How Long Until Bed Bug Eggs Hatch
Killing Bed Bug Eggs and Larvae Is Just as Important as Killing Adult Bed Bugs
I f you were dealing with just one bed bug, your battle would be easy and short-lived. Unless, of course, that bed bug were the size of your cat, or even of a tarantula.
But the real horror of bed bugs is that an infestation means you are fighting an entire, constantly reproducing, population.
You must learn how to kill bed bug eggs, or else, even when every unhatched bed bug has been eradicated, your efforts will be in vain. And if even a single impregnated female bed bug escapes, the infestation continues.
Read on to learn to identify bed bug eggs, bed bug larvae, and likely bed bug egg “hatch houses.” Find out how to kill the eggs before they hatch and become a mob of bloodthirsty little nymphs crawling atop your mattress at night.
Table of Contents
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Eggs and Larvae
Bed bug larvae will often be killed by the same insecticides or bed bug home remedies that kill adult bedbugs. However, the eggs will typically survive and will need treatment with a separate chemical or the same chemical, but about two weeks later when you can be sure all the eggs have hatched.
Thus, you really need to read all bug bomb or spray chemical claims very closely. Each chemical or natural insecticide is different, some killing off eggs and some not.
But, in reality, even though there are some anti bed bug treatments that kill some eggs, there really is no sure-fire chemical you can just buy and use to kill 100% of bed bug eggs for sure.
Thus, you have to use heat or apply anti bed bug measures two (or more times) at proper intervals. There really is no other way. That could mean calling in a professional exterminator, but not necessarily.
What Do Eggs Look Like?
Perhaps, you may be thinking, “How can I fight bed bug eggs? I wouldn’t know a bed bug egg from a grain of rice.” Well, in fact, they look very much like rice, only smaller.
Here are some features of bedbug eggs to help you identify them:
- Grain-like shape.
- Milky-white coloration.
- About one millimeter long.
- You’ll find one or a small cluster at a time.
Bed Bug Eggs and 1st Instar Nymph
But where will you find the eggs? Typically, there are hidden away (smart bugs) in inaccessible cracks and crevices. But, you may find some on your clothes, on pillows, on bed sheets, or on your mattress or box spring. It just varies.
How Long Does It Take for the Eggs to Hatch?
It normally takes less than two weeks for newly laid bed bug eggs to hatch. Six to 10 days is a good estimate, but it can vary based on temperature and other conditions in the environment (and “environment” here means “your bedroom!)
Females will lay only between 1 and 5 eggs at a time, but they can lay up to five hundred eggs in a lifetime and lay them nearly every day!
The Lifecycle of the Common Bed Bug
Bed Bug Life Cycle
4 Weeks – 5 Months Depending on Conditions
Upon hatching, bed bug “nymphs, ” as they’re called, immediately head out looking for blood. Nymphs then molt and go through several stages, leaving casing behind on your mattress or in your carpeting (besides fecal stains, which is digested blood poop. Yuck.)
No stage in the bedbug life cycle has wings, and you are always dealing with flat-bodied insects. The young ones are more transparent, except after a blood meal. The older ones actually change body shape, becoming long instead of circular, after the gorge themselves on blood.
Bed bugs start 1.5 mm long but get up to 9 millimeters at full bed bug maturity. But they always remain immature “mentally” and keep on biting you and drinking your blood, from the moment they hatch to the bitter end.
Can I See the Eggs?
Bedbug eggs are hard to find and hard to see, but they are not impossible to see nor even microscopic.
If you look very closely and carefully on your mattress, clothing, pillow, or any infested area, you may well spot some eggs. But you need not see the eggs to know they must be there and to take drastic action to destroy them. After all, wherever there are bed bugs, bed bug eggs are not far off.
Can Bed Bugs Lay Their Eggs in Your Skin?
Bed bugs are nasty parasites, but they do not live inside of people or under their skin, nor is that where they lay their eggs.
You may have spied bed bugs in your hair and found bites on your face and neck. You may have sores on your ankles or legs or arms where they bit you. But you need not worry about bed bugs hatching inside of you. That’s one thing, at least, you can be thankful for.
They can, however, lay eggs on your clothes. Click the link to learn how to get rid of bed bugs in your clothes.
Again, there are many things that will kill some bed bug eggs, but nothing known to man will kill all of them. And you couldn’t be sure the treatment would even touch them all (hidden in crevices as they are) even if you could know it would kill every egg it touched.
