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Bed bug or booklouse?

Bed bug or booklouse?


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I found this creature climbing on the lower part of a wall inside apartment. Can you distinguish if it's a bed bug nymph or a booklouse? Sorry the photo quality isn't great, because it's so small (2 mm). Thanks in advance!


After looking it up, I can, with some confidence, confirm that this is a book louse in the larval stage, as seen in this picture:

https://bpca.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/Pages/A-Z/Booklice/booklice-1.jpg">ShareImprove this answeranswered Aug 5 '20 at 15:04AmbroseAmbrose315 bronze badges

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs: Identification Tips

The idea of a bug sharing the space where you sleep is not one to take lightly—especially if it’s one that bites! If you spotted a tiny bug wandering around your bedroom, your first instinct might have been to assume that it is a bed bug. However, there are more bugs that look like bed bugs than you might expect. While the complete list could be quite long, the short list is fleas, immature roaches, booklice, carpet beetles, bat bugs and ticks.

So, how can you know if that minuscule visitor was really a bed bug? Here are a few characteristics of bed bugs that can tip you off to the presence of these bloodsucking creatures:

  • Adults are reddish-brown to black in color.
  • A bed bug that hasn’t had a blood meal recently is usually oval-shaped and flat. After feeding, these parasites will swell up, become longer and change color to redder to match their food source—blood.
  • Newly-hatched bed bug nymphs appear translucent. Their color changes as they molt they eventually become brown.
  • These pests are wingless and their body length is approximately a quarter to just under half an inch. The body width of an adult is just about the same as its length.
  • Bed bugs look like apple seeds after feeding.

Now that we’ve described bed bugs, we’ll go into more detail about these lookalikes and advise what to do if you find these bugs in your home.


Booklouse

Booklice are soft-bodied insects less than 6 mm (0.25 in) long most are minute, only 1 to 2 mm (0.4 to 0.8 in) in length. They are usually gray or yellowish. Adults have wings in some species and are wingless in others. In some species, both adult forms occur. Psocids are sometimes confused with similar-looking psyllids. However, psocids have chewing mouthparts and commonly run or fly away when disturbed psyllids, like aphids, suck plant juices and jump when alarmed. When viewed through a hand lens, booklice can be recognized by the distinctly swollen, bulbous area at the front of their face between the two widely spaced antennae.

Females lay pale, oval eggs singly or in clusters, sometimes covered with silk webbing or bits of soil or leaves. Booklice have incomplete metamorphosis. Most species develop through six nymphal instars, or growth stages, as they gradually change from egg to nymph (an immature form with some adult characteristics) and then to adult. Some species live in colonies under protective silken webs. These webs resemble sheetlike spiderwebs and may cover rough tree bark. Booklice also live on leaves, rocks, and in soil. Entomologists collect psocids by sifting soil debris, by sweeping trees and shrubs with a net, or by shaking branches to dislodge them onto a sheet of white paper or other collecting surface held underneath the plant.

Most booklice are of relatively little economic importance, as they feed only on pollen various fungi, such as sooty mold and decaying plant or animal tissue. The cereal psocid is an occasional pest. It feeds on cereal, wallpaper, bookbindings, and collections of dead insects, especially if these materials are slightly damp. The cereal psocid looks like a minute brown speck, less than 1 mm (0.04 in) long.

Scientific classification: Booklice make up the order Psocoptera, which is divided into several families. The cereal psocid belongs to the family Liposcelidae and is classified as Liposcelis divinatorius.


Biology & Behavior

Bed bugs belong to the family of insects known as Cimicidae. All members of this family of insects feed exclusively on blood which they require in order to develop and reproduce. There are a number of closely related species in this family that feed on birds, bats and other animals. However, the species most adapted to living with humans is the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, which is found world wide. The immature bugs go through five developmental stages before reaching maturity. A blood meal is required between each stage. As the immature bed bugs develop they continue to become larger and darker until reaching adulthood. Under favorable conditions (70-90°F), bed bugs can complete development (from egg to adult) in one and half – two months. Cool temperatures or limited access to a blood meal may extend the developmental period. Adults will typically live for just under a year. The adult females typically deposit up to 5 eggs per day depositing them in a wide variety of locations, both on and away from the bed. An adult female may lay up to 500 eggs during her lifetime.

