Dead Bed Bugs – A Guide With Photos

If you see dead bed bugs, your treatment is working. But what happens if you find a random dead bed bug in your apartment? Does seeing one dead bed bug mean you have an infestation? Do you need to call an exterminator?

If you see one dead bed bug, you either have more, or it was a lone straggler that wandered in and somehow died. Sometimes bed bugs can live up to a year, but most will die between 3-6 months.

So the bug you found could have been an old one that finally succumbed to whatever treatment you were using or died of old age. If you have not been treated for bed bugs and you find a dead one, it is most likely that there are more live ones around.

If you find multiple dead bed bugs, then there is a good chance that you have an infestation. If you see many dead bed bugs, you are likely in the midst of treating an infestation, and the bugs are succumbing to the treatment.

If you think you may have bed bugs, the best thing to do is call a professional bed bug inspector. They will be able to help you deal with the problem.

Photos of Various Dead Bugs

Here are photos of dead bed bugs so you can identify them and know what to do next.

A bed bug dying from the fungus Biopesticide Aprehend
Bed Bugs getting killed with Aprehend fungal treatment.

This is a close-up photo of a dead bed bug:

a dead bed bug on a white background

For Further Reading on Bed Bugs, Check Out Our Top Article, “What Kills Bed Bugs Instantly?”

What Does a Dried-Out Dead Bed Bug Look Like?

A dried-out dead bed bug looks crunchy and thin. If the bed bug has been dead for a while, the body of the bug will look slender. However, you’ll still be able to see the horizontal stripes on the body.

upside down dead bed bug

Upside Down Bed Bug Photo

Here’s a photo of an upside-down bed bug that’s been dead for a few days.

a dead bed bug on its back

What Do Dead Bed Bugs Look Like?

a dead bed bug on a white background

Most dead bed bugs will look just like the living bed bug, except they won’t be plump. When a bed bug dies, the blood inside will dry up, and the dead bed bug will flatten out.

a dead Bed bug next to a paper clip

What Should I Do if I Found a Dead Bed Bug?

If you found one dead bed bug, does that mean you have an infestation? Well, not necessarily. If you have found one dead bed bug, it is possible that this is the only one in your home and that you have caught the problem early enough.

If you have found more than one dead bed bug, you will likely have an infestation and need to take steps to get rid of it.

What Do Dead Bed Bugs Look Like After Aprehend?

a bed bug dying from Aprehend fungal treatment

We dedicated an entire article to help you learn more about realistically how long it takes to get rid of bed bugs.

Is It Normal if You Are Finding Dead Bed Bugs Months After


Yes, depending on how advanced your bed bug issue was, it is customary to find dead bed bugs a few months after treatment. Sometimes there might be dead bed bugs in areas you do not regularly clean.

We advise you to consult with the company who did your treatment and ask them if it’s ok for you to vacuum and mop. The pest management professional often advises you to wait before doing any deep cleaning. The reason is that you don’t inadvertently wipe up the chemical or fungal residue.

How Long After Bed Bug Treatment Can I Vacuum?

Knowing when to vacuum all depends on what type of treatment you get for your bed bug infestation. A vacuum cleaner for bed bugs is a significant first step before the treatment. You could vacuum immediately if you got a green treatment like thermal heat or cryonite freezing.

Comparatively, the heat and freezing methods do not have any residual effect. No residual is why you can vacuum up your dead bugs without being concerned about removing the residual chemical.

Although it’s always essential to ask your pest management professional when the best time to vacuum is, sometimes, even if you get a heat treatment, the PMP will spray a residual chemical along the baseboards as an extra barrier.

On the other hand, if you got a chemical bed bug treatment, you will need to wait until the treatment process is over to vacuum. That is a question you must ask whoever did your treatment.

Lastly, if you did some DIY treatments, you’ll need to read the label to see how long the residual lasts. You’ll only want to vacuum after the residual bed bug-killing power is not adequate anymore.

Do Bed Bugs Play Dead?

No, bed bugs do not play dead; hence they are not like click beetles. Insects that play dead are doing so to avoid predators. Most predators don’t want to eat dead insects; therefore, some insects have developed a defense mechanism that allows them to play dead.

However, bed bugs are not one of the bugs that play dead. Bed bugs will actually scatter and begin to move when they are disturbed or if there is a bright light shining on them (see the video below).

Do Bed Bugs Bleed When Killed?

You will see blood when you kill a recently fed bed bug.

What Happens When You Squish a Bed Bug?

In most cases, if you squish a bed bug, it will pop, and blood will come out. However, if you squish a bed bug that has not been fed in a while, you may see black fecal matter come out instead of blood.

What Does It Mean if You Squish a Bed Bug and There Is No Blood?

If you squish a bed bug and there is no blood, it can mean three things:

  • You squished a bed bug nymph that has not fed on any blood yet.

How To Tell if Bed Bug Eggs Are Dead?

You would need to look at the bed bug eggs under a microscope to tell if the babies inside are dead. If you see the cap opened on a bed bug egg, then you’ll know that the egg is not viable.

There aren’t many chemical treatments that can successfully kill bed bug eggs. Keep in mind that heat will kill bed bug eggs. To kill bed bug eggs with heat, you’ll need to hold the items at 90°F for around 90 minutes.

Final Thoughts for Dead Bed Bugs And What to Do if You Find Them

Dead bed bugs may or may not be a good thing to see. But with some preparation and understanding of what to do if you find them, you can rest assured that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your home and family.

If you have any questions about dead bed bugs or how to get rid of them, please don’t hesitate to reach out for bed bug help. We’re always happy to answer any questions and help our readers care for their homes.