How Many Bed Bugs Can Hatch From One Egg

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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How many cockroaches can hatch (be born) from one egg?

Next you will find out:

  • how many cockroaches hatch from one egg;
  • how cockroach eggs and egg capsules look (so-called oteca) and how many eggs are contained in one such capsule;
  • how and where the process of laying eggs and the subsequent appearance of young cockroaches take place;

. as well as other interesting facts concerning the "birth" of cockroaches from eggs.

It may seem strange to someone, but only one tiny larva hatches from one cockroach egg, which later, after several molts, turns into an adult insect. This is fundamental: there is only one cockroach in one egg.

It is easy to explain: a greater number of larvae simply cannot fit here, and the egg itself is a developing egg cell that can turn into only one embryo.

On the photo – cockroach eggs:

Purely theoretically, two twin larvae can develop from one cockroach egg, like in other animals. However, such cases are very rare, and, in general, it is almost always one cockroach that develops from one egg.

It is important not to confuse the egg directly and the special egg capsule, or oteca, which houses many of these eggs.By the way, precisely because of the compact swelling that the “pregnant” female of the red cockroach carries with it, many people believe that there are many future pests in one cockroach egg – they confuse the capsules with the eggs themselves.

Let’s touch on this point in more detail and see how many cockroach eggs are in the pool and how such a capsule is arranged.

Cockroach Egg and Egg Capsules

Eggs of almost all species of cockroaches are still in the body of the female “packed” in a special shell, which quickly hardens in air and forms a characteristic capsule.

Such a capsule is called an oteca (from the Greek “oo” – egg, “tekos” – storage) and serves to protect vulnerable eggs from the effects of adverse environmental factors.It provides the high survival rate of cockroaches both in nature and in human habitation.

Ooteka also exists in other species of invertebrates: in addition to cockroaches, for example, it is characteristic of praying mantis and mollusks.

Oroteka cockroaches can have different shapes, sizes and colors, depending on the type of insect. For example:

  • The black cockroach ooteca has a dark brown color, about 12 mm long, about 6 mm wide and a well-marked ridge on the surface;
  • The edema of the black beetle is red, about 8 mm in length, with clearly visible transverse constrictions;
  • In the Madagascar cockroach, the ooteka is strongly elongated, has a light yellow color, and measures about 25×4 mm.

The photo below shows the appearance of the Prusak library:

And in the next photo you can clearly see what the oothek looks like. madagascar hissing cockroach:

Despite the relatively high strength and hardness of the wall, the oteca allows the developing embryos to breathe, resembling these bird egg shells.

How many eggs are in each edeka is determined by the type of cockroach. For example,at red cockroaches in each such capsule there are on average 20-30 eggs, rarely up to 50.They lie very closely to each other in 4 even rows – two in height and two in width.

The eggs themselves are tiny in size – about 1 mm long and a few tenths of a millimeter wide. They are light yellow or white, translucent, and through their shell you can even make out the embryo with a magnifying glass.

The photo below shows what cockroach eggs look like inside the library:

Formed during the period of laying eggs cockroach. In a special chamber in the abdomen of a female, a large amount of sticky secretion is secreted, which literally dip eggs from a special organ.

When the process of the formation of eggs ends, the secret stands out for some time, closing the swelling from the inside. At this point, in most species of cockroaches, the capsule for a significant part of its length leaves the body of the “pregnant” female and remains attached to the end of the abdomen for some time.

In this capsule, cockroach eggs develop from 30 to 75 days. Development proceeds most rapidly under conditions of high temperature (above 30 ° C) and humidity, but when the temperature drops below 15 ° C, their development stops, resuming with the return of heat. This allows populations to survive the cold.

An adult Prusak dies at a temperature below -5 ° C and above + 45 ° C, while its ejecta normally tolerates short-term cooling to -10 ° C and overheating to + 55 ° C. In addition, insecticides have little effect on the oteca (and many of them have almost no effect). For example, in Prusaks, whose females drag a capsule at the end of the abdomen until the end of the development of larvae,if the mother is killed by the insecticide, the eggs in the oteke continue to develop, and later from them young nymphs hatch anyway.