Bed bugs are nocturnal insects and lead a very cryptic lifestyle. As a result, bed bugs are often present for weeks or even months before a single bug is ever seen by the occupants of an infested structure. They live in cracks and crevices associated with bed frames, head boards, mattresses and box springs. However they also will disperse away from the bed and can live between or beneath floorboards, carpeting, under decorative moldings, in or under furniture, behind picture frames, inside wall voids, etc. There is virtually no crack too small for this insect to occupy. It is from these secluded cracks and crevices that the bugs emerge during the nighttime hours to feed on their sleeping host. The bites are typically painless and often go undetected.

Bed Bugs in Crevice of Furniture Eggs glued to felt pad on back of picture frame Natural crevice in pine slat inside box spring (eggs, adults and nymphs located in crevice)

Bed bugs differ from many other blood feeding pests such as mosquitoes, fleas, etc. in that both adult males and females, as well as all of the immature stages, feed on blood. Once they have fed they return back to their hidden resting places. In the absence of a host, bed bugs can continue to survive for many months without a blood meal. In fact it has been reported that in some cases bed bugs can survive a year or more without feeding.


Bedbug genome uncovers biology of a pest on the rebound

Bedbugs can grow up to a quarter inch long and have piercing-sucking mouthparts. Their resurgence in the U.S. has reached "almost a crisis condition," Purdue entomologists said. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Nuss)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University researchers participated in a multi-institute project that sequenced the genome of the common bedbug, a blood-sucking insect that has reemerged globally as a hardy pest capable of withstanding most major classes of insecticides.

The genome of Cimex lectularius uncovers the genetic underpinning of bedbugs' unique biology and offers new targets for controlling them.

Purdue entomologists Ameya Gondhalekar and Michael Scharf contributed to the international effort by annotating the bugs' antioxidant genes, which detoxify the blood they ingest and likely play a role in disarming certain types of insecticides.

"Bedbugs were the ignored pests for many decades, but their sudden prevalence has sparked interest in developing better bedbug control measures and knowing more about their biology," said Gondhalekar, an assistant professor of entomology. "The genome provides a much-needed platform for answering these questions at a deeper level."

Bedbugs have plagued humans for at least 3,000 years, emerging at night to feed on blood, their sole source of nutrition and water. Widespread use of insecticides in homes after World War II curtailed their numbers dramatically, but over the past two decades, the bedbug has rebounded from near eradication in many regions to extraordinary levels of infestation on every continent except Antarctica. Infestations in Australia alone have risen 4,500 percent.

The bug's unexpected comeback is likely due to a surge in international travel, the exchange of secondhand goods and the pest's evolution of resistance to many conventional insecticides, said Scharf, the O. Wayne Rollins/Orkin Chair in Molecular Physiology and Entomology.

"Nobody was ready for this," he said. "It's reached almost a crisis condition. All big cities in the U.S. are experiencing problems. Our culture had forgotten about bedbugs, and two generations of entomologists haven't had to deal with them."

The genome shows that bedbugs have developed multiple ways of resisting insecticides. Their armor-like outer cuticle sports barriers and detoxification genes that help prevent insecticides from penetrating. Many bedbugs have also evolved new forms of sodium channels, gates in the nervous system that insecticides such as pyrethroids are designed to target and disrupt. The bugs might also detoxify ingested pesticides using the same robust antioxidant enzyme system they use to detoxify blood, the researchers said.

The genome indicated substantial inbreeding among bedbugs, suggesting that genetic resistance to pesticides can spread across populations.

Many of the bedbug genes associated with pesticide resistance have similar forms in other insects such as mosquitoes and fruit flies, but Scharf and Gondhalekar pinpointed antioxidant genes that appear to be unique to bedbugs, offering possible targets for genetic control measures.

Other factors that make bedbugs tough to control are their abilities to survive for months without a blood meal, easily hitchhike on clothes and luggage, feed stealthily, and stow away in furniture and mattresses. Many insecticides can only be applied to cracks, crevices and baseboards, allowing the bugs to hide during spraying and emerge unscathed later.

"It only takes one pregnant bedbug to jumpstart an infestation of a whole building," Scharf said.

Adult bedbugs can grow up to a quarter inch long and are flat, reddish-brown insects that resemble oversized versions of their sister species, the pea aphid. They use piercing-sucking mouthparts to penetrate human skin and slurp up a blood meal, typically leaving behind an itchy, red welt.

Severity of reactions to bedbug bites can vary widely, and the genome provides researchers with molecular resources to investigate whether proteins produced by bedbugs can cause allergies.

Though the bugs do not transmit disease, scratching bedbug bites can result in secondary infections, and infestations can exert a psychological toll, the researchers said.

