Discovering baby bed bugs crawling in the house or business premises will cause panic to most homeowners. Maybe you’ve seen some bed bug eggs, shed skin or fecal matter on bed frames, in crevices and cracks, or mattress seams. Sadly, all these are signs that there are adult bed bugs lying around planing a major infestation.
But you’re not alone. About 1 in every 5 Americans (and growing in different states) have experienced a bed bug infestation (mainly from the Cimex lectularius species). Controlling such a menace require having solid information on the baby and adult bugs.
Accordingly, in this article, I’ll reveal interesting but chilling facts about Baby bed bugs (nymphs) – including physical appearance, their dangers to human beings, lifecycle, feeding methods, and how to control them. So, let dive right in!
What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?
The bed bug species that mainly attack human beings are the Cimex hemipterus or the Cimex lectularius. The nymphs pass via 5 juvenile “nymph” stages as they molt towards attaining the adult stage – the wingless, reddish-brown, blood-sucking insects.
Sidenote: Always spray against bedbugs, fleas or roaches on used clothes and furniture before you get them into your house. But also, check this guide on how to use rubbing alcohol, Ammonia, bleach, or Lysol to kill bed bugs
1. Appearance and Size
In exact size, Nymphs (Baby bed bugs) are in between the bed bug eggs (1 mm / 0.09 inches) to the size of an adult bed bug (4.5 mm / 0.18 inches). However, baby bed bugs are tiny in size (definitely) but will grow bigger as they suck more blood and molt. It’s important to note that it’s possible to see baby bed bugs with the naked eye. An adult bed bug will be something like an apple seed in size (about 4.5mm), and its red or brown in color.
The nymphs add about 0.5 mm of its size at each molting stage (of the 5 juvenile “nymph” stages). However, do not confuse a cluster of bed bug eggs (with each measuring about 1 mm) with the nymphs. At the 5th nymph stages, the baby bed bug has a size almost equal to their adult counterparts. But for more clarity, check out the video (Courtesy of Sandy Honess) and see how you can differentiate the nymphs from the adult bed bugs.
2. Shape and Color
Baby bed bugs have an oval just like their counterparts. So, the main difference between the nymphs and the adult bed bugs is just the color. Immediately after hatching, nymphs will be yellow-white (almost colorless) but will turn reddish or brown as they feed on blood.
Before they suck blood, bed bugs are relatively thin and hence will easily slip through cracks and crevices into mattress covers, and furniture spaces where they hid waiting to lay eggs or attack their next host.
Do baby bed bugs Jump or Crawl?
First things first, baby bed bug, just like the adult bed bugs, can fly or jump. However, these bugs have a very fast speed when running on a flat surface, ceilings, walls, and floors. To be specific, bed bugs will clock about 4 feet every second. Wondering if even adult bed bugs can fly? Do Check this Guide for more details.
Nevertheless, compared to insects like fleas that can hop and jump around, bed bugs can only crawl or run very fast on floors and other surfaces. Actually, nothing would qualify as an adventure in the movement of bed bugs. Further, because of the bugs wide body and short legs, they’ll only crawl low in the ground. However, despite moving very fast, they would not easily significantly exceed their regular crawling speed.
Will bed bugs climb up rough surfaces? Bed bugs, including the nymphs, have small hooks on their legs. Therefore, these structures the bugs hold onto pores, cracks or crevices of different rough surfaces and thus quickly climb up metals, plastics, walls, cloths, or timber. On the flip side, bed bugs cannot climb up on smoother covers such as glass and porcelain.
Can bed bugs push off heavy obstacles? Equally, because of their wide body and short legs, the bed bugs won’t do great in moving in thick carpets, hair, or some busy terrain. Further, the short legs are also too frail to push heavy objects aside particularly when moving in thick hair, carpets or grass. Therefore, in such cases, they would opt to climb up the objects and drop on the other side or simply circumnavigate them.
Do Baby Bed Bugs Bite?
Immediately after hatching, the nymphs from the eggs (Baby Bed Bugs) need to suck a pint of human (of your pets’) to allow it to grow, live and molt into other lifecycle stages. Sidenote: Bed bug eggs take 2 weeks to hatch after which the nymph move through the 5 molt stages during which they must feed on blood.
Therefore, the short answer is that just like the adult bed bugs, the baby bed bugs do bite human beings for blood. Interestingly, due to their growth requirements, the nymphs will bite humans (and such blood) more often. However, the bed bugs bites will disappear with 1-2 weeks.
But how do the bites from baby bed bugs look like? Well, bites from the nymphs will look just like those from the adult bed bugs. As a reminder, such bites leave reddish bumps on your skin and are itchy too. Equally, baby bed bugs will mainly bite your shoulders and arms – this can be compared to fleas that mainly bite the feet and ankles.
Where can baby bed bugs be found?
Despite that bites from bed bugs could be a significant sign of their presence in your premises, you must know how and where the bugs tend to hide so that you can easily control them. First things first, the signs to look out for include blood spots or fecal matter (colored like rust) on your bedding or mattress.
Sadly, human beings can carry bead bugs and their nymphs in their clothes from one house to another. For example, the bugs may hitchhike your bags, purses, clothes, and luggage. However, they do not love the hairy pets such as cats and dogs.
But of course, you know that the baby bed bugs can also trigger skin irritation and transmit diseases. Therefore, the best solution when you believe you have a bed bug infestation is to hire the services of a bed bug exterminator.
How long do Nymphs take to molt into adults?
How to Kill Baby Bed Bugs