Bed Bug Breeding and Life Cycles

bed bug

Bed bug infestation can happen fast, so if there’s any chance bed bugs have entered your home, you will need to act fast. To properly address the situation, you need an understanding of what you are facing. The most important things to know about bed bugs is how they breed, what they look like, their life stages, and the ways they can sneak into your home so you can prevent it from occurring. In this article, we will answer these questions and give you some tips to combat these nasty bugs.

Where do they breed?

The mating process of bed bugs is known as traumatic insemination, and without going into the nasty details, put simply, it is a very traumatic time for the female. Typically, this causes the impregnated female to isolate herself, which is often when she will get into your things such as your backpack, luggage, or clothes. 

The Life Stages of the Bed Bug
Like with most insects, their life begins as an egg. The female is very active and will lay around 5-12 eggs each day. These eggs are tiny, the size of a pinhead, and are milky white like a grain of rice. Female bed bugs like to lay eggs in cracks and crevices, such as between your floorboards or baseboards. A single female is able to lay around 500 eggs in their lifespan.

The eggs will take between a week to 17 days to hatch, depending on their surrounding environment. When born, they are called nymphs and will be about 1.5mm long. They will be completely transparent until their first feed. This transparency makes them hard to see. When nymphs start to eat, they will become white or yellow in color and will then shed their skin five times as they grow. This process is known as molting. 

When they are a little more grown, they will reach 2mm in size and will take a blood meal which will give them a reddish stain on their back as well as increase their size.

In the next stage, their color will change to a much darker yellow, and they will have a prominent rust colored stain on their back. They will also start to be more recognizable and look like an adult bed bug

In the final stage, the nymph will undertake a final molting to reach its complete adult form. They will be between 4.5-5mm long with a much darker color. 

How Bed Bug Infestation Starts
The most common way an infestation starts is when an adult bug enters your home, usually a female in her isolation stage. A single pregnant female can trigger an infestation of up to 5,000 bed bugs in only a six month period, meaning that the take over of your home can be rapid. They have a quick life cycle, and nymphs can become breeding adults in only a month’s time. 

You are most at risk of picking up bed bugs when you’re travelling, but communal buildings and spaces such as schools and libraries can also hold some risk too.  Since these pests breed and multiply so quickly, you need to take action as soon as you suspect an infestation. Check your entire home and call a professional pest controller with bed bug experience as needed.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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