How Bed Bug Reproduce
Is It Possible That I Have Only 1 Bed Bug?
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When I receive a call from a potential customer, one of the things I’m told very frequently is, “I think I might have bed bugs.” Not a bed bug, but bed bugs (plural). It’s a natural, commonplace way to describe the issue. Yet, what I’m also asked on occasion is, “It is possible I only have 1 bed bug?” I’ve always felt it’s an excellent question when asked, and a question worth talking about more in detail.
When a person has unknowingly brought a bed bug infestation into their home (or workplace, etc), they’ve either brought in a non-fertile single bed bug, or, more than one bed bugs at once, or, a single fertile female bed bug with the ability to reproduce. Certainly, if you’re going to get an infestation, the first scenario is without question the best case to have. You’ll be able to remediate the problem much more quickly.
We performed an inspection recently that was quite possibly a 1 bed bug infestation:
When we arrived at the customer’s apartment, the customer showed me the series of bites she had talked about on the phone. Having seen many bed bug bites over the past few years, her bites clearly resembled those performed by a bed bug. She had bites in 2 different areas: first, a 3-bite pattern on her leg, and then, a couple of bites on her arm. She said she’d received the first set of bites 8 days earlier, and then the most recent ones on her arm the night before (which is why she called us). It’s not good news at all that she was receiving bites, but, it was good that she was having a reaction to the bites – her welts were very noticeable, even the ones still present from 8 days ago – and her reaction triggered her phone call.
Rockie (our bed bug dog) and I performed a detailed search of the apartment, and our search yielded no positive alerts (an alert is the indication the dog gives that there is a live bed bug presence) until we entered the customer’s bed room. There, our dog alerted to the right side of her mattress/boxspring. The alert took place on the side of the bed that the customer sleeps on, and it was the only alert we received in that room. We finished the inspection, and the dog didn’t alert anywhere else in the apartment.
Upon visual inspection, I lifted up the mattress, checked both sides thoroughly, and found nothing except a few droppings near the seam of the mattress. The droppings were an indication that a live bed bug had had a feeding, and then relieved itself, in that spot. But a bed bug itself was not there. When I checked the boxspring, that’s when we found a culprit – 1 very large bed bug sitting right on the underside lip of the boxspring – in full view once the boxspring was turned over. The customer could see that it was a large bed bug full of blood, and I found it exactly where the dog had alerted. Keeping in mind that a dog will provide the same alert whether there’s 1 bed bug present or more than 1 bed bug present, I continued to search, and found no other bugs. It doesn’t mean there wasn’t any more bed bugs present (they are extremely difficult for humans to find, especially when small infestations are present), but there weren’t any more that I was able to find. (a sidenote here: Boxsprings are particularly difficult to search, because of the vacancies and underlying mesh that can conceal & camouflage a bed bug – especially smaller bed bugs).
Given everything we learned during the search, this was a location where it was possible that only 1 bed bug was present. The customer had a bite pattern that resembled the presence of 1 bed bug, and I happened to find one live bed bug. My advice to the customer was to still take actions to eliminate & control a bed bug presence, because there’s obviously the potential of more bed bugs being present. She purchased a mattress and boxspring cover from us (at a wholesale price), as well as Climbup interceptors, and put them in place immediately on the 4 corners of her bed frame legs. If any more bed bugs were present on either the mattress or inside the boxsping, she’d trapped them right away. Any service that ensued could now be targeted within the room, including the areas closest to the bed where there could still be a live bed bug presence. She also purchased do-
it-yourself, safe pesticides that she was going to apply on the bed frame and surrounding areas the next day, right before she knew she’d be out of the apartment for a while ( in order to avoid any unpleasant pesticide odor at the time of application).
These actions gave her a great chance of controlling any bed bug presence within her sleeping quarters. I’ll add here that licensed pest control company service should always be considered when a bed bug infestation exists, because a good company has the experience and resources needed to bring an infestation under control, and well-concealed fertile bed bugs can and will reproduce very quickly if a do-it-yourself approach is not successful. Yet, sometimes, a person can take action that can start to bring a bed bug infestation under control quickly, especially if a small number of bed bugs are present. Or in some cases, 1 bed bug.
