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Life Cycle of a Bed Bug

 

Also referred to as a bed louse, bed bugs can infest a home quickly as one female can produce up to five hundred offspring throughout her lifetime.  Three generations can live per year; this makes one reproductive pair a nuisance that will quickly multiply if they make their way into your home.

Bed bugs are likely to go undetected as they are a small oval, brown insect that grows to be about a quarter of an inch long.  They live exclusively on the blood of a host such as animals or humans.  After feeding, bed bugs appear like a red apple seed crawling quickly throughout your home on floors, walls, and ceilings.  Bed bugs are not discriminate as they will live in either a well kept home or a filthy shack.  The good news is bed bugs may bite and leave welts, they do not transmit diseases.

Egg, Nymph, Adult

Bed bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis, which means they have three distinct life stages.  The female first lays her eggs in clusters of up to fifty on rough surfaces.  She coats the eggs in a sticky substance to adhere to the surface.  Within one to two weeks, the eggs will hatch as nymphs.  The nymphs are colorless baby insects that look much like the adult bed bug.  The nymph now requires a blood meal to molt.  Each time it molts, the nymph becomes darker.  The nymph will molt five times before it reaches adulthood; which takes from three weeks to three months depending on the temperature.  Bed bugs thrive in warmer temperatures, thus reaching adulthood quicker.

Bed bugs seek out food by detecting the exhaled carbon dioxide, warmth, and any moisture of a potential host.  Since bed bugs typically feed at night, potential victims may never see the signs of bed bugs until they’ve already become a host.  The tell-tale signs of bed bugs include itchy red welts, deposited skin from nymphs’ molting, and dark blood spot on bed linens or upholstery.  Contact your pest professional to learn about your options for preventing or controlling bed bug populations.

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