The life cycle of the Bed Bug
After feeding, a female bed bug will lay eggs in their daytime refuge of cracks and crevices. Each egg is whitish in color and flask-shaped. These eggs are visible to the human eye and can be found close to the hiding places of nymph bed bugs, under seams of mattresses and in other similar places. An nymph bed bug may take several months to mature to an adult and an adult bed bug can live from one to four years. During development, the young bed bug will feed frequently on the blood of humans and they can exist for many months between blood meals. This means it is not practical to starve bed bugs by staying away for short periods of time, instead this activity may serve to spread bed bugs more quickly in a facility.
Bed Bug Eggs
Bed Bug Nymph
Bed bugs inject saliva into the blood stream of their host to thin the blood and to prevent coagulation. It is this saliva that causes the intense itching and welts. The delay in the onset of itching gives the feeding bed bug time to escape into cracks and crevices. In some cases, the itchy bed bug bites can develop into painful welts that last several days. The good news is that this insect is not known to transmit human disease. There is considerable individual variation in the response to bed bug bites. Some individuals may respond less to the bites over time while others may increase in their reaction to bed bug bites. This makes it difficult to identify the exact date when bed bugs first appear since bites are usually the first clue that bed bugs are present.
Until a bed bug is positively identified by a knowledgeable pest control expert, it is not recommended to treat a dwelling for bed bugs. Introducing pesticides to the sleeping rooms of individuals is a serious matter and should only be undertaken by a trained, certified pest management professional.