How long can bed bugs live?
Adult bed bugs can survive a full year without feeding, going into a semi hibernation state until activated by the CO2 from a blood source. Normal life cycle for a bed bug is up to a year and a half, while younger bed bugs can go about a month or two without a blood source before dying.
It will take about a month for a nymph to go through all 4 stages to become an adult bed bugs and longer if they are outdoors or don't have a ready blood source to accelerated growth and molting. See picture of bed bugs here.
Bed Bug Facts
Bed Bugs are tiny pest – the adult is no more than a quarter of an inch in size – that live on the blood of animals and, most worryingly humans.
Although not equipped with wings the bed bug does possess the ability to spread very quickly and is prone to rapid spreading as a result.
The Bed Bug spread is a widespread one, as these miniature creatures are believed to have spread from their origin in the Asian continent to the entire globe.
It is hardly unusual to find an infestation of Bed Bugs, but what is important is that we know where they live, how to find them and what to do about them.
The female Bed Bug will give out eggs each day; as she can exist for considerable lengths of time – over a year – this results in a rapid explosion of the Bed Bug population.
The bed bug is active at night – when we are dormant – and the primary clue to the existence of Bed Bugs is the presence of bites on the skin in the morning.
The bed bug will eat during the night, and when it feeds on our blood it leaves behind marks of its presence.
A bed bug feeds by piercing the skin and pushing in a tube with which it draws out the required blood, and as such the victim will rarely be aware they are being bitten as they are normally asleep.
After feeding – which could last as long as ten minutes – the Bed Bug leaves behind a red puncture which may swell and will irritate continually, bringing irritation and discomfort to the individual.
The problem regarding diagnosis is that the symptoms of Bed Bugs are very similar to many other skin problems.
Scabies leaves behind very similar indications to bed bug infestation, and some insect bites such as mosquito can also produce a similar tell tale red welt.
Bed bug bites will generally appear on skin that we leave exposed while we sleep – the arms and legs, face and neck are all often bitten – and it is to these areas we should look when looking for indications of the creatures.
The Bed Bug is a night living insect and it likes to feed on our blood; it also likes to stay out of sight and this is why it lives in our beds and furnishings.
While the Bed Bug does not nest like a number of other insects, it does travel to suitable places, hence many will hide together in the crevasses of a mattress, the inside of covers and linings and many dark and secure places.
Bed Bugs are sometimes introduced into the home by persons who have been elsewhere and have possibly slept on a number of different and frequently used beds.
A Bed Bug case is not usually a case of dodgy hygiene, however, as many hotels and guest houses have also been the source of infestations.
Bed Bug infestations increase very rapidly; with one female creature laying around five eggs per day it is clear to see how rapidly the colony can grow.
To get rid of Bed Bugs you initially need to throw out of the infected mattress and any other furnishings that may be infested with the creatures.
As bed bugs are very numerous and almost impossible to find, removing all the eggs and creatures with off the shelf routines may not be entirely successful.
During an infestation of bed bugs, all clothes, covers and linings that have been in contact with bugs – or are suspected of having been – must be thoroughly washed; if possible this should be done on the hottest setting possible in order to kill the bugs.
Last update: 12:53 AM Monday, September 20, 2010