Bed bugs are hematophagous. Meaning, their diet mainly consists of blood from other living things. And right now, a lot of species feed on us humans.
They can feed for 2-5 minutes every 5 to 10 days. And they do this mostly at night.
There are a lot of things that attract bed bugs. But theyre mostly drawn by our body heat and the carbon dioxide we produce in our breath. And once latched on to our bodies, they can pierce exposed skin and suck the blood right off it. This oftentimes leaves big and reddish swollen welts or small red bumps.
They do a peculiar bite series called breakfast, lunch and dinner. According to Terminix, these bugs feed in a series of several bites rather than a big long one. The breakfast is the first bite; the lunch is the second and so on. Thats why you often see clusters of these bites after theyre done with you.
These insects can also go on without food for a few months. They can even become dormant for a longer time, just waiting to come in contact with us. At that time, they get moisture from the air, getting water vapor that floats all around us just to survive.
Check out more info on a bed bugs diet here.
Bed bug behavior is simply based on mating, feeding and expanding their numbers. And they do these with as much stealth as possible.
According to National Pesticide Information Center, bed bugs hide during the day andcome out to feed at night. They hide in places where theres always constant contact with people. These can be beds, couches and even wheelchairs and recliners. They seek out the cracks and crevices inside these things and live there.
After feeding, theyll return to those cracks to digest the blood they ate. And when theyve fed enough, they mature and mate to produce more bed bugs.
According to Terminix, a female bed bug can lay 1 to 12 eggs every day and between 200 to 500 eggs in an entire lifetime. After a month or so, these eggs hatch, and theyll need blood right away.
As the nymphs grow, theyll experience several molting phases that slowly turn their color darker. Theyll mature, mate and eventually reach the end of their life cycles, with plenty of new nymphs produced thanks to them.
As mentioned, bed bugs are pretty stealthy. They hide in impossibly small spaces and only feed at night. But this doesnt mean that theyre impossible to find. In fact, you, yourself, can inspect your house to see youve got them. Check your furniture for a possible infestation without relying on pest control to do that for you.
Here are some tips from the United States Environmental Protection Agencythat can help you get started on your hunt:
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