How Do Baby Bed Bugs Eat

UNDERSTANDING BED BUG BEHAVIOR TO LEARN THE TELLTALE SIGNS OF INFESTATION

Bed bugs may be waging a nightly war on your family, so you’d better know your enemy. Learning about bed bug behavior is your first line of defense, even before you call in pest management professionals. Discourage these creepy home invaders by getting inside their heads. Here’s how.

INTERESTING BED BUG BEHAVIOR

Feeding patterns are mostly nocturnal and often occur in the “breakfast, lunch and dinner” bite pattern. This means the bed bug will first feed where your exposed skin meets the bedding and then move up for “lunch” before moving again and drawing their third bite, thereby creating a distinctive line of bites. You can also receive a singular bite or even develop a larger cluster of bites as dozens of bed bugs feed on your blood while you sleep.

THE BED BUG DINE AND DASH

Thanks to an anesthetic in their saliva and an extremely sharp, straw-like mouth they use for piercing your skin and sucking your blood, you won’t wake up during a bed bug feeding. The saliva also contains an anticoagulant, which prevents clotting, so a typical meal only takes between three to 10 minutes before the bed bug is gorged with your blood.

After eating, the bed bugs will scurry back to hiding spots in your room’s baseboards, floorboards, box springs, carpeting, picture frames, crevices, books, etc. Studying bed bug behavior tells us that they typically hide within eight feet of their victims, digesting your blood, mating and laying eggs before heading back to your bed for another feeding in about five to 10 days.

Oddly enough, it’s not the smell of humans that makes these pests drool as they gravitate from all corners of your home toward your bed. High doses of human aldehydes actually repel bed bugs. Instead, the CO2, warmth and moisture your body emits can lure these bloodthirsty bed bugs to your bedside, all of which they can sense from three feet away. Beyond that, they search for blood meals in random patterns.

GUESS WHO ELSE IS COMING TO DINNER

Bed bug behavior is based around invading, multiplying and completely taking over your bed. After feeding, they return to their hidden trenches to digest the blood meals and begin the vicious bed bug mating process.

A single female lays between one and 12 eggs each day and between 200 and 500 eggs in a lifetime. Guess where all those offspring will be feeding? Now, multiply that reproduction rate by each bed bug in your home, and it’s clear why the pros say it’s never just one bed bug.

After hatching, bed bugs require a meal of blood between each of their five nymph stages. Molting occurs after each phase, which makes exoskeletons (i.e., bed bug shells) a telltale secondary sign of infestation. Immature bed bugs continue to become darker and larger as they feed between each phase until they reach adulthood. An egg can fully mature into an adult in as little as a month and a half if conditions are right (between 70°F and 90°F). The average lifespan of an adult bed bug ranges anywhere from four months to over a year with the right conditions. They spend this entire time feeding, mating and expanding the infestation.

What we know about bed bug behavior tells us this feeding and mating cycle will continue relentlessly. That is why you need a professional. Bed bugs are very difficult to control for several reasons. They can go a whole year without feeding, can survive any temperature between freezing and 122°F and are even evolving to resist standard pyrethroid insecticides.

UNMISTAKABLE SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE BED BUGS

Don’t rely on bites as a reliable sign of bed bugs. Bed bug bites can be hard to differentiate from other insect bites. Instead, look for secondary signs of bed bug infestation as well, such as shed skins, rust-colored spots on the mattress and bedding (bed bug feces), blood spots on your sheets and pajamas and a musty, sweet-smelling odor.

Physically spotting these insatiable insects is the gold standard for diagnosing a bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, bed bugs are nocturnal so catching one is difficult. If you get lucky, place captured bed bugs in a sealed container and show them to an expert.

Be sure to call Terminix® at the first sign of bed bugs. We understand bed bug behavior and will provide a free bed bug inspection for your home and a battle plan to win the war against bed bugs.

The BedBug Life Cycle

Understanding the bedbug life cycle is vital if you want to get rid of bed bugs! Get quick facts about bed bug eggs, nymphs and adults; watch the video to see what they look like in real life; and learn what you need to know about all life stages to successfully identify and kill them.

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There’s a link back up to this menu at the end of each section for easy navigation. Of course, you can just read the whole page!

