Bed Bug Reproduction Cycle:
Bed bugs multiply very quickly and can turn a small infestation to a large one in a matter of a month or two. Adult Bed bugs engage in a mating technique called traumatic insemination. A female can lay between 1 to 5 eggs per day, while the eggs naturally take between 1 to 2 weeks to hatch into nymphs – depending on the temperature. There are 5 nymphal stages and bed bugs must have a blood meal to molt into their next stage. The entire molting process takes approximately 1 to 2 months total, depending on frequency of feeding. Each molt also causes the bed bug create a cast skin, essentially a mold of its old skin (think snakes).
So far there has been no studies on whether egg hatching is expedited by factors such as climate or weather, although it is generally understood that warmer temperatures expedite the hatching process while colder climates lengthen the hatching time.
The bed bug eggs are tiny and oval shaped like larva, nearly microscopic and stick to surfaces via a natural adhesive the bed bugs secrete. They are a pearl/milky white color and can be observed especially in favorite hiding locations. Generally, bed bugs prefer to lay eggs in milder, more cool locations. Locations such as within computers or electronics would prove to be a disruptive location for eggs due to the variation in heat and the common moving and use of such equipment. Again, bed bugs prefer stationary, cool areas such as in a bed frame, or deep within normally non-visible locations within furniture. Places such as behind wall paintings and decorations such as vases should also be checked.
The Lifecycle of Common Bed Bug:
As with any insect, a bed bug has several stages in its life cycle. The period of growth and development from the stage of being an egg to being a mature adult bed bug is termed as life cycle. The common bed bug or Cimex Lectularius is a blood-sucking insect belonging to the family of Cimicidae.
Physical Appearance: Bed bugs are flat, oval-shaped insects and do not have wings. They do have front wings, but these are redundant and do not function. They possess small eyes and well fully developed antennae. They have clawed feet and can climb rough exteriors but not on leveled or smooth surfaces.
Characteristics: Bedbugs are dark or reddish-brown in color and the color changes after feeding on a blood meal. They source their food, mainly by sucking the warm-blooded animals. They principally feed on human beings and found throughout human habitation of the world.
Importance: Bed bugs have gained prominence due to their capacity to attack on humans and cause infestation to any property. The bedbug bite is a great nuisance, which can cause ailments such as allergy, skin ailments, sleeplessness, anemia and asthma. The bite of a bedbug leaves a skin rash that is itchy and swollen. Immunity levels of an individual play an important role, which control or flares up the symptoms of a bed bug bite. The fecal spots, molt skins and the distinct odor are few things why human beings disregard this insect.
Life Cycle: The very first stage involves the laying of the eggs. Bedbug eggs are very small and measures about 0.8 to 1.2 mm in length. The eggs are often in large numbers and stick to hard surfaces, such as a headboard, folds of mattress, upholstered furniture and box springs. The eggs are broad, opaque and off-white color. The right temperature and availability of food is vital for the eggs to hatch. Warm to humid temperatures are favorable for the bed bugs to incubate. The eggs hatch in about 10-12 days.
The nymphs or the young bed bugs come out of the eggs leaving the eggshell sticking to the surface. The nymphs go through five stages before they develop into an adult bedbug. It takes about 32-47 days for the bed bug to grow. The growth and survival is dependent upon the food availability. The first star nymphs are almost invisible due to its clear color and have the same size as the egg. The young nymphs have multiple feeds before they can move to the next stage of development. It takes about eight to ten minutes for the bedbug to finish its meal. They suck at single or multiple spots on the host. They star nymphs are visible from the third stage onwards. They take to the color of the meal after each feeding. The junior bed bugs look like adult bed bugs from the fifth stage. Baby bugs grow up to a size of 5.0 to 5.5 mm in their final stage of the life cycle.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs, you have heard the word but, do you really know this creature? Most people do not. Many do not realize that they exist. But, they do and may be lurking in your home, your bedding, or even carpeting. It is essential that you take the time to learn more about these pests. By doing so, you can succeed in freeing your home from an infestation of the worst kind.
What Are Bed Bugs?
The bed bug is a creature that feeds on human beings and other warm blooded animals. Humans are its food of choice. If they can not find a person, they will select other warm blooded animals to use as a host for feeding. This can include your pets such as cats, dogs, and others. It can also includes birds, rodents and bats. Their food is that of the host’s blood. With that being true, you usually find these creatures in a locations were their food is. They can be found in homes and other locations where their hosts live. This can include places like hotels, motels, shelters, apartment buildings, dorm rooms at colleges, and even prisons. Anyplace where there is a source of hosts is a good place to find bed bugs.
How Do Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home?
If you have a home, you may be wondering how these bugs have gotten in. One of the major ways in which bed bugs do infest is through the means of transportation we all use. Often, they can infest busing lines, trains, passenger and commercial ships, and even in airlines.
Bed bugs can be transported from transportation into your home in several ways.
- They can be transported using your clothing.
- They can be transported on or in your luggage when your come home from an infested location.
- They can come through furniture that is brought into your home.
- They can come in from bedding as well.
There are plenty of ways in which bed bugs can make the journey from one place to the next. They can leave you wondering just where they came from in the first place when you find them in your home.
Bed Bugs Biology and Bed Bugs Lige Cycle Basic:
The adult bed bug as well as all of its five nymphal stages, need to feed on blood meals taken from their warm-blooded hosts. Typically, and whenever a choice is available, it will certainly be human. If a human host is not available, other smaller mammals or birds will suffice in its needs to copulate, survive and flourish.
The female will lay approximately five eggs daily and anywhere from 200 to 500 in her lifetime. The eggs are white and approximately 1mm in length. In appearance and to the naked eye, the eggs resemble a very small grain of rice. And under the right environmental conditions, the eggs will hatch in 4 – 12 days and into its first life stage. It will almost immediately seek out its first meal and cannot molt into the next life stage until doing so. It will repeat this process of feeding at least once before molting through the remainder of its nymphal life stages.
It will take five weeks or so before reaching adulthood and becoming fertile. And at this point, the male will seek out the female to reproduce through an unusual form of intercourse, otherwise known in the scientific community as ‘traumatic insemination’ (see photo above). This mating ritual will take place on its host…ugh!! Whereby, the male will penetrate the females abdominal wall to inseminate her with his fluids, eventually resulting in fertilization.
As you can see, it is crucial to eliminate the bed bug at all of its life stage cycles in order to completely eliminate them from your home or business. Eliminating the fertile adults and the five nymphal stages alone will not suffice. The eggs must be eliminated from the affected area(s) as well. As a former pest extermination professional, I can attest to you that it is imperative to break the ‘life-cycle’, OR the ‘life-cycle’ will continue. The sleepless nights and the bites will almost certainly follow!