Photos of bed bugs in a wooden bed frame, head board, and box spring

by nobugsonme on February 21, 2009 · 32 comments

in bed bug detection, bed bug eggs, bed bug feces, bed bug photos, bed bugs, mattresses, photos

The following photos come from Lou Sorkin — pictures of bed bugs and eggs harboring in a bed (headboard, frame, mattress, etc.).

All photos and descriptions above courtesy of Louis Sorkin, All Rights Reserved. Many thanks to Lou, for sharing these with us!

(All descriptions follow the photo they describe.)

Bed frame, headboard & box spring. See close up pictures [below] of headboard, side of bed frame, box spring, and canvas strap handles.

Close up on wood support behind head board. Close up of top of wooden support to reveal bed bug adults, nymphs, exuviae, feces deposited on vertical wood headboard, and accumulation of dust.

Close up of headboard groove. Bed bug nymphs, shed skins, feces near to and in the groove.

Groove in bed frame side panel. Machine cut in bed frame bed bugs infested. Shed skins on surface and bugs in groove.

Bed frame with horizontal slat. See close ups [below] of slat and close up of area under this slat. Also bugs can be seen in another picture [above] of a machine cut in wood frame.

Close up area on bed frame under slat. Horizontal slat removed from bed frame to reveal bed bug refugia including adults, nymphs, eggs (some unhatched), exuviae, and feces.

Bed frame edge of horizontal slat. Bed bug feces, shed skins, eggs (some entire, some hatched) on underneath side of slat.

At head, old box spring turned over. See bed bugs, nymphs, eggs, feces.

Old box spring canvas strap 1. Canvas strap is folded down to expose refugia of bed bugs. Note bed bug adults (also squished one), nymphs, eggs, feces.

Old box spring canvas strap 2, lower. Another canvas strap that has been folded up out of the way to expose bugs, exuviae, feces, eggs on box spring covering.

Old box spring canvas strap 2, upper. Another canvas strap that has been folded up out of the way to expose bugs, exuviae, feces, eggs, on strap.

To see more of Lou’s photos, or to see these photos in a larger size, go to Lou’s flickr photostream.

1 Bugbattler February 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm

ewwwww 🙁

2 MARCY May 7, 2009 at 6:28 pm


3 deb October 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm

i was wondering do bed bug leave a black reside i have been seeing black things on my sons bed….. and he woke up today with red dots all over his face…

4 nobugsonme October 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm


Yes, unfortunately, they do — bed bug feces.

You need prompt help, preferably from a professional, who can confirm you have bed bugs. Please read the FAQs and come to our forums if you need suggestions or support.

5 Clay November 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I started to get bites on me, but they were more like welts. They started about a week ago and at first just my hands would swell up. But now I have bites on my arms and legs and woke up today with bites on my back. I had a down mattress topper on my bed and looked at it and it had tiny little reddish dots on the sides, I threw it out. I bought a new topper and and a vinyl mattress encasement. At first I was denying the fact I had bedbugs, but I’ve basically accepted it this morning. I live in a dorm and I called the housing coordinator this morning and there should be a person here tomorrow to take care of the bugs. In the meantime, what do I do? I’m going home this weekend, so should I bag the stuff I’m taking and wash it immediately when I get home?

6 nobugsonme November 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Hi Clay,

It is really easy to take bed bugs with you so it might be much better to wash clothing at school, sealing it in an airtight fashion in XL Ziplocs or garbage bag.

You could bring a sealed bag home and leave any remaining clothing sealed in your room. You should isolate one outfit so you can change into it ONCE you leave your room, and then seal up those potentially infested clothes.

Don’t take any luggage or other items from your room home — this is a big deal, really.

Good luck with your school — they will hopefully help you fix the problem ASAP.

Please come to the Bedbugger Forums to talk to other sufferers, share your story, or ask for tips.

7 Joan November 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I was on a trip, my clothes are still in the case.
Recently I have been biten on my face, legs, arms and stomach.
The bites were very itchy and red and later became to look like a blister.
Are these the bites of Bed Bugs?
I do not see any sight of them, however I purchased Bedbug & Flea Fogger and plan on doing this one room which is very small.
I have been sleeping in my living room and haven’t received any bites since.
Should I remove all my clothes from the closet and case before doing this?

8 nobugsonme November 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm


DO NOT use a fogger (bug bomb) for bed bugs. We are told they do not solve the problem and may make it worse.

Please read our FAQS for dos and don’ts, and also for tips on getting bed bugs out of suitcase and contents:

And come to the forums if you want to ask additional questions.

9 Joan November 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Thank you for the info.
I will return the Hot Shot and see if they carry Steri-Fab.
I thought I would Steam first and then use the Steri.
After being on this website almost all day and being very well informed, I chose to get rid of my Bed & Box, wash all that I can and place them in the Ziploc’s. The things that I can not wash I will put in the Dryer with the hope that this will work.

