Written by:A O'Neill, Licensed Professional in Pest Control
How long does it take for bed bugs to develop into an infestation?
Bed bugs focus on two things to survive: food and reproduction. The feeding part is taken care of if they have constant access to blood, preferably human blood, which is regularly needed for adult female reproduction.
The female will lay approximately 5 eggs per day for 10 days after feeding and mating. After that, she will feed again and the laying cycle will repeat after each blood meal.
The eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days and the nymphs reach adulthood in about 5 weeks. Once mature, they mate and continue to reproduce as long as they have regular access to blood. Then you will have a growing infestation that will start to get out of control if left untreated.
And, as if that weren't enough, the female can mate with her male offspring when they become adults.
Within 6 months, ONE pregnant female can be responsible for an infestation of over 5,000 bed bugs.
How does a bed bug infestation start?
Despite all the media coverage of their resurgence, many people still don't realize how a bed bug infestation can get started in their homes.
Bed bugs can be found wherever people gather or spend periods of time. And traveling is the main way to bring these parasites into our homes.
I always advisechecking your hotel roomand perform a bed inspection upon entry. If they are in bed, they could soon be hiding in your suitcases and suitcases and traveling back with you.
There are other ways to get into your home, like used furniture,public transportation, or even for having a friend to stay with.
You can read more about the other ways here.you have bed bugs in the first placeand how to avoid them.
bringing alonea pregnant female bedbugin your home is enough to start an infestation.
How long do bed bugs take to multiply?
As mentioned above, the female bed bug lays around 5 eggs a day (various studies have different numbers, but it's around that number) and between 200 and 500 during her life cycle, but probably 200-250.
These eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days (7 days under ideal conditions) and are so tiny and translucent that they are very difficult to see.
A newly emerged nymph (bedbug baby) will fetch a meal of blood and food. Nymphs molt (change their exoskeletons) five times before reaching adulthood.
However, they must take a blood meal before each molt takes place.
Nymphs can reach adulthood in just 21 days under favorable conditions of temperatures between70-80ºF(21-27ºC) and constant access to a blood meal, but more realistically it takes about 5 weeks to reach maturity, and that's when the infestation is likely to start to show up.
As long as it takes, the fact is that afemale bed bug can lay eggsevery day for 10 days if you have a partner and draw blood.
Thus, in 10 days, a single female bedbug will lay approximately 50 eggs. Not a good thought!
However, there is another problem, and that is that it is usually not justa bedbug, then multiply the 50 eggs by 2 or 10 or more, and this now becomes worrisome when you think about how many eggs there can be in just 10 days.
While bed bugs do not reproduce as quickly as other pests and their infestations take time to develop, this gives you an idea of how long it takes for bed bugs to multiply and how quickly an infestation can grow significantly within a month and beyond once the bugs are out, the eggs have hatched
Can you have bed bugs and not know it?
Yes, you can have bed bugs and not realize you have them, especially at the beginning of an infestation due to their ability tohide during the dayand go out to feed at night when you sleep.
In fact, a sweep of more than 2,000 low-income New Jersey apartments was screened for bed bugs in a Rutgers study. Inspections found that 291 of the apartments had bed bugs, of which 49% of residents had no idea they had bed bugs.
Unless you don't react to bites or notice any signs of them, they may go unnoticed to begin with.
How do you know how bad your bed bug infestation is?
It's not uncommon to not realize you have a bed bug problem early on, as they are experts at hiding and usually come out at night to feed. maybe you are notreacting to bites, or assume the bites are from a mosquito or other insect.
Whatever the scenario, the longer the infestation goes unnoticed, the more difficult it will be to eliminate it and the more expensive the treatment will be.
It also increases the chances of the infestation spreading to other rooms or apartments nearby.
Bed bug infestation levels
Levels of bed bug infestation vary fromlight, to moderate and then to heavy.
there is key noticeSigns to look for in a mild infestation. If you have to look for evidence before spotting any, a light infestation will be easier to deal with and you may want to make your own.bed bug control.
In a mild infestation, physical signs of bed bugs can be found by cleaning and removing bedding, looking for:
- Bed bugs you might not find when the infestation is still in the early stages.
- Rusty or dark red stains on the mattress or sheets from when the bed bugs were squashed.
- Small black dots (about this size: •) that look like a marker has bled into the fabric. It's actually bed bug feces.
- Eggs and/or egg shells, translucent white and tiny (about 1mm). These are easily overlooked as they are very small and well hidden.
Moderate to heavy infestations will be much more obvious, as seen in the photo above of just one corner of a box spring. you can see othersphotos of heavy infestationshere.
In moderate to severe infestations, you will notice some of the following:
- A considerable number of live nymphs and adults will be seen not only in the bed, but also crawling on walls, baseboards, etc. They will be visible in cracks and crevices in walls, on bed frames, behind moldings, andother areas listed here.
- you will do itsee bedbugs during the dayBecause they are hungry and their areas of refuge have become overcrowded, they infest other areas of the room.
- Hatched and unhatched eggs can be seen along mattress seams, in mattress folds, box springs, and nearby furniture. If yousleep on your couch, so they can also be found hiding there.
- Lots of dark fecal stains on the mattress, box spring and other furniture materials.
- In a heavily infested room, you may notice the sweet, unpleasant musty smell reminiscent of berries or cilantro.
- Fused/flaking skins are visible, especially in bedding. As bed bugs are continually producing offspring, there is an increasing accumulation of shed skins, particularly in roost areas.
Can bedbugs disappear?
Can a bed bug infestation go away on its own? No! These bloodsucking parasites are notseasonallest they die or disappear on their own as long as they have access to your blood.
Treatment is key to getting rid of them, and it must be done thoroughly, as you don't want either of you to get pregnant.female bedbugor any egg to survive.
Having to deal with bed bug bites is bad enough, but it's theemotional traumafrom having these pests that can have a long-term negative impact on your mental health. That's why it's important to eradicate them as soon as possible.
It will take commitment and effort if you are going to treat them yourself, so take steps tolimit your zones of refugeremoving all the mess under the beds and in the bedroom.
To placebed bug proof coversin your mattress, box spring and pillows and install traps under the legs of beds and furniture.
Read the step-by-step guide athow to get rid of bed bugs.
If your budget allows, leave it to a pest control professional who knows exactly where to look for them and what treatments will be needed to eliminate them.
Make sure you choose a reputable one, and this will guide you through.how to choose the right pest control company.
Bed bug interceptor traps
bed bug pictures
What should you not do if you have bed bugs?