The Apple Seed Fallacy

New York bedbug fighters Lou Sorkin and Renee Corea have both pointed out to me a mildly pernicious trend in news reports about bed bugs, where they are routinely compared in size and color to an apple pip.

While this is true of adult bed bugs, it is absolutely not true of young bedbugs, which are much smaller and nearly transparent.

I'm afraid the best thing to do is to bite the bullet and take a look at photos of bed bugs in all stages of life. Note especially the size of the tiny first instar having a meal on someone's finger. Even better, if you are near someone with a bedbug colony, see if you can arrange a short visit.

Lou Sorkin makes a habit of doing show and tell with actual bedbugs whenever he speaks on the topic, which I think is a terrific idea. You can save yourself a lot of stress trying to identify a mystery insect at night if you've previously taken a close look at bed bugs in their various life stages.