Bed Bug Photos

American Museum of Natural History Entomologist  and Senior Scientific Assistant Louis Sorkin has shared the following photos and videos with us, to better illustrate the relative sizes of bed bugs, waste and exuviae (cast skins). To see more of Lou’s great photos you can visit his Flickr photostream.

Bed Bug Feeding

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Nymph

Bed Bug Nymph - Prior to Feeding

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Nymph,Bed Bug Feeding

Bed Bug Nymph - beginning to feed

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Feeding, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug

Bed Bug Nymph - Beginning Feeding

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Nymph, Bed Bug Feeding

Bed Bug Nymph - Several minutes into feeding

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Feeding, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug

Bed Bug Nymph - nearing end of feeding session, preparing to stop/hide. body bloated with blood

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Feeding, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug

Bed Bug Nymph - Feeding from Front

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Photos, Lou Sorkin Bed Bugs, Bed Bug Feeding

Bed Bug Nymph - Feeding from Rear

 

Bed Bug Bites

All descriptions below phots are written/provided by Lou Sorkin himself.

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Nymph, Bed Bug Feeding, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug

Bed Bug Nymph feeding on finger (actual size)

 
Bed Bug Feeding, Bed Bug Photos, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug Photos

First instar bed bug nymphs -Feeding

Inverted a small vial (note indentations in skin) of first instar nymphs on my hand, on the birthmark. These have been feeding less than one minute. They feed quickly in this area. Online definition of nevus flammeus: A port-wine stain is a vascular birthmark consisting of superficial and deep dilated capillaries in the skin which produce a reddish to purplish discolouration of the skin. LS

Bed Bugs Feeding, Bed Bug Nymphs, Lou Sorkin Bed Bugs
Various stage bed bug nymphs feeding

Inverted a vial (note indentations in skin) of bed bug nymphs on the birthmark of my hand. Note some shed skins. Bed bugs had only been feeding a minute or so. They feed quickly in this area. Online definition of nevus flammeus: A port-wine stain is a vascular birthmark consisting of superficial and deep dilated capillaries in the skin which produce a reddish to purplish discolouration of the skin. LS

Bed Bug Bites, Bed Bug Bite Photos, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug Photos

BB BItes are still visible hours after feeding

Bed bugs will crawl along hairs and crawl down to skin surface to feed. Hours after bed bug feeding, red marks appear at site of each bite. Welts had preceded the red marks but first disappear. Red marks severity lessens with age and in a week are gone. Microscopic brownish areas remain but are very difficult to clearly see.

Bed Bug (Identifiers)

Bed Bug Photo, Bed Bug with Eggs, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug Photos

Recently mated Bed Bug Female with three eggs

The male crawls around and stays in various places, but usually in the same places. The female remains more or less where she first began in the box and now has deposited an additional egg. You only need one, mated female bed bug to begin an infestation and new population. You witness here that the female just arrives and more or less remains in one place having fed and mated days before. 1/4 inch squares. LS

Bed Bug Photos, Bed Bug Mating, Bed Bug Eggs, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug

Recently mated bed bugs (male & female) with several new eggs

Female now deposited “typical” dark fecal matter that many people call undigested blood, but it has been digested and voided. If it were undigested blood, how would the bugs obtain any nourishment from their blood meals? Male had crawled over and displaced her, but she was in same position as in first picture before I was able to take this shot. A second egg has been deposited on far right. Note first egg is much more elongate and narrow than second one (“normal” shaped egg). Narrow egg may be infertile. 1/4 inch squares. LS

Bed Bug, Bed Bug Colony, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug Photos

2nd and 3rd Instar Bed Bugs in Colony

Front face of 1/4 inch square graph paper. (not same paper as Images 3 & 4). Originally 1st instar bed bug nymphs had been in vial. Fed and let them grow to 2nd instar. There’s a 3rd instar, too. Notice how small the fecal (dark) and nitrogenous (pale) wastes are. Also some smears. Turn paper around for Image 2.

2nd and 3rd instar bed bug colony

Rear face of 1/4 inch square graph paper (not same paper as Images 3 & 4). Originally 1st instar bed bug nymphs had been in vial. Fed and let them grow to 2nd instar. There’s a 3rd instar, too, and one 1st instar under the pile near lower area of paper in white plastic cap. Notice how small the fecal (dark) and nitrogenous (pale) wastes are. Also some smears. See front side of paper on Image 1.

Bed Bugs, bed Bug Photos, Lou Sorkin Bed Bug Photos

1st, 2nd and 3rd Instar Bed bug Nymphs - Colony

Front face of 1/4 inch graph paper (not same paper as Images 1 & 2). Originally had been 1st-5th instar nymphs plus adult stage of common bed bug. Removed 4th & 5th instar nymphs and adults. Note fecal and nitrogenous waste marks plus a few eggs. Paper absorbed some waste and have become blotches. Also some smears. See shed skins of various instars. See relative sizes of nymphs to 1/4 inch squares. See reverse side on Image 4.

Bed Bugs, Lou Sorkin Bed Bugs

Image 4- 1st, 2nd, 3rd instar bed bug nymphs

Rear face of 1/4 inch graph paper (not same paper as Images 1 & 2). Originally had been 1st-5th instar nymphs plus adult stage of common bed bug. Removed 4th & 5th instar nymphs and adults. Note fecal and nitrogenous waste marks plus a few eggs. Paper absorbed some waste forming blotches. Also some smears. See shed skins of various instars. See relative sizes of nymphs to 1/4 inch squares. See front side on Image 3.

Here is an excellent video of Lou and his amazing bed bug population (maintained/fed for his research efforts) from the AMNH:

Permissions: All photographs used by permission from Louis Sorkin, photographer.


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