Different species care for the eggs and their protective capsule differently.

For example, females of black cockroaches lay their edemas, and, thus, leave their eggs to fend within 3-4 days after the ooteca is fully formed. Then, for almost two more months, the capsule develops without any protection. If predators or parasites find such a source at this time, they will destroy the eggs. In many ways, this is why red cockroaches everywhere black out the black ones – they just eat their eggs.

The Prusaks themselves, as well as various exotic species, for example, ash and Madagascar cockroaches, show a certain care for the offspring.The females of the red cockroaches wear a hole in the end of the abdomen until the larvae hatch, and from danger they can at least carry it away.

And for the same Madagaskar people, the eurea develops in the body cavity, and only a few times a day does a “pregnant” cockroach expose it outside for airing. The larvae also hatch inside the mother’s body, but at almost the same moment they leave the brood chamber.The observer of this process creates the feeling that the cockroach is giving birth (that it is supposedly viviparous), although in fact, without exception, cockroaches lay eggs, just in some species the development of eggs to the larval stage takes place inside the abdomen of the mother.

The photos below show how the female Madagascar hissing cockroach "gives birth":

Depending on the type of cockroach, the number of “pregnancies” and the streaks given by the female in her entire life vary. Thus, the female of the prusak can produce up to 9 capsules in its life (of which “born” in the amount of more than 250 larvae), although usually the “average” female produces about 3–4 otek per life.

At the same time, in the female of the Prusak, the library is clearly visible, and in large tropical species, in which the capsule is hidden in the body, it may not be clear that the female is in an interesting position.

How does the process of hatching cockroaches from eggs

Cockroach embryos constantly move inside the egg, absorbing fetal fluid and nutrients. When they reach such dimensions that they no longer fit in the egg, they tear up its shell and begin to gnaw the crest of the ooteca.

In those species, the females of which lay capsules, after the larvae leave the oteca, a strong outer shell remains. For those whose dwelling develops inside the body of the female, its shell is very soft, and by the time the larvae appear, it bursts completely, and the offspring leaves the mother’s body in a free state, after which the female gets rid of the rest of the capsule.

On the video at the end of the article you can see how cockroaches are “born”.

In large species, up to 60 young larvae can spawn at a time, but in general, the normal number of young individuals is 25-35 pieces. The same number of young cockroaches hatch from the library of ordinary domestic species.

Further on the photo you can see how the black cockroach’s oteoca and newborn larvae look around it:

As a rule, the whole process of "birth" of cockroaches lasts from several minutes to several hours. After birth, the larvae are usually very light, almost white, but then – as the chitinous cover hardens – they darken.

Are there viviparous cockroaches?

Cockroaches are not viviparous creatures. The terms "egg-breeding" and "egg-laying" are used to these insects.

If the embryo develops in the egg and does not receive nutrition from the maternal organism in the process of development, but it is in the female’s organism, then this method of reproduction is called egg production.

Those cockroaches, whose females simply leave their beaver to the mercy of fate, are typical egg-laying insects. The same species in which the eggs develop inside the body of the female, and the nymphs hatch simultaneously with the exit from the brood chambers, which are egg-breeding.

Therefore, the terms “pregnant cockroach” and “viviparous cockroaches” are not quite correct – only live-bearing animals are truly pregnant.

From a scientific point of view, the expression “cockroaches give birth” is not quite correct. This process is not called childbirth, but rather is hatching.

The photo shows a female Madagascar cockroach with nymphs emerging from its abdomen:

Features of the appearance of the larvae

For the most part, cockroaches show no concern for offspring. Even in the well-known red cockroaches after the larvae emerge from the oteca, they are just near her for a while, and, therefore, near the female, but for an hour or two they run away and hide in convenient shelters.

Considering that the female tries to lay the oteca in a place that is secluded and remote from the main shelter of other adult insects, the larvae have little contact with other individuals for the first few days.

In some tropical species, females take care of the newly emerged larvae. In the same Madagascar cockroaches, babies gather under the belly of their mother, who continues to guard them for several hours, hisses as the enemy approaches, and can even make frightening attacks. However, by the end of the first day after hatching, the young cockroaches were creeping apart, and the female’s mother’s concerns ended there.

