How Long Bed Bug 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 CAN BED BUGS LIVE WITHOUT FEEDING?

How long can bed bugs live without blood? The answer depends on the age of the bed bug, if it is resistant to certain pesticides and the temperature range it is exposed to. “How long can bed bugs live without feeding before becoming adults?” is the first question to ask yourself.

A newly hatched bed bug is called a nymph. Nymphs go through five stages before becoming mature adults. When a bug molts, it sheds its skin. Immature bed bugs molt five times before reaching maturity and must feed in between every molt. For that reason, nymphs must feed more often. Despite their young age, newly hatched bed bugs can still survive for at least a few weeks without feeding.

But if nymphs can survive weeks without feeding, how long can bed bugs live without blood after maturity? That depends. When living in warm conditions, bed bugs will usually try to feed at regular intervals. Adult bed bugs can survive for about five months without a blood meal.

Once the bed bug settles on a host, it will feed for a few minutes. Length of feeding depends on the stage of development, how much it ate last time and how long it’s been since it last fed. After the bed bug is full, it will leave the host and return to a crack or crevice, typically where other bed bugs are gathered.

Bed bugs usually feed every three to seven days, which means that most of the population is in the digesting state, and not feeding much of the time. However, because bed bug infestations can spread so rapidly, it can often feel like you are waking up with new bites every morning. This can lead to high stress levels and a lack of sleep.

Don’t let bed bugs get the best of you. A pest control specialist can help you kick bed bugs out of your house and keep them out.

Polanco AM, Miller DM, Brewster CC. Survivorship During Starvation for Cimex lectularius L.. Insects. 2011; 2(2):232-242.

HOW LONG DO BED BUGS LIVE?

If you’ve had to deal with bed bugs hitching a ride home on your pet or your luggage, you’ve probably asked yourself, "how long do bed bugs live?"

As far as insect life spans go, bed bugs crawl the earth for longer than most — tapping out around the 10-month marker, according to bedbugs.org. And while that 10-month window is true for most, some are thought to live up to a year.

A bed bug life cycle includes multiple stages. A female bed bug lays eggs in groups of one to 50 and they take anywhere from six to 17 days to hatch, according to bedbugs.org. By the time she dies, a female will have laid hundreds of eggs.

The eggs are small, about 1 millimeter in size, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. One millimeter is around the size of a mustard seed.

With the right conditions and temperatures, a bed bug can go from an egg to its adult stage in approximately 37 days. Warmer climates promote faster bed bug reproduction and development.

Baby bed bugs are called nymphs. A nymph will go through five phases of growth before it becomes an adult, shedding its skin each time, according to the EPA. They start life at 1.5 millimeters (the thickness of a U.S. penny) and grow to about 4.5 millimeters (the size of a medium-to-large pearl).

Even in their nymph stages, bed bugs are ready to eat. They primarily feed off of people, but will also bite animals − including dogs, cats, rodents and chickens. A bed bug can last up to a year or longer without feeding if the temperatures are ideal.

Still, the average bed bug life cycle isn’t very long, but they do lead active lives, which includes aggressively mating. If you think you may have signs of bed bugs, contact a pest management professional immediately.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?

A major problem in homes, businesses, schools, and transportation networks around the world, bed bugs have an active life cycle. They can live for up to a year (generally 6-12 months) depending on the conditions; the average lifespan is about 10 months. The presence of these blood-sucking tiny insects stirs up a lot of emotions. Being they’re in the news quite often now, you might be wondering about how these insects thrive, live, and go about their ways.

Life Cycle

Bed bugs go through six life stages, between each they need at least one complete blood meal. They obtain all their nutrition from human blood, nothing else. Life starts as the female lays eggs. She needs to feed in order to lay them. Individuals require feeding prior to mating as well. As many as hundreds of eggs may be produced by one female bed bug in her lifetime, says the EPA. One to as many as three eggs may be laid in a day and from 5-20 can be made after just one serving of blood.

Eggs are the size of a pinhead and have a pearl-white appearance. It takes anywhere from four to twelve days for the eggs to hatch. Each one is about one millimeter long. Young bed bugs are called nymphs, which are tiny and translucent. Some are a whitish-yellow. The other stages in a bed bug’s life cycle are:

1 st Stage Nymph. Still white or yellow in color and 1.5 millimeters. Studies have shown, at around 70°F, the insect can develop to the next stage about five days after feeding.

2 nd Stage Nymph. Starts to resemble an adult and is 2 millimeters. It can reach this in five to eight days if it feeds within the first day of its previous stage.

3 rd Stage Nymph. About 2.5 millimeters.

4 th Stage Nymph. Grows up to 3 millimeters long.

5 th Stage Nymph. 4.5 millimeters.

Adults have the appearance most people associate with bed bugs. Males have a rounder and slightly larger body while females tend to be more elongated. From egg to adult it takes about 37 days. Nymphs are not very mobile and will die of dehydration if their egg was too far from a host.

