Bed bug life stages

If you have a bed bug invasion at your home, it is important to know the stages of the bed bugs. So, you can learn how to fight with bed bugs.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are commonly mistaken with other household insects like ticks, fleas, cockroaches or other carpet beetles.

To identify bed bugs, you should know basic physical properties of them. We posted about what bed bugs look like earlier:

They can be identified as 3 to 5 millimeters length, brownish, oval and flat shaped. They have no wings and can’t fly. Bed bugs also can’t jump like ticks. They can crawl rapidly like spiders and this is the way how they move to the walls or clothes.

Can you see bed bugs?

Yes, bed bugs can be seen by naked eye. They are 4 millimeters length in average and this is not enough for them to hide around.

The problem is that they do not prefer to move around at daylight. Bed bugs usually feed at night or early in the morning. Night helps them keeping from the eyes.

You can check this article to learn what they look like:

Bed bug life stages

A bed bug has three life stages: Egg, nymph and adult. So, let’s see the evolution of bed bugs in these stages.

bed bug life circle pic

First stage: Egg – Where do bed bugs lay eggs?

Egg may be defined as the first stage of a bed bug’s life. So, it is important to identify and find them. Bed bugs eggs are small, only about 1 mm length and has the size of a pinhead.

Bed bugs lay their eggs in to the cracks, holes or clothes and other stuff where they hide and is close to their feeding sources.

So, if you are looking for bed bug eggs; you should look every corner where they can hide: Furnitures, behind the pics, mattresses, beds, cracks, old stuff and clothes.

Bed bug eggs are sticky and glued to the surface. For example, cockroach eggs are rectangular, but bed bug eggs are oval-shaped.

The more blood a female beg bug can take, the greater number of eggs it can produce. The number of new eggs depends how the female bed bug feeds.

When a bed bugs lay eggs, the number of the male and female eggs will be equal, in a 1:1 ratio. Under normal conditions, most of the eggs (more than %90) survives and hatches successfully.

all bed bug stages in photos

Second stage: Nymph (5 instars) – How fast they grow?

Nymph is the stage just after the hatch. They are about 1 to 5 mm length. A nymph will become very pale first, then after it feeds, they will be filled with blood and turn to red in color.

Nymph stage is not very short. If a nymph succeeds in feeding and the room temperature is suitable for them, about 70ᵒ F, they will get the next stage in about 35 days.

Nymph stage consists of five instars. They get bigger and bigger in every instar, from 1,5 mm to 4,5 mm at all. At the end of the fifth instar, they turn into an adult.

Recently hatched nymphs are tiny and they will not be able to travel to long distances. So if these tiny nymphs are away from a host, they will die because of dehydration before they access to their host.

Third stage: Adult – How long they live?

bed bugs life cycle image

An adult bed bug is just like an apple seed. It sizes about 3 to 5 millimeters and up to 10 millimeters in some cases.

Adult bed bugs are dark red to brown due to their feeding facilities. While a bed bug is brownish, after its feeding, you can see it becoming reddish. A bed bug which hasn’t fed for a long time, may be for several months, will become lighter.

Adult bed bugs can survive without feeding for about 1 year which means you can still find some bed bugs when you move to a new house even a it was left vacant for several months or a year.

But recent researches show that bed bugs at homes in United States are not so tough and they usually die after a 2 or 3 months of hunger.

What bed bugs eat in every stage?

A bed bug only feeds by blood. But it must be a mammalian’s blood. So, they feed by human, dogs, cats or bats.

They don’t need to feed while they are eggs, at the first stage. In the second and third stage, where they are called as nymph and adults, they need to feed.

In other words, bed bugs do not eat, but they drink blood.

You can also check ouu post about how to get rid of bed bugs by natural ways:

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