Thanks so much,

10 dan November 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Hi, I am terrified that I have them. I have not seen bites, but I generally have folliculities and I do currently have some pimples on my thighs. Not visisble bites or insects on beds or furniture. The pimples do not itch. However I noticed some reddish/brownish dots on my sheet. Nothing on white undershirt or matress pad, just on the sheet. Could this just be an early infestation?

11 nobugsonme November 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm

It’s possible the “reddish brownish dots” are specks of blood, but impossible to say. I would not panic. You may wish to have a pest control operator with lots of bed bug experience inspect your home. Good luck!

12 dan November 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm

PCO was here today and did not think that it was bedbugs. He checked all the furniture in the room, beds, boxsprings, headboards etc. He said all he saw were a few balls of lint. I bought matress protectors anyway, just because I am neurotic about this now. I still feel a little anxious because what if he just didnt find them, but I think I can relax now.


13 nobugsonme November 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Hi dan,

Glad it looks to have been a false alarm.

I suggest keeping a log of marks on your skin — when they appear, and where. If your symptoms get worse or marks on your skin become more frequent and numerous, you might consider having the place inspected again. A very early infestation is hard to detect.

On the other hand, you may simply have folliculitis and pimples, and it does not seem like you need to worry at this point.

14 Joan November 18, 2009 at 10:25 am

Hi I’m back!
Would like to know why using the Hot Shot would make things worse?
I have since returned it and ordered via on line Fossil Shell Dust and Bed Bug Patrol.
What are your thoughts in regard to these products?
Probably should have passed this by you first. Oh Well!


15 Owen May 4, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I have begun to notice some bites on my skin, they look like mosquito bites but there are no Mosquitos here. I have not yet seen any clear signs that they are around. The last time I stayed in a hotel was a month ago. How long does it usually take for clear evidence to flare up?

16 nobugsonme May 4, 2010 at 11:15 pm


Bites are not definitive evidence, since other pests or conditions may cause similar reactions.

However, it can take a while for you to spot bed bugs. Not as long to spot fecal stains, perhaps, but it may be a while. The photos above mostly show signs of really obvious infestations — and this would take a long time.

Please see this FAQ on detection, and please come to our forums if you’d like more feedback!

17 Craig Nelson May 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Can pigeons bring bed bugs to a persons house? I’m worried I may have bed bugs because I have a lot of bites on my legs. I am wondering if they could have come from the pigeons living in the eves of my roof.
Please help with your opinion,

18 nobugsonme May 13, 2010 at 1:47 am

Hi Craig,

It is possible that a pest which was feeding on birds on your roof has somehow come to be biting you.

There are bird BUGS (swallow bugs, marten bugs) which are a possibility and are similar to bed bugs. and then there are bird MITES, which are also a possibility but which are quite a different animal.

This post on our forums links to some resources about the various pests. I suggest posting a follow-up on the forums after you’ve had a look at those. You will get more responses on the forums, and there are some entomologists/pest pros who post there too.

Keep in mind, bed bugs or fleas are also a possibility, among other causes. You can pick up bed bugs almost anywhere. And you don’t need to have pets to have fleas.

19 Colten June 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Hey my name is colten, I have been seeing these little bugs on my bed but idk if it is bed bugs. i have been itching everywhere on my body and im scaried to even go to bed. what should i do?

20 Raysa June 25, 2010 at 3:30 am

I just woke up and saw 2 bugs on my bed, I thought i have gotten rid of them in the past with raid for fleas but i guess they are back =[… I need help because i am not sure what to do because i know i cannot afford a PCO due to the fact that i live in Public Housing Complex…and i am also ashamed of telling the exterminator that comes once a month because i feel they aren’t going to solve the problem…I was wondering if i throw out my mattress, Buy a steam Mop and mop my whole floor, clean all of my clothes in hot water, throw out my dresser, and buy a new mattress with box bed but also buy a mattress cover would this eliminate the problem?

21 nobugsonme June 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm


You need to call the housing authority offices. It is their responsibility to treat. You will not be the only tenant with bed bugs. They will have seen other cases, and will hopefully have teams working on this who know what to do.

Throwing out your mattress, getting a new one with encasement, tossing the dresser, and steaming will probably not solve your problem. You need treatment, because they can live in the room itself, as well as in furniture. If neighbors are infested, they can keep coming to you anyway.

Also, tossing stuff out often leads to neighbors reclaiming the stuff and the bugs. This might not seem like “your problem,” but can become your problem again in time.

Alert the managers, have them treat, and follow their instructions. They should be inspecting adjoining units (all sides, above, below). You might consider talking to neighbors about the problem because I doubt you are the only one.

22 nobugsonme June 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm


Click the buttons at the top of the page that say “Bed Bug photos” and “FAQS: How to get rid of bed bugs.”

The first will help you compare your bugs to the photos of bed bugs. The second will provide lots of information on what to do, and what not to do. Start with the first five FAQs on that page.