That said, here are two ways, besides pesticides that list egg-death as one of their virtues, that you can kill a “whole lot of eggs:” diatomaceous earth (DE) and rubbing alcohol. Read more about these remedies just below.
Yes, if you douse bed bug eggs with DE (diatomaceous earth), they will die and not hatch, at least most of the time. And DE will kill off larvae, nymphs, juveniles, and adult bedbugs too, even if not always immediately.
Here are some of the virtues of DE in your fight against bed bugs and their grainy eggs:
- DE in a line creates a barrier that bed bugs will tend to avoid crossing, keeping them from laying eggs on the other side.
- DE is non-toxic and all-natural. It is the discarded shells of tiny sea creatures called diatoms (think the white cliffs of Dover here) and is not earth at all.
- DE will cut into delicate bedbug shells and either kill them right away or gradually dehydrate them over a period of up to one or two weeks at most. It will kill the eggs too.
- No bed bug or egg can develop a resistance to DE. It always works.
But don’t get pool-grade DE or DE mixed in with pesticides. Read the “ingredients.” It should say you are just buying plain old diatomaceous earth and that it is meant for use on pests. And wear a mask when applying DE to avoid breathing it in.
Yes, rubbing alcohol will kill at least most of your bed bug eggs, if it can contact them.
- Rub it on your legs and arms and the back of your neck before you sleep to deter bugs.
- Spray it on your mattress and box spring.
- Spray it under your bed on the carpet and along the baseboard of your bedroom.
This is a cheap, common product, and it can be a key player in your attempt to kill bed bug eggs and eradicate the population. But don’t use it alone. Make it a part of a bigger, broader bed bug action plan.
What Should I Do With Eggs on Clothing?
There may be bedbug eggs on your clothes. It’s possible, especially if you leave them lying on the carpet all day. But even in the laundry bin, they’re not immune.
Bed bug eggs can be killed by washing then drying your clothes. The dryer is what really gets them more than the washer, but who dries clothes without first washing them? You will need medium-high or more as the temperature setting to kill the eggs (at 118ºF), but that depends on your dryer.
What temperature can kill the eggs? Bedbugs die in heat. Eggs, nymphs, adults, all stages die, every last one of them. That’s why professionals with expensive high-powered equipment rely heavily on heat treatment to cure bed bug infestations.
Heat your home’s interior or a particular room to 118ºF for about 70 minutes, and all the bed bugs, both hatched and unhatched, will be destroyed.
That doesn’t mean they can’t come back, though, if your pet is bringing them in. So eliminate the source before doing a heat treatment.
Steam, if hot enough, can also kill bedbugs. Steam treatment can be used on mattress seams or anywhere bed bugs may be hiding. It can kill off their eggs as well.
You would need special equipment to kill bed bug eggs by steam-power, however, so this would likely be a job for professionals. But you can find out the best steam cleaner for bed bugs in this article.
In sum, note that what kills bedbugs generally also kills their eggs. DE and rubbing alcohol are two good tools, but insecticides or heat treatment can also be effective.
It’s not absolutely necessary to call in a pro to kill off bed bug eggs, but if you are going to do it by heat or steam treatment, that’s likely where you’re going with it.
Remember that killing bedbugs is only a temporary fix. Killing them and their eggs win the war permanently, barring a new “invasion.”
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.
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Bed Bug Life Cycle
Bed bugs are nocturnal, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. These wingless insects have dorsoventrally flattened bodies that allow them to hide in areas such as floor cracks, carpets, beds and upholstered furniture.
A bed bug’s life begins with an egg, grain like and milky white in color. Female bed bugs lay between one and five eggs each day and may lie up to 500 eggs within one lifetime. Eggs are laid singly or in clusters and are placed within tight cracks or crevices. The egg is approximately 1 mm in length and is comparable in size to two grains of salt. Within two weeks, eggs hatch and immature bed bugs begin immediately to feed.
These young bed bugs, or nymphs, pass through five molts before reaching maturity. Although nymphs appear similar to adults, they are smaller in size and are not yet sexually mature. Young nymphs are also yellow-white in color, while older nymphs and adults are reddish-brown. In order to complete a molting stage, each nymph requires a blood meal. At room temperature, nymphs molt and become adults within five weeks.
Upon reaching maturity, bed bug adults often make weekly feedings.
Adult Bed Bug
How Long Do They Live?
The life span of a bed bug most commonly ranges from four to six months. However, some bed bugs may live up to a year under cool conditions and with no food.
