How Bed Bugs Feel

Bed Bugs FAQs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Do bed bugs spread disease?

Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

What health risks do bed bugs pose?

A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation?

One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:

  • the bed bugs’ exoskeletons after molting,
  • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,
  • rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and
  • a sweet musty odor.

How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?

It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites.

Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.

How did I get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are experts at hiding. Their slim flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel.

Who is at risk for getting bed bugs?

Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs when visiting an infected area. However, anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has a higher risk of being bitten and or spreading a bed bug infestation.

How are bed bugs treated and prevented?

Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat. The best way to treat a bite is to avoid scratching the area and apply antiseptic creams or lotions and take an antihistamine. Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying. If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

Bedbugs

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Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

Continued

Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

Continued

Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

Sources

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

9 SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF BED BUGS

Bed bugs are a nasty and uncomfortable problem. Signs and symptoms of bed bugs can be hard to detect at first, and even trickier to treat. To the untrained eye, bed bug bites can be confused with those of other biting insects.

Here are nine easy signs help you know if you have a bed bug problem.

RED, ITCHY BITES

People don’t often consider bed bugs until they’ve left their mark. The appearance of flat, red welts in zigzag lines or small clusters is a key sign of bed bugs on humans. Bed bugs can also leave their bites in straight rows and, while they don’t spread diseases to humans, their bites are quite irritating and scratching them can lead to bleeding and infection.

UNCOMFORTABLE NIGHTS

Bed bugs are most often found in the bed, where humans spend most of their nights. It makes logical sense for bed bugs to be most active at night while humans are in bed with them. Should you find yourself developing those itchy welts while laying in bed sleeping (or trying to sleep), it’s likely bed bugs are the problem.

MARKED ARMS AND SHOULDERS

Bed bugs tend to feed on exposed skin such as that on your arms and shoulders, which you may tend to leave uncovered while sleeping. This is different from, say, fleas and chiggers, which tend to bite around the ankles.

A BUGGY BED

The first sign of a bed bug problem is obvious: the bed. After bed bugs feed on humans, they’ll leave behind blood stains resembling small rust spots. These will usually be found near the corners and edges of the bed. Bed bugs also shed their skin, or molt, several times as they mature, so you may find their oval brown exoskeletons during your search.

THE NOSE HAS IT

A strong, unpleasant, musty odor like that of a wet towel is another common bed bug symptom. Bed bugs release pheromones, and when in large numbers, the smell can be quite strong. Should you find your bedroom smelling like a dirty locker room, you may want to perform an inspection.

Remember, bed bugs aren’t confined to your home. They can be found wherever you sleep, including hotel rooms.

Here are some quick inspection tips to help you avoid a serious problem, whether on the road or at home:

INSPECT THE BED

Strip the mattress and box spring and thoroughly inspect the corners and seams. Use a magnifying glass and a flashlight. You’re looking for rust-colored, reddish-brown blood stains and/or small brown ovals (molted bed bug skin).

INSPECT THE ROOM

After searching the bed, it’s time to move to the rest of the room. Check anything upholstered, including chairs, couches, curtains and the edges of the carpet. Look in and behind dressers, underneath the bed and if possible, behind the headboard. Always be on the lookout for the signature reddish-brown spots.

OPEN THE CLOSET

Bed bugs can also cling to clothing, which is how they can travel and spread so adeptly. Be sure to look in your closets and check your clothing thoroughly. Bed bugs on clothes means bed bugs on humans.

USE YOUR NOSE

As stated above, one way detect bed bugs is their smell. The scent of their pheromones can be quite strong. It’s often described as a musty odor.

Since it’s possible for people to go for long periods without being aware they have a bed bug infestation, knowing the key bed bug symptoms and how to find these pests will go a long way in combating them.

How Chronic Bed Bug Paranoia Makes You Feel

Melody is a volunteer for the Center for Disease and Control Prevention. She enjoys sharing her personal experience with others.