BedBug Life Cycle Quick Facts

While you may not be all that interested in their biology and behavior, here are 8 quick facts about the bedbug life cycle you should know:

  • You can see all stages of bed bugs (even eggs) with the naked eye
  • An adult female can lay 200-500 bed bug eggs in her lifetime
  • Bed bug eggs are harder to kill than nymphs (baby bed bugs) and adults
  • Bedbugs can grow from a hatched egg to a full adult in about a month
  • Baby bed bugs cast their “skins” (exoskeletons, technically) as they grow
  • Bed bugs need a blood meal to live, to grow, and to reproduce
  • Baby bed bugs may feed as much as one time per day
  • Adult bed bugs can live up to 18 months without feeding!

For a look at live bed bugs in all stages of their life cycle, click on the video below. You can jump down to the full discussion of the key things you should know about the bedbug life cycle in order to get rid annoying little buggers successfully by clicking here.

Bed Bug Life Cycle Video

I love this video because it show all stages of bed bugs (including eggs) in real life so you can get a better idea of what they look like. It also shows what cast skins look like which is important because they are one of the 9 symptoms you should look for to figure out if you have a bed bug infestation. One note though, the nymphs (baby bed bugs) in this video still have remnants of a blood meal in them so they look darker that they would if they had not been fed. For more photos of baby bed bugs, check out our bed bug picture gallery.

The video does start out a little goofy and may not seem that serious at first, but entomologist Mark “Shep” Sheperdigian knows his stuff. Its actually jam packed with useful information about what bed bugs look like in all stages of their life cycle. Definitely worth the2 minutesit takes to watch!

This video is shared via the Bed Bug Answers Channel on YouTube. For more helpful videos, visit (and like!) us on YouTube 🙂

Keep reading for a more detailed look at each stage of the bedbug life cycle.

Bed Bug Eggs

What do bed bug eggs look like? Believe it or not, even bed bug eggs are visible to the human eye although they can be hard to see.

Personally, I think bed bug eggs look like little pieces of rice. But they can be compared in size to a large grain of salt as shown in the video above. They are tiny (about 1mm long) and are very light in color – ranging from translucent (almost clear) to a milky sort of white color.

This is why a magnifying glass can be helpful when you are looking for signs of bed bugs. They have a sticky film which gives them a kind of shiny appearance and helps them stick to surfaces until they hatch. More photos of bed bug eggs.

It takes about 6-10 days for a bed bug egg to hatch. The hatched egg looks clearer in color and kind of like tiny deflated balloon. Once an egg has been hatched is not shiny any more and has a dried out appearance.

Its important to note that many of the treatments that will kill bed bugs will not kill their eggs. The only things that are known to effectively kill eggs are heat and gas fumigation. This is something to keep in mind when choosing bed bug pest control options.

Fear not. If you can kill the babies before they reach adulthood and reproduce. you can stop the bedbug life cycle in its tracks!

Baby Bed Bugs (Nymphs)

The first thing a newly hatched baby bed bug does is search for a blood meal. Baby bed bugs (technically called “nymphs”) go through 5 stages of development instars. So a 1st instar nymph is a “newborn” and a 5th instar nymph is a “bedbug teen”, so to speak.

What do baby bed bugs look like?Well, basically they look like mini versions of adult bed bugs, but they are very light in color – almost clear.

Like the eggs, they start out very tiny (approx. 1mm), about the size and color of a sesame seed and grow to about 5mm (Вј inch) as adults.

The blood is clearly visible in a nymph that has just fed.They look like tiny swollen purple balloons!

As baby bed bugs develop toward adulthood, they do get darker in color.

They can feed as often as once every day and they have to have a blood meal to grow from one stage to the next. They can also survive months without feeding, but they basically get stuck at whatever developmental stage of the bedbug life cycle they’re in until they get their next meal.

They develop through a process called molting. Baby bed bugs literally “crawl out of their skins” as they move from one stage to the next. Cast skins (some people call them bed bug shells) are one of the key symptoms of a bed bug infestation. You can also see more pictures of cast skins here in the bed bug picture gallery.

Adult Bed Bugs

Adult bed bugs are about Вј inch long, about the size and shape of an apple seed. They are extremely flat like a business card or a credit card, which allows them to hide in very surprising places.