Bed Bug Control
Cimex lectularius L.
Learn what Bed Bugs look like, and how to detect if you have a Bed Bug Infestation.
Find out how Bed Bugs infiltrate your home and where they are attracted to.
Learn about Bed Bug bites. their feces and how they can impact your health.
Learn how Orkin handles Bed Bugs, homeopathic cures and the cost of Bed Bug extermination services.
You may not realize that you have been bitten. Bite reactions vary from no reaction to mild red spots to severe rash or hives.
The return of the bed bug
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) were almost completely removed from North America due to mass treatments with highly toxic insecticides that are no longer in use.
Frequent travel, improved treatment methods that target other insects without affecting bed bugs, and a lack of public awareness has led to a rise in the spread of bed bugs.
Identifying bed bugs
Contact an expert to help identify any suspected bed bug specimens.
The "Let’s Beat the Bed Bug" campaign at the University of Minnesota found that 76 percent of samples submitted for identification are not bed bugs.
- Adult bed bugs are oval, flattened, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4" to 3/8" long (5-9 mm). They are similar in appearance to a wood tick.
- After the bug has taken a blood meal its color changes from brown to purplish-red and it becomes larger and more cigar-shaped.
- Young bed bugs resemble the adult in shape but are much smaller, 1/16" (1.6 mm), when they first hatch. They are nearly colorless except after feeding.
After mating, females lay white, oval eggs (1/16" long) into cracks and crevices.
Bed bugs need to feed at least once before each molt, although they could feed as often as once a day.
Young nymphs can survive without a blood meal for days up to several months. Older nymphs and adults can survive longer without a blood meal up to a year under favorable conditions.
Bed bugs are also found in schools, retail facilities, office buildings, libraries and other public areas.
Signs that you have bed bugs
Look where you sleep
Bed bugs typically group together in out-of-the-way areas. But some bed bugs will live by themselves, away from the rest of an infestation. The best way to check for an infestation is to look for bed bugs where you sleep or rest.
In bedrooms, look particularly on and around:
- boxsprings, mattresses, bed frames, tufts, folds and buttons on mattresses
- furniture such as desks and chairs
- behind wallpaper, clocks and pictures
- cracks in wood floors and under the edge of carpet
Be careful when you travel
The greatest chance of finding bed bugs is while you are traveling. It is a good habit to check your room whenever on vacation.
Check your luggage where you typically set it down when you enter your home and where you store it after travelling.
While bed bugs are most commonly found in bedrooms, infestations can occur in other rooms including bathrooms, living rooms and laundry rooms.
Look for spots or smears
Bed bugs will sometimes deposit fecal spots (digested blood) while they are feeding. These are seen as dark (dark reddish or brownish) spots or smears found on bed sheets, pillowcases and mattresses, or in nearby areas.
- Dark blood spots on sheets and bedding may indicate bed bug feeding.
- In severe infestations, bed bugs may be more noticeable.
- A combination of bugs, cast skins (empty shells of bugs as they grow from one stage to the next) and fecal spots will be very obvious when closely seen.
These insects are small (1/16" to 1/4") and very flat, so they can move into very tight corners and cracks. They have been found under picture frames between the glass and the frame.
Bed bugs can be found behind electrical outlets and other wall plates.
- Inspect all areas closely and, if in doubt, contact a pest control service.
- If you find a bed bug stop inspection and begin control activity.
- Bed bugs will move from their hiding places once disturbed. All further inspections should be accompanied by control measures.
How to avoid bringing bed bugs into your home
Traveling and bed bugs
Inspect your personal items before packing and when you unpack
You can only confirm that bed bugs are present by carefully inspecting each item. Pay attention to cracks, crevices, seams and folds of material.
If you find bugs, then you have to be careful in containing the infestation.
Bed bugs do not travel on people
Bed bugs may hitch a ride on clothing, but they are not like lice and will not travel directly on a person.
If you are concerned about bed bugs on clothing remove suspect articles and put them into a plastic bag.
- Remove clothing in a place with a non-carpeted floor so bed bugs will have to travel before finding a hiding spot.
- A wet cloth wiped over the floor will help contain any bed bugs that try to escape.
Tips for reducing the risk of bringing home bed bugs
If you think there might be bedbugs on your items seal everything in plastic bags until they can be laundered, washed by hand, heated or frozen.
There is no need to throw away luggage and clothing after discovering an infestation.