Only relict cockroaches show special care for kids. They live in small colonies with a rudimentary hierarchy, and their offspring is wooed as carefully as in the nests of termites.

Given the fact that the nymphs of cockroaches can eat immediately after hatching, they do not need long-term care, and they quickly become regular equal members of the family.

Interestingly, the larvae of cockroaches immediately after their birth into the world often try to eat their own edeka. They need it as a source of protein in the first hours of life.

Where do cockroaches lay egg capsules?

The female cockroach is trying to lay a capsule with eggs in the most secluded and safe places. In nature, this space under the stones, fallen trees, deep under a layer of rotted leaves, and in some species – even in the ground or in dry wood.

Similarly, in the apartment – cockroaches and then lay eggs in the safest places, for example:

  • in the cracks between the walls of the furniture;
  • under the bedside tables;
  • between the sink and the nightstand under it;
  • for plinths;
  • in the ventilation passages;
  • under the bathroom;
  • on the shelves in the pantry.

Sometimes, when cleaning the owners of an apartment, dry shells of Prusacks can come across their eyes – they are already empty, and they can simply be thrown into the trash can. But if a large source of black cockroach was discovered, it is useful to destroy it, because several dozens of future pests can hatch from it.

Do not expect that if you make a raid in search of "eggs" of cockroaches and destroy a few capsules, then this will remove the cockroaches from the apartment completely. Those capsules that can be found are likely to be already empty, but the number of undetected ones will be significantly larger (red-haired cockroaches carry them with them).

And even the search for etek even in the case of the fight against black cockroaches is a very laborious and ineffective exercise. It is much more reliable to remove pests simply by disinsection in the room.

What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?

Knowing what bed bug eggs look like could help you defeat an infestation faster—and help prevent the bugs from coming back.

Courtesy Dini M. Miller, Ph.D

A bed bug’s life starts as a tiny egg, barely noticeable to the human eye. But in just days, this tiny, blood-sucking insect will hatch and be searching for its next blood meal in you.

Don’t believe this myth about bed bug eggs

You may have already read on some websites that bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in a lifetime. That’s something to freak out about—if it were true. Thankfully, it’s not. Virginia Tech entomologist Dini M. Miller, PhD, says that number is from dated research but still circulates today. The reported 500 eggs were based on one bed bug in a lab that was very fertile. Here’s something you can believe—the real causes of bed bugs.

How many eggs do bed bugs lay?

Dr. Dini Millers’ research lab at Virginia Tech says the more meals the female gets, the greater the number of eggs she will produce. So, if she is able to feed every week, she could produce five to 20 eggs. But she might not get to feed every week, in which case she would produce fewer eggs. According to Dr. Miller’s research, bed bugs can lay up to 113 eggs in a lifetime, which can be around a year.

Male bed bugs get frisky after a blood meal

After female and male bed bugs get their fill of blood from you, they head back to the harborage (their home) to digest their blood feast and mate. Dr. Miller’s research tells us male bed bugs are particularly interested in mating after a blood meal. Afterward and for the next several hours, their sperm will migrate to the female’s ovaries and fertilize her eggs. Check out what bed bugs look like after they eat and when they mate.

Bed bug eggs are dropped

Courtesy Dini M. Miller, Ph.D

Bed bug eggs are cream-colored and have an elongated shape that measures a tiny one millimeter in length. The female can lay her eggs singly or in groups. “Bed bugs can ‘glue’ their egg to a surface and it can remain there until it hatches if in an undisturbed location such as a crack or crevice. They can be dislodged though, so they can be found on the floor if scraped off,” says urban entomologist Jody Green, PhD, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The eggs are usually pretty safe unless a human comes along with a scraper or strong vacuum to suck them up. Vacuuming is one way to stay on top of bed bugs. Here are some other things you should be doing to keep bed bugs out.

