Understanding Bed Bugs is the most important part of Bed Bug control treatments!
Bed bug control treatments are always on the minds of pest control companies and their technicians in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. We are always getting calls from grossed out folks who are looking for answers and treatments for their infested homes. Learning about the bed bug’s life cycle and behavior is an important first step in understanding how to win the battle against them, take your home back, and perhaps restore your sanity.
If you you missed my recent article about the beginning of the bed bug life cycle, Bed Bug Sex, you can read it here. Though it is kinda scary stuff so I won’t be offended if you choose to skip that whole mess.
Where Do Baby Bed Bugs Come From?
After the literally traumatic event that bed bug mating is occurs The female bed bug is ready to lay eggs. She finds a nice cozy spot, usually in a tight crack or crevice that offers protection for her eggs, and drops a bunch. When I say a bunch, I mean A BUNCH! A female bed bug will lay as many as five hundred eggs throughout her lifetime. Folks, my wife has given birth to seven kids and I don’t here the end of it. Just imagine how ticked off these bed bug mamas are!
Bed bug eggs are pearly white and about the size of a pin head. They are found in clusters of anywhere from 30 to 100 eggs. Check out this pic of a cluster we found at the end of a bed frame slat. This bed had about ten of these slats and there was eggs at the end of almost every one of them. That’s a lot of bed bugs!
Bed Bugs go through a life cycle called Gradual Metamorphosis. Gradual Metamorphosis has three stages:
- Nymph (With 5 Sub-Stages)
Eggs usually take from one to two weeks to hatch under ideal conditions.
Nymphs, or baby bed bugs, must molt between each of the five stages. Molting is the process of shedding the old exoskeleton or skin so that there is room to grow.
These shed skins are part of what pest pros look for when we are doing an initial inspection of a home. They can tell us how old the infestation is, where it is, and how bad or extensive it is.
Nymphs don’t change shape all that much but their color and translucence changes quite a bit. A fresh out of the egg, first stage nymph is not much bigger than the egg it came out of. They are usually off white in color and very translucent, almost clear.
The second through fifth stages are a gradual transformation of getting bigger and darker in color until they are an adult which is about the size and color of an apple seed. This process usually takes about a month with the right temperatures and an adequate food source. Before this is always the best time to do a bed bug control treatment.
What do those cute little baby bed bugs eat?
Just like the mating process requires the adults to have a nice big human blood meal first, bed bug nymphs require a blood meal at each stage of their development. A first stage nymph cannot molt and enter the second stage until it has engorged itself with blood. It’s kinda like how your mom told you you had to eat your vegetables in order to grow up to be big and strong… except the vegetables are YOU!
A bed bug nymph without a human host to feed on will stay at it’s current stage, sometimes for months, until it can eat. This is why the most important part of a good bed bug control treatment is to completely isolate the bed. If they can’t get to you then they can’t grow up to be adults and continue to multiply!
How long does a bed bug live?
After the metamorphosis is complete, about a month from egg to adult if conditions are right, a bed bug will begin the process of feeding and mating for around ten months but sometimes as long as a full year. As insects go that’s a very long life span! That’s 12 months of drinking your blood and laying hundreds of eggs!
If you’re having a problem with Bed Bugs…or any other pest…or simply a question…call NaturZone Pest Control at 602-476-1088 and ask for me, Jeffrey West. I’ll be happy to speak with you anytime.
Till then, thanks for reading!
Here’s to helping YOU live Pest Free,
PS. Call 602-476-1088 today for a FREE Consultation and FREE 58 Point Pest Analysis of your home or office!
We do Termite, Bed Bug, and General pest control in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Litchfield Park, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Mesa, Apache Junction, San Tan, Waddell, El Mirage, Carefree, Buckeye, Verrado, Tempe, Sun City, Sun Lakes, YoungTown Paradise Valley, Gold Canyon, Maricopa, Goodyear, Surprise and Anthem!