Bed bugs are a menace. It’s easy to pick them up on your travels but very difficult to get rid of as it can take months to completely eliminate these bugs from your environment. Bed bugs cause anxiety and sleeping problems and can bring social stigma. To completely eliminate bed bugs from your property, you need to understand them and their vulnerabilities. Professional bed bug exterminators take time to study these pests to develop good extermination solutions. One of the first things they study is the bed bugs life cycle.
What is the Bed Bugs Life Cycle?
Bed bugs can live for anywhere between 4 and 6 months and they pass through different stages of growth in their lifetime. Each stage has different characteristics and vulnerabilities. If you want to rid your property of these pests, it’s important to eliminate bed bugs in all stages of their lives. Here’s a brief description of different stages of the bed bug life cycle:
A female bedbug lays between 1 and 5 eggs per day and can lay 500 eggs over her entire lifespan. These eggs are small, and almost invisible to the naked eye thanks to their pale white color. They’re the size of a grain of rice and can be in clusters or individuals. These eggs are the reason why bed bugs are so difficult to eliminate. Unless you kill the eggs along with the other bugs, the bed bug population will simply keep growing.
The eggs hatch 2 weeks after they’re laid and begin feeding immediately. These bugs will go through five molts in their lifetime until they reach adulthood. They look pale yellow or white when they first hatch and are smaller than adult bugs. Eventually, they’ll change color as they age and become reddish brown. Nymphs are smaller and more difficult to spot, but there are also weaker than the adults and eggs so they’re easier to exterminate. Nymphs are also sexually inactive so they don’t reproduce. Under the right conditions and normal temperature they turn into adults in 5 weeks.
Adult bed bugs are fully grown and have harder shells than nymphs. They also reproduce throughout their lifespan and females continue to lay eggs for 4 to 6 months in the right conditions. These pests are quite resilient and can live for up to a year in colder temperatures and without adequate food supply. Healthy adults emerge from their hiding places once a week to feed though they take every opportunity they can to consume food.
Bed bugs hibernate in colder temperatures and the eggs are harder to exterminate than adults or nymphs. That’s why a professional will come back for another extermination session after 3 to 4 weeks to check if there are any bugs left. If they don’t spot any bed bugs for over 6 weeks, they’ll assume that the bugs have been eliminated at all stages of a bug’s life cycle.
Bed bugs can’t tolerate high temperatures and die if they’re exposed to heat of 100°F to 200°F. In fact, experts have observed that bugs that are exposed to temperatures above 80°F die within a month while bugs living in 50°F temperatures can live up to a year, especially if they have regular supply of food available to them. That’s one of the reasons why professional exterminators use heat to kill bed bugs.
If you have a bed bug infestation, you need to call an expert to handle the problem. Many try to use DIY solutions and end up causing damage to their property. A professional will have the right tools to eliminate these pests completely.