Mental Exhaustion and Bed Bugs

Signs and Symptoms

Chronic bed bug exposure feels bad. It’s an emotionally exhausting experience that leads to immense stress, paranoia, and sleepless nights. If you feel like you want to cry, it’s understandable.

Present in all 50 states, bed bugs have the potential to create havok. While not everyone who is exposed to bed bugs will have experience long-term symptoms, many report lengthy bed bug infestations to feel like a traumatic experience.

In an attempt to help those impacted by bed bugs Charleen McNeill, PhD, Anna Jarrett, PhD, FNP-BC, and Marilou D. Shreve, DNP, PNP-BC journaled about the importance of the S.L.E.E.P acronym to prevent bringing bed bugs home.

S.L.E.E.P. stands for Survey for signs of an infestation, Lift and look for bed bug hiding spots, Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall, Examine luggage before taking it home, and Place all clothing items from luggage in the dryer for 5 minutes when you get home.

If you are already exposed to bed bugs, the S.L.E.E.P acronym can only help prevent future infestations. If that is the case then do not be afraid to ask for help from medical providers when you have a bed bug investigation.

Ashcroft R, Seko Y, Chan L, Dere J, Kim J, McKenzie K, Public Health Professionals composed an article for The National Center for Biotechnology Information stating, "Practitioners should always evaluate clients who present with a diagnosis of bed bug exposure. Treatment for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias, or worsening of preexisting psychiatric conditions will likely involve longer term follow-up than the initial treatment of bed bug exposure."

Some signs that you might be experiencing bed bug stress:

  • Poor decision making
  • Confusion
  • Lack of focus
  • Quick to anger
  • Not able to relax
  • Change in diet
  • Chang in other habits (smoking, drinking and so on).
  • Unexplained pain (or those with unrealistic explanations)Yes, Stress physically hurts!
  • Inability to sleep
  • Lack of emotions or excessive emotions
  • Nightmares
  • Paranoia

How the Internal Struggle Feels

Bed Bug Stress

Bed bugs seem whimsical when all you know of them is the old saying "Don’t let the bed bugs bite!" But when you come in contact with them, they become more of a nightmarish beast that creeps up in the night. The implications of bed bug related anxiety and mental health issues are under researched. Many people are relieved of their paranoia, stress, and anxiety when the infestation has been cured by a professional. In some cases infestation causes extreme stress and anxiety it can lead to post-traumatic stress syndrome, and chronic mental anguish.

Jerome Goddard, PhD and Richard de Shazo, MD of The American Journal of Medicine, did compelling research that confirmed that "Infestation by bed bugs may produce psychological distress with nightmares, flashbacks of the infestation, hypervigilance (to keep the bugs away), insomnia, anxiety, avoidance behaviors, and personal dysfunction." Many researchers, doctors, and professionals have stated that this area of medicine and science needs more research.

Remember that bed bugs are temporary, and coping with the experience is essential. Unofficially, more and more people are calling stress-related symptoms caused by bed bugs PTBBS, or Post-Traumatic Bed Bug Syndrome. A person who already has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would be at extreme risk for bed bug related mental distress.

In short, you are not likely to suffer a debilitating, severe or permanent stress disorder because of bed bugs. You might suffer temporary emotional or mental stress, and it may be serious, but when the aggravation of bed bugs ceases, you will return to normal. However, if you feel overwhelming shame, have diminished social interaction, or excessive worry it may help for you to speak with a medical professional to safeguard your mental health.

Some people may choose therapy to help them, and others will try to face it on their own. People are at risk for developing a chronic emotional or mental disorder associated with bed bug exposure, and a small number might even suffer from extreme forms of paranoia and delusions. Reports of people accidently burning their houses down, or becoming ill from using too much pesticides are on the rise. Faced with the fear of bed bugs, some people are driven to make irrational decisions. If you feel at risk at all, seek both medical help and a pest control professional.

Know You Are Not Alone

Since stress is revolved around how we perceive bed bugs as a threat, changing our perceptions can go a long way in preventing bed bug related stress and stress disorders. There are many ways a person can control how they perceive the world around them.

