Baby Bed bugs
Baby Bed Bugs, or nymphs as they are correctly called, are bed bugs that are aging through the first of the 5 development stages.
(Each stage called an instar) The nymph must have 5 blood meals on its way to adult hood. After each blood meal as it grows, baby bed bugs will shed their exoskeleton described as exuviae (skin castings).
The normal time frame from nymph to adult is typically around 4-10 weeks or so. It can be four if they get a blood meal every week and the temperature is optimum. It takes about a week to complete each stage if the environment is perfect. Baby Bed Bugs create a lot of waste, droppings, and exuviae, as they grow into maturity. This waste can typically be seen when one is inspecting for bed-bugs. Use a flashlight to check for these signs. Since bed bugs tend to congregate in perfect hiding areas, there will also typically be a lot of adults, and baby bed bugs there also. Bed bugs can go up to 1 year without feeding, so they can survive a long time without a food source.
Since the female bedbug can lay up to 5 eggs every day, but typically lays 5- 7 eggs per week, she can lay a lot of eggs in her lifetime. She smartly adds a little bit of a glue-like substance that allows them to stick to multiple surfaces. The baby bed bugs will hatch out in anywhere between 6 and 17 days. They will be almost without color and about 3/16 of an inch and about the size of a pinhead. They too will be flat like their adult counterparts however just smaller. There will be a little dark spot which is where there head is at. The baby bed bugs will also look larger when they become engorged after a blood meal. Like the adults, they will appear reddish in color after they feed on blood. Here is a good read on bed bugs.
The female bed bug is actually a very well adapted insect. She can store the male sperm for up to 4- 6 weeks. Since the mating process in the bedbug world is very traumatic to the female, she will try to avoid mating again and will often try to move away from a colony. What that means to you is that the bed bug you bring home from that trip you took is likely going to be a pregnant female. She’s on the run from the rest of the males in the community. She can produce baby bed bugs by herself at this point as she already has the male sperm on board, and has the ability to create an infestation in your home or office. You can also set out traps to assist you in finding live and moving bed-bugs. A very cool idea recently to try and help combat moving bed bugs in luggage is here.
What do Bed Bugs Do?
What do Bed Bugs do? Well if you bring them home with you, bedbugs can make your life miserable.
Cimex lectularius (bed-bugs) infestations have been on the rise throughout the world. The United States alone has seen a 20% rise in 2013 in reported bed bug infestations. (according to Orkin Pest Control.)
Bed-bugs can hitch a ride on luggage, or clothing left on infested beds, or other materials that may have been sitting in an infested area. They are more than happy to let you bring them home with you. What do bed bugs do to create an infestation? Often times the female bed bug will be pregnant (she can store the male sperm) and can travel to a new area and produce eggs very rapidly. Any college dorm, or hotel room, or Cruise Ship, or hostel bed, or rental you stayed at could have been infested with bedbugs.
What do bed bugs do that you should be worried about? Mostly, they will hide during the daytime and come out at night in search of a blood meal. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide and warmth and they prefer human hosts. While the majority of the time they will feed at night, they are opportunistic feeders who will take a close by easy meal in the daytime if populations are high enough.
What do bed bugs do that will let you know if they are present? They can bite and will often times leave marks. Bed Bug bites can also become infected especially if scratched aggressively. Bedbugs will also leave dark droppings or rusty brownish marks on the bedding or areas they are feeding and infesting. As a bed-bug progresses from nymph to adult, it must take a blood meal 5x in the process. They will shed their exoskeletons after each blood meal, so you will likely see those too in a good sized infestation. You should always bring a small flashlight with you to check your room before you sleep in it or store your luggage in that room. Here is a very cool new idea for heated luggage to help try and minimize bed bug movement from hotel to home.
Bed bugs will stay close to their food. They will normally feed within 10 feet or less of where they try and hide. What do bed bugs do to eat? They will inject an anticoagulant that also has a numbing agent so that the victim does not feel the feeding. The anticoagulant will make it easier to draw blood and some people are said to have an allergic reaction to the chemicals that the bed-bug injects.
The answer to what do bed bugs do…is that they cause a lot of problems for people and travelers world wide. Unfortunately with the way the numbers are increasing, it will likely continue to get worse. You may want to read Bed Bug Battle Plan by Garrett Thrasher. Its has some tips and pointers on how to help manage and avoid bed bug problems.