Baby bed bugs – Everything you need to know

Bed bugs -  the facts

Bed bugs are pests that can turn your house upside down in a matter of months. One pregnant female bed bug can lay enough eggs to infest your home in six months! Learning about the life cycle of these insects, particularly baby bed bugs will help you get rid of them. Here are 8 important facts:

  • All stages of the bed bugs life cycle are visible with the naked eye. Yes, you can see their eggs too!
  • Adult female bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.
  • Adult bed bugs can survive up to 18 months without eating.
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    It takes about a month for bed bug eggs to hatch and grow into full adults.
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    Bed bugs need blood (human blood) to grow and reproduce.
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    Bed bugs shed their skin as they grow.
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    7. Baby bed bugs can feed at least once each day.
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    8. Bed bug eggs are harder to kill than baby bed bugs and adults.
baby bed bugs

Bed bug life cycle

There are 3 major stages in a bed bug's life:

1. Egg


Bed bug eggs are grain like and milky white. Every day, a pregnant female bed bug may lay between one to five eggs. Bed bug eggs often appear in clusters or isolated. You can find them in cracks along the wall or crevices in the mattress.

Bed bugs eggs are as big as two grain of salt (about 1mm long). If conditions are favorable, they hatch within two weeks.

2. Nymphs


When bed bug eggs hatch, they become nymphs. These young bed bugs look like adults but are smaller. They appear yellow-white. Nymphs cannot reproduce. To reach adulthood, each nymph must complete 5 molting stages.

We'll talk more about nymphs or baby bed bugs later in this article.

3. Adults


Adult bed bugs look like apple seeds. They appear reddish-brown. If there's plenty of food available, adult bed bugs can reproduce fast.

From eggs to adulthood, a bed bug's life span ranges from 4 to 6 months. However, there are cases where bed bugs can survive up to a year without feeding.

What baby bed bugs look like

Baby bed bugs are tiny but still visible to the naked eye. They are about the size of a pin head or a sesame seed. They appear yellow-white. After feeding, baby bed bugs turn red. In fact, their body is so transparent that you see the blood. Baby bed bugs get darker as they develop into adults.

Baby bed bug size

Bed bugs eggs are as big as a grain of salt. When they hatch, they become nymphs and are about 1mm in length. Think of a sesame seed or pin head! The image to the right shows a fully grown adult bed bug.

baby bed bug size

Bed bug development

After hatching, baby bed bugs search for a meal. Nymphs feed around one time per day although they can survive for months without feeding. In comparison, adult bed bugs only feed one or twice a week.

Sounds like good news?

Not really.

Adult bed bugs take about 5-10 minutes to become full. Can you stand the thought of a bed bug sucking your blood for 10 minutes?

The time for baby bed bugs to become adults varies. It depends on how much food is available. Temperature also matters. When conditions are favorable, a baby bed bug can molt within a week.

What is molting? 


Molting refers to shedding of old skin, hair, feathers, or shell to make room for growth. This is common among insects, snakes, birds, and bed bugs.

Baby bed bugs must molt 5 times before they become adults. 

They have to take a blood meal before each molt. If there's plenty of food around, baby bed bugs can feed more than once before each molting stages.

It takes four to five weeks for baby bed bugs to reach adulthood. Their ideal temperature for growth is 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius.

Where baby bed bugs live

Baby bed bugs live in the same places as adults. Here are examples of such places:

  1. Cracks in the floor
  2. Inside electrical outlets
  3. Behind baseboards, frames, or headboards
  4. Under wallpapers and carpets
  5. Crevices in the mattress
  6. Inside furniture
where baby bed bugs live

Bed bugs are flat and they can easily hide in hard to reach areas. Like adult bed bugs, baby bed bugs are more active at night.

Do baby bed bugs bite?

A big yes! Baby bed bugs will bite people because that is the only way for them to grow. Remember that baby bed bugs or nymphs must feed at least once before molting on to another stage. Baby bed bugs can feed at least once a day.

Compared to adults who only feed once or twice a week, baby bed bugs feed more but in short durations.

Baby bed bug bites look the same as adult bed bug bites. They last just as long too! Experts speculate that most bed bug bites occur when bed bugs are still developing. Why? Because blood is very crucial for them to grow properly.

