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bed bug reproduction

The Life Cycle of a Bedbug

Did you know that a single female bedbug can lay hundreds of eggs throughout her lifetime?

During the previous century, the bedbug population was all but extinct, partially due to the use of toxic pesticides which are no longer in use.

But in recent years that’s all changed. Bedbugs have become a serious problem for many homeowners and even businesses.

A bedbug infestation is serious business and it’s not something that one should take lightly. Bedbugs have a remarkable ability to survive anything but the most well planned out extermination solutions.

In fact, many so-called solutions can actually make the problem even worse. So, if you think you might have bedbug trouble it’s important that you speak to an exterminator as soon as possible, as the infestation will probably get worse over time.

CLICK HERE to reach out and request a free inspection to determine whether or not your home or business is suffering from a bedbug infestation.

In order to help you recognize any potential warning signs of a bedbug infestation, I’d like to share a few details with you about the various phases of the life cycle of a bedbug.

Bedbug Life Cycle Phase #1: The Egg

Bedbug eggs are tiny. They are about 1 millimeter (0.039 inches) in diameter.

In other words, they are roughly the size of a couple of grains of salt.

Sometimes these eggs are laid and stored individually, other times they may be stored in clusters. The bedbug mothers generally try to lay their eggs in tight cracks and crevices where they will be protected and not easily accessible.

Bedbug eggs are pearl-white in color. After five days of existence, they tend to develop a small dot on the side.

Most eggs hatch within two weeks. Under optimal environmental conditions, which includes temperatures between 70-90°F, most eggs will hatch within no more than 6-9 days.

An important fact to keep in mind about bedbugs is that many so-called bedbug solutions, may help to eradicate the bugs themselves. Unfortunately, many of these treatments are not effective at destroying bedbug eggs. This is one of the reasons why working with a competent exterminator is so important.

bed bug nymphBedbug Life Cycle Phase #2: The Nymph

After birth, the newborn bedbugs immediately seek to begin feeding.

The most vulnerable part of the bedbugs’ life cycle is between the time of hatching and the first meal of the young bedbugs (or nymphs as they are called).

Depending on where their eggs were laid, it’s possible that a newborn nymph could have to travel several yards before finding a suitable host for their first meal (i.e. blood; a bedbug’s diet consists completely of blood). Given their incredibly small size and their limited capacity to travel very far, such conditions can actually lead a newborn nymph to die of dehydration before managing to find a host for its first meal.

That said, researchers believe that more than 80% of nymphs survive to reach adulthood.

Mature bedbugs are brown, oval-shaped and flat. After feeding on blood, their bodies elongate and become more plump, taking on a cigar-like shape. Their color also turns dark purple.

Nymphs are fairly similar in shape. But they are significantly smaller and they have yellowish-white (almost colorless) bodies. Due to their having somewhat transparent skin, their bodies take on the color of blood after feeding.

bed bug nymph - stagesAs they progress towards adulthood, nymphs go through five molting stages during which they shed their skin in a similar manner as snakes do.

Each molting phase includes a blood meal. The nymphs need this meal in order to molt their skin and advance to the next phase of growth.

Under favorable environmental conditions, each molting stage will last roughly 5-8 days, given proper access to a host for regular blood meals. If the nymphs are exposed to cooler temperatures (50-70°F), each molting stage might be prolonged by about 2-3 days.

A nymph’s development from birth until adulthood is estimated to take approximately 37 days.

(Don’t forget to click here and request a free inspection if you think you may be suffering from problems with bedbugs.)

bed bug adultBedbug Life Cycle Phase #3: Adulthood

As previously mentioned, adult bedbugs have brown, flat and oval-shaped bodies. They are roughly a quarter of an inch long.

Unsurprisingly, bedbugs are nocturnal creatures, meaning that they sleep during the day and become active at night.

Their daytime rest is spent inside cracks, crevices and other cramped areas with low visibility.

Bedbugs generally prefer to congregate in areas that will allow them to reach a blood meal host (humans or animals), without having to travel very far. This often includes areas like:

  • Cracks or crevices in headboards
  • Underneath mattress tags
  • Hidden areas along the stitching of pillowcases, bed sheets and mattresses
  • Open areas of box springs
  • Inside open electrical outlets near the bed

As bedbugs reproduce and an infestation becomes more serious, these popular hiding places may become too crowded causing some of the bugs to search for hiding spots further away from their host.

