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Bed Bugs Mating Process and Habits

bed bugs matingWhen it comes to insects with a fast reproduction rate, anyone can say that bed bugs are on the top of the list. No wonder - a major infestation can start in only a short period of time. Aside from the fact that they multiply quickly, another interesting thing about bed bugs is their entire mating process.

Unlike other insects, bed bugs practice an extraordinary mating process that is called “traumatic insemination”. In this process, a male pierces the abdominal cavity of a female bed bug to inseminate directly in the female’s body cavity. There are times when male bed bugs try to do this to other males, which only kills them.

Why Is This Connected with Getting an Infestation Quickly?

Given the traumatic experience, the female bed bugs avoid this mating habit. The entire process causes a wound to the female, bleeding, and the increased risk of infection and disease to the female. It also decreases the lifespan of female bed bugs. This is why females will try to avoid mating again by moving away and isolating herself from the colony.

Due to this, it most likely that the ones hitchhiking are females who are potentially pregnant. Thus, it is possible to have an infestation only a few weeks after you unknowingly bring home a bed bug. Within 4 to 6 weeks, a pregnant female can start producing eggs and eventually create an infestation - one you never imagined.

To lay eggs, a female bed bug will have to feed. Throughout a female’s lifetime, she can lay to up to 500 eggs that consist of male and female bed bugs. It takes at least 14 days for them to reproduce. With a constant supply of blood meal, a female bed bug can lay eggs continuously. In a span of six months, a single pregnant female can create an infestation of more or less 5,000 bed bugs.

Within 6 to 17 days, the eggs will hatch and the nymphs will have to feed immediately for them to moult and go through several stages of development. At the ideal temperature, eggs can immediately turn into adults in just about 120 days.

Preventing Further Infestation

It's never easy to get rid of bed bugs, but it is possible to control further infestation by killing not only adult bugs but their eggs as well. Using bed bug heaters or bed bug steamers can help in killing both adult bugs and eggs. Go to bedbugsos.ca for more bed bug products to choose from.


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