Bed bugs! Not a pair of words anyone wants uttered in the comfort of their home or business, let alone in a situation with children. Bug Free Services has been a pioneer when it comes to treating bed bugs in Florida (See: Cities We Serve) without the use of chemicals. Ever since we decided to help Florida residents tackle the ongoing bed bug invasion, we have devised every possible treatment option available to our industry. Sure we tried chemicals, and we sometimes use that as a secondary solution to treat small areas, but the most effective treatment for bed bugs is HEAT. Read more about our guaranteed bed bug treatment using heat.
Life Cycles of Common Bed Bugs
Bed bugs, like any other living creature, experience different cycles or stages of life. All of which pose a danger to humans because the cycle repeats itself very quickly. Once there are a few bed bugs infesting an interior structure, you can expect their reproductive cycle to take over and become a real issue. This all depends on how often bed bugs can feed, how many victims they can attack, and several other factors that will determine how quickly they can grow.
Bed bugs are completely nocturnal, described as dark red-brown in color, and they like feeding on human blood as well as other animals with warm-blood. These wingless insects have flat bodies that facilitate their ability to hide in difficult to reach areas. Places like furniture, bedding, mattresses, couches, wallpaper gaps, molding gaps, and other small places.
It all begins with a small egg, very white, almost clear in color. The average number of eggs a female bed bug can lay depends on food availability and other factors, but they can lay one to five eggs per day. Compounded throughout their lifetime, female bed bugs can lie up to 500 eggs!
Where are the bed bug eggs found?
Bed bug eggs are comparable to two grains of sand, around 1 millimeter in length. Often found inside tiny cracks or crevices, lined in clusters. The gestation period inside the egg lasts two weeks, after they hatch, baby bed bugs need to feed right away. Otherwise knowns as nymphs, new born bed bugs can grow into adults relatively quickly. Within five weeks of consuming their bloody meal, the young bed bugs will go from a light yellow color, to the well known dark red color.
After reaching sexual maturity, bed bugs will continue to feed on a weekly basis. Laying eggs and spreading the infestation as their colony expands.
From our experience, bed bugs can live up to 12 months. But the average lifespan averages from 4 to 6 months. This entirely depends on food supply and room temperature.
Life Stages in Detail
Bed Bug Egg (1.5mm long)
This is where it all begins, having just been placed in a hidden spot by a female adult bed bug, the eggs take 6-10 days to hatch. Then the newly born baby nymph will seek it’s first blood meal.
First Instar Nymph (1.5mm long)
Shortly after hatching, the first instar nymph (bed bug baby?) will attempt to consume it’s first blood meal. Considering their size is approximately the same as the egg stage, these little guys are barely visible by the naked eye. First Instar Nymphs lack the deep red color that the adults are known for, thus making it almost impossible to spot without careful observation.
Second Instar Nymph (2mm long)
As the bed bug baby continues it’s rapid approach towards the adult stage, it must consume more blood meals. By now, it’s increased in size by 25% and has started to gain some of it’s permanent pigmentation derived from the red cells in human blood.
Third Instar Nymph (2.5mm long)
By the third stage, the bed bug has molted twice. Also known as shedding it’s shell, the molting process involves a complete loss of the bed bug’s outer layer of protection, their exoskeleton. Bed bugs must continue to consume blood meals in order to continue their growth cycle.
Fourth Instar Nymph (3mm long)
At this time, the bed bug is almost to the last growth stage. It’s doubled in size since it hatched from the egg, nearly 10 to 20 days earlier. It must consume yet another blood meal from it’s host victim(s) in order to molt once again.
Fifth Instar Nymph (4.5mm long)
Again, the bed bug must consumer another blood meal from the target victim. By now it has experienced explosive growth, nearly reaching the adult stage, it needs to consume one last blood meal in order to complete their entire transformation.
Adult Bed Bug (5.5mm long)
During the many growth stages, the adult bed bug has successfully consumed over 5 blood meals and grown to three times it’s original size. The female adult bed bug can lay up to 5 eggs per day, compounding the infestation rather quickly. In order to avoid this issue, please learn more how we treat bed bugs with heat or call 1-888-799-2847 today.
Are you ready to get rid of all bed bugs in your home, hotel, car, or furniture? Using an innovative heat treatment, which reaches every possible insect hiding inside your mattress or carpets. Bug Free Services can clear the bed bug infestation in a single day, with no chemicals and no harmful residual substances. Learn more….