How Many Babies Do Bed Bugs Have At One Time

The BedBug Life Cycle

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

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BedBug Life Cycle Quick Facts

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

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

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

Bed Bug Life Cycle Video

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

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

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

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

Bed Bug Eggs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baby Bed Bugs (Nymphs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adult Bed Bugs

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

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

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

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

Bedbug Life Cycle & Life Span Factors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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10 Myths About Bedbugs

  • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

There are many misconceptions about the humble bedbug. Bedbugs (or cimicids) belong to a highly specialized family of insects that feed off the blood of humans, bats, and birds. The best-known members are the temperate-climate parasiteCimex lectularius(which means "bedbug" in Latin) andCimex hemipterus, a tropical version. Bedbugs are the most widely recognized insect in the world. They are known to have fed on humans for more than 4,000 years—and probably much longer. Unfortunately, there are many myths about these tiny pests.

If You Wake Up With Insect Bites, You Have Bedbugs

Bedbugs tend to bite on locations that are exposed during sleep—the arms, legs, and back as well as the face and eyes. The insects prefer sites that lack hair, with a thin epidermis that provides access to plentiful blood.

However, bedbugs are not the only nocturnal feeder on humans. Quite a few other arthropods could be the cause of bite marks, including fleas, mites, spiders, or even bat bugs. Also, many medical conditions cause rashes that look similar to bug bites. If the marks persist but you don’t find signs of an infestation, consider a trip to the doctor.

Are you the only one in your household waking up with bites? People react to bedbug bites differently, just as they do with mosquito and other insect bites. Two people can sleep on the same bedbug-infested mattress, and one will wake up without any signs of being bitten while the other will be covered in bite marks.

Bedbugs Cannot Be Seen by the Naked Eye

While bedbugs are pretty small insects, they aren’t microscopic. If you know where to look for them, you can definitely see them without the aid of a magnifier. The bedbug nymph is roughly the size of a poppy seed. Adults measure a bit larger than 3/16th of an inch, or about the size of an apple seed or a lentil.   The eggs, which are just the size of a pinhead, are harder to see without magnification.

Bedbug Infestations Are Rare

Although bedbugs all but disappeared in developed countries in the 1930s and again in the 1980s, global bedbug infestations are increasing in the 21st century. Rises in bedbug activity have been seen on every continent except Antarctica. In the United States, bedbugs are reported in all 50 states, and an estimated one in five Americans either has had a bedbug infestation in their home or knows someone who has.   Today, infestations are found in offices and retail environments, in health and transportation buildings, and even in movie houses: basically, anywhere people sleep or sit.

Bedbugs Are a Sign of a Dirty House

Although there is a great social stigma to having a bedbug infestation, bedbugs don’t care how neat and tidy your house is, nor do they care if you’re the best housekeeper on the block. As long as you have blood pumping through your veins, bedbugs will happily take up residence in your home. The same rule holds true for hotels and resorts. Whether a hotel has bedbugs has nothing to do with how clean or dirty the establishment is. Even a five-star resort can host bedbugs. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that clutter can make it much more difficult to get rid of bedbugs once they’re in your home—the mess gives the insects plenty of places to hide.

Bedbugs Only Bite After Dark

While bedbugs prefer to do their dirty work under cover of darkness, the light won’t stop a hungry bedbug from biting you. In desperation, some people will try leaving all their lights on at night, hoping the bedbugs will stay hidden like cockroaches. All this will do is make you more sleep-deprived.

Bedbugs spend most of their time hidden away. They only come out to feed once every three to seven days, usually from one to five a.m. They fully engorge themselves on your blood in 10 to 20 minutes, and then they go back to their hiding places to digest their food. After a meal, adult bedbugs may increase in length by 30 to 50 percent and in weight by 150 to 200 percent.  

Bedbugs Live in Mattresses

Bedbugs do hide in the seams and crevices of your mattress. Since these nocturnal insects feed on your blood, it is to their advantage to live close to the place where you spend the night. But that doesn’t mean bedbugs only live in mattresses. The insects also inhabit carpets and couches, dressers and closets, and even places where you’d never think to look, such as inside picture frames and switch plate covers.

Infestations can be extremely costly, resulting in multimillion-dollar damage in the hospitality industry, poultry industry, and private and communal households. Costs include payment for pest control, damage to social reputation, and replacement of infested clothing and furniture.

You Can Feel a Bedbug Bite

Bedbug saliva contains a substance that serves as a mild anesthetic, so when one bites you, it actually does you the favor of numbing your skin first. It’s very unlikely that you’d ever feel a bedbug bite when it happens.