Bed Bug Reproduction
By DoMyOwn staff
How do bed bugs reproduce?
Male and Female bed bugs mate by what is called traumatic insemination. The traumatic insemination takes place by basically stabbing the female’s abdomen with a specialized hardened reproductive organ. The fertilization can take place at any location on the abdomen and the male’s gametes will travel to her ovaries or reproductive gametes. Once fertilization occurs the female contains viable eggs for 5-7 weeks. After three or so days of feeding, the female begins to lay eggs. As the female lays eggs, she continues to feed. She can produce an average of 3-8 eggs a week. The eggs hatch and immediately feed.
Female bed bugs are capable of laying as many as twelve eggs each day after being fertilized and having a proper blood meal. They are deposited in small cracks and crevices along bed frames, baseboards, and carpet linings. The female lays the eggs with an adhesive layer to assure that the eggs will stay in place. The baby bed bugs will hatch from the eggs in around six to seventeen days. The young emerge and immediately begin to feed or search for food. Nymphs and adults are able to survive long periods of time without food. Bed bugs usually live for a year to a year and a half. Three or more generations can occur each year.
To stop bed bug reproduction, use an IGR (insect growth regulator). For bed bugs, we specifically recommend using Gentrol IGR.
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Everything you need to know about bedbugs
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Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Humans are the preferred hosts for the two main species.
There are two species of bedbugs that are known to feed on human blood. They are known scientifically asCimex lectulariusandCimex hemipterus. They have been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians from 3,500 years ago.
Over millions of years, bedbugs have evolved as nest parasites, inhabiting the nests of birds and the roosts of bats. Some of them have learned to adapt to the human environment.
Newborn bedbugs, called hatchlings or nymphs, are tiny but visible and about the size of a poppy seed. Adults grow to about 0.25 inches long with an oval and flattened shape when they are not feeding. After feeding, they can double in size. Nymphs, eggs, and adults are visible to the naked eye.
They are called bedbugs because of their preferred habitat in human homes: Sofas, bed mattresses, clothing, and other soft furnishings. They also prefer the dark.
Bedbugs are seen as a growing problem within all types of dwellings, including private homes, dormitories, cruise ships, army barracks, and shelters.
When seen close up, their color may range from a white, light tan to a deep brown or burnt orange color. When they have fed, a dark red or black blob may be observed within their body. They seek shelter in dark cracks and crevices when disturbed.
Fast facts on bedbugs
- Bedbugs are small wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals.
- Most bedbugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep.
- The peak time for feeding is between midnight and 5 am.
- Bites can be seen quickly but may take up to 14 days to become visible.
- Bed bugs need to feed regularly to reproduce, lay eggs and survive.
Share on Pinterest A bedbug may cause a coriander-like smell.
The most obvious sign of bedbugs in the home is that people complain of bites that occurred while they were asleep. If this happens, examine the bedrooms for bedbugs and signs of bedbug activity.
Look carefully in bed linen and the seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs for bugs or eggs. The eggs will look like tiny, pale poppy seeds.
Signs of bedbug activity may occur beneath loose areas of wallpaper near beds, in the corner of desks and dressers, in the laundry, and in drawers.
Keep an eye out for dark brown or rust-colored bedbug droppings that stain material and mattresses. Bedbug excrement is a liquid that looks either light brown or black, and it usually either beads up or is absorbed by the material around it.
A large population of bedbugs may produce a coriander-like odor.
Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and includes:
- topical creams, such as cortisone, to relieve itching
- an oral antibiotic, if infection occurs because of skin irritation around the bite
- corticosteroids, if a person has a severe allergic reaction
- antihistamines, to help relieve allergic reactions
Most bites heal within 1 and 2 weeks of occurrence.
Some of these treatments are available for purchase online, including cortisone and antihistamines.
Since bedbugs can hide in a wide range of places in the home, they are not easy to remove. It is advisable to bring in a pest control professional.