People in infested homes can suffer from stress, paranoia, poor quality of sleep, insomnia and depression.

"Once you have bedbugs, everything changes," Gondhalekar said. "You devote all your attention to getting rid of them."

Previous research by Purdue entomologist Timothy Gibb showed that even people who mistakenly thought their homes were infested showed an increase in depression and distanced themselves from others.

"People feel vulnerable," Scharf said. "You're being fed upon by something that drinks your blood while you're sleeping."

The genome also revealed that bedbugs have a significantly lower number of chemosensory genes compared with many other insects, possibly due to the bedbugs' host specificity. They have inherited genes from symbiotic bacteria that provide essential nutrients lacking in blood. Bedbugs also have a large number of genes that code for resilin, which gives their cuticle elasticity. This adaptation likely helps female bedbugs recover after traumatic insemination, a mating process in which the male stabs the female's abdomen with dagger-like genitalia.

The researchers said that pesticide companies could leverage these genomic resources to screen the effectiveness of available chemicals, lowering the cost of getting new insecticides to market.

"Fortunately, we've now got the genome early in the game," Scharf said. "Having this knowledge now might enable us to prevent bedbugs from becoming pests at the level of German cockroaches or disease-transmitting mosquitoes."

The paper was published in Nature Communications on Tuesday (Feb. 2) and is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10165.

Funding for the project was provided by the National Institutes of Health, NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute, the Blanton J. Whitmore Endowment, Housing and Urban Development, the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fast Start Grant, the Fralin Life Sciences Institutes and Virginia Agriculture Experimental Station, the European Research Council, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the University of Cincinnati Faculty Development Research Grant, the Ohio Supercomputer Center Research Allocation, the Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, the Swiss National Science Foundation. The 5,000 arthropod genomes initiative also assisted in the genome sequencing. 

Writer: Natalie van Hoose, 765-496-2050, [email protected] 

Sources: Michael Scharf, 765-496-6710, [email protected]urdue.edu

Unique Features of a Global Human Ectoparasite Identified Through Sequencing of the Bed Bug Genome

Joshua B. Benoit 1 Zach N. Adelman 2 Klaus Reinhardt 3 Amanda Dolan 4 Monica Poelchau 5 Emily C. Jennings 1 Elise M. Szuter 1 Richard W. Hagan 1 Hemant Gujar 6 Jayendra Nath Shukla 6 Fang Zhu 6,7 M. Mohan 8 David R. Nelson 9 Andrew J. Rosendale 1 Christian Derst 10 Valentina Resnik 11 Sebastian Wernig 11 Pamela Menegazzi 12 Christian Wegener 12 Nicolai Peschel 12 Jacob M. Hendershot 1 Wolfgang Blenau 10 Reinhard Predel 10 Paul R. Johnston 13 Panagiotis Ioannidis 15 Robert M. Waterhouse 15,16 Ralf Nauen 17 Corinna Schorn 17 Mark-Christoph Ott 17 Frank Maiwald 17 J. Spencer Johnston 14 Ameya D. Gondhalekar 18 Michael E. Scharf 18 Brittany F. Peterson 18 Kapil R. Raje18 Benjamin A. Hottel 19 David Armisen 20 Antonin Jean Johan Crumiere 20 Peter Nagui Refki 20 Maria Emilia Santos 20 Essia Sghaier 20 
Severine Viala 20 Abderrahman Khila 20 Seung-Joon Ahn 21 Christopher Childers 5 Chien-Yueh Lee 5,22 Han Lin 5,22 Daniel S.T. Hughes 23 Elizabeth J. Duncan 24 Shwetha C. Murali 23 Jiaxin Qu 23 Shannon Dugan 23 Sandra L. Lee 23 Hsu Chao 23 Huyen Dinh 23 Yi Han 23 Harshavardhan Doddapaneni 23 Kim C. Worley 23 Donna M. Muzny 23 David Wheeler 25 Kristen A. Panfilio 26 Iris M. Vargas Jentzsch 26 Edward L. Vargo 14 Warren Booth 27 Markus Friedrich 28 Matthew T. Weirauch 29 Michelle A.E. Anderson 2 Jeffery W. Jones 28 
Omprakash Mittapalli 30 Chaoyang Zhao 30 Jing-Jiang Zhou 31 Jay D. Evans 32 Geoffrey M. Attardo 33 Hugh M. Robertson 34 Evgeny M. Zdobnov 15 Jose M.C. Ribeiro 35 Richard A. Gibbs 23 John H. Werren 4 Subba R. Palli 6 Coby Schal 36 & Stephen Richards 23