Before leaving the location, sort anything that can be washed and place in plastic bags.
- Separate the laundry as you would if you were normally laundering items.
- This will prevent escaping bed bugs as you try to sort the laundry at home.
Items that cannot be washed may be heated or frozen.
- A two-hour core exposure at 120°F (45°C) is considered a minimum target temperature for heat treatments.
- For freezing, a minimum of 23°F (-5°C) must be maintained for at least 5 days.
- The exposure time can be reduced if the articles are flash frozen at a temperature of -15°F (-26°C), which would freeze the eggs instantly.
- Most household freezers will have temperatures between 30°F and 20°F.
- A 2-week freeze time is recommended if you are uncertain of the freezer temperatures.
If you heat or freeze items, these conditions must reach the core of the articles being treated.
Bed bugs on used furniture
Used furniture is another potential source of bed bugs.
- Do not pick up beds and furniture that have been left by the curb for disposal or behind places of business.
- Bed bug infestations can be found on tables, drawers and even electronics if these items were located in a bedroom or another place that was infested.
How to get rid of bed bugs
Hire a professional exterminator
We recommend that you seek assistance from a professional pest control company.
- An exterminator uses specialty equipment to move furniture, take it apart and control the infestation.
- They perform careful inspections along with non-chemical controls (heat treatments, vacuuming and steam treatments) and insecticide treatments.
- The insecticides used are commercial products requiring special equipment and training.
- Pest control services use heat treatment (118°F maintained for at least 70 minutes) in target areas.
- All stages of bed bugs are killed when this is done properly.
- Heat treatment does not prevent bed bugs from coming back into a home and reinfesting it.
- Sometimes furniture is removed and heat treated in a container. But, it is not necessary to move or throw away your furniture or belongings, especially from an apartment or condominium.
It is important to cooperate with a pest control service.
To find a professional belonging to the National Pest Management Association, go to the Pest World website and type in your zip code in the search box under "Find a Professional."
What you can do to help control an infestation
When working with a pest management company there are some additional things you might have to do to help get rid of bed bugs.
You can use your washing machine and dryer to kill bed bugs infesting clothes and other washable items.
- Clothes laundered in hot water and/or dried in temperatures hotter than 122°F for 20 minutes will kill all stages of bed bugs.
- This is typically the medium-high setting. If you are not sure what temperature your drier can reach, ask a professional to test it for you.
- You can also heat curtains and other fabrics, rugs, shoes, backpacks, stuffed animals, toys and similar objects by drying them at medium-high for about 30 minutes for a full load.
Cold temperatures can kill bed bugs if they are exposed to it long enough. All stages of bed bugs will be killed on objects left in a freezer at 0°F for 3 days.
- Putting infested furniture outdoors during winter may kill some bed bugs.
- Outdoor freezing temperatures will not always kill all of the bed bugs infesting an object. But, you can use the cold treatment to disable bed bugs until you decide what to do with the object.
An encasement is a fabric covering that looks like a very large sack with a zipper and that completely fits around a mattress or box spring.
They are useful when you want to protect a mattress you know is free of bed bugs (it has been heat treated or you have purchased a new mattress).
- You can also use encasements on infested mattresses and box springs to trap the bed bugs inside them; you can keep using your bed as long as the encasements are not ripped or torn.
- Buy encasements (from professional pest control services) that are specifically designed for protecting against bed bugs.
Bed bug interceptors
Bed bug interceptors are small plastic trays with an inner and outer ring. You can place them under the bed legs.
Bed bugs that try to climb up from the floor to the bed become trapped in the outer well. Any bed bugs that try to climb down will become trapped in the center well.
- Bed bug interceptors not only help to reduce the number of bed bugs that can reach the bed but also help determine whether bed bugs are present.
- You can buy bed bug interceptors online, from pest management companies, or from retail stores.
- Do not try to treat bed bugs yourself. The insecticides available in over-the-counter products are not effective in controlling bed bugs.
- Bug bombs (total release foggers) are not effective when treating bed bugs.
- These products throw insecticide into the air and very little product comes in contact with bed bugs hiding in cracks and behind and under objects.
- Bug bombs are potentially flammable if used incorrectly. It is easy for people to misuse or overuse bug bombs, and can result in unnecessary pesticide exposure.
CAUTION:We strongly discourage you from trying to treat bed bugs yourself. But, if you decide to use a pesticide, it is very important to carefully read and understand the label before using and to follow all label directions. The product you use should be labeled for bed bugs.
