How Bed Bugs Live

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.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live Without Blood? | 2018 Updated

Are you fed up withbed bugspestering you at night? Then consider yourself lucky as you have reached the right place for all the information.Cimex lectulariusor bed bugs as they are commonly known as; are pests that you don’t want breeding in your house or office. True to the fact, you surely would not want them to be around your family, pets, and anyone dear to you.

These parasites live on human blood and are a menace to mankind. It was believed that they eradicated for about 30 years, only to be found again.

This may seem little weird because their resurgence has taken most of us back. Talking about their feeding brings us to this discussion that most people want to know about is thathow long do bed bugs live without blood.

We have tried to put up everything we know about these pestering bugs in this post. We request our readers to read it till the end if they want to get a detailed understanding of bed bugs.

How Long do Bed Bugs Live Without Air?

If you are concerned about howlong can bed bugs live without air, then you should be told that these bugs can live for 18 long months withoutoxygen. No doubts, this is one of the toughestinsectsto kill.

This is why opting for an exterminator will prove to be a good idea in case your house is infested with bedbugs. It seems that treating your house with heat is the only out and that can be done by a professional only. They still have not been reported to be disease bearers, but these need to be eliminated from your house for your good.

Rest assured, you must be told that these pests are to be taken seriously.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live Without Oxygen?

As mentioned above, bed bugs can live for almost 2 years without oxygen, and this must be a disturbing thought. The problem is these pests usually invade places where you sit for long hours.

They live in the beds and furniture only to come out to bite you when you at rest. They move very fast and seek a hideout even before you have realized that they have bitten you. This is it takes time for some to identify that the bed bugs in their vicinity.

It may sound strange, but this is very true, and by the time you become familiar with the fact that your house is infested with bed bugs, it may be too late as they must have spread all over the place.

Again, there is no need to worry as you can resort to one of the so many advanced methods of wiping them out. Look the solution can be found anywhere that you can read and try, but contacting a professional agency can help you destroy these pests everlastingly from your house.

You surely want to keep your kids and pets away from these bugs. Otherwise, they are troublemakers that you want to be done with perpetually.

How Long do Bed Bugs Live Without a Meal?

It is not easy to state a number for this question because we are discussing insects that have a cycle of life. No one can predict how long a living thing will live and insects, no matter how intimidating they are no exception to this.

Yes, but what we can inform you is that these parasites are quite strong as they can live for weeks to a year’s time without any food to eat. Now, that’s unbelievable and the fact that this makes your job demanding while trying to exterminate them.

The best part is they come out at night, devour on your blood for 2 to 5 minutes and then slither into crannies and crevices. They remain in hiding for the whole day, and that does your job of annihilating them a big problem.

Do you need to find out where do bed bugs hide during the day? We would suggest leave it to an expert as they know what is best and can eliminate the colony of bed bugs from your home forever.

How long can bed bugs live without feeding?

It is quite difficult to give you an exact number as forhow long can they go without food. What we can say is that these bugs undergo 5 instar stages to reach maturity. A nymph or newborn needs to be fed once a week to move on to the next level.

The reason can be found in their being cold-blooded that have a slow metabolism. It is believed that adult bugs can live a full year without food and you should not be surprised to know of it. Strange are their ways, but these insects can cause nuisance once they infest your habitat! They feed animals like dogs and cats besides humans, so if you own a pet, you be careful of keeping your house free of these pests.

To be precise, nymphs can live for weeks without food, let alone the adults as explained. However, what needs to be stated here is thatbed bugsare pests that need to be eradicated from your home or office.

They are a menace, and that is how they are to be treated. Some people may not feel a thing with a bed bug bite, but some may develop immediate breakouts and hives. What we suggest is that there is no need to wake up to a new bite every day. So, get in touch with a professional that can help you get through the situation.

They know it all like how long can bed bugs live in the cold or how long can bed bugs live in heat as this can help them take on a course of treatment. Are you still thinking?

WHERE DO BED BUGS LIVE?

Are you in your room and worried about bed bug? Today, bed bugs can be found in almost every region of the world and in all 50 states. With bed bugs hitchhiking on humans and their belongings, it is natural to wonder, “where do bed bugs live?”

Bed bugs are active mainly at night and prefer to feed on humans. During the daytime, they will typically hide in close proximity to their host. Their flattened bodies enable them to fit into tiny crevices. In your room, the cracks and crevices closest to the host are most commonly found right on or around the bed.

WHERE DO BED BUGS LIVE?

