Not one, not two, but 90 different bed bug species exist throughout the world. However, the most prevalent in the US is the Cimicidae lectularius, AKA the common bed bug. They disappeared at one point, but they came back with a vengeance in the 1990s.
Today, bed bugs plague all 50 states. While they may not directly cause diseases, they harbor up to 45 different pathogens. Moreover, they can cause secondary infections (from scratching bites), anxiety, and insomnia.
For this reason, you should learn more about when bed bugs eggs hatch and how to tell if they’re still developing. This is important when considering bed bug treatment, as eggs are often harder to kill. For instance, applying heat of at least 113 °F can kill all bed bug life stages, but anything lower can let the eggs live.
To that end, we created this guide detailing the bed bug egg hatching process. Read on to discover how to distinguish live from empty eggshells.
When Do Bed Bugs Eggs Hatch?
Right after they get laid, bed bug eggs hatch within six to 10 days. The tiny eggs are white and elongated, measuring about one millimeter in length. As soon as the baby bed bugs (called “nymphs”) are out, they can start feeding right away.
How to Tell if the Eggs Have Already Hatched
If you’ve seen signs of bed bugs and suspect an infestation, get in touch with a pest control expert right away. Adult bed bugs can keep laying up to three eggs per day, and they can do that for the rest of their six to twelve months of life. So, even just a single day of delay means having three more biters after a week.
What’s more, nymphs can become egg-layers within a month under the right conditions.
That’s why it pays to know if you’re already dealing with hatched bed bugs eggs. Here are some of the signs that you are.
1. Dull and Translucent Egg Cases
When an adult bed bug lays eggs, it covers the eggs with a sticky substance. This coating allows the eggs to adhere to surfaces. It also helps protect the eggs from potential disturbances.
So, if you see shiny white eggs that cling to your mattress, chances are, you’re looking at unhatched eggs. If what you encounter are dull and translucent shells, that likely means the babies are out.
2. They Look Flat or Hollow
Hatched bed bug eggs also look flat, as they’re already hollow. They’re also often quick to dislodge from the areas they cling to. Even just a slight disturbance can already cause these empty shells to disintegrate.
3. They Don’t Have Red Dots on Them
Under a magnifying glass, a developing bed bug egg usually shows two red dots. These represent the growing nymph’s eyes. If you don’t see these, that likely means you’re looking at an empty, already-hatched egg.
4. You’ve Seen Tiny White Critters on Your Bed
At this point, you may be asking, “what do bed bugs look like right after they hatch?”
Bed bug hatchlings are tiny, but your naked eye can still see them as they’re about the size of a sesame seed. They also resemble the seed’s appearance and color; except, of course, the nymphs have legs. Their bodies may be light-colored, but they have bright red eyes.
So, if you see sesame seed-like things with red dots on your bed, that means you have freshly-hatched bed bugs.
If you catch a nymph right after its first-ever meal, you’ll notice that it takes on a red-wine color. Its abdomen also elongates, looking more like an apple seed. Its head and legs remain almost transparent, though.
After its first meal, a bed bug hatchling can already undergo its first molt. As part of a bed bug’s life cycle, a nymph goes through up to five molts before it becomes an adult. Each time it sheds its exoskeleton, its abdomen takes on a darker color.
Bed bug hatchlings do need to feed at least once for each molting stage. If you see a nymph on its second unfed stage, you’ll see that a small part of its abdomen is darker than the rest of its body. This dark spot grows in size with every molt until the entire body becomes red once the nymph becomes an adult.
5. The Bites Are Multiplying
An increase in the number of bed bug bites is another indication that you’ve got hatchlings. Keep in mind that nymphs seek out a meal host as soon as they crawl out of their eggs. If they hatched in your mattress, they could bite as soon as you lay down in bed.
If given a chance, baby bed bugs can feed once a day, even though they only need one meal before molting. In this case, it can take a lot less time for them to become an adult. Once they become an adult, they can start laying eggs.
However, just because they don’t feed right away doesn’t mean they die immediately. Bed bugs are so resilient that young hatchlings can survive without a meal for weeks or even months. Older nymphs can live for a year or more without feeding.
The adult bugs are even more impressive in averting death, though. In low-temperature settings, they survived without a blood meal for over 400 days.
Don’t Wait for Bed Bug Eggs to Hatch
Unless you kill all stages of existing bed bug populations, their bites will never end. Forget using common pesticides, as many of them don’t kill eggs.
However, proper heat treatment can put a stop to this cycle. Best of all, its lethality takes effect even before the bed bugs eggs hatch. That’s why most families, especially those with kids and pets, prefer this method.
Ready to get rid of all those pesky blood-suckers infesting your home? Then please know that Custom Bed Bug can help! Feel free to request your free bed bug treatment quote now.