Bed bug eggs are tough

You would think something as small and seemingly frail like a bed bug egg wouldn’t have much of a chance, yet Dr. Miller’s research says that under optimal conditions, just about 97 percent of the bed bug eggs hatch. Insecticides sold at the local hardware store can’t penetrate the protective eggshell, says Green. Even diatomaceous earth, one of the home remedies for bed bugs, only kills nymphs and adult bed bugs—not the eggs. Here’s what’s lethal to the eggs: Temperatures above 120 degrees, or below 0. Green says some professional products may be successful at wiping out the eggs but only with precise and proper application techniques.

Hatching time

A new generation of bed bugs will hatch between nine and 12 days of optimal room temperatures—around 72 degrees—Green says. Hatching takes longer under cooler conditions. Once the nymphs emerge, they immediately start searching for a blood meal. “Literature has suggested that nymphs require a blood meal soon because they may desiccate. A blood meal will help them with moisture, but they can also survive by hiding out in crevices in optimal temperatures of 70 to 90 degrees,” says Green. Even without a blood snack, nymphs may live for two to four months. Check out some more secrets bed bugs don’t want you to know.

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.


Stopping the spread of bed bugs can be a difficult task, although new studies on bed bug reproduction are exploring how to reduce the frequency of mating. To understand how bed bugs spread, it is helpful to understand their mating habits.


On average, female bed bugs lay about one to seven eggs per day after a blood feeding has taken place. However, the mating process can sometimes be difficult for the female bed bug. Frequent mating can cause injury. As a result, female bed bugs do not necessarily produce more eggs with increased mating sessions. Instead, a female bed bug is more likely to travel away from her original location to an area where she can guarantee a food source and a lack of mates. With lack of disruption and access to food, a female bed bug can lay many eggs.


On average, a female bed bug with access to regular meals will lay anywhere from 200 to 250 eggs during her lifetime. Because mating causes scarring, a female that has mated multiple times during a short period will lay fewer eggs than a female who has had time to recover from the reproduction process. The need for females to protect themselves from future mating sessions has helped to increase the spread of bed bugs.

Pregnant female bed bugs are more likely to travel in an attempt to avoid being mated with again. A single pregnant female can cause an infestation of more than 5,000 bed bugs within a six-month period.


Bed bug eggs take approximately six to 17 days to hatch. Hatched eggs are called nymphs. A nymph is not able to reproduce until it has fully matured. The length of time it takes for a nymph to mature depends on temperature. Eggs can hatch and become mature bed begs in as little as 21 days in warmer temperatures. It can take more than four months for the same process to occur in cooler temperatures. Nymphs can begin blood feeding as soon as they hatch. A single female bed bug can mate with any of her offspring after a nymph has fully matured.


A 2010 study conducted by Vincent Harraca from Lund University in Sweden revealed an alarm pheromone released by nymphs, and male bed bugs when approached, to prevent prowling males from attempting to mate. Mature males will attempt to mate with any bed bug that has recently fed. The fact that male mating is non-productive in propagating the bed bug population has inspired scientific research, which resulted in the discovery that immature nymphs and male bed bugs release a fear pheromone to prevent a mating attack. In the future, scientists hope to use this pheromone to reduce mating overall and lessen infestations.

Research by Warren Booth, a biologist at the University of Tulsa and a co-author of a 2015 study published in Molecular Ecology on bed bugs, has led scientists to suspect that a new species of bed bugs is beginning to emerge. According to the BBC, archaeologists have discovered fossil evidence of what appears to be bed bugs, indicating that they are as old as 3,500 years. Scientists believe bed bugs originated in bat caves and began feeding on humans as humans moved into caves. However, when humans switched to other dwellings, bed bugs followed.

Since that time bed bugs have evolved. In the 1950s, bed bugs all but disappeared. The reason for that, according to one theory, was the heavy use of a common household pesticide, DDT. Due to health and environmental impact, that pesticide was banned in the United States in the 1970s, but by that time bed bugs had built up a resistance to the chemical and it was no longer effective. Bed bugs have since made a massive comeback, causing a growing concern for households and businesses alike.

The bed bug reproduction cycle is effective due to the large number of eggs a female can lay. A pest management professional can help to determine the source of bed bugs in your home or business and provide the proper treatment to ensure that bed bugs get out and stay out.

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