So, when you wake up with bed bug bites all over you, it's more likely that baby bed bugs instead of adults bit you.

The frequency of bed bug bites along with shed skin sightings are clear signs of a looming bed bug infestation.

What do bed bug bites look like?

Bed bugs pierce the skin of their hosts with elongated beaks. These bites are not painful at first and can often go unnoticed for several hours. In some cases, days. With each feeding, an adult bed bug can draw blood for up to 10 minutes. Baby bed bugs' feeding time is lower but more frequent.

You can find bed bug bites anywhere on your body. They occur on areas that exposed at night. Examples are your neck, hands, legs, arms, shoulders, and face. Common symptoms of bed bug bites include sores, itchiness or irritation.

Other signs of bed bug bites include:

  1. A burning sensation that is painful
  2. A red itchy bump characterized by a dark center and light swelling along the bite area
  3. Small red bumps in clusters or a line
  4. Small red bumps surrounded by blisters
  5. A raised itchy bump with a clear center

Most of the time, these symptoms occur right after the bite. But some can develop after several days. Bed bug bite symptoms resolve themselves after about a week.

Hermann with bed bug (Cimex lectularius) bites from Art Hotel Westcord in Amsterdam - Ludwigshafen, 26.11.2015

Do baby bed bugs bite


Hermann with bed bug (Cimex lectularius) bites from Art Hotel Westcord in Amsterdam - Ludwigshafen, 26.11.2015

What do bed bug bites look like

Hermann with bed bug (Cimex lectularius) bites from Art Hotel Westcord in Amsterdam - Ludwigshafen, 26.11.2015

Hermann with bed bug (Cimex lectularius) bites from Art Hotel Westcord in Amsterdam - Ludwigshafen, 26.11.2015

Treat bed bug bites with soap and water first. Then apply anti-itch creams or antihistamines. Seek medical help if the swelling, itchiness, or inflammation persists for about 2 weeks.

The size of bed bug bites vary per person. When bed bugs feed, they inject anti-coagulant into the skin. This chemical prevents the blood from clotting or thickening when they feed. This anti-coagulant causes the symptoms above and the area of bed bug bite.

The number of bites also affect the size of a bed bug bite. Depending on the person, the intensity of the symptoms he experiences can be proportional to the number of bites.

Bed bug bites are risky if it becomes infected. Scratching bed bugs bites and neglecting it may lead to bleeding and further swelling. This is true for people with weak immune systems like the elderly and children.

How to kill baby bed bugs

You kill baby bed bugs in the same way as adult bed bugs. Hiring a professional pest management service to fix your bed bug problem should be your last option. Below are suggestions on how you can DIY your bed bug woes.

1. Put your pillow cases, sheets, and mattress covers in a bag and wash them. Dry them in the dryer for at least 30 minutes. The heat from the dryer is enough to kill any bed bugs.

2. Clean your room. Bed bugs love clutter. For them, piles of laundry and boxes are places where they can hide to avoid detection.

3. Clean your mattresses and box spring with a high powered vacuum. Vacuuming is a great way to deal with adult bed bugs and bed bug eggs. For baby bed bugs, not so much. Because they can still hide in tiny cracks.

It's important to choose a vacuum with strong suction power. Also, get one that has HEPA filter to keep the bed bugs from escaping.

4. Use insecticides. Spray your mattress, walls, bedframe, headboard, and other areas where bed bugs could hide. Read the label. And don't forget to have proper ventilation!

5. Use a hand-held steamer to heat blast cracks and crevices. Bed bugs hate the heat. Most of them will die at about 100 degrees.

6. A natural way to kill baby bed bugs and adult bed bugs is using diatomaceous earth. This mineral kills bed bugs by dehydration. Diatomaceous earth or DE works best when paired with other methods discussed in this article.

Summary

If your bed bug infestation is worse than you thought or you keep seeing baby bed bug signs after you've treated the problem, your best bet will be to hire a professional pest management service.

About the Author BedBugGuy

I'm a bed bug specialist based in Los Angeles and love writing about Cimex Lecturalius. Whilst a notorious pest they still fascinate me and remain one of the most resilient pest insect species.

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