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Bed Bug Life Cycle

This article discusses a bed bug life cycle. The bed bug will then lay some eggs where the new bed bug life cycle begins. Bed bugs reproduce faster than a bed bugs lifespan, so you shouldn’t just expect these pests to die off. In fact, the problem should be addressed immediately before it gets out of hand.

Bed Bug Life Cycle

What is a bed bug?

A Bed Bug is a parasitic insect that feeds on human blood and skin cells. Their the preferred environment are beds or other areas people sleep. These small bugs are mainly active at night and unnoticeable.

Bed bugs have increased over the past few years, they do this by hitchhiking their way to your bed on any fabric. Bed bugs are found in public spaces like theatres, hospitals, public transit, schools, or offices. You can also bring them back with you from vacation in your suitcase and clothes from your hotel, motel, or hostel.

Bed Bugs can attach themselves to your clothing and suitcase. This is why you must take extra precaution while travelling. One bed bug can multiply to over 700 bed bugs in only nine months! That reason alone can make anyone be extra careful about bringing these invasive pests back with you.

Bed bug life cycle details

As with many other insects in their category, bed bugs go through 3 different bed bug life cycle stages from immaturity to adulthood. Naturally, the life of every bed bug begins with the egg stage.

Female bed bugs undergo traumatic insemination from their male counterparts nearly thrice each year to lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime. The complete lifecycle (or metamorphosis) from the egg stage to a fully developed adult bed bug lasts for about 21 days depending on the surrounding conditions.

Egg Stage

An egg is the first stage of a bed bug. These eggs are as tiny as a grain and they are usually white. The females can easily lay five eggs at the most in one single day. However, they are capable of laying as many as 500 of them in their entire lifetime. They may lay these eggs in clusters or even individually. You can find bed bug eggs in cracks and tightly closed crevices. The eggs measure only about a millimeter and hatch in nearly two weeks or so.

Nymph Stage 

Once they have left the eggs, nymphs pass through five stages before reaching maturity. In order to reach the next life stage, a nymph must have a blood meal then shed their exoskeleton in order to grow. They will begin their life cycle at about 1.5 mm and reach 4.5 mm at the final stage. At room temperature, nymphs will molt their exoskeleton and become an adult within five weeks.The shells that a bed bug will molt are a significant sign that a home may have been infested with bed bugs. Often found in their hiding place, which will most likely be a mattress corner, these shells will be a clear yellowish color and are found in abundance. 

Nymphs are often mistaken as other insects and are not immediately noticed as a bed bug. They are smaller in size and appear to be a brighter red color while adults appear a more reddish brown.

Adult Stage 

After five nymph stages, the adult bed bug is formed. This is the last of the bed bug life cycle stages and under favorable conditions, can last for nearly 6 to 12 months. Adult bed bugs spend most of their time hiding, digesting their food, mating or laying eggs.

Final Thoughts on Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed bugs have the unique ability to survive without feeds. First instar nymphs (first hatchlings) can survive up to six weeks without any blood meal. Nymph bed bugs can survive up to 3-4 months without a meal and adults can survive over year. The length of survival depends on the temperature and stage.

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