How do bed bugs reproduce?

April 16, 2014 by Doug Moore

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Male and Female bed bugs mate by what is called traumatic insemination. The traumatic insemination takes place by basically stabbing the female’s abdomen with a specialized hardened reproductive organ.

The fertilization can take place at any location on the abdomen and the male’s gametes will travel to her ovaries or reproductive gametes. Once fertilization occurs the female contains viable eggs for 5-7 weeks. After three or so days of feeding, the female begins to lay eggs.

As the female lays eggs, she continues to feed.

Female bed bugs are capable of laying as many as 1-3 eggs each day after being fertilized and having a proper blood meal. They are deposited in small cracks and crevices along bed frames, baseboards, and carpet linings.

The female lays the eggs with an adhesive layer to assure that the eggs will stay in place.

The baby bed bugs (called instars or nymphs) will hatch from the eggs in around 7-10 days. The young emerge and immediately begin to feed or search for food.

Nymphs and adults are able to survive long periods of time without food. They may survive 3-4 months without a blood meal………..the heartiest bed bugs can survive up to a year or even longer without a blood meal. Three or more generations can occur each year.

For more information about bed bugs, heat treatment, and canine bed bug scent detection, click here.

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