How Do Bed Bug Reproduce
How do Bed Bugs Reproduce
How do Bed Bugs Reproduce– Bedbugs are ruddy insect brown, tiny, flat and oval-shaped without wings that at night feast on human blood. Bedbugs are considered nocturnal insects as they are mostly active at midnight.
Bedbugs are dispersing very quickly in homes, motels, inns, bus stations, taxis, and rail. You now speculate how many eggs that bed bugs can lie on as they are spreading fast Bed
How do Bed Bugs Reproduce Source: wikipedia.org
bugs are similar to other insects that reproduce very fast. And they lay lots of eggs too. You may now ask, bedbugs lay down how many eggs ??
Bedbugs suck the human blood. Several types of bed bugs feed on both humans and bats. So if there are bats in your attic a possibility that your home is infested with bugs is there. If you your attic is healed from bats occupation, later effortlessly you can deal with bedbug intrusion.
Table of Contents
How do Bed Bugs Reproduce
Bedbugs hatch from eggs. After hatching eggs develop into nymphs
How many eggs for bed bugs? In one year the female bedbug defines a minimum 300 (three hundred) eggs and 1000 (one thousand) eggs during its lifespan. After mating one day establishes a maximum of three eggs. In about ten days the bedbug eggs are delivered.
The life of a bed bug is long. Bedbugs can also live eighteen months without eating. Imagine that! Bedbug eggs can withstand on any surface, but I prefer paper, wood or cloth over metals and plastics, whereas nymphs can survive without feeding for almost six months.
What are the likely spaces for female bedbugs to lay eggs? Bed bugs will put your eggs in small, light cracks to protect the eggs from damage. Female bed bugs hide the eggs under the beddings, in cracks in the bedside, under the groove in the bedside next to the bed, inside other wooden furniture and wallpaper of the room nearby.
The number of eggs deposited by the bed bug determines the rate of invasion. A bed bug mattress mounted full of their eggs entails hundreds of bed bugs are laying eggs everywhere, and they are being incubated daily.
But if we destroy bed bugs, bed bugs eggs must also be destroyed. If you leave the eggs unharmed, they may hatch and grow into either a male or female bed bug that can produce a thousand eggs. If there are more than a thousand female bed bugs in your home, you will not even know how many eggs bed bugs you can establish.
Bed bug eggs can be easily identified. They look like termite eggs. However, unlike termite eggs, bedbug eggs live near ruddy copper blemishes and have an unpleasant, sweet-like smell, actually a bit obsolete. The dark reddish stain is faeces of excrement or bed bugs. Bedbugs alone have this kind of crap arrangement. However, the stink bug comes from the odor gland of bed bugs. They discharge the aroma for reproduction and also act as a protective barrier.
Bed bug eggs should not be crushed or mashed. Bedbug eggs should be destroyed by the use of insecticides. When you crush bed bug eggs, several eggs cannot be crushed and they have another opportunity to breed a few generations of bed bugs instead.
Discover the best spray to kill insects. Specifically, use those intended for eradication bed bugs. On the use of chemical spray for bed bugs, eggs and nymphs will be killed along with adults. Although innumerable say such chemicals to kill bed bugs are ineffective releasing your home from bed bugs, however, they are the best substitute for the physical extermination of bed bugs (beating and crushed from adult and egg bed bugs to blemishes) and the greatest DDT replacement. In the United States, DDT was used to kill all kinds of insects from the year 1940 to 1950. While DDT was successful in killing off pests, it is now banned in the US and some other countries because of its detrimental effect on the human beings.
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How Do Bed Bugs Reproduce?
Bed bugs thrive because they reproduce quickly, and in huge numbers. If it were possible to stop them from doing so, we could control their population, and perhaps get rid of them for good. That’s why it’s so important to understand how they mate, and where and how they lay eggs.
Bed bugs use a process called traumatic insemination to reproduce. The male breaks the female’s shell to inject sperm into a cavity called the hemocoel. It travels around the bed bug’s ‘bloodstream’ to the ovaries and fertilizes the eggs. The female will then leave to find another harborage and lay eggs for 6-8 weeks after mating just once.
It’s important to understand how bed bugs reproduce. Their reproductive cycle is key to how they establish new infestations, and how they can double, triple and quadruple in size within weeks.