Removing excess clutter from the house, giving the bedbugs fewer places to hide, makes inspection and removal less difficult.
Some pest control companies request that furniture is pulled away from walls and mattresses and box springs stood on edge before they enter the home. Other companies prefer everything to be left where it is so that they can perform a check before moving the furniture themselves.
Scientists at Ohio State University have determined that combining the chemical signals of bedbugs with a common insect-control agent can make it an effective treatment for killing the bugs.
Most bedbugs feed on their hosts while they sleep. They draw blood in a painless way.
While feeding, they inject a small amount of saliva into the host’s skin. If they feed on one particular person for several weeks, the individual may become more sensitive to their saliva and the chemicals that it contains. The host might eventually develop an allergic response.
Bedbugs, like fleas, tend to bite in rows. There are likely to be two or three bites in each row. This is probably because the bedbug is interrupted while feeding, and then comes back about half an inch further down for its next bite.
Bites can take up to 14 days to become visible but often appear within several days. Bedbug bites are larger than fleabites and do not usually have a red dot at the center. The bites tend to be raised and red.
They can be scattered or occur in clusters of three over the paths of blood vessels, known as the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner sign.”
Most people who are bitten show no symptoms at all and often do not know it happened. This makes it more difficult to prevent or identify potential infestations. Some individuals, however, may become ill and nauseous. It is possible to get scars and skin infections from scratching the bites.
Very rarely, people might have an anaphylactic reaction to bedbug bites. It is possible but rare to have an asthmatic reaction to bedbugs.
Bedbugs are adaptable, and there are many ways in which a bedbug infestation can occur.
They may get into a new home as stowaways when luggage, furniture, and bedding is moved in. People should be careful when purchasing second-hand furniture and should never purchase used mattresses. A careful visual inspection should allow a person to detect bedbugs or their droppings.
Even vacant and seemingly clean homes may have bedbugs in them. They can survive for over two months without any food. It is also believed they can move from apartment to apartment through hollows and holes in the walls and the tubes through which wires and pipes run.
Bedbug infestations can be difficult to prevent.
It is possible to encase both the mattress and box spring in a protective cover, as some people do for allergy relief. Some pest control firms sell them, as well as a number of retail outlets. Click here for a range of products that can help to protect a bed against infestation.
Once encased, any bedbug trapped inside and prevented from feeding will eventually die. Some people keep their new beds encased, as it prevents the bugs from getting into the crevices in the mattress and makes it easier to keep the surface clean and bug-free.
When traveling, avoid putting luggage on the bed to reduce the risk of bringing bedbugs home in a suitcase. It is also worth vacuuming any luggage after you return home and making sure you get rid of the contents of the vacuum in a tightly sealed bag. Dispose of this bag in a trashcan outside.
Separate travel clothes from laundry and immediately wash them in hot water.
If you spot bedbugs in the home, call a professional and do not attempt to resolve the infestation. Bedbugs can spread from room to room in clothing, and trying to remove them yourself can often make the matter worse.
Although they are not known to carry diseases, bedbugs can affect an individual’s quality of life, causing distress, discomfort, embarrassment, and broken sleep.
Here are the important facts to have in mind when trying to remove or identify a bedbug infestation:
- The peak time for feeding is between midnight and 5 AM. Hungry bedbugs will try to feed at any time, but they do not like sunlight and prefer the dark. One feed will take between 5 and 10 minutes. The bug will then return to its hiding place.
- Bedbugs will feed every 5 to 10 days. They can, however, last for about 70 days without feeding. A well-fed bedbug has a lifespan of several months.
- They find their host by seeking out human body heat and sensing the presence of the carbon dioxide on the breath.
- A bedbug will pierce the skin of its host with its mouth part. It first injects saliva that is a mixture of an anesthetic, so that the host feels nothing, and an anticoagulant so that the blood flows out freely. It then sucks out blood until it is full. The bites are not noticeable until after the skin reaction has occurred. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take up to 14 days for bites to appear.
- Bedbugs can only reproduce when they have reached maturity. A female bedbug lays approximately seven eggs in a day and hundreds during her lifetime.
