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Are Bed Bugs Black Or Brown? Resolved (Updated)

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Alene Schill

We have received numerous inquiries about the true color of bed bugs. Due to their tiny size, it can be difficult to determine their natural color.

So, in today’s post, let’s find out the natural color of bed bugs– are bed bugs black or brown? Keep reading!

Bed Bug Color: Are They Black or Brown? 

close up photo of a bed bug

Bed bugs are actually brown in color, light to reddish brown, specifically. They may appear black, depending on your lighting, and when they’re well-fed. 

But, bed bugs can never be black. 

Typically, they are light brown in color, but once they’re full, they become reddish-brown. It’s because of the blood they consumed, which reflects their body color. 

Color on Each Life Cycle 


Bedbugs with egg

The color of bed bug eggs is pearl-white. When you see a tiny, pinhead-sized thing in your home with a pearl-white color near hiding spots, that’s most likely bed bug eggs. 

If the egg is more than five days old, there will be an eye spot if you try to see it using a magnifying glass. 


translucent baby bed bug

Nymph or baby bed bugs are translucent in color. It looks very light brown or sometimes color white. 

But, when baby bed bugs eat, their color changes, turning to bright red, which will fade to brown soon after. 


The color of adult bed bugs is brown in normal conditions [1]. But, when they’re full, they turn reddish-brown. Since bed bugs eat blood, it changes their body’s color as they digest it. 


Why is Bed Bug Color Brown? 

Bed bugs are color brown because of the blood they consume. As we mentioned above, bed bug eggs are translucent or pearl-white in color. 

As they eat and mature, they become brown in color. Most of the time, bed bugs turn reddish-brown if they are well-fed. 

If you see the bed bug black, it’s not actually black. That’s probably due to the lighting making it appear so. 

In that case, the bed bug has just fed, and that’s actually a red-brown or dark brown color. Also, as the bed bugs mature, their color becomes darker brown. But what will dead bed bugs look like?


Can bed bugs be black?

No, bed bugs can never be black. They are brown in nature, and their color changes depending on their lifecycle. Bed bugs turn reddish-brown from pearl-white eggs to translucent or light brown as they age. If you see a black bug, that’s probably not a bed bug. 

Can bed bugs be other colors?

Yes, bed bugs change colors throughout their lifecycle. When they are eggs, they are pearl-white in color. Once they’ve become nymphs or young bed bugs, their color changes to translucent or very light brown. As they mature, they turn to brown or reddish-brown if well-fed. 

Key Takeaways

Bed bugs are brown and can never be black. Since bed bugs are so tiny, it’s hard to distinguish their color– which we usually mistake for black rather than brown. 

Given that bed bugs are naturally brown in color, we can assume that those we see at home with a darker hue are well-fed. Meaning they’re full and have just eaten a while ago. 

It’s just a bit horrifying to think that these darker-colored bloodsuckers may have fed on you or any of your family members while you were sleeping. 

But, regardless of their color, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re pests that we need to get rid of! 



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