Table of Contents:
The Bed Bug Reproduction Cycle
- Bed bugs begin life as eggs, about as big as a grain of rice.
- The eggs hatch into a nymph, which looks like a smaller version of an adult bed bug.
- The nymph goes through five stages called instars, after which it’s a fully mature adult. At each stage, it molts its shell.
- Once the nymph becomes an adult, it can start to mate. Bed bugs reproduce through a process called traumatic insemination, where the male breaks through the female’s shell and injects sperm into a body cavity. The sperm travels through the female’s body and fertilizes her eggs.
- Over the next six to eight weeks, the female will lay roughly an egg a day. She can mate again, and continue laying eggs.
This whole process happens over the course of about two months, and each female can lay more than two hundred eggs in the right conditions. Infestations can snowball.
Can Bed Bugs Reproduce Asexually?
Asexual reproduction refers to reproducing without ever mating. Some species of reptileonlyreproduce asexually, never having developed the need to mate.
Without exploring in too much depth how it works, the female can essentially split and recombine her genetic material to create something new each time.
So, do bed bugs have to mate to lay eggs? Bed bugs lack any biological way to reproduce asexually. They need both sperm and eggs, i.e., genetic material from a male and female.
It’s a good job that bed bugs can’t reproduce asexually. If that were possible, then infestations would spread far more easily than they do already.
Can Bed Bugs Reproduce Without a Mate?
There are two different ways to reproduce without mating. The first is asexually. This is where the insect fertilizes its eggs. But there’s another way which some species rely on.
It will mate at a particular time of year—say in the spring, which is breeding season for many species. However, the female’s eggs won’t be fertilized.
Usually, this is due to a problem with the male—perhaps their sperm isn’t healthy. But in this case, it’s because the female is storing it up rather than ‘using’ it straight away to fertilize her eggs.
She can thenchooseto fertilize her eggs later in the year, perhaps if no better mate has come along. So, while bed bugs can’t reproduce asexually, is this something they can do?
Bed bugs only need to mate once every six to eight weeks, at which point they’ll need to mate again to create fertile eggs. They don’t need to mate every time she wants to lay eggs.
This allows a female bed bug from an existing infestation to move somewhere new, and start a new infestation from scratch. Because bed bugs don’t have social structures like humans, that female will happily mate with her offspring.
Do Male Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?
Males lack the organs necessary to be able to create and lay eggs, which the female has. In the same way, the female lacks the organs that she could use to fertilize eggs.
While it’s quite difficult to spot the differences between male and female bed bugs, they’re different on the inside.
If you bring just one of them home, and it happens to be a male, then you won’t get an infestation unless he finds a female somewhere.
How Do Bed Bugs Mate?
Bed bugs mate through a process called traumatic insemination.
This is a mating method common among insect species, but not in more developed animals. The male bed bug clambers on top of the female to start mating.
Traumatic insemination is where the male breaks through the female’s exoskeleton with a body part called an aedeagus. The aedeagus is a long, sharp reproductive organ that performs the same function as a penis.
The male will inject sperm into the female’s abdominal cavity, called the hemocoel. The sperm will then travel through her body through a system essentially analogous to the bloodstream, before arriving at her ovaries, where it will fertilize her eggs.
According to theRoyal Society, she has a special organ called the spermalege, or Organ of Berlese. The spermalege is unique to bed bugs, and is the best location from which the sperm can travel around her body. It’s located on the right side of her body.
Since it’s visible through her shell, it’s almost like a target for the male to aim at. Studies suggest that the male will generally aim at the spermalege, and that it may somehow also act to prevent infections of the wound that’s left behind.
When Do Bed Bugs Mate?
Bed bugs don’t have a mating season. They’ll breed and lay eggs all year round, which is part of what makes them so good at starting new infestations.
This is possible because the temperature indoors is more consistent, so even if it’s cold outside, the temperature in your bedroom will be just right for your uninvited guests.
However, that doesn’t mean that bed bugs are raring to go, whenever they like. According toBMC Biology, bed bugs start to show an interest in mating just after they’ve fed.
There are various reasons why that’s likely to be the case. They have more nutrients in their systems, meaning that they can produce more fertile sperm and eggs.
Females are also likely to move slower after they’ve just eaten. While the female does want to mate and produce young, it’s also highly stressful since she gets injured, so she’s often reluctant.
