Knowing what to look for and signs of bed bugs are the first steps of controlling bed bugs and stopping a potential major invasion. A bed bug infestation can grow quickly and become a big problem fast. A common mistake many people make is assuming that the bug or bugs they see around their home or business are not bed bugs. No one wants to have a bed bug problem or believe these critters are in their home or business, so it’s easy to look the other way, or just simply deny that you see what you are seeing. Other people just really don’t know what to look for.
We are going to review the stages of a bed bug’s life, so you can easily identify if you have a problem and hopefully have it resolved early on.
Stages of a Bed Bug’s Life
Bed bugs can live for a long time, with a typical lifespan of between 10 months and a year. These critters can change a lot in that time frame, so understanding the major stages of a bed bug’s life and what to look for can be the key to stopping or identifying an infestation.
There are technically seven stages in a bed bug’s life; however, only three of them are highly identifiable and easily to notice, so we are going to focus on those below.
- Egg Stage: The bed bug’s life begins with the egg stage. This lasts anywhere from 6 to 10 days and at this point, the eggs are 1 mm in length, roughly about the size of a pinhead. They are pearl-white in color, and marked by an eye spot if more than five days old (EPA). Female bed bugs may lay hundreds of eggs over a lifetime, and as mentioned, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust. Due to their translucent color and size, bed bugs in this stage can be extremely difficult to see.
- Nymph Stage: During this stage of a bed bug’s life they can be anywhere from 1.5 mm to 4.5 mm in length. This stage is the longest of a bed bug’s life and can be broken down into multiple parts depending on the size and age of the pest. Bed bugs grow during this stage by feeding on hosts. If they haven’t fed recently, they can be nearly invisible to the naked eye, but if they have, they are usually still a bit translucent, but more whitish-yellow in color. They become darker the more that they feed. During the nymph stages, these bugs are most active at night as they hide from sunlight and their bites are not large enough to accrue pain on contact. The nymph process can take anywhere from 30 days to a couple of months. This depends on the atmosphere and blood feasts they can draw. You may be able to spot a bed bug throughout the nymph process, but it can still be rather difficult.
- Adult Stage: This is the point in a bed bug’s life that they are usually most noticeable. At around 10 weeks a bed bug will reach full maturity and be considered an “adult”. According to the EPA, during this stage, bed bugs, in general, are: about the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 – 1/4 inch long); long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body (if not fed recently); balloon-like, reddish-brown, and more elongated (if fed recently); a “true bug” (characteristics of true bugs include a beak with three segments; antenna that have four parts; wings that are not used for flying; and short, golden-colored hairs); and smelly, with a “musty-sweetish” odor produced through glands on the lower side of the body. The final size of an adult bed bug is around 5.5 millimeters long. These bugs have shed for a final time and are ready to lay eggs. It takes about three to six days for an adult female to produce eggs.
Knowing the stages of a bed bug’s life can help you to identify a problem early on. Having a bed bug infestation is one of the worst types of pest to have in your home or business, so prevention is key. There are things you can do to keep bed bugs from coming home with you or entering your home on guests and visitors. If you find yourself with a bed bug problem, or suspect you may have one, Delving Pest Control and help.
When it comes to bed bugs or other pests, Delving Pest Control can protect your Ohio or Southeast Michigan home or business. Delving Pest Control can treat both recently discovered and prolonged bed bug infestations.
Delving Pest Control is the leading discreet bed bug exterminator in Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Our vehicles are unmarked for your privacy. All you need is, a free inspection and strategy to help eliminate your bed bug issues. Contact us today.