23 Lynn July 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I stayed in a hotel and found a bedbug about 3 hours after I was in the room. My luggage was on the floor and was never on the bed itself. While I took precautions, such as moving the room and then doing a thorough check of the luggage and everything when I got to another hotel the next day, what are the chances anything decided to hitchhike? I did unload the suitcase and immediately washed everyhting that was in the case and again, did a thorough inspection of the suitcase without finding anything. It has only been about a week but I am oh so paranoid right now.

24 nobugsonme July 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Hi Lynn,

Washing and drying the items from the suitcase on hot is a good idea (it sounds like you may have done that). If you had not yet brought the suitcase into the home, you could employ sadditional preventive strategies to keep from bringing bed bugs in (per our travel FAQs). It sounds like you are home and it is too late to go back and do more with the suitcase, but don’t panic.

It is fully possible you did not bring bed bugs home, but I think you should calmly take steps to rule them out. I would recommend our FAQ on detection. You should be able to employ some techniques listed there which are inexpensive but which work well (like ClimbUp Interceptors under bed legs and a Bed Bug Beacon monitor running for two weeks).

The FAQ on detection has lots of ideas.

If you want to discuss this further, please click the FORUMS button on the right end of the top menubar to come to our active user forums, where you will get a lot of support and suggestions.

25 brenda July 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm

omg! i recently moved into a rooming house and very quickly found myself in a bedbug nighmare! i’ve got bites everywhere, i’m always itchy and stay scratching my body 24/7, but i’m confused…i sleep right next to my boyfriend, but for some reason he has not one bite on him, why? i am diabetic. does that have something to do with the fact that they’re only bitting me? why are they only bitting me and not him when we both sleep right next to each other. i’ve seen a couple but not many. i’ve checked the mattresses and have found nothing, where could they be hiding? please,any advise will b helpfull! thanx so much, trully yours, Brenda xoxo

26 nobugsonme July 11, 2010 at 1:40 am


They are probably biting your boyfriend too — lots of people do not react allergically to the bites (the itching and welts are simply allergic reactions).

I recommend taking some of the suggested steps in our Detection FAQ.

Please come to our active user Forums if you would like more support or suggestions.

27 Tammy July 11, 2010 at 10:14 pm

My sister and her two kids moved into brand new apartments in October 2009 and somehow it had bedbugs. Other tenants complain about it as well. Only recently have they started seeing these bugs and confirmed that they were indeed bedbugs which I suspected they were awhile ago, but my sis didn’t want to belive it. I’ve been noticing over the last couple weeks that me and my 20 month old son are being bit at night and I know its THEM and I know my neice, nephew, and sis must have brought them here. However I do not see them. For the longest, we didn’t see them at my sisters house either, why is that? If I get rid of them now while its early on still, she needs to get rid of hers as well so they don’t keep bringing them back but she says the apartment manager will not do anything but they have to, right???

28 foundonebug! July 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Okay, so a few weeks ago my young baby had a cluster of a 3 bites on her leg. Now the other nite i had five bites on my foot then got one bite the next night. I did not think it was bed bugs as I heard they are very noticeable, but now reading these posts I realize they are not so easily detected. I remember being bitten once on my belly when I was pregnant but assumed it was a spider bite from all the oil on my belly. Anyway Last night I found one bug on my sheet by where my feet usually are, I compared the pics to what I seen it was small, flat, reddish with a black stripe in the center of its back. I was wondering since I searched and found no signs what so ever could this one bug have jus came in through the cracks??? I’m moving in a week and do not want to carry these nasty things with me!!!

29 nobugsonme July 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Tammy and foundonebug,

I apologize for the delay in responding.

Tammy, whether the landlord has to treat the problem depends on where you live.

it is possible to have just one bed bug, but it is a rare thing to see a bed bug, so it is also fully possible that you have a lot more. Moving without taking bed bugs takes a lot of work, and I would suggest you take precautions or you could bring them along.

I suggest you both repost your questions in a new thread on our active user Forums , where you should find lots of support or suggestions from myself and many other people. You will reach more eyes there than in this old comments thread (which is on another topic).

30 Lynn July 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I posted earlier that I had seen a badbug in a hotel and was worried about hitchikers at home. I think I dodged the proverbial bed bug bullet. It’s been three weeks and a few days with no sign of them; no bites (at least no reaction) and no tell-tale critter trails. Can I call myself creepy critter free?

31 nobugsonme July 27, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Hi Lynn,

I responded to your post above.

No one can know whether you saw a bed bug in the hotel or not. (I assume you’ve looked at the photos on this site.)

Three weeks of not seeing a bed bug is not enough to declare yourself bed bug free, because they hide notoriously well and because you may not react when you are bitten.

To be sure you do not have them, you might consider some of the detection methods I pointed you to in the response above.

If you want to discuss this further, please come to our active user forums, where you will get more responses. Few people read the comments on old posts such as this.

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