How often do bed bugs feed?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are a common problem in households, hotels, and other public places. Bed bug infestations can be challenging to get rid of, and preventing them starts with understanding their feeding habits. In this article, we will explore how often bed bugs feed and what factors affect their feeding behavior.


Bed bugs have been around for centuries and are still a major problem in many parts of the world. Their small size, nocturnal feeding behavior, and ability to hide in crevices and cracks make them difficult to detect and eliminate. In this article, we will explore how often bed bugs feed, what factors affect their feeding behavior, and how to prevent infestations.

Bed Bugs: A Brief Overview

Bed bugs are small, flat, and reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are usually found in areas where people sleep or rest, such as beds, couches, and chairs. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, but their bites can cause skin irritation, redness, and swelling.


Bed bugs do not eat other bugs or rest of your dinner in a trash can. What they need for living is blood and they are blood-fed bugs.

However they can feed on bats, cats, or dogs, and their main food source is always human. They prefer feeding on others alive but humans, only if they don’t have any other choice.


Bed bugs bite humans for feeding and suck their blood. For this, they need to climb on you and find the right time for it. That right time is usually nights when most people sleep.

When a bed bug bites you, it also secretes a liquid that prevents you to feel the pain. So, when you realized you were bitten, they are already done with you.


Bed bugs are tough bugs resistant to hungry, thirstiness, heat, and cold. Of course, there is a limit for them too, which will cause their death. But their resistance circle is very large.

After a well-feed, a bed bug can live without feeding for months. This time of the month, in most cases 3 or 4 months, is almost standard for every bed bug.

That’s not a big problem for them to survive without feeding for a few months. If all other conditions like temperature are ideal for a bed bug and it can feed very well once, then it can live for more than a year:


There is no certain answer to this question. Because, like other bugs or animals, they will never say “no” to an opportunity of feeding.

But some researches show that, when a bed bug feeds well, then it will prefer to keep in its host and stay out of trouble if it can.

But bed bugs won’t be able to feed very well every time. So, this will cause them to feed for a shorter period.

We can say that; an adult bed bug will keep feeding on you once a month at least. Time will get shorter or longer due to its former feeding performance.

Factors that Affect Bed Bugs Feeding Behavior

Several factors can affect the feeding behavior of bed bugs. These include:


Bed bugs are ectothermic, which means that their body temperature is regulated by the environment. They are most active at temperatures between 70°F and 80°F, and their feeding behavior may be affected by temperature changes.

Availability of Hosts

Bed bugs require a blood meal to molt, reproduce, and survive. Their feeding behavior may be influenced by the availability of hosts. When hosts are scarce, bed bugs may go into a dormant phase and can survive for several months without feeding.

Mating Status

Female bed bugs require a blood meal to produce eggs. Their feeding behavior may be influenced by their mating status. Mated females tend to feed more frequently than unmated females.

Age of Bed Bugs

Young bed bugs require more frequent blood meals than adult bed bugs. As they mature, they can survive for long periods without feeding.

Bed Bugs Feeding Habits: Day or Night?

Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal, and their feeding behavior is most active during the night. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide that people exhale, body heat, and other chemicals that humans emit. However, they can also feed during the day if they are hungry and hosts are available.

How to Detect Bed Bugs Infestation?

Bed bugs are small and can hide in crevices and cracks, making them difficult to detect. Signs of bed bug infestations include:

  • Bloodstains on sheets or pillowcases
  • Rusty or dark spots on sheets or mattresses caused by bed bug excrement
  • A sweet musty odor
  • Bed bug exoskeletons or shells


Questions like “How often do bed bugs feed?” never have a certain or standard answer for every single case.

Because bed bugs do not have a meal routine like breakfast or dinner as we do. Like the other bugs, they will keep feeding when they have an opportunity to do it.

But if you wonder about how long it will take to see a bed bug around after it bit you once, this will probably take a month on average. This doesn’t mean they will walk around shorter or longer.

What you must know is that bed bugs can live without feeding for several months and more than a year in some cases. So, if you are looking for bed bugs at home, you should stop waiting for them and start searching for them around.

And yes, we already posted an article about how to find them:


Can bed bugs transmit diseases?

Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, but their bites can cause skin irritation, redness, and swelling.

How long can bed bugs survive without feeding?

Bed bugs can survive for several months without feeding, depending on their age, mating status, and availability of hosts.