  • Get educated about bed bugs. Understand they do not transmit disease.
  • Take action, create a bed bug plan, call a professional, get bed bug supplies.
  • Treat symptoms. Physical pain and itching have an impact on your perception.
  • Focus on what you can do to get rid of bed bugs (not all the bad stuff about bed bugs).
  • Create mental images of being bed bug-free, doing things you enjoy and being successful.
  • Use buffers to reduce the effects of stress. Buffers are planned activities that are enjoyable. Make it something you love so much the last thing you think about is bed bugs.
  • On the flip side, do not procrastinate or put off bed bug extermination. The longer you allow bed bugs to go on the higher chance you will service stress that might lead to a stress disorder.
  • Remind yourself, bed bugs happen. They can happen to anyone. They are temporary and will be gone!
  • Read books about positive thinking, relaxation and so on.
  • Believe!

Sometimes a great way to deal with stress is to activate more than one sense at a time. By thinking, writing, and speaking we can create a holistic kind of healing that can help us work through stress.

When working with a community action program we did not just help people seal their homes against bed bugs and spray. We tried to help people cope with what they had been though.

We passed out "A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook", and would give the people we helped homework. We saw positive results from the use of the workbook. If you need a little extra help you can pick one of these workbooks up from Amazon.

Bed Bug Stress Makes People Feel A Little Crazy Sometimes

Symptoms of bed bug related stress can manifest in four main ways: physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral. Financial stress may be an indirect result of the cost of bed bug exposure. Sleepless nights caused by bed bug anxiety worsen many of the symptoms, and can lead to sleep deprivation.

To understand bed bug related stress, or what many are calling Post Traumatic Bed Bug Syndrome, we must understand what stress and anxiety are, and the four main ways they manifest.

The best place to find information about stress and stress disorders online is a non-profit, non-add, website called Helpguide. They have beautiful charts to explain the effects of stress, so I won’t try to compete. While their stress guide is not directly related to bed bug stress, it is a wonderful resource.

According to Helpguide, anxiety is the bodies natural system that creates physiological and emotional reactions that threaten our safety. Bed bugs do not spread disease, but they can cause massive amounts of worry and fear.

Bed bugs can cause financial problems, social unrest within the family places pressure on our time and cause physical discomfort. Together, these factors create tension, worry, and fear. That is our anxiety response to bed bugs.

Anxiety plays a role in our fight or flight response. While similar to anxiety, stress is a slightly different thing. It is fed by anxiety and feeds back into anxiety. If this feedback loop is not broken, people can develop both anxiety disorders and stress disorders from bed bug infestations.

According to Helpguide, stress is also a response system. However, it revolves around how we perceive the world around us. Stress is not the situation itself; it is the perception that any given situation holds some type of threat.

It is important to differentiate between stress and anxiety in any situation. When talking specifically about bed bugs, understanding the differences between anxiety and stress can help us develop ways to cope with the situation.

Knowing the difference also helps families understand that, while most of the family will experience some level of anxiety because of bed bugs, not every family member will automatically feel stress.

Those who feel both anxiety and stress from bed bugs are especially vulnerable to developing a severe stress disorder, or reaction, because of bed bugs. Those people are also at risk for sleep deprivation and its negative effects.

Bed Bugs Effects on Children

Helping Children Cope with Bed Bug Stress

As adults, we have a great deal of control over what we perceive. Bed bugs defiantly cause anxiety and stress, but humans have the power to combat that. Each person in the family needs to find the source of their own strength and courage. However, children will need some help.

You need to get a hold of your own stress and anxiety first, then you can help your child o the same. Otherwise, the children might pick it up your stress without you knowing it. Once you have your stress under control then you can fully address the child’s needs.

In children, you are likely to see behavioral issues arise, which stem from bed bugs. However, it is easy to miss the connection. If your child is acting out, it is important to address the underlying cause.

As parents, we have to interpret our child’s behavior and find what is fueling the behavior. If you find that a child is experiencing behavioral problems because of bed bug stress and anxiety. It is important to figure out how to help your child change his or perspective about the problem while creating the opportunity for new solutions.

