Bed bugs eggs are oval in shape and measure about 1/16 inches long. A female bed bug lays about 200-250 eggs. The eggs hatch in 6-10 days, and the nymphs suck for a blood meal from humans.
Homeowners are mainly worried about bed bug nymphs and adults – the biting stages. But should they?
In this article, I tackle these questions on bed bug eggs- can you see bed bug eggs – what do they look like? Where do bed bugs lay their eggs? How long do bed bug eggs take to hatch? And finally, how to kill bed bug eggs?
How to Kill Bed Bug Eggs | Kill Bed Bugs
Female bed bugs lay their eggs on hard surfaces, and they’ll hatch in 1-2 weeks to become Nymphs. Nymphs develop to adults, with a blood meal and temperature, within 2 weeks to 1 month.
1. Non-chemical methods
First, ensure that the technique you use to kill either the bed bugs or eggs is legal, effective, and safe. Check the legal techniques.
For the non-chemical techniques, use the most appropriate for your situation – some are more effective. Below is the method I recommend to kill the bed bug eggs.
– Heat treatment: Try the clothes dryer to kill the bed bug eggs – but use high heat – about 39o C to 51o C for over 30 minutes. Try a closed car under scotching sun – but enclose the clothes in plastic bags (black in color).
However, the effectiveness of the above-discussed method is dependent on your local factors, such as climate. Definitely, the DIY heat-treating techniques may not be effective in different circumstances.
Thus, you’ll need to hire an exterminator as they’ll come with high intensive options to treat your whole house. However, I would recommend you get yourself a portable bed bug heater as an alternative to hiring exterminators.
– Cold treatment: I would recommend using this method for your home by placing infested items in a freezer fixed below -18o C.
However, the items under cold treatment must be placed in a sealed bag – this should be a cold treatment for about 1 week.
Also, check regularly that the freezer temperature is at -18o C – use a suitable thermometer.
– Steam treatment (dry of wet steamers): Steam will very easily kill bed bug eggs that are hiding between bed frames, baseboards, carpets, fabric seams, and crevices.
Ensure that you use steam at a 55o C temperature and must not come with a tough airflow – this could make the bed bugs and their eggs to scatter. I would recommend using a diffuser to safeguard.
Bug bombs (foggers): I would recommend using bug foggers/ bombs cautiously, particularly ensuring the product is designed to kill bed bugs. However, bombs may lead to an explosion or fire if used carelessly.
2. Follow-up With and Inspection
The next step will be inspecting your premises, home, rooms, and items such as furniture or clothes for evidence of any bed bugs, eggs, and baby bed bugs.
Any bed bugs evidence will signify that some bed bugs eggs may have hatched after the first clean up or bug treatment. You’ll need to use another treatment method for another 1 or 2 rounds.
I would also recommend using desiccants that’ll dry the fluids in the body of the bed bugs and their eggs. Luckily, no bed bugs will raise their chemical resistance to these desiccants.
3. Avoid Food- or Pool-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
I recommend that you don’t dare use the food- or pool-grade diatomaceous earth. These are dangerous because they are manufactured from fossilized diatoms.
The above DE may cause dangerous breathing problems. However, researchers recommend using DE that’s approved as a pesticide – these will have diatoms of a different size.
Again, remember that desiccants will kill bed bugs and their eggs excellently, but it might take longer to show reliable results in your bug control process.
What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?
1. Color – Bed bug eggs are pearl-white or semi-transparent colored “beings,” measuring about 0.1 inches (or just 2.5 mm).
However, for eggs that are over 5 days old – they’ll have a dark mark that looks like an eye.
2. Shape – Bed bug eggs are shaped like a barrel. But can you see them with your eyes?
Yes, in-fact bed bug eggs are about the size of an uncooked grain of rice or pinhead – this is just slightly smaller than their nymphs.
3. Shiny and Sticky – Bed bug eggs have a sticking body that allows them to cluster together easily. Bed bugs (well, the females) lay about 1 to 5 eggs each day.
The eggs’ sticky nature gives them a shiny appearance while also acting as glue to attack different surfaces.
4. Egg husks – Well, the empty eggshells will also appear as if they’re live eggs – but won’t be shiny and flat plus dry. These husks also show signs of bed bugs in your space.