They are brown to reddish-brown in color and become more shiny and purple-ish red after they’ve fed. As they feed, they swell up into a capsule like shape – kind of like little blood balloons. (Okay, I know that’s gross – but its an accurate description). See more adult bedbug photos here.

On average, they feed about every 3-10 days. Again the estimates vary, but it most experts agree that it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes for an adult bed bug to fill up on blood at one feeding. They must have a blood meal to reproduce.

Female bed bugs can lay an average of 3-5 eggs per day. The jury seems to be out on exactly how many bed bug eggs an adult female can lay in her lifetime, but the estimates range from 200 – 500!

Bedbug Life Cycle & Life Span Factors

The full growth cycle from egg to reproducing adult can range from 1 month to 4 months. Two factors that affect the time-table of the bedbug’s life cycle aretemperatureand theavailability of food(blood).

In warmer conditions bed bugs bed bugs mature more rapidly and are likely to feed more frequently if there is a source of blood. In cooler temperatures, bed bugs can go into semi-hibernation allowing them to live much longer – even without feeding.

In the absence of a host on which to feed, bed bug nymphs can still live for a few months. But they can’t develop from one stage to the next. Basically their growth is “stunted” until they can get another meal.

Adult bed bugs can be surprisingly hardy. Under the right conditions, they can survive up to 18 months without feeding. T hat’s right, a year-and-a-half!

This is why sleeping somewhere else, like a friend or relative’s house, will not solve your problem . When you return, they will still be there waiting. and hungry.

Hopefully, this overview has made you better prepared to identify and get rid of bed bugs.

Want to explore the bedbug life cycle further?This fact sheet from the Medical Entomology Department of the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research has lots of useful info includinga greatphoto infographicof the the bed bug life cycle by Dr. Stephen Doggett.

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Baby Bed Bugs (What Do They Eat? Where Do They Stay?)

As much of a nuisance as these cold-blooded creatures are, baby bed bugs are actually known as nymphs (which, in Greek mythology, refers to a beautiful spirit of nature).

These pesky bugs might be tiny, but once they’ve hatched, they’re capable of biting humans since they need blood to evolve into adult bed bugs. In fact, the babies tend to feed more frequently than adults.

Finding out that you have an infestation can be extremely unsettling since it can be quite costly to get your house cleaned out. However, you can do your part to prevent these eggs from hatching and becoming a nuisance in the first place. Here are some ways to identify baby bed bugs and their daily activities so that you can stop them from maturing, growing in number and spreading everywhere.

How Are Bed Bugs Born?

These annoying pests hatch from eggs that mature bed bugs lay in secluded parts of your house. These areas of your home include the sofas, mattresses, and behind the headboards. Within 10 days (or less), these eggs hatch into white baby bugs that are similar in size to a sesame seed.

What is a Bed Bug’s Life Cycle Like?

Bed bugs start out as eggs, hatch into nymphs, and molt (shed their skin) 5 times before evolving into adults. In order to molt, bed bugs require blood, generally once a day. Until they get this, the nymphs will still be able to survive for a pretty long period of time (3-6 months). These ones are even more dangerous since they’ll be practically invisible due to the lack of blood in their bodies.

Before they reach maturity, they have a tiny red spot on their stomachs – this is where they store the blood during the molting stage. After the 5 th molting, the bed bugs become the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color.

They start out as eggs that are around 1mm long and eventually become adults that may be around 5mm long.

The time it takes a bed bug to mature completely varies depending on the weather and the availability of blood. If conditions are ideal, a nymph will start shedding its skin and will advance to the next stage of development. On average, it takes 10 days for an egg to hatch and around 5-7 weeks for a nymph to reach adulthood.

What Do Bed Bugs Feed On?

Bed bugs generally prefer to feed on warm blood. The ones found in our homes (known as the Cimex Lectularius) prefer human blood. However, sometimes you might have bat bugs in your home, which are from the same family but prefer to feast on bat blood.

Baby bed bugs are attracted to the heat, smell, and carbon dioxide emitted by their victims.

Where Do Baby Bed Bugs Stay?

Baby bed bugs hide in the same spaces as adult ones. Because of their small, flat appearance, they can hide pretty much anywhere, making it difficult to find them. Some places you can look into include:

  • In exposed pockets of peeling wallpaper
  • Inside unused electrical outlets
  • In any cracks in the floors and walls
  • Behinds frames and headboards
  • Inside furniture and mattress corners.

