How to Identify Bed Bug Eggs, Fantastic Pest Control
What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like
- 1 What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like
- 2 How to Kill Bed Bug Eggs
- 3 When Do Bed Bug Eggs Hatch
- 4 Where Can You Find Bed Bug Eggs
- 5 FAQ About Bed Bugs Eggs
- 6 How Big Are Bed Bugs
- 7 Bed Bug Eggs Size
- 8 What is the size of a bed bug full of blood?
- 9 How Big Are Bed Bugs Compared to Fleas
- 10 How Big Are Bed Bugs Compared to Ticks
There are many ways to identify the eggs of bed bugs. And because they look like the eggs of other insects with the same size you have to take a closer look at some details.
In general, the bed bug eggs are small in size and white in colour. People usually see them at the spot of the infestation, where adult bed bugs hide as well. The eggs are most often clustered very close to one another. There are also eggshells all over the area.
The bugs don’t hatch simultaneously. That’s why its eggshells are commonly found nearby unhatched eggs. They are a waste product of the first eggs that hatch during an infestation.
Spend more time to observe the bed bugs infestation area. Otherwise, you may confuse the bed bugs for something else and ignore them. Only a few insects or eggs are enough to start a whole new infestation inside your home.
Image by: louento.pix / Flickr
How to Kill Bed Bug Eggs
There is a variety of ways to remove the bed bugs eggs. They are treated in a similar way as other insects species, with some exceptions. You have to think about what percent of the eggs will hatch after the treatment. This depends entirely on the type of products used during treatment.
A stiff brush will damage the surface of the eggs and will destroy them. The problem is you won’t be able to reach tiny crevices and narrow areas with such type of brush.
Vacuuming is also a solution. It does not provide 100% efficiency in removing the eggs. This means you will only deal with them partially if you try to destroy the bed bug eggs with a vacuum cleaner. Remove the attachment of the vacuum cleaner to increase the suction power. This helps with removing bed bugs and their eggs from surfaces when they are stuck inside them. Avoid using the bristle attachment, it is likely to scatter bed bugs across the room. If they land on random items in the property, it will be close to impossible to locate them on your own. Do not dispose of the vacuum can inside the house. Go outside and put everything inside a plastic bag, then seal it properly. Do not expose others to the same type of pest infestation.
If all else fails, you can always rely on professional bed bug treatment for quick and effective extermination. The heat treatment for bed bugs is particularly effective against eggs as it destroys the infestation in all its life stages.
What Products Kill Bed Bug Eggs
Bed bugs are not exactly killed by any form of pesticidal products. Instead, scientists measure how bed bug eggs react to certain substances. Will they remain fertile after being treated? If most bed bug eggs hatch, the product from the experiment proves as inefficient.
There are many factors that make some products good or not so suitable for treating bed bug eggs. Some of these important factors are:
- Resistance to substances — Bed bugs are resilient to plenty of chemicals and become even tougher with time.
- Permeability of chemicals — This measures if a certain compound is able to penetrate the shell of the bed bug egg and if yes, to what extent.
- The exact bed bug strain in the experiment.
Pyrethroid-based products used on bed bug eggs show not so efficient results. Approximately 84% of the eggs hatch, despite the fact that they have been sprayed with the chemical. Up to 99% of the nymphs that hatch from these eggs survive afterwards.
To sum up, pyrethroid-based products are only 15% efficient. This is much less than satisfying.
Halogenated pyrrole, on the other hand, allows more nymphs to hatch. About 90% of the eggs remain fertile. Almost all nymphs die right after leaving the eggshell.
A mix of neonicotinoid and pyrethroid is much better than pyrethroid-based products. It is not as good as the halogenated pyrrole, though. This compound has a great effect on the eggs. It destroys completely about 87% of them and only 13% of the eggs remain fertile and hatch. The nymphs coming out are likely to survive but roughly about 38% perish.
These results are from a study by the Entomological Society of America. It is available on various sources on the web, including the Journal of Economic Entomology.
To get the most of any pesticidal products for bed bugs, we recommend reading the label. It provides a lot of information about the usage of the product and what situations it’s most suitable for.
What Temperature Kills Bed Bug Eggs
The temperature at which bed bugs die is called a “thermal death point”. Under a certain temperature the bed bug in all life stages starts to dehydrate. The bugs die in a few hours, depending on how high the temperature is.
The thermal death point for bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adult bugs is 45°C. A 1.5 hour of exposure to this temperature will exterminate the bugs at all life stages. If you raise the temperature a bit to 48°C, the time required to kill the bed bugs becomes 3 times lower — only 30 minutes.
When heat treatment is the only solution, technicians use specialised equipment. With it, the premises are heated to the required temperature. Pest control professionals work under a very well-controlled environment.
The procedure has higher costs than standard spraying with insecticides. Though, it gives quick results with up to 100% effectiveness. It is often preferred as a guaranteed method for bed bugs control.
How to Kill Bed Bug Eggs in Furniture
Upholstered furniture infested with bed bugs is most troublesome. It’s much harder to treat it without ruining the surface. The fabric of any upholstery provides much better hiding for the bugs as they get deep into it.
