Bed Bug Life Cycle

About the size of an apple seed, this flat, reddish-brown and oval shaped pest has been a nuisance to people with unclean mattresses in around the world. Bed bugs are also known as “Bugs without Borders” as they have the ability to survive in any living condition. All they want are humans in close proximity for feeding.

We all have wondered its whereabouts and how to get rid of bed bugs as they feed on our blood in our sleep. They are usually inactive during the day and become active during the night.

Bed bugs are tiny insects that come from the super family Cimicidae and fall under the order Heteroptera. Bed bugs feed on warm blooded animals for food and sustenance. Cimex Lectularius is the scientific name for bed bugs that reside in cracks of floor, furniture and bed. Now let’s look at the life cycle of this insect:

Life Cycle of Bed Bugs:

1. Egg

The life of a bed bug begins when they lay grainy, pearl white eggs. A female adult bed bug lays 250 to 300 eggs in their life span. Bed bugs lay eggs in clusters in the cracks of floors and nooks. After one or two weeks, these eggs hatch into nymphs and they start scouting for mammals to begin their feeding.

2. Nymph – There are 5 stages that nymphs will go through. It takes around 5 weeks till the nymphs become adults. The stages are as follows:

  • Nymph Stage 1 –

Nymphs are newly hatched bed bugs and generally measure up to 1.5 mm. Once hatched, these newborn insects start feeding immediately. Since they are immature newborns, they feed on mammals for blood till they transform into reproducing adults.

  • Nymph Stage 2 –

After the first stage of molting, the nymph becomes 2 mm long

  • Nymph Stage 3-

After another stage of molting, the nymph turns 2.5 mm long.

  • Nymph Stage 4 –

By now, the nymph has undergone several stages of molting, the bed bug becomes 3 mm long.

  • Nymph Stage 5 –

This is the last stage of the nymph phase, with the nymph measuring 4 mm long.

3. Adult:

After five weeks of maturation, the adult bed bug measures up to 4.5 mm long. When the bed bug reaches this stage, it is capable of breeding and reproducing. An adult bed bug is expected to live for four to six months. When the bed bug measures 4.5 mm, they are ready to mate and start the whole life cycle again.

Read more: Honey Bee Life Cycle


Infamous for its itchy, pinching-painful bites, the bed bugs are capable of surviving without food for a year. This means after the bed bug transforms into an adult bed bug, they feed once and are able to survive without feeding for almost a year.

To find out more about bed bugs and other insects, register by BYJU’S Biology.

Frequently Asked Questions on Bed Bug Life Cycle


Are bed bugs just found in bed?

Bed bugs are found not only in beds but also in other areas like cracks of floor, wooden furnitures, tables, chairs, sofas, crevices of baseboard, and even behind the frame of an old painting in your room. They adapt to almost any warm nook and corner they can find.


Can bed bugs transfer diseases to humans?

Bed bugs do not transfer any diseases to human beings as such but their bites can be extremely itchy. If scratched constantly, it can leave scratch marks on the skin.


What is the main cause for a bed bug infestation?

The primary cause for a bed bug infestation is frequent traveling. Bed bugs grab hold of commuters, luggage, clothes and so on. From these things, the bed bugs slyly move over other objects like furniture and beds. Once the infestation begins, without proper pest control measures, it is difficult to get rid of bed bugs.

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