As much of a nuisance as these cold-blooded creatures are, baby bed bugs are actually known as nymphs (which, in Greek mythology, refers to a beautiful spirit of nature).
These pesky bugs might be tiny, but once they’ve hatched, they’re capable of biting humans since they need blood to evolve into adult bed bugs. In fact, the babies tend to feed more frequently than adults.
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Finding out that you have an infestation can be extremely unsettling since it can be quite costly to get your house cleaned out. However, you can do your part to prevent these eggs from hatching and becoming a nuisance in the first place. Here are some ways to identify baby bed bugs and their daily activities so that you can stop them from maturing, growing in number and spreading everywhere.
How Are Bed Bugs Born?
These annoying pests hatch from eggs that mature bed bugs lay in secluded parts of your house. These areas of your home include the sofas, mattresses, and behind the headboards. Within 10 days (or less), these eggs hatch into white baby bugs that are similar in size to a sesame seed.
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What is a Bed Bug’s Life Cycle Like?
Bed bugs start out as eggs, hatch into nymphs, and molt (shed their skin) 5 times before evolving into adults. In order to molt, bed bugs require blood, generally once a day. Until they get this, the nymphs will still be able to survive for a pretty long period of time (3-6 months). These ones are even more dangerous since they’ll be practically invisible due to the lack of blood in their bodies.
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Before they reach maturity, they have a tiny red spot on their stomachs – this is where they store the blood during the molting stage. After the 5th molting, the bed bugs become the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color.
They start out as eggs that are around 1mm long and eventually become adults that may be around 5mm long.
The time it takes a bed bug to mature completely varies depending on the weather and the availability of blood. If conditions are ideal, a nymph will start shedding its skin and will advance to the next stage of development. On average, it takes 10 days for an egg to hatch and around 5-7 weeks for a nymph to reach adulthood.
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What Do Bed Bugs Feed On?
Bed bugs generally prefer to feed on warm blood. The ones found in our homes (known as the Cimex Lectularius) prefer human blood. However, sometimes you might have bat bugs in your home, which are from the same family but prefer to feast on bat blood.
Baby bed bugs are attracted to the heat, smell, and carbon dioxide emitted by their victims.
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Where Do Baby Bed Bugs Stay?
Baby bed bugs hide in the same spaces as adult ones. Because of their small, flat appearance, they can hide pretty much anywhere, making it difficult to find them. Some places you can look into include:
- In exposed pockets of peeling wallpaper
- Inside unused electrical outlets
- In any cracks in the floors and walls
- Behinds frames and headboards
- Inside furniture and mattress corners.
Bed bugs may find their way into your house through any used clothing or mattresses you buy. They may also be stowaways in your luggage after a stay at a hotel.
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If you’re waking up with bug bites on your body, you might have an infestation. If it hasn’t gotten too bad, you can try cleaning out your entire house, thoroughly washing and drying the mattresses and sofas, and using non-toxic bug spray. If the infestation is too intense, you may need to hire a pest control specialist.