Bed bugs are invasive pests, taking over homes in their search for food. They seek warm-blooded bodies to survive, often affecting every person and pet in the household. If you have ever had to deal with them, you have probably asked yourself, “how long do bed bugs live?”
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are parasites that originate in tropical areas, but can spread anywhere in the world. They are resistant to many methods of eliminating them and reproduce quickly. That makes them a problem that can be hard to remedy.
Bed bugs get into your home by hitchhiking on the things you bring in. When you travel, they can attach themselves to your clothing and luggage, infesting your home when you return. They feed on blood, so your family and pets are subject to annoying bites.
How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?
A bed bug can live a long time compared to many insects. One can survive for several months to a couple of years depending on the food supply they have access to. Bed bugs can live up to 70 days without eating anything.
In laboratory experiments, bed bugs usually survive 6 months to a year from when the egg hatches. However, there are a lot of obstacles they have to deal with in the real world that can make their lives considerably shorter. Other bed bug predators such as spiders, and pesticides all work to thin out their numbers.
Female bed bugs have a riskier life than their male counterparts. He has to pierce her abdomen during insemination. If she survives, she can lay up to 20 eggs after a single meal. She can lay thousands of eggs in her lifetime, meaning bed bugs can spread exponentially.
When a bed bug is born, it will be about 1.5 millimeters long. It will grow to nearly 5 millimeters during its life and is born ready to eat. You could bring home bed bugs one day, and by the time you realize it they could have doubled or tripled in number.
What Affects a Bed Bug’s Life Span?
Some pesticides are effective at battling bed bugs. However, if only a few survive they can quickly re-infest the home. That means many people have to have their houses treated several times to get rid of them.
One way to get rid of bed bugs is to raise the temperature. While warmer temperatures can speed up their development, extreme heat can cause them to stop all activity. Raising the temp to 97°F (36°C) cause them to become inactive.
Bed bugs can be starved but it is hard to do. They can survive for over two months without food. That means you can leave for a long time and they could all be dead upon your return. However, it only takes a few of them to survive and feed when you get there to start the entire cycle over.
Adult bed bugs can live without food much longer than younger ones. Many scientists believe a newly born bed bug will die within a few days if it does not get a blood meal.
Got Bed Bugs? Give Us a Call!
- Tiny blood stains on your sheets
- Itchy bites on your skin
- Musty odors in your home
You can look in the small creases around the edges of your mattress and furniture for live bed bugs and the casing of the ones that have molted. If you think you have seen any sign of bed bugs, you should have a professional give their assessment.
Romney Pest Control has served San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston for over 10 years. Our team of experienced and highly-trained professionals are ready to give you the most effective and thorough service available.
If you need fast and affordable pest control for bed bugs in a residential or commercial property, contact us today!