Being slower makes her easier to catch. Her spermalege will also be more easily visible as her abdomen is extended, engorged with the blood she’s digesting.
How Long After Mating Does a Bed Bug Lay Eggs?
Mammals have long gestation periods, as our young develops and matures inside us. But insects do things differently.
Because they lay eggs, the female doesn’t have to carry her young around inside her. Instead, she creates a hard egg and hides it somewhere that it can develop in peace.
Because they don’t have to wait for their young to develop before laying an egg, bed bugs can start laying eggs shortly after mating.
The male’s sperm travels through the bed bug’s equivalent of a bloodstream, so it reaches the ovaries quite quickly. She then has to develop the eggs inside herself, which takes a few days.
Over these few days, the female will usually leave her harborage in search of somewhere new. The process of traumatic insemination leaves behind a wound, which becomes a scar.
If she were to stay among the males of her previous harborage, they would also try to mate with her, and make the wound worse. She’ll try to find somewhere else to live before laying her eggs there.
She’ll then lay eggs continually for weeks afterwards. After six to eight weeks, she’ll need to mate again. Ideally, she’ll mate with perfect timing, so that she never has to stop laying eggs at all. A single female can, therefore, be responsible for an entire infestation, hundreds-strong.
How Many Eggs Does a Female Bed Bug Lay?
Insects breed quickly, and lay lots of eggs. Evolutionarily speaking, there’s safety in numbers, so that even if you kill dozens of insects in an infestation, there will still be hundreds more. That’s why bed bugs, too, lay lots of eggs—but, how many eggs do bed bugs lay?
Female bed bugs can lay somewhere between 200 and 250 eggs throughout their lifetimes. One particular study found a bed bug that laid more than 500, although she was a particularly fertile outlier, and far from the average.
The warmer the temperature, the more eggs the female will lay, since warm temperature provide optimum feeding and breeding conditions.
Tropical bed bugs lay fewer eggs than our original U.S. species,Cimex lectularius.Whereas a regular bed bug will lay around 200 eggs during her lifetime, a tropical bed bug is only likely to lay 50.
As for how many eggs a bed bug will lay at a time, she won’t lay them in big clutches. She’ll lay between 5 and 8 eggs per week, for up to 18 weeks.
And how many bed bugs will hatch from just one egg? There will only be one. She’ll need tocontinually feed during this period, as the creation of eggs requires lots of nutrients.
Where Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?
Bed bugs are highly selective when it comes to where they lay their eggs. They won’t just pick a random surface, least of all somewhere that’s out in the open. Instead, they’ll pick:
- Underneath your mattress. It’s a myth that bed bugs only live in bedding, but they do prefer the underside of your mattress or box spring. Points in favor are that it’s a shaded location, rarely disturbed, and is very close to you while you sleep. There are also lots of cracks and crevices, like mattress piping or the nearby frame of your bed.
- Underneath nearby furniture. Again, the underside of something like a bedside cabinet is shaded and seldom disturbed. The only downside is that they have to travel further to reach you (to feed).
- Around the house, especially in the living room. Bed bugs will make their home inside living room furniture like the couch, especially if you sometimes sleep there. This isn’t a primary infestation location, though, since the bed bugs would only be able to feed infrequently.
- Inside electrical outletsandcracks in the wallor floor. Bed bugs can find their way into the tiniest gaps, and they understand that these places are safe, so they lay their eggs there. Again, these aren’t a bed bug’s first choice, due to the distance from you as you sleep.
Wherever the female chooses to lay her eggs, though, it’s likely to be far away from her original harborage. Bed bug females try to get as far away as possible from their home to lay their eggs, to avoid mating again (as discussed). This aids them in starting new infestations.
Do Bed Bugs Lay Their Eggs on You?
Bed bugs don’t want to live on their host. They’re only attracted to you when they want to feed, by the smell of carbon dioxide and the chemicals that your skin gives off.
They find it very difficult to hold onto skin or hair. They’re the wrong shape, being too wide to crawl through head hair comfortably, and they even find body hair challenging to navigate. They also don’t have the claws that lice do with which they can grip onto hairs.
Besides that, if they were tolay their eggs under human skinor on you, you would notice them and brush them away.
That would limit how many bed bugs successfully hatch, which is why they don’t do it. Instead, they’ll pick somewhere dark and secluded where their eggs can hatch in peace.