How Long Does It Take For A Bed Bug Infestation To Develop?
ByChris Williamson February 6, 2012.
I was recently sent to a job to inspect for Bed Bugs. Previous tenants had been treated for bed bugs and have moved out. Management wanted to know two things: How long has the unit been infested, and were there any live beg bugs. Inspection for bed bugs can be difficult as most units are full of furniture and belongings, this unit was vacant and empty. With full access to all areas of the unit the extent of the infestation was more clearly defined.
Bed bugs, the scourge of the rental industry, are small insects that feed exclusively on human blood. Long lived and easily spread, bed bugs secretive lifestyle makes detection difficult. Relatively few bed bugs start an infestation. In fact, if a male bed bug is the only hitchhiker, no infestation will develop. Only female bed bugs are able to lay eggs. A mated female can lay around 3 eggs a day if feeding is available, laying more than 300 eggs in her lifetime. Small white eggs are cemented to discrete surfaces, near a host, and hatch in about 10 days. Nymphs resemble adults but are much smaller. In order to grow, or molt, nymphs must acquire a blood meal. Depending on the temperature, it takes nymphs about 100 days for the five molts to occur before mating can take place. Roughly 1.5-2 months are required for a complete cycle from egg to mated adult bed bug. Adult bed bugs live about 10 months, although without a host, bed bugs may live over a year.
Bed bug infestations develop slowly. At first very few insects are present, feeding intermittently on the host and may not be noticed. Bites are sometimes overlooked or blamed on some other pest species like spiders. Secretive adults may not be noticed as they feed on sleeping hosts. Over time though, evidence builds up. Bed bugs are gregarious, and can be found living side by side in harborage sites. Great numbers of nymphs and adults can be found together. As these sites become more active, females will migrate to areas of less activity to lay eggs. Male bed bugs want to mate constantly with females, driving them away. This behavior is believed to be what makes bed bugs “spread out” into new areas. Large populations also use up more and more of the hiding spaces near the host, and are forced to seek shelter farther from the feeding site. All the while the bed bugs are pooping. Bed bug feces is little more that partially digested human blood. Fecal spots form as the bed bugs move about and accumulate in and around the harborage sites. Fecal spots are usually clustered, and may have a small “smear” at one side, indicating the direction of the bed bug’s travel. In heavy infestations there may even be a discernable, almost sweet odor, due to large amounts of feces and aggregation secretions. As bed bugs molt during the growth process, the smaller old skin is shed and a new larger skin forms. These skins are also left where they fall and may accumulate over time. In heavy infestations, there may be considerable numbers of these cast skins.
Now, back in the unit to be inspected, I am looking for evidence. I begin with a cursory look around. With a bright flashlight, pliers, and a screwdriver in hand I start with the ceiling edges and walls. As harborage sites become full, bed bugs will end up in corners and on walls. Right away I begin to notice some fecal spots on door frames and at lower closet edges. No activity behind outlet covers, or under carpet in the 2 bedrooms, 12-25 dead bed bugs noted on the bed room floors, some fecal spots on lower closet door and door frames, no live activity. Bases of all 3 hall closet door frames also had fecal spots, dead bed bugs, no live activity. As I began to examine the living room, there seemed to be more and more dead bed bugs, and fecal spotting, increasing as I got over to the baseboard radiator. Fecal spotting all over the metal housing and adjacent molding told me I was getting warm. When I dismantled the housing and pulled the carpet out from under it I hit pay dirt. 1000’s of cast skins, large pockets of blood stained carpet(major harborage site), and hundreds of dead bed bugs were deposited under the carpet and heating unit. There must have been a couch or bed right there. As the infestation grew, the bed bugs spread out along the floor edge and eventually found the bed rooms, where there was much less fecal spotting etc. In my opinion, the focal point of the infestation was the living room. As far as a time table is concerned, based on the life cycle, amount of fecal spotting, and the number of cast skins noted, the infestation was more than a year old, maybe older. 2 live bed bugs were found, although upside down, on the kitchen floor. This indicates that the treatment was working, and that bed bug control is almost complete. My recommendation was to re-treat the unit prior to new tenants moving in to ensure that the infestation is gone completely. If you suspect bed bug activity in your home, contact Colonial Pest for a free quote, or call us right now at 1-800-525-8084!
Bed Bug Eggs – How To Find & Kill Them
Bed bugs are insects, which have various life stages. We generally concern ourselves with the nymph and adult stage because those are the life stages that bite us. However, the first stage of life, the egg, is one of the hardest stages to not only locate but to kill.
