You may see some black bugs at some parts of your home especially in your mattress and you assume that those are bed bugs. But, the first thing that you have to make sure is that, are bed bugs black in color? Let’s read the answer here and read other information related to bed bugs here.
The Characteristics of Bed Bugs
As explained on the Bell Environmental Services site, bed bugs are never black during any stage of their lifecycle. When they first hatch, they are translucent and they grow from a white or yellow color as nymphs, to orange shades and at the end, they have a reddish-brown color as adults.
On the Dengarden site, it is also explained that bed bugs are difficult to see since they are small and they also move so quickly. On that site, it is also explained that the characteristics of bed bugs are listed below.
- Bed bugs have light brown to reddish-brown color, but they may appear black, depending on the lighting.
- Bed bugs have a small, flat and oval shape.
- Bed bugs are about 0.15 inch or 4 to 5 mm in diameter.
- Bed bugs have six legs with two antennae.
- Bed bugs have a body which is segmented with small hairs that give them a striped look.
Nymphs or baby bed bugs, as explained earlier, are usually translucent and they have white to very light brown color. If they have eaten, their color will become bright red, fading to brown over time, and at the end to opaque black. Adult bed bugs have brown or reddish-brown bodies.
You may wonder whether bed bugs have a hard shell or not. Same as all insects, the skeleton of a bed bug is on the outside of its body (exoskeleton). As explained on the Dengarden site, they molt or shed their skeletal outsides when they grow and the shells that they leave behind are called casings.
You may also wonder why these insects are called bed bugs. Well, the reason is because they come out at night and they are attracted to the carbon dioxide that people exhale while sleeping. They will crawl around the bed until they are able to find the source of carbon dioxide and then they feed on blood.
The Thing That Bed Bugs Eat
Bed bugs consume blood. Blood can change the color of bed bugs when the bed bugs digest it. If they have not eaten, you will see that the back of the bed bugs is flat. After eating, their back will look raised. It seems that bed bugs prefer human blood to animal blood.
The Signs of Bed Bugs
If there are bed bugs at your home, there will be some signs. As explained on the Dengarden site, here are some signs of the presence of bed bugs.
- Casings or Shells
When bed bugs grow, they shed their exoskeletons where they leave behind a dry, hollow casing which looks like the bed bug, but without a body inside. Their size is small where it is only around 1/16 inch long. These can be found around your bed, near the mattress seam or behind the headboard.
- Musty Smell
If there are bed bugs at your home, you will smell a musty smell. The smell of bed bugs is like wet, moldy clothes or shoes. Some people say that they are small like coriander. At higher concentrations, you will smell that it is very unpleasant like the odor a stink bug emits and the smell will be stronger after a bug is killed.
- Bloodstains on Your Pillowcase or Sheets
As explained earlier, bed bugs eat blood, especially human blood. So, if the bug is squished after it has fed, then you will find a spot of blood left behind.
- Dark, Rust-Colored Spots on Bedding or Walls Near It
If there are bed bugs at your home, you may find dark, rust-colored spots on bedding or nearby walls and the spots could be the excrement of the bed bugs.
Some Bugs Which Are Black
If you find small black bugs, they may not be bed bugs. It is because as explained above that bed bugs are brown or reddish-brown and they have an oval shape. The black bugs that you see may be one of the bugs below as explained on AZ Animals site.
- Spider Beetles
These bugs have bigger bodies and they also tend to invade the kitchen than the bedroom. They are not nomadic. So, when they land on a place which is a source of food, it will become their living space. These bugs have reddish-black or reddish-brown color and they are shiny and more reddish than the bed bug. They are more like spiders where they have three pairs of legs and antennae. They also have a hump and do not leave bites.
- Black Carpet Beetle
They have brown or black colour and they may have spots on their black. They have an oval shape but are bigger than bed bugs. Usually, they hide in small gaps between the headboard and mattress and bed frames. You may see them crawling on your sheets and blankets because they are not nocturnal bloodsuckers that work at night.
They are parasites which can be seen black because of their size. However, actually, they have brown bodies and, same as bed bugs, they survive on bites and sucking blood. They usually can be at home because of being brought via a pet. One of the signs that there are fleas is that you see your pet do a lot of scratching.
- Cockroach Nymphs
As explained on the AZ Animals site, cockroaches are nomads and if you find the small bugs in your bed, it may be because they are in transit. Nymphs are usually mistaken for bed bugs because they are small and black. It is important for you to note that cockroaches prefer dark areas and close food sources. Meanwhile, bed bugs live in and only come out to feed on hosts.
- Bat Bugs
Bat bugs have the same appearance as bed bugs where they have oval shape and small size. They also have wing pads, but do not fly, but bat bugs have long hair. Bat bugs are usually found where bats rest, such as in caves, chimneys and attics. However, they can also be found in home beds, if the bugs are left behind because the bat dies or takes off.