Bed bugs eat human blood and that blood is required in order for a bed bug to complete its life cycle. A bed bugs life cycle consists of five nymph stages and each stage requires the bed bug to have blood. The eating of blood is also required for a female bed bug to reproduce and lay eggs. Bed bugs like to stay near hosts and find hiding spots where they will be able to feed easily which is why they are often found in beds and other furniture.
Not Just Nocturnal Feeders
Bed bugs tend to feed at night and hide in cracks and crevices during the day. However, with an available host they may also eat during the day if they are hungry. Bed bugs are commonly found in mattress seams, box springs, cracks in bed frames, under loose wallpaper, behind picture frames, and inside other furniture and upholstery.
When a human is bitten by a bed bug, they often develop lumps or swelling at the site of the bite. This is an allergic reaction to the bug’s saliva that is released as they feed. Though they bite, bed bugs do not transmit disease to humans.
When a bed bug feeds, it uses piercing, sucking mouthparts to get the blood; they do not burrow into skin. People often do not feel it when a bed bug bites but they will notice a skin irritation like they do with a mosquito bite.
Bed bugs can survive without food for a long period of time. The older a bed bug, the longer it is able to survive without feeding. There is disagreement in the scientific community about just how long a bed bug can survive without food but the general consensus is anywhere from 80 days to a full year. Some say they can survive even longer than that. Bed bugs can eat up to six times its weight in blood in a period of 3 to 10 minutes.
Heat, moisture, and carbon dioxide that is emitted by their host is what attracts bed bugs. Bed bugs often feed and then go back to their hiding place where they remain dormant for 5 to 10 days until they are ready to eat again. Their hiding place is usually within eight feet or so of where they eat.
After a feeding bed bugs are interested in mating. Once a female has become inseminated she can lay several batches of eggs before becoming inseminated again. As long as she has regular access to blood meals, the population will grow.
To get rid of bed bugs completely, you will need an exterminator. If you are in Regina, Saskatchewan or surrounding area you can call Rox Bugs where they offer a professional and discreet service for bed bug removal.