What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?
Bed bug eggs are like small grains of rice. They’re the same shape and color, but they’re a little bit smaller. They range in size from 1mm to 0.5mm. When the female first lays them, they’re sticky, so they’ll stick to the fabric of your mattress or sheets.
You’ll find them around bed bug harborages. Harborages are the places where bed bugs live, like the undersides of furniture, or the underside of your mattress. They’re dark places where there’s little chance of being disturbed.
Bed bugs lay their eggs there, especially in any nearby cracks or crevices. They are typically quite difficult to see against the fabric, although they’re easier to spot if there are lots of them.
They’re tough to get rid of because they easily get stuck to the fabric. Bed bugs use a sticky solution to keep their eggs in place, preventing them from rolling away and experiencing damage. This can leave a slight sheen on them.
How Long Does It Take for Bed Bug Eggs to Hatch?
Once the female lays her eggs, it takes them between 6 and 17 days to hatch. That might seem like quite a wide range, and it is. Imagine if a person took between 9 and 19 months to have their baby. So, why do bed bug eggs hatch so irregularly?
It’s all down to temperature. Bed bugs mate, feed, digest and hatch quicker when it’s warm. When it’s between 85 and 90 degrees, bed bugs can digest far more quickly than they can when it’s cold.
It’s the same principle at work which keeps food fresh in the fridge, or makes it spoil when it’s left out. Food breaks down more quickly in the heat.
But aside from that, it also helps bed bugs develop. Because there are more nutrients available to them, they grow larger more quickly, and mate and lay eggs more frequently.
The bed bug nymphs inside those eggs grow larger than they usually would, too, until they can hatch after just a week instead of between two and three weeks like usual.
Do All Bed Bug Eggs Hatch Successfully?
Under favorable conditions, the vast majority of bed bug eggs hatch successfully. At typical temperatures in a bedroom, somewhere around 95-100% of bed bug eggs will hatch as intended.
This is a high number, since most insects that lay hundreds of eggs don’t successfully hatch them all. But because bed bug eggs are so hardy, an infestation can double in size in just sixteen days.
Do Bed Bugs Have Larvae?
Bed bugs don’t come from larvae, at least not in the same way that butterflies and similar insects do. A larva isn’t just any recently-hatched insect. It’s a distinct juvenile stage that’s morphologically different from an adult.
To reach adulthood, the larva has to go through a drastic change (metamorphosis), which changes its body shape and organs. Think of caterpillars and butterflies.
What hatches from the egg is called a nymph. Bed bug nymphs are morphologically similar to adults. They have the same body shape, number of legs, organs, diet, and the same behavior. The only differences are that they’re lighter in color, and are a lot smaller than an adult bed bug.
Rather than going through one big change, metamorphosis, bed bugs go through several little changes throughout their life. These are called ‘instars,’ which means insect development stages.
Bed bugs go through five instars, the nymph being called the first instar. The second instar is slightly larger, the third bigger still, the same process repeated again and again as the bed bug ages. Each time it progresses to the next stage, it sheds its shell so that it can get bigger.
When it’s warm, a bed bug can progress from newly-hatched nymph to fully-grown adult in just three weeks. Unfortunately, bed bugs will feed each time they progress from one instar to the next. Considering the number of nymphs in an infestation, that’s a lot of bed bug bites.
How Quickly Do Bed Bugs Reproduce?
Bed bugs reproduce fast. Insects generally reproduce very quickly, which is an evolutionary adaptation: tiny life forms that reproduce faster than rabbits are almost impossible to kill off entirely.
So, how fast do bed bugs reproduce? The life cycle of both bed bug species is about two months at room temperature. That means that it takes two months from the bed bug to change from a freshly laid egg to an adult that’s on death’s door.
A bed bug isn’t able to reproduce before it is a fully mature adult, which takes three weeks or so at regular room temperatures. They will then mate and continually lay eggs until they die.
Their lifespan changes depending on the temperature. Where temperatures were set at 50 degrees, a once-fed adult could live for almost five hundred days.
A tropical bed bug at the same temperature lasts three hundred days. The time it would take for a bed bug to reproduce is very heavily reliant on both temperature and available food.
Do Nymphs Feed on Blood?