Killing them? First, vacuums will not strictly kill the bed bug eggs – but good bed bug sprays will do the magic – but ensure you do 2 – 3 treatments.
Where Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?
Due to their sticky body, you’ll find bed bugs moving or stuck on cushions, couches, and wooden furniture, including different fabrics like cotton, wool, denim, and metal or plastics.
1. Beds – Box Springs, Bed Buttons, & Mattress
Bed bugs have a complete life-cycle – egg, the nymph, and the bug’s adult. The name of this bugs denotes why they’ll quickly infest your box springs, bed frames, and mattresses.
You’ll see bed bug eggs near the bed edges, bed buttons, and mattresses too. However, you can also find them on rough surfaces glued tight.
But since the female adults (fertilized ones) will lay roughly 200 eggs total – which will hatch into Nymphs within 1-2 weeks. Bed bug eggs will be deposited in protected areas, crevices, cracks, and dark areas.
Bed Buttons – You’ll also find bed bug eggs around egg-laying areas such as the edges, folds, and seams of your mattress, as well as bed buttons. Further, inspect the box springs and the area they touch with your mattress.
I recommend you also inspect the walls, floor, and bed frame as these areas may also hide many bed bug eggs. Bed bug encasement has no phthalates, fire retardants, vinyl, or PVC – and are thus simple to clean.
Nymphs start sucking human blood promptly once they’re hatched. If the Nymphs get adequate food and appropriate temperature (just room temperature), they’ll molt into adults in 2-4 weeks.
The Nymphs will Instar (shed skins) roughly 5 times until they develop into adults. Interestingly, mature bed bugs will survive for multiple months after taking a blood meal.
Beds – Bed bugs don’t jump or fly, and thus, they won’t move so far away from the house. Heck, they won’t be anywhere very far from your bed.
So, it’s highly probable that’ll find bed bug eggs just around the bed where you get nymphs and their adults. So, inspect the hidden, dark, or jointed areas of the bed for signs of bed bugs and their eggs.
Besides the initial bed bug treatment, you can use bed bug mattress encasement to help resolve this. Besides, you can choose encasement that is hypo-allergenic and water-proof that’ll help prevent the spread, development, and existence of bed bug adults, nymphs, and even adults.
2. Floor and Carpet bed bugs:
Bed bugs may hitchhike your clothes or even the pets – but they may eventually hide on your floor or carpet after talking a full blood meal. So, you might want to inspect under chairs, dressers, and bed frame legs.
So, you may want to check your carpet for bed bugs, particularly the hidden areas, seams, crevices, and cracks. I would say that using heat treatment and steam will kill the bed bugs eggs while they’re hidden in the carpet fibers.
Further, check the around your baseboards and walls at the edges of the floor. Further, inspect and treat the joints and cracks around your hardwood floors. For the carpet, pull it off and check along or below the tack strips.
Caution: Don’t just mop or sweep the floor since this will shift the bed bugs eggs to another location in the room or house.
However, a steamer or vacuum would be a great alternative since it’ll suck any of the bed bug eggs lying around on the carpet or floor.
Vacuuming or Treating Bare Floors for Bed Bugs:
For bare floors, I recommend using a vacuum machine plus diatomaceous earth for cat fleas. Here are the steps to take while at it.
- Use a powder duster to spread the DE dust on the bare floor. However, remember to put on a dust mask to avoid hurting your breathing system, including the lungs.
- Now, vacuum your floors keenly to remove all the DE. Pay special attention to vacuuming the crevices and cracks that are between the floorboards and the tiles.
Vacuuming or Wall-To-Wall Carpet for Bed Bugs:
To clean your carpet (the wall-2-wall), use diatomaceous earth, vacuuming, and shampooing the carpet.
- Use a duster to spread the DE over the whole carpet. Equally, also put on a dust mask to protect your breathing system from the harsh diatomaceous earth.
- Next, keenly vacuum your wall-to-wall carpet to remove all the diatomaceous earth that was spread earlier.
- This will kill all the bed bugs, their babies, and bed bug eggs. Check the pictures of bed bugs to avoid confusion while cleaning.