In this article, I will discuss with you the bed bug egg. You will learn what the eggs look like, where they can be found, as well as how to eliminate this crucial life stage from your home and clothing.
Even if you get rid of all the nymphs and adults, you can still have an infestation when the eggs finally hatch. Read on to learn how to control the first state of bed bug infestations and regain your home and peace of mind.
What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?
Bed bug eggs are very tiny in size. They measure only about one millimeter in length and are off-white in color. To get an idea, imagine about half of a grain of white rice.
They are oval in shape. Elongated with round ends. When an egg is laid, it is attached to the surface with a strong glue-like substance that makes it especially difficult to move, remove or find.
The glue-like substance isn’t really seen with the naked eye, but you will notice a slight “wet spot” appearance around the rice-like egg if you look close enough. When I am looking for possible egg locations, I will use a magnifying glass and a flashlight to aid me in hunting these devilish eggs.
Where Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?
Unlike most other home pests, bed bugs are not equipped to handle slick terrains. They will stick to fabrics and wood for movement and living. You won’t find many bed bugs, or their eggs, in locations that are made of plastics or metal. However, this does not include bed frames.
As the mattress, box spring and bedding linens are so close, you will find bed bug eggs in bed frames; particularly the flat sides and in any cracks or folds.
Bed bugs get their name because of the general location they like to inhabit: namely your bed. They are small insects that prefer to move and feed at night and will stay relatively close to their main food source; you.
Due to the fact that they do not move very far from home, you will be able to find eggs in the same places in your bed that you find the nymphs and adults. When inspecting your bed, you should check anywhere that isn’t flat and in the open.
Bed buttons, along the seams, folds and edges of mattresses and box springs are common egg-laying locations. You should also check the underside of box springs and anywhere the mattress or box spring comes in contact with anything else. This includes the bed frame, floor or walls. Using mattress and box spring encasements can be a great way to keep bed bugs from occupying these areas, helping to slow the spread of infestation.
My recommended mattress protector is the SureGuard Mattress Encasement. It’s thick, strong, comes in many different sizes, and is certain to help stop bed bugs of all sizes from getting to, or from, your mattress.
To make sure you’re covered from all angles, the SureGuard Box Spring Encasement and Pillow Protectors, along with the mattress protector, will go a long way in helping to combat the infestation, and should help to ensure you sleep a bit better at night, too.
Windows and Window Dressings
Female bed bugs will tend to lay their eggs away from the masses. As a result of the rapid reproduction rate, they will feel over-crowded and try to get far enough away to avoid killing the eggs. One favorite spot is window dressings. You should inspect your curtains and drapes with special attention to any folds, hems, or contact points.
If you have curtain rods that aren’t solid, you should also inspect the fold and openings in those as well. Do not forget to check the actual windows, also. Since bed bugs are fine on wood, the window sill, window frame and around the twist locks and handles are common spots to find eggs and pregnant females.
Carpet and Flooring
Bed bugs have to get in your home somehow; usually, they tag along on a pet or the cuff or your pants. Once inside they will find their way to the primary food source, and what better way to start the trek than by using the same floor you do?
When checking carpet, you want to pay careful attention to areas you don’t use very often. These areas will include the floor where your bed frame legs are, dressers and underneath chairs.
Steamer cleaners can be a great way to kill bed bug eggs deep in the carpet fibers as the intense heat penetrates the low areas easily, killing the eggs near-instantly. Steamers also work very well on cloth furniture and mattress seams.
If you’re looking for a powerful and reliable steamer for use against infestations and at a good price, the PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner is a great choice. It’s heavy-duty, made to last, and produces a great covering of extremely hot pressurized steam – exactly what you want in order to kill insects and their eggs on impact.
This steamer can be used on a wide number of surfaces and objects, including mattresses, carpets, curtains, clothing, box springs, bedding and baseboards.
You also need to go around the perimeter of your floor near the walls and baseboards. If you have hardwood flooring, check the cracks and joints. If you have carpet, you should pull the carpet off of the tack strips at the walls and look under the edges and along the tack strips.
Anywhere you spend a great deal of sedentary time, such as your bed, should be checked. This will include your computer desk, your favorite recliner, and the bathroom. Depending on your infestation level, you should regularly check closets, clothing and inside dresser drawers or bookshelves that are close to these areas.