Bedbugs usually awake and become active during the hours between midnight and 5:00 AM. The adults generally feed about once every 3-7 days.

A single bedbug may bite its host several times before finding an ideal feeding spot. Once it does find a good spot for feeding, it will feed on its host’s blood for about 5-10 minutes. As the bedbug feeds, its body elongates and turns from brown to dark purple and from flat to round and plump.

Bedbug Life Cycle Phase #4: Reproduction
An important part of a nymph’s passing into adulthood is that after the final molting stage is complete the recently matured adults are capable of reproduction.

After feeding, bedbugs (particularly the males) are eager to mate. As opposed to the reproductive process of humans and other species that reproduce by having a male insert his genitals into those of a female in order to inseminate her reproductive organs, the mating process of bedbugs is rather unusual.

In a process known as “traumatic insemination”, a male will literally stab his reproductive organ into the right side of a female’s body in order to deposit his sperm into what is known as the Organ of Berlese. During the next several hours this sperm will migrate to the ovaries and fertilize the female’s eggs.

This traumatic reproductive process takes a toll on the female’s body. After being stabbed in the side by a male’s reproductive organ, the female is left with a wound which will scar and from which she needs time to heal. If she is mated again too quickly or too frequently, her ability to produce eggs may diminish to a certain degree.

At times, females will migrate away from a group of bedbugs after being mated several times in order to avoid further physical damage while she takes time to heal.

A female’s ability to produce eggs is largely dependent on routine access to blood meals. A female can produce up to 20 eggs after the consumption of a single blood meal.

bed bugs
Bed Bugs

Bedbugs can live up to approximately one year. During this time a female bedbug might lay hundreds of eggs.

If just one solitary female bedbug, that has already been inseminated, manages to find her way into a home, she can single-handedly form the beginning of a full-blown infestation. Even after using up all the sperm in her body to produce new eggs, the mother can continue to reproduce by mating with her offspring.

Unfortunately, the discovery of even a single bedbug in your home can indeed be cause for concern. If you fear you may have bedbug trouble, we strongly encourage you to reach out to an exterminator and request an inspection.

If you are interested in a free inspection, please contact us. We’d be happy to help you.

