Life Cycle of Bed Bugs

Want to know the life cycle of bed bugs? We’ve described bed bugs, their lifespan, their stages, life cycle, bed bug larvae, etc. Read the full article to learn more.

A bed bug is a reddish-brown insect that feeds on human and other warm-blooded animals. Their flattened bodies allow them to hide in areas such as floor cracks, carpets, beds and upholstered furniture. They don’t have wings and they can only crawl. They are generally active at night and inactive during the daytime.

Life Cycle of Bed Bugs (Step By Step)

The life cycle of a bed bug can be ranging from 21 days to 8 weeks. They are likely to mature quicker in warmer temperature. In most conditions, they take 5 to eight weeks to reach adulthood. Room temperature plays a major role in how fast the bed bugs to move through the lifecycle.  A bed bug life cycle includes multiple stages. The life cycle of a bed bug begins with an egg. After mating female bed bugs lay milky white, oval eggs into cracks and crevices which looks like a grain of rice and is about 1mm in size. It is milky white in color due to lack of blood. Follow the chart of bed bug lifespan below that describes bed bug stages.

Life Cycle of Bed Bugs

Female Bed Bug

A female bed bug lays 1 to 5 eggs in a day and may take between six to seventeen days to hatch.  On an average, a female bed bug lies 200 eggs in its lifetime but it may lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime given that the condition is favorable to them. The mating process for a female bed bug can be a little difficult since frequent mating can cause injury. Thus, a female bed bug may travel away from her original location to another place to avoid mating and to assure food source. Also, pregnant female bed bugs travel from one place to another in an attempt to avoid mating again.

Young Bed Bugs

The young bed bugs are called nymphs. The young bed bugs pass through five phases before reaching maturity, shedding their outer exoskeleton in order to grow. They molt in a process called ecdysis. Each molting stage is called an instar. At the first instar nymph stage, they appear almost transparent until their first feeding and are about 1.5mm in size.  Anatomically, they look like very small adult bed bugs, and can even feature those fine hairs that are a characteristic of the species. It is very difficult to see them at this stage of development. They must feed on blood before reaching the next instar of the nymph.


Then they enter their second instar nymph stage in which is 2mm long. Their third instar nymph is 2.5mm, fourth is 3mm, fifth is 4.5mm and finally, they reach adulthood when they are about 5.5mm long or roughly the size of an apple seed. The young bed bugs grow bigger and take a darker reddish-brown color with each instar stage.  They need a good supply of blood to reach adulthood from nymph stage. They usually feed on human blood at nights but they can also try to satisfy their hunger during the daytime if they are gone without feeding.

Their Behavior

Bed Bugs feed for two to five minutes and immediately move to the hiding spot to digest their meal, seek a mate, or rest. The nymphs can survive from days up to months without food. Usually, a bed bug lives up to four to six months given that they provide cool temperatures. However, a bed bug can live up to a year without feeding by hibernating but they need to feed in order to reproduce. During that short lifetime, the average bed bug fathers a family of over five generations, each spanning possibly hundreds of inbreeding bugs! This shocking rate of population expansion makes it easy to see how an infestation can get out of hand so quickly and gives a clue to how bed bugs can spread so quickly.

Getting rid of bed bugs can be real trouble as they can spread from one place to another quickly. Home remedies can be used if they are small in numbers. Help from professional exterminators should be taken if they a big in numbers.


Bedbugs education isn’t as common as it should be. People have difficulties determining whether the pest they found is a bed bug or some other bugs. Learning about the different stages of life cycle of bed bugs will help people determine and about bed bugs and bed bugs larvae better.

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