1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221, USA

ق Fralin Life Science Institute and Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA

3 Department of Biology, Applied Zoology, Technische Universitaet Dresden, Dresden 01062, Germany

4 Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627, USA

5 National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA

6 Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, USA

7 Department of Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA

8 ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bengaluru 560024, India

9 Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, Tennessee 38163, USA

10 Cologne Biocenter and Zoological Institute, University of Cologne, Cologne 50674, Germany

11 Institut fur Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Goethe University Frankfurt, Oberursel 61440, Germany

12 Department of Neurobiology and Genetics, Theodor-Boveri-Institute, Biocenter, University of Wurzburg, Wurzburg 97074, Germany

13 Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biology, Freie Universitaet, Berlin 14195, Germany

14 Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA

15 Department of Genetic Medicine and Development and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Geneva, Geneva 1211, Switzerland

16 Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

17 Pest Control Biology and Research Technologies, Bayer CropScience AG, Monheim 40789, Germany

18 Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

19 Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA

20 Institue de Ge ́nomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon (IGFL), Ecole Normale Supe ́rieure de Lyon, UMR5242-CNRS, Lyon 69007, France

21 Department of Entomology, Max Plank Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena 07745, Germany

22 Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

23 Human Genome Sequencing Center, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA

24 Department of Biochemistry and Genetics Otago, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

25 Institute of Fundamental Science, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand

26 Institute for Developmental Biology, University of Cologne, Cologne 50674, Germany

27 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104, USA

㺜 Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA

29 Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology, Division of Biomedical Informatics, and Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA

30 Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio 44691, USA

31 Department of Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection, Rothamsted Research, BBSRC Harpenden, Herts AL5 2JQ, UK

32 United States Department of Agriculture— Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA

33 Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA

34 Department of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

35 Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA

36 Department of Entomology and W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to J.B.B. (email: [email protected]) or to S.R. (email: [email protected]).

The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has re-established itself as a ubiquitous human ectoparasite throughout much of the world during the past two decades. This global resurgence is likely linked to increased international travel and commerce in addition to widespread insecticide resistance. Analyses of the C. lectularius sequenced genome (650Mb) and 14,220 predicted protein-coding genes provide a comprehensive representation of genes that are linked to traumatic insemination, a reduced chemosensory repertoire of genes related to obligate hematophagy, host-symbiont interactions, and several mechanisms of insecticide resistance. In addition, we document the presence of multiple putative lateral gene transfer events. Genome sequencing and annotation establish a solid foundation for future research on mechanisms of insecticide resistance, human-bed bug and symbiont-bed bug associations, and unique features of bed bug biology that contribute to the unprecedented success of C. lectularius as a human ectoparasite. 


Where Else Bed Bugs are Found?

Bed bug hab itat s are not limited to any one specific type of dwelling. Pest control companies have been reporting infestations everywhere including single family homes, multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, schools and college campuses, office buildings, retail stores, movie theaters and even public transportation. Nowadays, even five-star hotels and high-end clothing stores are susceptible to infestations.

According to the NPMA's Bugs Without Borders survey, pest management professionals report that residences top the list of places where bed bug infestations are found, with 91 percent of pest professionals report ing finding bed bug habitats in single-family homes and 89 percent in apartments/condominiums. Respondents also reported other common locations for bed bug encounters:

Nursing Homes – 59 percent

Schools & Day Care Centers – 47 percent

Office Buildings – 46 percent

College Dorms – 45 percent

Public Transportation – 19 percent

68 percent in hotels/motels, 59 percent in nursing homes, 47 percent in schools and day care centers, 46 percent in office buildings,

Today, bed bugs can be found throughout almost every region of the world and in all 50 U.S. states. Specifically, the pests were encountered by 17 percent of 2011 Bed Bugs in America survey respondents in the Northeast 20 percent in the Midwest 20 percent in the South and 19 percent in the West.

History of Bed Bugs

Learn about the history of bed bugs and the factors that lead to their resurgence.

Bed Bug Biology

Learn about the biology of bed bugs - from their shape and size to their life cycle and feeding habits.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Learn about the common signs of bed bugs - from bites on the skin to spots on the mattress to sticky eggs.

Bed Bug Facts and Stats

Read bed bug facts and statistics compiled by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

Bed Bug Prevention

Learn about bed bug prevention at home and how to avoid bed bugs when traveling with our helpful tips.


