestation peak for the home when unmitigated. 

Do bed bugs become dormant? 

Yes. Bed bugs enter dormancy or a phase of inactivity for 500 days during winters or in very cold locations. During this phase, they do not create new niches and do not feed on human blood. They could still lay eggs during this period but the hatching time shall be longer. After dormancy, they shall come back. 

Aside from colder temperatures, they also go dormant when there are no available hosts. After the period of 500 days of no feeding and no host, they shall eventually die. 

Are bed bugs nocturnal? 

Yes. Bed bugs are considered photophobic, which means that they are afraid of the light. This is the reason why you could only find molts in the day but would not know where they are niching in at all.

They also feed on human hosts exclusively at night when they are still and steady or when the host is in a dark place. 

What smells do bed bugs hate? 

Like all other pesky insects infesting in the home, bed bugs are equally vulnerable to strong smells. Like arachnids, bed bugs specifically hate citrus smells, basil, cinnamon and mint. Lavender oil is also said to be potent in exterminating them from their suspected niches. 

Can bed bugs lay eggs on humans?

Unlike other insects, bed bugs cannot lay eggs on humans. They like it near their host but they never lay their eggs on human skin.

They see humans as blood sources, therefore the only function of humans to them is for feeding, no more, no less. They only need the human skin for 5-10 minutes and after that, they are back to their hiding places. 


Bed bugs harm humans because they feed on a human’s blood. They usually work at night when everyone is sleeping and the host will not feel anything until it is finally fed full.

Bed bugs are mostly niche where the host is near, particularly in beddings, clothes and blankets. Generally, they niche in almost any crevice in the home so any point can be a potential start of infestation. 

Since their eggs are microscopic, bed bugs need to be exterminated immediately because of the harm that they bring. Aside from sucking on human blood, the bed bug eggs could activate allergies and other respiratory illnesses especially during the molting season. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to mitigate bed bug egg infestation and we have squared each one here.