Due to their transitory nature, bed bugs can come back home from you when traveling. Or they can be in a hotel room that you check into. Whether you’re worried about bed bugs at home or in a hotel room, perform a quick inspection to see if there is any evidence of infestation, especially before unpacking in a hotel.

The top three places you should always check for bed bugs in a room are:

The box springs.

The bed frame including headboard.

The mattress – look all over, including the tufts, folds and buttons.

While the mattress, box spring and bed frame are the three most common areas to find evidence of a bed bug infestation, bed bugs are found on furniture, such as desks and chairs, behind wallpaper, clocks and pictures, cracks in wood floors and under the edge of carpet.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF BED BUGS?

Here are the top signs of bed bugs in a room:

Dark spotting and staining, which is the dried fecal matter of the bed bugs.

Bed bug eggs (about the size and color of a small grain of rice).

Shed skins of juvenile bed bugs.

Adult bugs or bug carcasses.

Rusty or reddish smears on bed sheets or mattresses from crushed, engorged bed bugs.

Before returning home from traveling, or if you have been in an area where you suspect bed bug activity, it is also a good idea to check your luggage before entering your home. By staying alert for signs of bed bugs, you can avoid unwanted exposure and infestation.

If you suspect activity while traveling, alert the hotel management. If you find evidence of bed bugs in your home, call Terminix®.

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.

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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."

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Without A Host? (A Simple Answer)

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​Bed bugs are a very frustrating problem for lots of homeowners especially across many states in the United States.

Their excellent adaptability to a wide range of climates and their rate of reproduction have earned these parasites a notorious reputation throughout the country.

Because they get bitten every night by these nasty and stubborn parasites, a lot of homeowners are drawn into the wrong conclusion that leaving the house for a few days can starve the bed bugs to death or at least force them out of the property in search for a new host.

But does it really work?

​The bed bugs’ ability to survive without a host depends on a number of factors. And understanding these critical elements can help you land on the ultimate answer to the question.

​How Does A Bed Bug Feed?

​Before we can really answer the main question, it is best that we first take into consideration how a bed bug feeds.

As we all now know, bed bugs don’t have a chewing mouth part that help them burrow deep into our skin. Instead, these parasites are equipped with a needle like proboscis which they use to pierce through our skin and into the nearest blood vessel.

Prior to feeding, the bed bug excretes an ample amount of saliva which acts as an anesthetic component. It numbs the nerves of the skin surrounding the target area so that the victim doesn’t feel a thing. The be bug’s saliva also acts as an anticoagulant which helps keep the blood flowing as it feeds.

​Is Blood The Only Type Of Meal bed Bugs Prefer?

​Yes. Blood is the only type of nourishment bed bugs require and accept. They can’t and will not feed on anything else other than a thirst quenching blood meal.

Bed bugs need blood for them to molt and to develop full sexual maturity. Proteins and other nutrients found in their host’s blood is essential for the development of their eggs.

The following video is a close up documentary on how a bed bug bites and feeds.

​A blood meal from a human host is what bed bugs prefer. These nasty buggers are significantly attracted to us because of the heat signature that our bodies give off and the carbon dioxide that we exhale. But in the absence of a human host, bed bugs acquire blood meal from animals nearby.

​How Often And How Long Does A Bed Bug Feed?

​When an egg hatches, a nymph emerges. This nymph requires at least one blood meal to molt into the higher stage of its life. The nymph undergoes several molting process (less than two months) before it reaches full maturity.

Nymphs usually take about 5 minutes to feed. Adults on the other hand, may take around 10 minutes per feeding session. It then retreats to a safe spot for digestion of the blood meal it has acquired from its host.

Both nymph and adult bed bugs feed only once per week. If you get bitten by these critters every night, it simply means that you have a sizeable bed bug population to deal with.

​How Long Can A Bed Bug Survive Without Feeding?

​Basically, bed bugs can survive from several months to a full year without a host. But this survivability directly depends on a few factors.

​Adult bed bugs can survive longer compared to the younger ones or nymphs. The absence of a host for a blood meal doesn’t hinder the nymphs from developing into full adults.

Rather, it drastically decreases the amount of time needed for nymphs to reach full maturity. Nymphs become adult bed bugs in just about a month resulting to significantly weaker insects.

Temperature of the direct environment also plays a crucial role on how long a bed bugs survives without a host. Under normal room temperature, adult bed bugs can linger for a year. Increased temperature on the other hand, remarkably decreases the total length of time a bed bug can survive without a host.

Read More Bed Bug Answers

Check out our other bed bug guides. Each guide is expertly crafted to help you make sure these pests never bother you again.

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