A review of bedbug research conducted in 2016 found that while they are highly resistant to removal methods, bedbugs seem to be more of a nuisance than a serious health problem. Research has failed to show any link between the bedbugs associated with humans and human disease.
The biggest risk for humans comes from secondary bacterial infection. With bedbugs, this would occur as a result of scratching the skin. Scratching, if it breaks the skin, allows normal bacteria from the surface of the skin to penetrate deeper.
The source of any bacterial infection is, therefore, the human host and not the bedbug.
How Bed Bugs Reproduce
In order to prevent the spread of bed bugs, it’s important to understand how they reproduce. Bedbugs reproduce via hypodermic insemination, also known as traumatic insemination. Male bugs use their genitalia to pierce the females anywhere on the abdomen, releasing sperm into the body. The sperm migrate through her abdominal fluiduntil they arrive at the ovaries, resulting in fertilization of the eggs.
The mating process is traumatic for female bed bugs, and they are frequently injured in the process. The wound can result in infection and leakage of blood, which reduces the lifespan of the female. For this reason, female bugs will avoid excessive mating where possible. After mating, they prefer to move to a location where they can remain undisturbed with a guaranteed food supply. In a safe environment, a female bed bug will typically lay between one to seven eggs each day, following each blood meal.
Bed bugs generally live for 12 to 18 months. During her lifetime, a female bed bug will lay up to 250 eggs. The milky-white eggs are roughly one millimeter long, and visible to the naked eye.The eggs are deposited in crevices and cracks on bed frames, baseboards, furniture and carpets. The female uses an adhesive layer to ensure the eggs remain in place.
Because mating results in scarring, females that have mated many times within a short period of time will produce fewer eggs. Females that have time to recover from the mating process will produce more eggs. This phenomenon helps increase the proliferation of bed bugs, because pregnant females will travel to new locations to avoid male bugs.
Eggs hatch within 1-2 weeks. The nymphs that emerge can feed on blood immediately, but are unable to reproduce until they have fully matured. Theyundergo five molting stages before reaching adulthood. During each stage they must feed at least once. The time taken to mature depends on the temperature – from three weeks in warm weather to four months in cold weather.
A female bed bug may mate with any of her adult offspring, and will lay eggs continuously assuming she has access to a blood meal. Thismeans a single pregnant female can easilycreate an infestation of five thousand bugs within six months.
A 2010 study discovered that bed bug nymphs release a pheromone that prevents males from attempting to mate with them. Scientists hope to eventually use this pheromone to disrupt bed bug reproduction and reduce infestations.
If you really want to get rid of bed bugs today try SayByeBugs! It was developed as a safe and highly effective alternative among a sea of products that rarely deliver on their promises.
How do Bed Bugs Reproduce
How bed bugs reproduce (video!!)
(You might not want to watch this video before you go to sleep, or bed)
I would have liked better music to go with the ambiance in this video. Just kidding, this is a little hard to watch but a lot of you ask about how bed bugs reproduce or mate. If you’ve done your internet research you already know it is through a process called traumatic insemination. Even though the female does have reproductive lady parts, they will never be used, and you won’t find any sympathy coming from this direction.
If you’ve done your internet research you already know it is through a process called traumatic insemination. Even though females do have reproductive lady parts, they will never be used, and you won’t find any sympathy coming from this direction.
Also, female bedbugs do not necessarily benefit from the mating process, saying that “traumatic insemination is probably a coercive male copulatory strategy that results in a sexual conflict of interests.”
In another impressive display of biological evolution, the male will pierce the females with his weird pointy penis on her back or side to enter her body cavity and inseminate her. Researchers have observed that males prefer to inseminate females who have recently fed and believe this is because their outer membrane is stretched and thinner making it easier to puncture through. You can learn more about the bed bug life cycle here.
This video from National Geographic gives you an intimate window into bed bugs reproductive lives. You will also see bed bugs in all their various stages from newly fed nymph to adult.
Kind of makes your worst date ever seem a little less awful, maybe. NOTE: This video does not seem to have sound so no need to adjust your sound.