Although bed bugs don’t have wings and cannot fly, they are very efficient climbers, so don’t neglect hiding places high up and around the ceiling when you’re searching for them.
Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs On Your Body or in Your Hair?
Unlike critters like fleas and lice, bed bugs do not have the required limbs to attach to our bodies nor survive in our hair. They use us as a food source and don’t generally stay there all the time.
The little insects will come to us in the night get their meal and return to their “home.” They lack the claws and attachment limbs to cling to our hair for very long, and the egg won’t stay attached to our bodies.
While you should always check your clothing, you have little to worry about in regard to your hair or skin.
Due to their size, color and shape, adult bed bugs are often confused with ticks. If you do notice bugs in your hair or on your body, it will most likely not be a bed bug. Ticks, fleas, and lice will use our bodies and hair as a food source and a home, where bed bugs only use us for food.
Anything staying on your body or in your hair is likely one of the other culprits and not a bed bug.
How Long Until Bed Bug Eggs Hatch?
Once the egg is laid by the female, she will generally leave it on its own. When they do hatch, they are ready to feed on their first blood source almost immediately. Each nymph stage will need one blood-feeding to molt into the next, and there will be five molts before they reach adulthood.
The egg will hatch in as little as six days, but it could take up to two and a half weeks. Most of the hatching time is determined by the temperature of the room. The closer to 80 degrees, the sooner they will hatch.
As you can see, with eggs being laid every day and only a month to a month and a half to adulthood, these bugs can create a very large colony, very fast. Controlling the eggs is crucial for eliminating the bed bugs from your home.
How Many Eggs Do Bed Bugs Lay?
Female bed bugs will lay one egg at a time. Unlike other insects like ants, they do not deposit large amounts of eggs at a given time. They don’t have nests and will not generally lay eggs in only one particular spot. You can find small clusters of no more than about 50 eggs, but you will usually find less than a dozen in one place.
However, most female bed bugs will lay up to 5-12 eggs in an entire day, and will leave eggs behind every day of their adult life. This can result in an average of 500 eggs per each female’s adult life.
The temperature will have the largest impact on their egg-laying. The optimal temperature for laying eggs is at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.7 degrees Celsius). The colder the temperature, the fewer eggs per day and the warmer the temperature, the fewer eggs per life cycle, as bed bugs do not survive well in very high heat.
When you calculate that an average female will lay 500 eggs in 4 months, and there can be more females per male in an infestation, you will soon realize how many eggs can accumulate in a very short amount of time.
Infestations can go from mild to moderate to severe in just a few weeks’ time.
Which Temperature Will Kill Bed Bug Eggs?
Heat is one of the easiest and most efficient methods to kill bed bugs. Any stage of the bed bug life cycle, including eggs, will die at a sustained temperature of over 120 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees C.).
For clothing and bedding, you can throw them in the dryer on high heat for about 30 minutes to an hour to kill any bugs. For larger items, such as beds, dressers and the like you will need specialized heat equipment. Heat treatment should normally be left to the professionals, although there are a few good personal bed bug heat treatment products currently on the market.
My favorite way to heat household items to a temperature that is sure to kill all bed bugs and eggs without needing to purchase expensive pest control heat treatment is to use a ZappBug Heater, which is specially designed to kill all stages in the bed bug life cycle.
Simply place infested items into the ZappBug heater and it will automatically reach the all-important bed bug killing temperature, so you can be sure the items come out all-clear.
Large and small versions are also available.
Bed bugs can survive in almost any environment and at very extreme temperatures. We haven’t found a cold temperature that will kill them extremely quickly, but heat works well.
If you have a large infestation, you will need to hire a professional to help eliminate the problem. Killing the eggs and adults should be the priority to get them under control. High heat applications can be administered by professionals.
How To Kill Bed Bug Eggs
Aside from throwing your clothes and sheets in the dryer for an hour, there are other methods of killing bed bug eggs that are also effective. Most methods are a Do It Yourself manner.
Anytime you are fighting pests in the home, especially bed bugs, you will need to make preparations and have due diligence. Unlike the touting of some product labels, eliminating bed bugs is not a one-time affair. You will need to work to remove them all continuously. Leaving a single bed bug can result in the reformation of the infestation.
Depending on which method you choose, the most effective killer of bed bugs eggs will always be heat (always, until science can create a chemical to penetrate the eggshell and kill them instantly).
