It’s two words no one ever wants to hear: bed bugs. These pests have been the bane of homeowners and apartment dwellers for decades. Before tighter regulations came down on pesticides, these parasites were virtually eradicated in North America. But, they’ve made a somewhat recent resurgence in urban centers where they thrive on close living quarters, hitchhiking through mass transit, and never ending supply of food as populations continue to grow. Dealing with them is challenging to say the least.
What is the life cycle of bed bugs and the prognosis once you’ve confirmed you have an infestation?
The life cycle of a bed bug can actually give you a fair bit of information about how long you’ve had them and what the chances are of getting rid of them easy. Once eggs are laid it takes about a week for them to hatch an entire new generation of bed bugs to continue the cycle of discomfort and misery in your home.
They say even two bed bugs are enough to infest an entire dwelling, if left untreated. This is because female bed bugs are known to lay as many as 250 eggs after a mating cycle, and with them hatching in just about a week, that results in a lot of bed bugs fast. Some fast tips on the life cycle of a bed bug are below.
Average Lifespan of the Bed Bug
When bed bugs hatch from eggs that are often found in crevices in and around places where humans tend to sit or lay for long periods of time (hence the common home being in the bed), they require a blood meal in order to molt their skin and move into the next stage. So, you can expect some bites from even newborn bed bugs. In the right conditions they’ll become adults within a month of this and then live for at least another 6 months. Some bed bugs have been known to survive for years and go months without eating, which is why starving them out is not an option.
How Long Does an Infestation Take?
An infestation doesn’t happen overnight. A few bugs that have found their way into your home and haven’t yet laid eggs can be stamped out fairly easily. But most people don’t realize they have bed bugs until it’s too late. So, how long does it take before a few bites becomes a big problem? As mentioned, it takes around 6 weeks for a newborn bed bug to become an adult. So, you can have a few bed bugs for over a month before it becomes a full-blown infestation.
How Do You Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer and for many people it was a combination of tactics. Generally, a pest control professional will inspect the home, confirm it is, in fact, bed bugs (you’d be surprised to find 70% of cases believed to be bed bugs are actually something else). Once they do, they’ll instruct you to bag up your belongings (including laundered clothes) and move furniture from the walls. They’ll come in and provide a heat treatment (bed bugs generally can’t survive in conditions over 120 degrees fahrenheit) or use other proprietary technology.
It can take more than one treatment done about two weeks apart to account for eggs that will hatch after the treatment. During this time you’ll have to be vigilant, keep your items sealed off, and tread carefully. It’s not pleasant and it’s not fast, but it’s effective when done correctly.
Do Bed Bugs Carry Disease?
Despite the fact that bed bugs bite humans and ingest blood, they are not known transporters of diseases, neither on their exoskeleton nor from biting multiple hosts. It should be noted, however, that secondary skin infections can occur from excessive itching to a bite.
Bed bugs are misery, there is no way around that. But knowing a little bit about the life cycle and habits of bed bugs can help you decide what to do if an infestation strikes. They’re not an easy fix, but there are ways to bring some knowledge to your table and ensure bed bugs don’t completely ruin your peace of mind in the place you call home.
An experienced bed bug and pest exterminator is your best bet to get rid of these pests fast. Hi-Tech Pest Control has been Southeastern Michigan’s leader residential and commercial bed bug removal since 1986, successfully eradicating pests in tens of thousands of homes using a combination of experience, knowledge, and the latest and greatest in bed bug extermination technology and approaches. We are so confident in our approach to eliminating bed bugs that we are the only Michigan bed bug company to offer a 6-month warranty on all bed bug extermination services! Call today for a Free Inspection.