Lifestyle/Habits

Mating is an important part of the life cycle. Male bed bugs have external genitalia, which they use to penetrate the female’s abdominal cavity. This process is called traumatic insemination. Sperm from the male is injected into the abdomen and migrates to the ovaries. The eggs are fertilized soon thereafter.

Females can be mated with several times. Some, however, have been known to leave to avoid further injury. This is another crucial aspect in the spread of bed bugs. Rogue females can go it alone, mate with their offspring, and start an entirely new colony. If she already has fertilized eggs then her clan can start multiplying in no time.

Disagreements on Life Span

A Virginia Tech report shows well-fed adult bed bugs can live up to 300 days in the laboratory. Of course in a lab, they have access to food, live in steady temperatures, and don’t get crushed. Studies in Europe done in the 1930s and 40s found they could live without food for over a year. This was in the UK before central heating was used. In the more temperate conditions of U.S. homes, starved bed bugs live an average of 70 days. They must stay hydrated and eating blood is the only way to do so.

Scientists also say that bed bugs have another reason for congregating in such large numbers. This changes the temperature and humidity in those tiny cracks and crevices. More favorable conditions enable them to survive longer when food sources are low.

A bed bug’s life is indeed a fight for survival. Conditions aren’t always ideal. Being small and good at hiding has the drawback of increased crushing risk. A resistance to some insecticides has been found. Those insects that are resistant have reduced development times and life spans, while producing fewer eggs.

In general, bed bugs have just a few months to hatch, feed, mature, and mate. Despite these limitations they have an incredible ability to survive and proliferate in homes, businesses, and just about anywhere.

If you really want to get rid of bed bugs today try SayByeBugs! It was developed as a safe and highly effective alternative among a sea of products that rarely deliver on their promises.

How long does it take for bed bugs to die without human contact

Scientific studies have shown that bed bugs (cimex lectularius) adults can live as long as 400+ days without feeding in a laboratory at low temperatures.

Adult bed bugs can live for more than a year and it was found that there can be up to four successive generations per year. As for nymphs the life span is shorter than adults.

  • Adult bed bugs can live 14 months without feeding
  • Nymphs live 5 months without blood meal
  • Females need first blood meal to lay eggs

Starving a bed bug is not an effective strategy in removing an infestation.

Pest management professionals follow specific guidelines to get rid of bed bugs permanently . These procedures will help identify the necessary effort to quickly remove a bed bug infestation in any size property.

To help reduce outbreaks please share with friends and family.

Do bed bugs die if they do not feed?

Bed bugs do require to feed (blood meal) in order to survive, yet there is a 14 month life span of a adult bed bugs without human contact found in scientific studies.

The complete life cycle of a bed bug requires at least one blood meal before molting to the next stage, this again depends on temperature and availability of food/blood meal.

Keep in mind development occurs more rapidly at temperatures between 70° and 82°F.

Can bed bugs live in a vacant house?

Due to an adult bed bug life cycle can last 400+ days without a host. It’s very common bed bugs can live in a vacant home.

Due to the feeding cycle of bed bugs, they may migrate to where a blood meal can be found. This may be the cause of an infestation from a neighbors home that is in your living vicinity.

What is the average lifespan of bed bugs?

The life stages of a bed bug are based on five nymphal stages (not including the egg). Each stage requiring a blood meal before molting to the next stage.

  • Egg – Eggs are white and oval shaped (about 1/16 long)
  • Tiny white nymph – Difficult to see (about 1.5mm) Look like specs of dirt until they move
  • Light nymph with black spot – (about 2mm) Noticeable black spot in abdomen area
  • Light brown nymph – Lager in Size (about 2.5mm) Resembles an apple seed in shape
  • Medium brown nymph – Size increases (about 3mm) smaller version of the adult bed bug
  • Darker brown nymph – Larger in size (about 4.0mm) More pronounce black spot on abdomen
  • Adult – Reddish brown “rust color” flat oval shaped body (about 4.5mm)Egg

All data is based on scientific studies to offer you the facts and not opinions. Our data was collaborated with UC IPM.

Solutions that get rid of bed bugs

Bed bug questions. don’t be shy ask below

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We are happy to offer any advice we can to help you. We will do our best to reply, but please be patient as we are helping a large number of customers around the globe.

This Post Has 13 Comments

Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We are here to help you finally get rid of these pests. Just leave a comment or questions and we will be happy to help!

How long can a bed bug live with a host

Can bed bugs or eggs travel on the botshoesr to of your shoes

Yes they can, it is very common they travel from suitcases into your home. Another way we have a lot of readers get them is from their kids backpacks in school. They then come home with the bed bug in the back pack and that night, they begin burrowing into the beds and start feasting. A week later you begin to start noticing the bites.

