A bedbug’s lifecycle from egg to fully-grown is 6 to 17-21 days. They go through 5 stages in this time, and depending on how they feed, can live as adults from 10 months to one year, with the average lifespan of 150 after reaching adulthood. There are 90 different types of bedbugs, but only three are known to feed on human blood.
A Bedbug’s Life Cycle
The first cycle is the laying of the eggs, which are like a poppy seed, and very difficult to see with just your eyes. The babies are ‘nymphs’, and pass through and shed their skin through five stages before reaching adulthood. They must have a blood meal and feed in each stage to grow to full adult bedbugs. Their rapid reproduction and small size are what makes them so difficult to detect, and the reason why an infestation can seemingly appear out of the blue.
How Bedbugs Thrive
Bedbugs are extremely active and mate well. Though they are more active in warmer climates, they are hearty for ten months of the year. Once an adult, they can survive for up to a year with no food. Since they feed on human blood and bite at night when you are sleeping, they hide in mattresses, box springs, and in the sides of pillow top mattresses, or virtually anywhere they have easy access. Bedbugs also can scatter and cross contaminate just by hitching a ride in luggage, furniture or mattresses, or can travel across rooms, and lay eggs in crevices and doorways.
What Bedbugs Look Like When Fully Grown
Bedbugs are wingless, oval-shaped, brown insects with flat bodies and six legs. In full adult stage, you can see them with the naked eye. They have ridged layers, and are more elongated if they have been feeding. The young nymphs are white-yellowish in color, and can almost appear translucent.
What to Look For if You Suspect Bedbugs
Since bedbugs shed their skins in their life stages, there can be clusters of dark smudges on your bedding or mattress areas. They do not fly or jump but huddle together not far from where they know they can feed on human blood. Often people mistake fleas for bedbugs, so it is a good idea to call pest control for an inspection to ensure you do in fact have bedbugs.
When to Call if You Find Bedbugs
It is best to find an infestation early before the colony establishes itself, or before an infestation spreads. Treating the bedbugs in the early stages is less costly, and higher level infestations may take longer to rectify. Since the lifecycle is a repetitive cycle, the longer you wait to take control of the problem, the more likely they can spread and start a new infestation elsewhere. If you suspect you have bedbugs in your home, call Harlow Pest Control in Edmonton, Alberta at (780)-757-2999 or toll-free at 1.855.757.2999