The eggs are coated with an adhesive that not only helps them attach to the surface, but makes them harder to get to and kill effectively. Scrubbing the area with a brush will loosen the eggs from their hold and make them easier to remove and kill.
Using a good vacuum with a HEPA rated filter is one method to remove the bed bug eggs from your home. While this method will not generally kill the eggs, you can remove them and wrap them so they cannot escape and infest your home further.
When it comes to choosing a vacuum in your fight against an infestation, you need a product that can be reliable, and one that is powerful enough to create secure suction deep within fabric and carpet fibers. And remember; it’s imperative you choose a vacuum that’s installed with a HEPA filter to ensure it’s impossible for insects to escape once captured.
My personal favorite for this sort of job is the medium-priced Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum, which easily ticks all of the boxes I’ve just mentioned, as well as being lightweight and easily maneuverable.
If you decide to vacuum, you must first find the areas where the eggs are located, which I discussed earlier in this article. Running a cleaning brush over the area will loosen the eggs and allow the vacuum to pick them up.
You must have a HEPA rated filter to catch the eggs. The HEPA filters will capture particles down to 0.3 microns and will also help eliminate dust, and shells and feces of the bugs.
Once you scrub and vacuum the area, you must clean your vacuum well. Remove the bag and filter after every use and place everything in a sealed plastic bag for disposal. When you dispose of the plastic bag, do so outside of the home and not just in your kitchen trash to wait until next Monday for it to be sent out for collection.
You can also find ultraviolet heat vacuums that will suction up the eggs and apply high heat to kill them. These vacuums can become expensive, but it may be worth the extra cost to know the eggs are dead.
Pesticides and Insecticides
Bed bugs are notorious for being resistant to most professional sprays and pesticides. However, even those that aren’t immune, still won’t easily be killed when they are just eggs. To kill an egg, it must have the shell penetrated to kill the embryo inside.
You should always check the labels to ensure that eggs are listed. If it doesn’t say it kills the eggs outright, the product should be avoided.
One of the best bed bug sprays that I’ve yet to personally use is the completely natural Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer. Not only does it have a 100% kill rate against live bed bugs in controlled tests, but it’s also child and pet friendly. This product can be used against both light and heavy infestations, and most importantly, it’s laboratory tested and completely chemical-free.
There are also home remedies with chemicals that have shown promising results. A 91 percent isopropyl alcohol sprayed on the eggs can kill most, if not all of them in a few days. If you use the solution, put it in a spray bottle and spray after scrubbing the egg area. Scrubbing beforehand will help eradicate some of the adhesives, and therefore help the alcohol penetrate the eggshell.
Isopropyl alcohol has also been found to prevent females from laying new eggs. This is a good measure to begin the elimination process of the entire infestation by killing the eggs you can find and preventing new ones from being laid.
Dangers of using alcohol should be noted though. Alcohol is highly flammable. It may also degrade or stain fabrics. You should always test small areas before widespread use and keep away from high heat sources and open flames.
How To Get Bed Bug Eggs Out Of Clothes
When bed bugs lay eggs on your clothes, they can be especially difficult to remove. You can throw your clothes through the washer and dryer to kill the eggs, but they still may remain.
Even if the egg is dead, the adhesive properties can make it stay on your clothing. To remove them you only have a few options.
- Handpick each egg off your clothing.
- Wash and dry on high heat a few times until the adhesive disintegrates.
- Scrub your clothing with a brush or on a washboard.
- Scrub and vacuum your clothing with a HEPA rated filtered vacuum.
Bed bugs begin their life cycle as an egg. These eggs are very difficult to find, see and kill. Taking preventative measures is always a recommended course of action.
However, once you have an infestation, controlling the egg population is key to winning the war against bed bugs. High heat is the only sure-fire method of killing eggs. This can be very difficult to accomplish though, because of the spaces eggs are laid in.
Wash and dry all clothing, linens and window dressings with high heat. If your clothing is dry clean only, you can purchase special bags to put them in to dry them in your home dryer.
Locate all of the possible egg-laying spots around your home and treat them as soon as possible. Scrubbing the egg area with a scrub brush will remove the adhesive and allow for shell penetration by chemicals or suction by a vacuum.
You must, above all, stay diligent in your search and removal efforts and don’t be ashamed or afraid to call in professional help if the infestation becomes overwhelming. The sooner you begin the cleaning out phase of your bed bug infestation, the easier it will be to control.
With a possible 500 eggs per female in just a few short months, eliminating the bed bug eggs should be priority number one.