If you have difficulty getting control of your own stress or anxiety, or that of a child, you have options. You can talk with your doctor, see a therapist or read one of the many self-help and parenting books written by professionals and experts.

The more control you have over your perceptions, the easier it is to fight bed bug related stress and anxiety. The less stress and anxiety you have, the more you can focus on bed bug extermination. Without stress disorder symptoms, you will be far more effective during the bed bug eradication process.

If you have young children, it is essential you get rid of bed bugs as soon as possible. While thee hubs promote do it yourself options, people with young children should call a professional. The reason is that stress can have long-term physiological effects on children.

There are many different types of stress in children. Psychologists term short term, low-level stress as positive stress. This type of stress has the least amount of repercussions for a child’s growth, health and well being.

However, low-level stress, as caused by bed bugs, over a long period of time becomes toxic stress. When this happens the child’s endocrine system is at risk. This could cause many different types of physiological problems, which could lead to illness.

Toxic stress can last a long time after the stressor is gone, and the health effects last well into adulthood. If you have bed bugs and young children, you need to actively reduce stress levels in your children. You also need to remove bed bugs with the help of a professional so the child will not have lasting stress effects.

References

  1. Goddard, Jerome PhD, de Shazo, Richard, MD. "Psychological Effects of Bed Bug Attacks" The American Journal of Medicine Vol 125. No 1. January 2012. Accessed from https://agrilifecdn.tamu.edu/citybugstest/files/2018/02/Goddard-and-de-Shazo-2012-Am-J-Med-Psycholog-Effects-of-Bed-bug-attacks-1.pdf
  2. McNeill, Charleen PhD, Jarrett, Anna, PhD, FNP-BC, Shreve, Marilou D.DNP, PNP-BC. "Bed Bugs: Current Treatment Guidelines". The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. Volume 13, Issue 6, June 2017. Accessed from https://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155(17)30274-X/pdf
  3. Ashcroft R, Seko Y, Chan L, Dere J, Kim J, McKenzie K. The mental health impact of bed bug infestations: a scoping review. Int J Public Health. 2015;60:827-837. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-071-8.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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Comments

Melody Collins

4 years ago from United States

Cortizone is a good way to reduce itching. As long as you don’t scratch and cause open sore your body will heal itself. Also, oatmeal lotions help, too.

michelle

I hate bed bugs too. But everyone deals with it in there own way. How can u heal your body from it.

Melody Collins

7 years ago from United States

Thanks for sharing your grandmothers technique! That is something I never thought of. Beating bed bugs with a soap would collect bugs, but it would also get the frustration out too! Thanks for reading!

Peter Geekie

7 years ago from Sittingbourne

Well researched and informative article.

thank you. It’s become an increasing problem in the UK in hotel and motel rooms.

Nasty little blighters – my grandmother used to keep a tablet of soap soaking in water then at bedtime the covers would be whipped back as the lights were switched on and us kids would quickly bang the soap down on the bed, all over, and catch the bugs on the soap.

Doesn’t bear thinking about these days but as you say it is still a problem.

kind regards peter

Melody Collins

7 years ago from United States

Changing our perceptions about fears is very difficult. It takes support from friends and family. Since some people can not share their bed bug problem with friends or family, it is not a bad idea to seek professional help if the stress is overwhelming. Thanks for reading!

Nithya Venkat

7 years ago from Dubai

I never knew this side of stress – bed bug stress, I understand I am really scared of spiders. People do need help to change their perceptions.

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Identifying Bed Bug Eggs- How they look like, Images & destruction

Identifying bed bugs and their eggs comes in handy in not only differentiating between it and other household insects but also ensuring that you mount an appropriate response to them.

This might seem like a simple task but there has been a campaign that has debunked this.

In one campaign by the University of Minnesota, it was found out that many people couldn’t identify with a bed bug.

In its findings, it was shown that 76% of all the samples that had been submitted for identification were indeed not bed bugs. Now, if this was hard enough, then how about identifying bed bug eggs themselves? Read on to find out.