So its very common these bed bugs migrate on shoes, luggage, clothing, etc.

I had a K 9 detect bed bugs in 1 room in my apartment. I had to pack up the entire apartment in plastic bags in the middle of the flood. I had 3 treatments. The last treatment was in November. there has been no known activity since. We can I finish unpacking and know that the treatments were successful

AWESOME. to hear your bed bug issue is gone. If your not feeling bites for a two week period or so, you can assume a success.

Although… please be aware, neighbors, public transportation, kids backpacks… other external things outside your home. This can bring back bed bugs. It’s possible… not always likely but it happens.

So its always recommended, while you do a monthly cleaning, simply SPOT-Treat your beds, couches, and walls, clothing areas with GreenBeanBuddy residual bed bug spray. This will prevent the pests from migrating from any outside sources.

Thankyou for sharing your story, we’re so thrilled you got rid of your bed bugs! We love it when customers tell us this.

Nobody seems to address specifically: Can bedbug EGGS lie dormant to hatch at a later time, when conditions are more favorable? How long can they last? Will adding moisture to dry old bedbug eggs reactivate them?

Hi Tom, thanks for reaching out. I will be happy to answer your questions. We have bed bug specialist on staff that confirm the answers as well.

As for EGGS being dormant and hatching, yes nymphs(hatchling bed bugs) do lay dormant then hatch later. This is why we recommend a re-treatment around the 7 day point, because this 2nd treatment cycle will get the nymphs that look to feed. These are usually very tiny ones you cannot see very well, yet you feel the bites. (And their bites are usually the more painful ones because they do not inject you with the numbing agent that the large bed bugs do when feeding.).

EGGS cycle usually hatch every 7 to 14 days.

Adding moisture to dry eggs will not re-activate them. In fact, Green Bean Buddy is so effective because the formulation kills bed bugs using a dehydration method that seals out the bed bugs moisture from the inside out, thus causing them to die without becoming immune to our formulation. So the nymphs are affected in the same way.

Thanks for contributing, your questions will help the community and assist us in which guides we should add to help more of bed bug victims and our clients.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

I noticed there are bed bugs in my house and I used pesticides on them, though most of them died but I realized their eggs were still there, my question is, can the pesticide kiilbthe eggs? If it can’t how long can I one use the pesticides on d nymph

Most pesticides will not kills the eggs.

You will notice after a treatment, another cycle occurs of bites a few days later… likely 5 to 7 days. This is the hatchlings from the eggs and these are the most painful bites. The little nymphs do not have a numbing agent like the larger adults when they bite, so you feel it.

What You Want To Do For The Eggs:

We found a way to get rid of the hatchlings and egg cycle with our residual bed bug treatment. You simply spray Green Bean Buddy bed bug killer on any surface (clothing, bed, boxspring, and around the bed on the floor). This will prevent and kill these pests from reaching you. In fact most will avoid the area of treatment and if hatchlings get near it they die. So we recommend a nice barrier every few days until all the hatchlings are gone.

Let us know if you have other questions and thanks for contributing to the community.

which is the most efficient pestside for bedbugs…Iv treated mine for 6months with no success

Hi Lizzy, it’s a process. I would advise the following steps below. It’s important to do a treatment and stay consistent. The reason of being consistent is because these bed bugs can hide in many locations. So it’s important to treat all the areas. To combat this difficulty, you may wish to consider a residual bed bug treatment spray. This allows you to spray the areas, then it leaves a clear residual to protect from re-infestations. This is how health facilities, resorts, and pest managers are using the bed bug treatment sprays.

I think one reason they been around for 6 months is you may not know the true source of the problem. This is very common. We’ve found the bed bugs hiding in picture frames way up on the wall. Then other times they were in electrical outlets. And of course… neighbors or when you travel on public transportation. They literally can hitch a ride.

We had someone who was a mechanic, and they worked in a car which had bed bugs. He didn’t know that they were jumping on his clothes from the vehicle he was working on. So they can come from multiple sources. This is why we have had such great success in residual bed bug spray. The simple fact that is kills and then spray along your doors, windows, walls, bed, couches, linens, etc. This will be like a shield which these bed bugs will either come near and die or simply evacuate due to the formulation.

Steps To Follow & Products To Use:

1. Identify what a bed bug looks like – so you can identify the different sizes of them.

2. Where do bed bugs hide – so you know where to treat.

3. How to treat bed bugs yourself – You can use these procedures during treatment.

Lastly, how to keep bed bugs away permanently with re-treatment. This is because re-infestations can come from external sources.

You can consider a Residual Bed Bug Spray to combat the problem. You may also want to consider a bed bug steamer as well.

Thanks for sharing with the community. Let me know if you have other questions. I think the guides will definitely help, just be consistent and remember when doing a treatment, SPOT TREAT… don’t drench. This will give you more product to use later on just in case you need to re-treat or want to prevent the infestation after its gone.

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