Reactions to bites vary from individual to individual. Some people have no reactions at all; often the bites start out as small indistinct lesions about two-tenths of an inch in diameter, which may develop into larger circular or ovoid welts. Bedbug bites are usually less than ½ inch in size.   If there are a large number of bites, they can give the appearance of a generalized rash. They itch intensely, cause sleep deprivation, and can be associated with secondary bacterial infections as a consequence of scratching.

Bedbugs Jump From the Floor to Your Bed

Bedbugs aren’t built for jumping. They simply don’t have the legs for it as fleas and grasshoppers do. Bedbugs don’t have wings, either, so they can’t fly. They can only crawl for locomotion, so moving from the floor to the bed requires them to climb up a leg of the bed, or to scale belongings or furniture you’ve placed nearby.

This can work to your advantage if you’re battling bedbugs, as you can create barriers to keep them from climbing onto your bed. Cover the bed legs in double-sided tape, or place them in trays of water. Of course, if your bedspread touches the floor, the bedbugs will still be able to climb up, and the insects have also been known to crawl up the wall to the ceiling and then drop onto the bed.

Bedbugs Transmit Diseases to People

Although bedbugs can and do carry infectious diseases, there is little danger of the viruses being transmitted to humans. So far, scientists have found no evidence that bedbugs are capable of transmitting diseases to human hosts. For this reason, they’re considered a nuisance pest rather than a health threat.

But even though they don’t transmit diseases, bedbugs aren’t harmless. Some people experience severe allergic reactions to bedbug bites, and people who are bitten sometimes suffer from secondary infections. The emotional stress of dealing with a persistent bedbug infestation can also have a negative impact on your health.

Bedbugs Can Survive a Year Without a Meal

Technically, this is true. Under the right conditions, bedbugs have been known to survive as long as a year without a meal. Bedbugs, like all insects, are cold-blooded, so when temperatures drop, their body temperatures decrease. If it gets cold enough, bedbug metabolism will slow down, and they’ll stop eating temporarily.

However, it is highly unlikely that it would ever get cold enough in your home to trigger such a long period of inactivity. For practical purposes, then, this statement is false. At normal room temperature, a bedbug might go as long as two to three months without a meal, but that’s about it.

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.

Nymphs

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.

Adults

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.

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How Many Eggs Do Bed Bugs Lay

Do you know bed bugs? Not computer bugs, but bugs in the real meaning, bugs that always sneak out of our beds, clothes, and other household environment. Bed bugs are reddish brown, small, oval-shaped, flat and wingless insect that feed on human blood at night. In the day, bed bugs hide themselves. Bed bugs are considered nocturnal insects since they are in their most active in the middle of the night. Bed bugs are spreading fast in households, hotels, motels, busses, cabs, and train stations. They are spreading so fast that we now wondering, how bed bugs life cycle look likes? And how many eggs do bed bugs lay?

Bed bugs, just like any other insect, reproduce pretty fast, and also hatching so many eggs. But how many those are? Before we answer how many eggs do bed bugs lay, let us try to know how bed bugs behave. Bed bugs feed on human blood, usually at night when we are sleeping. Actually, some kind of bed bugs just not only feed human blood, but also bats. So if our attic has bats, there is a chance that our house is infested with bugs. If we treat our attic of bats habitation, we can thereafter easily treat the bed bugs infestation.

Bed bugs come from eggs. They become nymphs after they are hatched from their eggs. A female bed bug can lay from three hundred to one thousand eggs a year. It’s means a female bed bug can lay one to three eggs a day after mating. And bed bug eggs are hatched in about ten days. Bed bugs life is also long. They may even last more than a year and a half without feeding. Imagine that! Bed bug eggs can survive on any surfaces, but prefers wood, cloth or paper more than plastics and metals, while the nymps can survive for six months without feeding. Wow.. incredible creature though.

Bed bugs will lay its eggs in small and thin crevices to protect the eggs from harm. Female bed bugs hide their eggs under the mattresses, on the headboard crevices, under the creases on the nightstand right beside the bed, inside the bedrooms’ wallpaper and other wooden furniture within the area. How many eggs do bed bugs lay will determine the degree of infestation. A mattress full of bed bug eggs means hundreds of female bed bugs are around laying eggs everywhere, and Bed bug eggs are being hatched every day.

To exterminate the bed bugs, we should also have to exterminate bed bug eggs. If these bed bug eggs will be left untouched, they will hatch and become either a male bed bug or a female bed bug that can reproduce thousands of eggs. If thousands of female bed bugs are present in our home, we won’t know anymore how many eggs do bed bugs lay. Can we imagine that? Our home has been invades by bed bugs colonies. And what for we build house, for our family home or for bed bugs home?

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.

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