Nymphs have the same feeding apparatus as adults, just a little smaller.
They have a small claw of sorts near their mouth, which they use to scratch a hole in your skin, and a separate tube similar to a mosquito which they insert into the wound. They use their saliva, just like adults, to slightly numb the area to prevent you from noticing them.
Once they’ve started feeding, it takes between five and ten minutes for them to become full. Once they’ve finished eating, they’ll head back to their harborage to digest for a few days.
They need to both feed and shed to grow to their next life stage (instar). Bed bugs don’t feed on anything but blood. They lack the teeth, gums, lips, and tongue that we have. All they have is their feeding tube, which is perfectly designed to help them feed on blood.
How Long Does It Take for a Nymph to Feed?
Unfortunately, bed bug nymphsseek out a blood mealas soon as they hatch from their egg. They need a blood meal to grow to the next stage, and they want to do that as quickly as possible. They will hatch from their egg hungry and searching for you.
Once they’ve fed for the first time, they need to digest their meal. This takes three or four days, as they need to digest the meal, shed their shell and then seek you out again.
They’ll continue to feed regularly like this for the rest of their lives, growing through each life stage. They’ll then need to feed to fuel the mating process.
They’ll then create more eggs, and the cycle begins again.
Can You Stop Bed Bugs from Reproducing?
Bed bugs are widespread is because they reproduce quickly. If hypothetically you could stop them from reproducing, you could stop an infestation from growing out of hand.
The best way to guarantee that bed bugs won’t reproduce is by killing them outright with a pesticide. The most commonly availablepesticides contain permethrin, which is deadly in small concentrations, and lingers for weeks after it’s sprayed.
However, there are a group of chemicals called ‘insect growth regulators’ which interfere with nymphs and stop them from molting.
IGRs, as they’re known, suppress certain hormones which usually trigger nymphs to molt. Because the molting process is never triggered, the bed bugs can’t grow up into adults, meaning they can never reproduce.
IGRs are available to buy alongside regular insecticides. Sometimes, they’re paired with an insecticide, so that the spray has a double action.
Do Bed Bugs Breed Without Feeding?
Another way to stop bed bugs from breeding is to stop them from feeding. If the female doesn’t have access to regular blood meals, then she won’t be able to lay eggs.
Bed bug females need nutrients to create eggs and the young inside them. Insects don’t naturally have fat reserves like mammals do, so they need to feed consistently to create their offspring. If you were to deprive the female of food, she wouldn’t be able to reproduce effectively.
You could do this byfitting a mattress encasement to your bed. The bed bugs that are part of the harborage inside would be able to continue breeding, at least for a while.
But after a couple of weeks, they wouldn’t be able to continue laying eggs, as an encasement stops them from being able to access their host.
Do Bed Bugs Ever Stop Breeding?
Bed bugs will continually breed until they die. However, there is a limit to how much a female can breed throughout her lifetime. Remember earlier, when we learned that traumatic insemination leaves a scar on the female’s abdomen?
Well, if she continues mating, that scar will get worse. And because of the location of the scar, it can make it quite difficult for her to continue to lay eggs.
The same applies throughout her life. A bed bug female that mates with just one male will lay 25% more eggs than a female that’s mated repeatedly.
The female doesn’t need to be mated time after time, as bed bugs are typically highly fertile, and can lay eggs for weeks on end after mating just once. It would all be simpler if they did away with traumatic insemination, and mated like other insects do.
Can You Tell If a Bed Bug is Pregnant?
You happen to see a bed bug crawling on your sheets. Searching for more, you can’t see any under your mattress, in nearby furniture, or anywhere else you look.It could have been the only one.
If it was a female, then it may have been fertilized and able to lay eggs. So, is there any way to tell? Unfortunately, no. They don’t leave behind dozens of eggs when you crush them. And they don’t get heavily and visibly pregnant.
You can easily tell a male from a female. Females have a longer abdomen, with a distinctive point at the end. A male’s abdomen is shorter and more rounded, although still not perfectly circular. The female doesn’t change shape if she’s laying eggs or not.
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Hi, I’m Lou. I’ve long been fascinated by bed bugs, ever since a friend’s life was turned upside down. That’s why I’ve put together this specialist site. You’ll find detailed answers to all of your questions on how to get rid of a bed bug infestation. I hope you find it useful!
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.
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