Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices, surviving on human blood for ages. They don’t carry severe medical risks and don’t transmit diseases. We collected 45 essential bed bug life cycle facts, intended to enrich your understanding of these irritating bugs.
Bed bug life cycle
Bed bugs are nocturnal, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. These wingless insects have dorsoventrally flattened bodies that allow them to hide in areas such as floor cracks, carpets, beds and upholstered furniture. (Source)
- Female bed bugs lay around twelve eggs per day. The eggs are sticky, which makes them attach to the surface.
- After 6 to 17 days eggs hatch and the nymphs begin to feed immediately.
- To be able to molt and grow, nymphs require a “blood meal.” They are fully developed after their 5th molt.
- How fast they will reach adulthood depends on the temperature of their habitat: They need 21 days when living at 86F (30C), and at 65F (18C) they fully develop after 120 days.
- Bed bugs can live for several months without feeding, entering a “dormant” phase if there is not a warm-blooded host.
- The average lifespan of a well-fed and healthy bed bug is from 12 to 18 months.
What do bed bugs look like
- Bed bugs don’t have wings, and they are unable to fly and jump. They can only crawl.
- Their mouth can pierce and suck the blood from its host.
- Bed bugs can modify some of their detoxifying genes and grow a less porous outer skin to actually block out toxic chemicals.
- Bedbugs develop an ability to fight off toxins previously deadly for them. That is the reason many pesticides are already inefficient and didn’t kill them anymore.
- Newly developed methods for eradicating bed bug infestations are working better than the ones bedbugs have already built a resistance to.
Info-graphic from LiveScience.com
How big are bed bugs
- Bed bugs are wingless insects that prefer to feed on human blood. They will feed on pets and wildlife if people aren’t available.
- Adult bed bugs are colored brown to reddish, oval-shaped, flat, and approximately 3/16 to 1/5 of an inch long. This flat shape helps them to hide efficiently in tiny cracks and crevices.
- Nymphs feed for around 3 minutes; the adult bedbug needs up to 15 minutes to engorge with blood.
- After a meal of blood, a bed bug’s body becomes elongated and swollen with a dark red color.
- Nymphs are almost colorless. The brown color appears as they mature.
- Bed bug eggs have a silver-white color and are about 1/32 of an inch long.
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Where do bed bugs hide
- The name “bed bug” is originated from their ideal place inside our homes. They are found in close distance to bed mattresses, box springs, bedding, or sofas.
- Bed bugs are fast movers and nighttime blood feeders. They prefer to eat while their host is asleep.
- Bedbugs pierce the skin with their sharp beak and inject saliva that contains an anticoagulant that “keeps the blood flowing.” Their bites are undetectable from us.
- Bedbugs speed is only 3 to 4 feet per minute. That is the reason they crawl mostly in the dark.
- Most bed bugs won’t travel more than 30 feet (9 m) in search of a host and blood meal. Typically, they hide within 8 feet (2.4 m) of the bed.
- Bed bugs are at home everywhere: clean or dirty homes, luxury hotels or motels. Places at higher risk are hotels, dormitories, apartment complexes, and homeless shelters.
- Lab tests found that bedbugs prefer to hide in red or black fabrics, avoiding shades of yellow and green. “The researchers say that changing the color of your sheets may be taking the finding too far.“
Bed bug infestation
- The only reliable way to know if you have a bed bug infestation is to see live, apple-seed-sized bug for yourself.
- People attract bed bugs with the carbon dioxide we breathe out. In the dark, they find us while sniffing for our breathing.
- Bedbugs feed on human blood. After the meal, the bug escapes to its favorite hiding place: between box springs and headboards, nightstands, or along the seams of a mattress.
- Bed bugs primarily move at night within one hour of the sunrise while people are asleep. Nighttime itching and skin irritation are common symptoms of an infestation.
- Bed bugs hide during the day in a dark, protected area near a host.
- Blood stains on your bedding are from crushed bugs, the real indication of a bed bug infestation.
- The “rusty” spots seen on sheets, mattresses, clothes or walls are bed bugs’ fecal matter.
- Severe bed bugs infestations produce a sweet and musty odor.
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What to do about bed bugs
- Bed bugs are tenacious and easily adaptable. They are one of the most challenging pests to eliminate.
- Bed bug infestation will cost you money or can make you lots of money. Numerous lawsuit claims regarding bed bugs have been filed recently. One of the biggest payouts as a result of a bed bug claim was more than $600,000.
- The bed bug traps are very useful because bed bugs can’t climb smooth surfaces.
How to treat bed bug bites
- You won’t feel pain when a bed bug bites you but could develop scars and marks.
- The fluid the bug inserts while piercing your skin usually causes some inflammation, irritation, and itchiness.
- Some people never have any physical symptoms of bed bug bites. For others, they become visible after seven to nine days.
- Bed bug bites itch from several hours to several days. You could or could not have Itchiness, depending on the strength of your immune system.
- Rows of three or more welts are a sure sign of bed bugs. If they manage to suck enough blood from just one spot, they won’t keep biting you two more times.
- Welts DO NOT have a red spot in the middle like a flea bite.
- Bed bugs didn’t transmit any disease. Their bites could cause anemia and other health problems as we described here.
- Bed bugs are a real threat to your health. When living with bed bugs infestation, you can develop a widespread rash with itching.
- Bed bugs often bite exposed skin on the arms, face, neck, and legs.
The Modern bed bug treatment
Unfortunately, a bedbug infestation is tough to exterminate. Treating a bed bug infestation on your own can be difficult. Your best option is to hire a professional pest management company. Professionals know where they like to hide and what are the best and latest methods of exterminating them. Using DIY remedies potentially make the situation worse.
Bed Bug Life Cycle Resources:
I’d love to hear what you think
I’m probably leaving out some information. What other tips can you provide about this issue? Let’s beat the bed bug! Share your story in the comments.