7 Life Stages of Bed Bugs

Unless you are dealing with a large-scale infestation, bed bugs will come out at night. When we sleep the amount of CO2 we exhale increases, bed bugs can sense this increase. Once they know you are sleeping, they will come out of hiding to feed. Their short, flat bodies allow them to hide in the folds of furniture and bedding. After a feeding, the insects rear will be swollen with blood. A typical bed bug life cycle has 7 stages.

  • Egg
  • Nymph Stages 1-5
  • Adult
Bed bug life cycle
Bed bug life cycle

Stage 1: Bed Bug Eggs

A bed bug’s life begins in a tiny egg. Often described as small grains of rice, bed bug eggs are no bigger than two grains of salt. Within her lifetime a female can lay up to 500 eggs! Bed bugs lay eggs in tight cracks or crevices. The eggs will take two weeks to hatch.

Stages 2-6: Bed Bug Nymphs

Once hatched a bed bug enters the nymphal stages of its development. Depending on temperature and food supply it can take 1-4 months for these young bed bugs to reach adulthood. During this process, they will go through five molts. Each malt will cause the nymph to change size, growing from 1.5mm to 4.5mm. The color of nymphs will also change. They will start clear/white, before turning yellow/tan on the way to the reddish/brown of adults.

Stage 7: Adult Bed Bugs

Upon reaching maturity, the bed bug will be 5.5mm in length (about the size of an apple seed). A mature bed bug will try to feed weekly but can last up to a year with no food. The life span of a bed bug commonly ranges from four months to a year, depending on temperatures and conditions within the residence.