Steps and Stages of a Bed Bug’s Life Cycle

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The suspicion of bed bugs can be an unsettling thing.

To understand where these bed bugs are coming from, it is helpful to comprehend the bed bug’s life cycle. There are several stages that the bed bug must go through before becoming an adult and laying more eggs.

These bugs can cause many problems within your home and your sleeping schedule, but calling for a professional will help you to obliterate the problem. You can read about heat treatment here, but this is not something you should try to DIY. Leave the pest removal up to the professionals.

Read on to learn more about the cycles of a bed bug’s life. This will help you understand what you are dealing with if you find bed bugs in your home.

Bed Bug Life Cycles Have Several Stages

Although they can be categorized into three major sections, there are 7 defined stages of a bed bug’s life.

These stages are all marked with particular attributes. The attributes can help you better understand what you’re looking at when finding a bed bug.

These 3 core processes are egg, nymph, and adult.

During their lifetimes, these bugs change and grow at a rapid speed. They look for a host and draw blood so that they can continue to feed and multiply.

Without food, an adult bed bug can live over 400 days. In that time, these bugs can cause an infestation within your home.

It is due to them feeding on blood that they grow and progress rapidly.

The Egg Stage

The bed bug’s life begins with the egg stage. This lasts anywhere from 6 to 10 days and at this point, the eggs are 1mm in length. This is roughly the size of two grains of salt.

Female bed bugs can lay anywhere between 1 and 5 eggs per day. If a bed bug lays five eggs, numerous bugs would quantify that number over time.

These eggs are a milky white color and appear almost translucent at first. This makes the bed bug eggs difficult to see without proper enhanced lighting.

These eggs are also covered in a sticky substance, which means that they stay stationary and can be almost impossible to trace.

The eggs are found either in clusters or by themselves. They are located in the crevices of your mattress but are hard to see and locate. Once they hatch, they immediately begin to feed.

A Long Nymph Stage

The next stage of a bed bug’s life is the longest. The nymph stage is broken down into five different parts and is when the bed bug cycle progresses the most.

If you’re questioning how to determine if what you find is an egg or an early nymph, the explanation may be easy. Two red dots on one end mean that the egg has hatched. This is an early nymph stage bed bug.

In the beginning, these bugs are only about 1.5mm in size. They are beginning to turn into full-sized adults as they search for a host to feed on.

At this stage, bugs still have a translucent color. As they feed, the color darkens to a red-brown and they begin to grow larger.

The third step in the life cycle and the second in the nymph phase is 2mm long. As these bugs grow, you will find the exoskeleton left behind. This is what happens as the nymphs molt and grow.

The fourth step and third in a nymph phase are when the bugs reach 2.5mm. They are more than double their egg stage at this point.

This is when the bed bugs begin to take on a more oval shape and begin to resemble their adult phase. Baby bed bug bites are common at this phase.

The fifth step and fourth nymph stage are 3mm. They now take their final coloring. No longer are they translucent or yellow.

During the nymph stages, these bugs can be seen in your home. They are most active at night as they hide from sunlight and their bites are not large enough to accrue pain on contact.

Finally, the last part of the nymph stage is when these critters reach 4.5mm in length. A nymph bed bug does not lay eggs. They do begin to look for hosts to feed off of.

The nymph process can take anywhere from 30 days to a couple of months. This depends on the atmosphere and blood feasts they can draw.

The Final Adult Stage

At 10 weeks, a bed bug has reached full maturity.

These adult bed bugs can go months without feeding. They do not produce enough pain for you to react while they feed. Instead, you will be left with a mark after they have fed.

The final size of an adult bed bug is 5.5 millimeters long. These bugs have molted for a final time and are ready to lay eggs. It takes about 3 to 6 days for an adult female to produce eggs.

That is when the bed bug’s life cycle begins all over again.

Bed Bugs May Participate in the Circle of Life but You Can Disband It

Bed bugs have an extensive life cycle, but this does not mean that they cannot be stopped from infesting your home.

There are plenty of procedures that will eradicate those pests in their paths.

For more information on bed bugs and how to protect your home check out our blog. If you need further assistance we would be happy to help you rid your home of those unwanted pests. Contact us here for a free quote.

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