Presidio Pest Management
(248) 457-5233

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renee frangedakis
renee frangedakis
19:15 20 Aug 19
Absolutely the most professional company I have ever dealt with! From the first phone call I was at ease during a stressful and trying experience. Numerous companies tried to play on my emotions for their monetary gain. I was ill at ease with all of them. I tried one more phone call and it was to Presidio. Bobby the owner and I had an instant connection and I knew this company was the right fit. Matt came for the initial inspection and the day of the extermination, the owner Bobby was also at my door to introduce himself in person. I was impressed with his personalized service and his professionalism, along with Jay who was in charge of exterminating my home that day. They worked diligently from start to finish and when they left, everything was put back neatly in its place. They were thorough and also helped us out financially. If I could rate them 10 stars I would. Call this company first and foremost. Customer service is their number 1 priority. I can't thank you enough!!!!read more
Heidi Keesling
Heidi Keesling
23:06 16 Aug 19
My parents moved out along with the cats and the vacant house had so many fleas! The owner is amazing. This company is trustworthy with quality more
Cheryl King
Cheryl King
21:27 23 Jul 19
We were very happy with Presidio Pest Management's handling of our hornet's nest. They came out the same day we called and returned a few days later when the issue wasn't completely resolved. They were very more
Carol Compagnoni
Carol Compagnoni
11:38 21 Jul 19
I have used Presidio for my home and rental property for many years. Excellent service completed by the technicians; timely and friendly. Highly recommend Presidio Pest more
Maria Gilezan
Maria Gilezan
14:17 24 Jun 19
Renee A
Renee A
16:14 14 Jun 19
I am honestly so impressed with this company. I really can’t say that for many places anymore. I called the company with a matter that I was panicked about and they were able to assist me very quickly the same day.Scott came to the rescue and his service was amazing. He was a great guy who answered all my questions and did such a thorough job.I will be recommending this company to all my friends and family. Def will be scheduling my annual house sprays with them.Thank you!!!read more
Tamara Kramer
Tamara Kramer
15:12 08 Jun 19
Scott was very friendly and knowledgeable. Took care of business. A super nice guy. We'll see how the treatment for ants more
Amy Keogh
Amy Keogh
22:12 23 May 19
The owner and all of the employees who visited our home were very professional, courteous, and fast! High praises for the hard work they do. Thanks!read more
Mel Hawl
Mel Hawl
22:54 26 Apr 19
Fast service, fair pricing, great communication. Our service was done by Jay. He was great, explained the process clearly and answered all our questions. He was polite and funny. He was good with the kids, made us feel very comfortable and didnt make us feel ashamed at all. I am extremely satisfied with this more
Allie Dennis
Allie Dennis
15:39 23 Apr 19
Great service! Kind, professional, and trustworthy. We got our house sprayed for spiders and ants in the Fall and plan to use them again as Spring rolls around!read more
Larry Binion
Larry Binion
18:43 15 Apr 19
Bobby is Impeccably Excellent! Matt is the Man also! What would I do without Presidio. They are so good they should make a video! With these Guys I would have no hope! To be honest their service is DOPE!. In pest control they are best! Hire them and put your worries to rest!read more
13:41 25 Mar 19
Presidio is scheduled to provide service at our home. Thus far Bob has made himself readily available to answer our questions and address our concerns, even after business hours. We genuinely appreciate that. I feel confident that we've chosen a company that will get it right. Looking forward to their visit to our more
Julie Widiker
Julie Widiker
19:39 01 Feb 19
This company is thorough with the complete process. Start to finish. The owner and the employees are incredible! Compassionate, understanding and very knowledgeable. Any questions I have had are answered promptly and efficiently. Our exterminator professional Matt has been courteous, prompt as well as knowledgeable. I highly recommend Presidio!read more
Sara DeNardo
Sara DeNardo
20:17 14 Jan 19
I cannot express how great it is to work with Presidio. They are reliable. thorough and fast to respond to any and all appointment requests. In the mortgage industry you find yourself against many deadlines, and we have yet to worry about an order we have with Presidio. In fact, they over exceed any expectations I have on what a reasonable turn around time is. I would recommend them over any Pest Management company in the tri-county area! You will not be more
Laura Gush
Laura Gush
10:44 09 Jan 19
Pest control for bedbugs for apartment complex. Have been dealing with bedbugs for about 7/8 months now. Initially heat and chemically "treated" did a few follow up appts and never showed up for the last couple that they said they would. Fewer bedbugs and the duration that they'd be seen after went from upwards of 10 every day down to 1 or 2 bedbugs every 2 weeks to a month (just thought maybe they were single straddlers". Anyway, bedbugs started coming more frequently again and in increasing numbers again, so apt management was notified and Pest control guy came, had an attitude (not to mention, this particular employee seemed always to have an attitude any time he did actually come to do his job) about "why" he was just now hearing about them again after 6 months. And I told him, well, they weren't coming so frequently anymore until now, plus you never showed up for the last couple "follow ups" he looked around and asked "where are you seeing them?" I said, what does that matter, we are seeing them and they need to be treated. Well, he didn't treat anything that day and was "supposed to" come back a couple days later and never showed. So now I have to continuously go to apartment management who are only here 3 days per week for a total of 12 hours (4 hrs each day). Another week passes and apartment management said that "Pest control had come" I said, no they absolutely did not. If they did, they didn't come to my apartment. They also claim the initial heat/chemical treatment doesn't kill the bedbug eggs. That doesn't seem right either. I bet if they had to live with bedbugs they'd treat theirs real quick....Update: they came and were completely professional. Fabulous the last times to treat the bed bugs. Just a shame it couldn't have been treated the first time. Thank you!read more
Anthony Grochowski
Anthony Grochowski
00:37 04 Nov 18
We have been using Presidio for a few years now. From one house to another, 20 miles apart. We switched from using a big brand-name company and couldn't be happier with the results. They are professional, personable and thorough! They speak to us in layman's terms and help us to understand what it is they're doing to help. They give options and let us know exactly what we are getting, no surprises. We have three children and animals and are completely comfortable with the products they use. They've proven to be effective, time after more
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