Those who are plagued by bed bugs can’t help but marvel at the resilience of the tiny invasive creatures.
If you have been battling bed bugs in your home, you’ve likely attempted all manner of DIY bed bug remedies pulled from Google searches and YouTube videos. Just when you think you’ve conquered them, a resurgence rears its ugly head.
Perhaps a look at the bed bug life cycle can help you identify them at all life stages and strategize on how to get rid of the bed bugs in your home.
Life Stages of a Bed Bug
A bed bug’s life begins as a teensy 1mm egg. Bed bug eggs look almost like a miniature off-white Tic Tac candy. An egg can take between one and two weeks to hatch.
These eggs are visible to the human eye. Look for them in nooks and crannies around your home.
1st Stage (Nymph)
Once the baby bed bug has hatched, he will begin looking for his first meal.
The EPA describes bed bugs at this stage as “Smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow in color; and if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.”
During the succeeding stages (two through five), an immature bed bug will progressively grow from a nymph to an adult.
“Immature nymphs molt five times (they shed their outer exoskeleton) before reaching adulthood,” explains the University of Minnesota. “Bed bugs need to feed at least once before each molt, although they could feed as often as once a day.”
Each molt represents a progression on to the next stage in a bed bug’s life cycle.
Bed bugs that reach adulthood are darker in color and can be clearly seen in the home. Even their fecal matter is visible to the human eye, seen as small black dots.
“Adult bed bugs are about 3/16-inch long and reddish-brown, with oval, flattened bodies. Their coloration is similar to an apple seed although their size is closer to a lentil,” advises the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
The shape and size of a bed bug can actually change based on how recently it has fed. If a bed bug has just had a big meal, he will be longer and redder in appearance.
Life Span of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood, whether human or another source. This food supply is required for them to grow through the above stages and reach adulthood and reproduce.
“The life expectancy of bed bugs is between 2 and 4 months. However, if they do not get a blood meal they go into semi-hibernation. When that happens, they can live up to a year,” says Pest Guide.
Unfortunately, that’s plenty long enough to multiply, filling up your bed and just about every other surface in your home. In fact, due to fast reproduction rates, bed bugs can produce multiple generations within a year.
Professional Bed Bug Exterminator
YES Pest, Inc. offers chemical-free bed bug control in Columbus and Bloomington, Indiana. Our non-toxic bed bug heat treatment effectively eradicates bed bugs and can help you put an end to your bed bug battle.
This ‘green’ method of pest control can kill bed bugs at all life stages within just eight hours!
Contact the pros at YES Pest today to get started. Plus, new customers can get $25.00 off their first service call charge with any pest control service or with any signed annual service agreement.