What do bed bug eggs look like- Color & Shells

After bed bugs have mated, the female is expected to lay eggs. The eggs are oval in shape and normally white in color. The size of the egg is approximately 1/32″ or 1/16″ long.

This size is typically smaller than a grain of rice but a rice grain is almost 50 times smaller. There have been propositions mentioning the efficacy of using a light-emitting diode (LED) to be able to shine on the eggs and make it easier for identification and observation.

One thing that you should know is that the eggs are so tiny that you wouldn’t necessarily see them with your naked eye. You will need to magnify their sizes with the use of a magnifying glass. This might still take you some time if you are looking for the eggs in a light-colored wall.

White wall are known as the biggest culprits and hide the eggs even from a magnifying glass. This is where your vision acuity comes in. Further magnification of the egg reveals that it is not all white but rather a conformity of a silvery and cream-colored appearance.

An unhatched egg has the cream-colored appearance while a hatched egg is silvery. The latter is basically a remnant of the shell of the egg.

In a dark colored setting, the eggs can be very visible to the naked eye and this might mean that the blocks are basically clusters of many eggs clutched together to form one big rice-grain-sized egg. In real sense, it is not however.

In regards to the shape, the egg is more ovoid or at times oblong. One end is marked by an eye spot that can be seen as a slightly dark mark.

It is important to be able to differentiate the fecal matter, eggs and egg shells of bed bugs. Well, as you might expect, the fecal matter is quite the opposite color of the eggs. They are dark in colour and can also be seen on the sidelines of mattresses or along the corners of your wall.

Are Bed Bug Eggs Hard-how do the feel like?

You might wonder why this question is of essence in discussions but they may as well point out to perhaps someone wanting to crush them, ease of removal from household items without squashing onto them or mere curiosity.

If you have bed bugs, you can feel them and determine their fragility. At first instance, you need to ensure that the eggs you are touching are indeed a bed-bug’s. You wouldn’t of course feel these very tiny eggs even when your mattress is heavily laden by them.

While there is not any defined texture that is associated with bed bug eggs, at least information from hear-say has established that bed bug eggs are soft and since they are too small, the feeling is like rubbing some dust through your fingers.

However, you can actually feel some bit of grittiness depicting some rounded content suggestive of eggs. Perhaps the reason as to why some people say the eggs are hard is due to the fact that the eggs are strongly adherent to the item they have been laid on.

Bed Bug Eggs, Shells Pictures & images

Egg shells

How many eggs do bed bugs lay-Where & How Often

Bed bugs are like egg-laying machines. An adult female bed bug lays about 2-3 eggs or at times even more in a day. This means that the bed bug may lay hundreds of eggs in its lifetime.

This has been stipulated to be between 200 and 250 eggs. The number of eggs laid per day will be dependent on the presence of optimal conditions that are required to lay eggs.

These eggs can be laid either in clusters or singly and therefore may be associated with a small time difference between subsequent laying.

This includes warm temperatures and enough blood-meal in a day. It is also known that a single female can be responsible for more than 4000 bed bugs within a span of f6 months.

When and where do bed bugs lay eggs

Bed bugs have a pre-determined specification of the place it can lay its eggs. They are bright and since danger poses when the eggs are visible, wit is often required.

Fortunately, many people already know about this. Owing to the color of the eggs, they are mostly deposited on the wall especially the white or cream-colored ones. They may be engraved in the crevices or cracks on wall and the corners of the walls.

They are commonly seen as a line of white tiny balls along the corner from the top to bottom. So long as an area is well protected, it serves as a potential hiding spot for the eggs. These are areas rarely accessed by anyone and therefore good for the wellbeing of the unhatched eggs.

In addition, the places need not obey the law of gravity as these eggs are highly adherent to the places they have been laid on.

Folds and seams of mattresses, box springs, frames of beds and plywood are potential places.

If you can take a look at your bed at its joints and even dismantle the bed itself, you will meet hundreds of eggs lodged.

You will find that there has been a history of hatching and laying cycles with shells visible and skins of a couple of nymphs already molted.