Biology and Habitat

Bedbugs are obligate blood parasites that belong to the insect family Cimicidae. Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus , the two bedbug species that feed primarily on humans, are oval, reddish-brown, flat, and wingless. Adults are typically 4 to 7 mm in length ( Figure 1 ) . Nymphs can be as small as 1 mm, and are translucent and lighter in color 5 , 7 ( Figure 2 ) . Adult females produce 200 to 500 eggs in a typical six- to 12-month life span.5 , 8 Bedbugs can withstand temperatures from 44.6°F to 113°F (7°C to 45°C).8

Bedbug life cycle from nymph (left) to larvae exoskeletons (right) .

Copyright © Thomas Jefferson University

Bedbug life cycle from nymph (left) to larvae exoskeletons (right) .

Copyright © Thomas Jefferson University

Multiple bedbug eggs hidden in a piece of furniture.

Copyright © Thomas Jefferson University

Multiple bedbug eggs hidden in a piece of furniture.

Copyright © Thomas Jefferson University

To avoid light, bedbugs hide in the seams of mattresses and crevices of bed frames, walls, and furniture during the day.5 , 7 They are attracted to human hosts by warmth and carbon dioxide these hosts generally sleep within 3 to 7 feet (1 to 2 meters) of the bedbugs’ hiding places.8 , 9 Feeding usually takes place just before dawn.10 Bedbug saliva contains several anesthetic, vasodilatory, anticoagulant, and proteolytic compounds that allow the insects to feed undetected for five to 10 minutes. Three of these compounds have been identified as instigators of the subsequent hypersensitivity reactions that may be noticed when the host awakens.11 – 14


How can I prevent bed bugs from entering my home?

The most valuable form of home protection is becoming aware of the threat of bed bugs. Understand where and how they travel. Know what they look like and how to inspect for them. Be very careful about purchasing or bringing home second-hand upholstered furniture and clothing. Always closely inspect items for signs of infestation. Launder any items that can be laundered in hot soapy water and dry with hot air. Bed bugs will not survive this regime. Make vacuuming, cleaning, decluttering and inspecting a regular habit. Steam or heat treatments must be applied to anything that is suspect, before it enters the house.


Where Can I Find More Information on Bed Bugs?

The following Web site contains accurate and detailed information about bed bug biology and bed bug control.

An excellent reference book devoted to the biology of bed bugs and their relatives is:

Usinger, R.L. 1966, Monograph of the Cimicidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Thomas Say Foundation, Vol. 7, Entomological Society of America, College Park, MD.

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact the Webmaster.

Website developed by the Entomology Department at Purdue University
An equal access/equal opportunity university


Bedbugs: Life Cycle of Bed bugs

Bed bugs are insects that live on the blood of animals or humans, usually at night. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color. Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions, the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year. Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Their bites can result in a number of health impacts including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Bed bug bites may lead to skin changes ranging from small areas of redness to prominent blisters. Symptoms may take between minutes to days to appear and itchiness is generally present. Some individuals may feel tired or have a fever. Typically, uncovered areas of the body are affected. Their bites are not known to transmit any infectious disease. Complications may rarely include areas of dead skin or vasculitis.

How to Controlling of Bedbugs?

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place it in a garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.

Life Cycle of Bed Bugs

1. Egg: The life of a bed bug begins when they lay grainy, pearl white eggs. A female adult bed bug lays 250 to 300 eggs in their life span. Bed bugs lay eggs in clusters in the cracks of floors and nooks. After one or two weeks, these eggs hatch into nymphs and they start scouting for mammals to begin their feeding.

2. Nymph:There are 5 stages that nymphs will go through. It takes around 5 weeks till the nymphs become adults. The stages are as follows:

  • Nymph Stage 1: Nymphs are newly hatched bed bugs and generally measure up to 1.5 mm. Once hatched, these newborn insects start feeding immediately. Since they are immature newborns, they feed on mammals for blood till they transform into reproducing adults.
  • Stage 2: After the first stage of molting, the nymph becomes 2 mm long.
  • Stage 3: After another stage of molting, the nymph turns 2.5 mm long.
  • Nymph-Stage 4: By now, the nymph has undergone several stages of molting, the bed bug becomes 3 mm long.
  • Nymph Stage 5: This is the last stage of the nymph phase, with the nymph measuring 4 mm long.

3. Adult: After five weeks of maturation, the adult bed bug measures up to 4.5 mm long. When the bed bug reaches this stage, it is capable of breeding and reproducing. An adult bed bug is expected to live for four to six months. When the bed bug measures 4.5 mm, they are ready to mate and start the whole life cycle again.


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