Endnote

Bed bugs may find their way into your house through any used clothing or mattresses you buy. They may also be stowaways in your luggage after a stay at a hotel.

If you’re waking up with bug bites on your body, you might have an infestation. If it hasn’t gotten too bad, you can try cleaning out your entire house, thoroughly washing and drying the mattresses and sofas, and using non-toxic bug spray. If the infestation is too intense, you may need to hire a pest control specialist.

What Do Bed Bugs Eat? Do They Only Feed On Humans?

While bed bugs like human blood, they have been known to feed on animals like bats too. Discover more about bed bugs and their different types.

Bed bugs. You want them gone. They want to take over your home – and your bed. They do that well, staying hidden by day and preying on you at night while you are defenseless. This works for them and keeps them out of trouble with their human blood donors. But what do bed bugs eat besides blood?

There are many species of bed bugs, and they all feed on blood. Most species prefer one mammal over another. For some, the blood of specific mammals is required for them to lay viable eggs and survive. Most bed bugs, however, will feed on any blood available to sustain themselves, if their preferred warm blood is not available.

The most common species of bed bug associated with people is formally named Cimex lectularius. Human blood is their primary energy source. We house them, feed their young and provide them with the nutritional elements they must have to breed and produce viable eggs.

Should bed bugs be found in your house, they will most likely be C. lectularius, but it is important to remember that there is a possibility of other species invading, such as bat bugs. Bat bugs are in the same family as bed bugs and formally named Cimex adjunctus. As their name indicates, bat bugs live with and feed mostly on bats. Like C. lectularius, they will feed and survive on the blood of other mammals, including humans, but they must have bat blood to reproduce.

It is very important to identify which Cimex species you have, because their habits and habitats are quite different. In a typical bed bug infestation, close to 70 percent of the bed bugs will be either on or very close to the bed area.

You may not realize you have a bat infestation until bat bugs are identified in your home. Bat bug infestations will usually be in the attic or wall voids where bats have been nesting. These hiding spots are in completely different locations than that of bed bugs. Control must include removal of the bats and the bat bugs.

What do bed bugs eat? They might snack on animals. They might have bat-tasting relatives. But in the end, the bed bug’s favorite thing to eat is your blood. It will probably take a professional pest management specialist to identify whether you are dealing with human bloodsuckers or their bat brethren. The primary identifier is the relationship between the length of the hairs on the pronotum and the size of the eyes. Don’t know what a pronotum is? Then save your time, and your blood – call a professional.

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ARE TICKS DANGEROUS?

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Are Bed Bugs Contagious?

Bed bugs are not too picky about where and when they catch a ride and don’t necessarily have a preferred mode of transportation, so it’s no surprise how many people wonder, are bed bugs contagious?

Will Bed Bugs Die if They have Nothing to Feed On?

In the case of many insects, homeowners get rid of them by simply taking away their food source. If someone has an ant problem, they’ll clean the surfaces in their kitchen and ensure there was no food lying around. They are a living creature and so, they cannot live without a food source. It makes sense then, that bed bugs would work the same way, right? The answer to that question is not as cut and dry as you may think. For example, going down and checking into a hotel for a few days isn’t going to solve the problem. While bed bugs do need a food source to survive, they can go quite a long time without one.

How long a bed bug can live without food depends on several factors. These include the age of the bug, if it is resistant to any pesticides, and the temperature of its environment. It also depends on the maturity of the bed bug.

Newly hatched bed bugs are called nymphs. These baby bed bugs go through five different stages before they are considered mature bed bugs. During each nymph phase, the bed bug molts and it must feed with each molt. Due to this, nymphs must feed more often than adult bed bugs. Even with this more frequent feeding, nymphs can still live for several weeks without a food source nearby.

Fully mature bed bugs typically feed every three to seven days. When they are living in a warm environment, they will feed quite regularly. When a bed bug wants to eat, it will leave its crevice and find the host. The length of feeding time will depend on several factors such as how much the bug ate at their last feed, how long since it has fed, and the developmental stage it is in.

Adult bed bugs can go five months or more without a meal. Even though they don’t feed as often as nymphs, and most of the colony is in a digestive phase, bed bug bites are still a real nuisance.

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