Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed Bug Life Cycle – Life Stages of Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are reddish-brown and nocturnal insects that suck blood from warm-blooded animals including humans – you’ll find them in hotel rooms or in the house.

  • The bodies of the bed bugs are flattened (dorsoventrally) and hence they will easily hide in upholstered furniture, beds, carpets, and floor cracks.

So if you starting a journey to control bed bugs in your business premises or house, it is very important to know the life cycle of these pests.

In summary, the lifecycle of bed bugs shows that it moves through 3 key stages: egg, the nymph, & bed bug adult – this whole life cycle of bed bugs will take between 1 to 4 months to complete.

  • The bed bug eggs will hatch in around 1 week (6 days to 9 days) while its nymph stage moves through five instars (or phases) to finally become an adult.

Signs of a bed bug infestation in your hotel or the house include seeing some reddish-brown and wingless insects that may be hiding in the bed or mattress – a quick remedy would be using mattress encasements.

  • Also, the presence of an outer shell of insects in the area may point to the presence of bed bugs.
  • However, depending on the stage that the bed bugs are in their life cycle they will have different sizes and colors.

Therefore it’s important to know how to identify the bed bugs and differentiate them in their different stages.

Bed Bug Life Cycle – Stages in the Life of Bed Bugs?

The general but critical information about bed bugs include;

  • The eggs are laid covered with some glue and they’ll hatch within 10 days.
  • The bed bug nymph stage goes through five phases (stages) or what we call instars.
  • Each of the bedbug instar we require to take a blood meal for them to molt to the next instar stage.
  • Adult bed bugs can live for about 10 months but their whole life cycle will complete in between 1 to 4 months.

1. Bed Bug Eggs

The life cycle of a bed bug starts at the egg stage – the eggs are milky white and grain-like in shape.

  • Bed bugs (females) we lay eggs clustered in 10 to 20 pieces and a total of 200 – 500 eggs on in their lifetime different surfaces including bed frames.

Bed bug eggs will be laid in clusters or in singles and they will finally be stuffed in crevices and cracks.

Bed bug eggs measure about the size of two salt grains – which is about a length of 1 mm or less.

  • The eggs grow fast because in just two weeks they’ll have hatched and their nymphs will be leaving already.

Since the bed bugs are tiny in size you might be unable to see them using your naked eyes.

But they will be late around where the bedbugs sleep, they look like grains of salt, and are white or creamy in color.

When’s laid, Bed bug eggs are around 1 mm but they will all have grown about 1.5 mm when moving to the nymph stage.

Bed bugs so what we call granular metamorphosis – this implies that pests will grow bigger progressively at every instant stage but they will require to take a blood meal for molting to happen.

The bed bug nymph will graduate product rule after death fifth stage of molting in their instar movement in the life cycle.

  • When food and other conditions for growth are available bed bugs will move through their life cycle in 1 – 4 months.
  • But the adult bed bugs May leave even for 1.5 years.
  • Also provided the female bed bugs are healthy will continue laying eggs – which we’ve noted that in their lifetime they’ll lay about 500 eggs.

Related: Are Bed Bug Eggs Hard or Soft?

2. Bed Bug Nymphs / Baby Bed Bugs

Bed bug nymphs or Baby Bed Bugs go through molting stages before achieving maturity.

  • Despite that the nymphs may look mature, they are small-sized and have not yet achieved sexual maturity.

Old nymphs will be red-brown in color while the younger ones will be yellow-white.

  • The nymphs will require room temperature and a blood meal for them to successfully malt to the next stage.

When a suitable host is available to supply a blood meal to the bed bug nymphs, these organisms will molt to the next stage if there is room temperature in around 3 weeks.

Bed bug eggs and their nails are yellow-white or light-colored and thus it will be challenging to spot them while on the carpets and bedsheets.

  • The organisms turn red after feeding on that blood meal but they will also tend to darken as they achieve maturity

When you spot some of these nymphs be sure that is a larger bed bug population in your space.

  • Arsenal because the nymphs are small-sized there will be even more challenging to detect compared to the adult.
  • The size of the nymphs will be about the size of a sesame seed – which is around 1 to 5 mm in length.

Is it possible for the bed bug nymphs to lay eggs?

  • Well, technically, nymphs can’t lay eggs but in around 5 weeks from egg hatching, these organisms will have achieved enough fertility (as an adult).

Will Diatomaceous Earth kill bed bugs?

  • Well yes, the formulation that is diatomaceous Earth will kill adult bed bugs and also exterminate their names nymphs.

Diatomaceous Earth as noted earlier kills bed bugs by dehydrating them after peeling off its skin.

  • So since the bed bug nymphs are immature, their skin will be immature and thus softer – that will mean that the Diatomaceous Earth will have an easier job exterminating them

The nymphs will walk over the diatomaceous Earth and they will get injured, begin bleeding and finally die.

This will especially happen in the third and fourth stages of the nymphs’ growth because these organisms will be more active and will easily reach the location of the diatomaceous earth.

However diatomaceous Earth won’t wipe out the whole nymph population. Therefore, experts recommend using heat treatments and bed bug sprays or hiring exterminators for infestations that are large.

3. Adult Bed Bugs

The average length of an adult bedbug ranges from 1/4 inch to 3/16 inches – they have a wide and flat body but will get larger once they’ve fed on blood from their host.

  • After getting a blood meal (engorged) the bed bug’s body will be cylindrical and longer.

But bed bugs are generally brownish, oval-shaped, and small insects (comparable to an apple seed) that live on hosts such as humans and other animals.

Also before reaching maturity they mature bed bugs (instars or nymphs) will have shed skin 5 times when molting to the next stage and after feeding on blood.

When the conditions are right, the bedbugs will reach the adult stage in about a month and thus will produce 3 + generations each year.

But where will bed bugs hide?

  • Bed bugs will make entry into your house unnoticed through items such as couches, second-hand beds, clothing, and luggage.

If there is a space in the house that measures the width of your credit card, then the bed bugs will take advantage of their flat bodies and hide there.

But generally, you’ll find bed bugs hiding in headboards, bed frames, box springs, and mattresses from where they can access humans easily at night while they are sleeping.

But as a bedbug colony grows these insects will move to other apartments or nearby rooms, protected locations, crevices, or just scatter around your bedroom.

You may also find bed bugs in clean hotel rooms or homes – this is contrary to the common rumor that bed bugs signify dirtiness but this is untrue since these insects survive only through blood meals.

At what time will bed bugs bite humans? Well, bed bugs will largely bite humans as they sleep – especially at night.

  • The bugs will pierce your skin and suck blood via their elongated mouthparts for between 3 to 10 minutes before crawling away.


The life cycle of a bed bug we’ll take it 2 three life stages which are; egg stage, nymph stage (through five instars), and finally the adult stage.

  • Through these three stages, bed bugs will have different shapes, sizes, colors, and feeding habits.

Therefore as you seek to control bed bugs in your home or business premises you require to know how they look in their different life stages.