What is the Difference Between Male and Female Bed Bugs?

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If you look at other animals, it is quite easy to differentiate between male and female, but it is not the case with bed bugs. Even though the main culprit in infesting any home is a female bed bug, which lays eggs (males do not).

So, if you suspect you have bed bugs, it is critical that you correctly identify the type of bug you are dealing with. In this article, we will take a closer look at the difference between male and female bed bugs.

Difference Between Male and Female Bed Bugs

Difference Between Male and Female Bed Bugs?

When it comes to bed bugs, there is very little difference between males and females. Both sexes feed on human blood and can survive for long periods of time without feeding. 

When looking at a bed bug, it can be difficult to tell if it is a male or female. However, there are some subtle differences that can help you determine the gender of a bed bug.

  • Males tend to be smaller than females. They also have narrower abdomens and longer wings.
  • Females, on the other hand, have wider abdomens since they need to store more energy to produce eggs. Their wings are also shorter in order to accommodate their larger bodies.
  • Male bed bugs are distinguished by their smaller size and slender shape. They also have shorter antennae than their female counterparts.
  • On the other hand, female bed bugs are larger in size and have rounder shapes. Their antennae are also longer than those of males.
  • Another way to tell the difference between male and female bed bugs is by looking at their reproductive organs.
  • Males have a penis-like structure called a paramere, while females have a vagina-like structure called an opisthosoma. Check out the picture below.
bedbug male and female

How to Tell if a Bed Bug is Pregnant

So how can you tell if a bed bug is pregnant? Actually, this is very difficult to spot. However, the key characteristics of bed bugs that are pregnant are

  • Pregnant females tend to be larger than non-pregnant ones and may have a darker body color
  • On the ventral side of the female bed bug, you can also observe the white scars that have sclerotized. Usually, the right side of the female bed bug has these scars.
  • The scars suggest that the bed bug may have undergone severe insemination at some point in the past to become pregnant.

If you suspect that a bed bug is pregnant, it is best to contact a professional for removal, because a single bed bug is enough for a huge infestation. Check out this article on how fast bed bugs reproduce.

How Long is a Bed Bug Pregnant?

A bed bug’s pregnancy lasts about 35 days, during which time she will lay around 500 eggs. After emerging from their egg sacs, nymphs (immature bed bugs) must feed on blood before they can molt into adults.

Bed bugs can live for several months without a meal, so long as their environment is warm enough.

Do Male Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?

The answer is no. Only female bed bugs lay eggs. Male bed bugs do not have the ability to lay eggs. This is one of the main ways to tell the difference between male and female bed bugs.

Can unfed female bed bugs lay eggs?

So the quick answer is yes, unfed female bed bugs can lay eggs. However, baby bed bugs (nymphs) are unable to lay eggs.

How to Get Rid of Male or Female Bed Bugs?

While both male and female bed bugs can be a nuisance, it is important to take steps as soon as possible because they spread so quickly.

The best way to eliminate these pests is to contact a professional exterminator. They will be able to assess your specific situation and recommend the best course of action.

But if you’re interested in doing it on your own, check out this article, in which we shared the six best methods to eliminate bed bugs.


Male and female bed bugs are very different from one another. Females are bigger and more swollen, while males are smaller and more slender. The size difference also means that male bites are more difficult to identify. It is also significant to note that male bed bugs do not lay eggs.

Both male and female bed bugs have functional mouths and can feed on blood. When it comes to the lifespan of bed bugs, females tend to live longer. The average lifespan of a male bed bug is approximately 6 months, while females can live up to 18 months.

The best way to combat a bed bug infestation is to call in a professional exterminator. But if you’re interested in learning more about the subtle differences between male and female bed bugs, this article has you covered!


  • Can male bed bugs lay eggs?

    Male bed bugs do not lay eggs. It is untrue that male bed bugs lay eggs. This is the difference between a male and female bed bug. The female bed bug must be impregnated by a male insect.

  • What do male bedbugs look like?

    Male and female bed bugs are essentially similar, with the exception that the male’s abdomen has a more angular end than the female’s.
    Additionally, because a bed bug’s skin isn’t completely opaque, the internal variations in males and females might result in a varied pattern of black.

  • Is it possible to only have male bedbugs?

    You might not need to be concerned if you just discovered one male bed bug. Bed bugs that are male cannot deposit eggs. Therefore, if there is just one male beetle, there won’t be an infestation.