Bed bugs only feed on blood. To reach adulthood and produce eggs, they require full blood meals between their nymphal stages. Though their feeding schedule is unpredictable, bed bugs will feed every 5 to 10 days or once a week when food is available.
Though it is common that bed bugs feed at night, the frequency may depend upon:
- Population size
- Host availability
- Conditions of their occupied structure
After feeding, they will return to their hiding spot until their next blood meal.
Without a food source, bed bugs can live unfed for up to 400 days under optimal temperature and humidity conditions. Their lifespan may shorten to around three to five months when their hiding spots are in a room temperature and normal humidity level. When they are not feeding, most bed bugs are staying in their hiding areas and digesting until they seek another blood meal.
When feeding, most people will not feel any pain from bed bug bites because of the anesthetic properties in their saliva that numb the skin upon biting. When they’re feeding at night, they will most likely take about 3 to 10 minutes for a typical meal. However, each bed bug may prick the skin a few times to get enough blood. This is the reason behind the zigzag pattern you will get after a series of bed bug bites.
How Often do Bed Bugs Feed During their Life Cycle?
Bed bugs go through three distinct stages in their life cycle – the egg, the nymph, and the adult. Nymphs go through five stages prior to adulthood and they have to take a full blood meal in order for them to moult in every stage. Their feeding requirements are not affected by extreme temperatures, as they only dwell indoors unlike other insects.
For adult females to produce viable eggs, they have to continue feeding. Females can lay approximately 120 eggs throughout their lifetime, likely laying eggs at different times. The time variations for eggs to hatch makes it seem like they are able to multiply in a short period of time.
How Often Do Bed Bugs Need To Feed?
Contrary to popular belief, adult bed bugs won’t die if you starve them. They can actually last a year without feeding, but with the presence of a host and as long as they sense the carbon dioxide that a human body emits, they will feed.
These critters will simply come out of their hiding place, like your box spring, when you are sleeping or when you are not moving for a long period of time. Once they see an opportunity, they will feed on you. As much as possible, it is recommended that you act fast to prevent the bugs from spreading from one part of your home to another. This will not only resolve the infestation but save yourself from getting more bites because of the continuous feeding cycle of bed bugs in your home.
How to Deal with Bed Bugs
Though bed bugs can go months without feeding, starving the bugs or leaving your home uninhabited is never a good idea. The results are quite uncertain about these options, so it is necessary that you deal with bed bugs once you notice their presence.
The first thing you should do is to find bed bugs. You need to look for them behind picture frames, under bed frames, and on pieces of furniture. Among the most common signs that they are in your home are blood spots, fecal matter, and live bed bugs. Remember that bed bugs will only survive if they stay in a place where they are provided with their ideal living conditions. By using bed bug products, you can prevent these pests from completely infesting your home and put a stop to their growing population.If you identify that you have a low-level infestation or want to prevent an infestation, we have a wide range of products for the prevention, monitoring, and detection of bed bugs in your home. Detect and get rid of these pests at their early stages by using any of our products. Feel free to email or call us to find out which product is best for your bed bug situation.