Bed bugs are a small species of parasitic insect. The most common type of bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is a tiny insect measuring roughly the size of a kernel of corn or an apple seed (when engorged with blood). Adult bed bugs are about 5 mm in length. Bed bugs can be easily detected against the typical whites of bed sheets and mattress pad covers. Nymphs, on the other hand, measure at most 1 and 1/4 mm and are clear or off-white in color, which makes them considerably harder to detect.
The best way to detect bed bugs is to regularly inspect the mattress, box springs, head board, bed frame, and any other areas directly adjacent to the bed. Checking in folds created by bed sheets and around areas where mattresses and box springs meet and shaking out blankets prior to use are some of the best ways to check for signs of infestation. Female bed bugs generally lay hundreds of eggs in a lifetime. The high volume of bed bugs congregating in a single area usually leads to their detection through visual inspection.