Bed bugs can also lay their eggs on you whether on your clothes or on parts that resemble a crevice or a hiding spot such as the folds of your abdomen or under-arm.

Whether they hatch on you is dependent on your level of hygiene. If your hygiene is poor, then you will definitely be one of the best nesting spots of bed bugs.

The time they lay

Bed bugs lay eggs at any time of the day. This depends on the responsible mating time.

However, some other factors may have an impact on the time the female chooses to lay. This school of thought is sparked by the fact that the eggs are normally found in designated places. This means that the location is an important determiner.

Life cycle-how long does it take bed bug eggs to hatch

After laying the eggs, it will take approximately 6 to 17 days for the eggs to get hatched. It is during this time that the new bed bug, nymph, seeks its first meal.

The range of time it takes for the eggs to hatch is influenced by the presence of optimal temperature and blood-meal and will therefore hatch faster if all these are present in good quantity.

The nymph then matures with its length of time dependent on temperature. The nymph highly demands frequent blood meals so as to nourish itself in between molts.

It will require 5 molts for complete maturity and this may take a month or even 21 days in temperatures that are warmer. Molting involves shedding of the outer exoskeleton so as to increase in size.

If the season is cold, then it might take as long as 2 or 4 months to mature. It is interesting to note that any adult male and female can mate regardless of maternal relations.

Adult bed bugs live for an average of about 2 or 4 months again depending on the prevailing temperatures and adequacy of a blood meal. The following is the change in size as the bed bug grows:

  1. Eggs (1mm).
  2. 1 st – 5 th stage nymph (1.5 – 4.5 mm).

How to kill/Get rid of bed bug eggs

Killing

Diatomaceous earth (DE):the use of DE is a natural method that kills bed bugs efficiently. It does so by absorbing the protective exoskeleton making it dehydrated and eventually dead within hours.

Heat Treatment:there are special heating equipment that are used to de-infest homes. The machines are portable and have fans that heat the adjacent air to as high as 120 – 130°F.

This is closely monitored with temperature sensors. This method is quite effective and has been shown to be able to eliminate bed bugs in a single day rather than a couple of days.

It is however an expensive method and at times may require that insecticides be used for bed bugs re-entering your dwelling.

Cold treatment:if bed bugs are exposed to freeze- cold temperatures for a long time, then you can kill them. Temperatures as low as -16°C for about 3 days are enough to put the infestations to a stop.

You can also choose to use this method to immobilize the bed bugs and stop them from spreading and growing while you dispose of the item.

Using encasements:this involves the use of a covering made of fabric and zipping a mattress in it. This majorly creates a barrier between the bed bugs and the surrounding preventing escape and spread.

This is a good way to contain infestations. This method may be used as an accompaniment after you have killed the bed bugs and have bought a new mattress too.

Use of interceptors:they are a good method since they prevent the bed bugs from climbing the bed. When the bed bugs try to climb the leg of the bed, they are trapped within the interceptor. They can also be a useful monitoring and evaluation tool.

Insecticides:call a professional to do this for you. It is not advisable for you to do it by yourself as the chemicals used require the use of protective attire.

There are a variety of chemicals that have been approved for use as an insecticide such asTransport®, Temprid®andPhantom®.

Use of insecticide does not entirely depend on the chemical used but also the ability to decipher places that are hot spots. Spray areas where the bed bugs hide such as crevices, cracks and inside joints of beds and other furniture.

After spraying the whole room take out the sheets and clothing then wash them in hot water to remove the chemicals. Fumigation is quite similar that is used to kill bed bugs with a lethal gas such as sulfuryl fluoride. This requires that you vacate the building for a couple of days(College of Agriculture, Food and Environment).

Other ways to get rid and prevent

Other ways that you can use to get rid and prevent bed bug infestations include:

  1. Examine your bedding and clothing frequently before your sleep and before travelling.
  2. Store your luggage on raised stands rather than placing them on the floor
  3. When you are from a visitation and bed bugs were evident, leave your bag outside and call bed bug professionals.

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