Heat treatment would do the job for any furniture but most people try to avoid the cost of this service. Heat treatment is more expensive than a lot more popular alternatives.
Vacuuming works very well for exterminating bed bugs inside furniture if done properly. We have a few tips that will help you get the most of this method of eradication.
- Focus on the cracks and crevices. Bed bugs avoid staying on flat surfaces of furniture, they will get as deep as they can. It’s often required to disassemble furniture to get access to bed bug eggs and living insects. You should do it as well if you are certain that the furniture is not bed bug-free.
- Apply a bit of diatomaceous earth inside cracks. If there are living bed bugs that crawl on top of it, their exoskeleton will be lethally damaged. Apply some of the powder on living bed bugs if you notice any as well.
- In case you identify any bed bug eggs, move the furniture into a separate room. Keep infested objects there only. This way you have only 1 room that will be heat treated. The rest of the property still needs to be inspected.
Heat treating only one room saves a lot of time and costs.
Does Steam Cleaning Kill Bed Bug Eggs
Using steam to eradicate bed bug eggs is a very effective method when you do it the right way. There are plenty of things to consider before steam cleaning any bed bug eggs.
- Use a proper steamer. A commercial steamer with a capacity of at least 3-4 litres will do the job. It’s also best if it is equipped with a steam volume control.
- Avoid the usage of carpet cleaning machines. They are not good enough in reaching the temperature at which bed bugs die.
- Streamers are much more suitable for injecting a high temperature on flat surfaces. They are not so reliable if you have to treat tiny crevices and cracks. They are also not suitable for steaming clothes because of the high temperature.
- Set the temperature of the steamer to approximately 71°C to 82°C
If you don’t know how to use a steamer, or don’t have one, better seek professional advice. You also have the option to schedule a pest treatment with a local company.
When Do Bed Bug Eggs Hatch
Bed Bug Nymphs
Usually, a period of about 6 to 10 days is required for the bed bug eggs to hatch. When this happens, the bed bug nymphs start seeking their first blood meal. They do it to complete their first nymph life stage.
After completing each of the five life stages, the nymphs shed their skin. You can see the shed skin with a naked eye if you know how to check for bed bugs activity.
To develop any further, bed bugs need a blood meal which is close to their hidings, as they move quite slowly.
All ages are found in a reproducing population. Under normal circumstances, adult bed bugs will live for about 2 to 4 months.
Are There Any Special Conditions for the Eggs to Hatch
There are number of conditions that are required in order for the bed bug eggs to hatch. Most insects need similar conditions to hatch and bed bugs are not an exception. Most important factors defining a bed bug hatch are:
- Heat — The perfect temperature is from 20°C to 30 °C
- Humidity — The best levels of moisture in the air should be about 70 — 85%
- Pesticide-free environment — There are compounds that destroy the bed bug eggs. Some make the newly hatched nymphs die almost instantly after hatching. Though the eggs are resilient to most pesticides, the lack of them is one of the conditions needed for the bed bug eggs to hatch.
- Oxygen — Insects absorb oxygen from the atmosphere through their exoskeleton. Once the nymphs are hatched they need plenty of it to develop into adult bed bugs
These are only the basic conditions needed for bed bug eggs to hatch. There are other factors, such as natural predators. If they are anywhere nearby the eggs or the young nymph, the crawling insects don’t stand a chance.
Where Can You Find Bed Bug Eggs
Generally, you can find bed bug eggs at the very same places where adult bugs hide during the day. Check the most common areas that get infested in homes and commercial buildings. The area around your bed.
- Under and inside the mattress
- Box spring or bed frame
- Inside luggage and suitcases
- Home appliances, light switches and electrical switches
- Furniture and shelves in the bedroom
- Behind wallpaper
- Behind pictures
- Cracks and crevices in the entire property
No matter where you find the bed bugs, we recommend you take immediate action for their removal. A female bed bug can lay about 500 eggs. Even if you miss one spot, you will not get rid of the crawling insects completely. Wait for a while after your pest control attempts. If bed bugs reappear, contact professional pest control experts.
Bed Bug Eggs on the Mattress
Making sure that the eggs you found on the mattress were laid by bed bugs is easy to achieve by finding actual living bugs. You should start by identifying how the bed bugs may have possibly entered your home.
Some of the most common reasons for a bed bug infestation is luggage. Bed bugs get in it while people travel and stay in hotel rooms.
No matter how the bugs get in, most of them will concentrate on your mattress. The reason for this is their feeding habits. Bed bugs crawl out at night and feed off the blood of whoever is lying on the bed. They inject an anticoagulant that causes skin rash and other similar non-life-threatening reactions.
We recommend our detailed guide on bed bugs on mattresses. It provides all the information on the subjects such as:
- How to check your mattress for bed bugs and eggs
- What to do next
- Working solutions on how to treat the infested mattress
- How to prevent further infestations on your mattress
FAQ About Bed Bugs Eggs
These are the questions we receive most often from customers. They want to know how to cope with the bed bug eggs, which they have found in their home:
Q: Does heat treatment kill bed bug eggs?
A: The bed bugs heat treatment is very effective if you want to kill bed bug eggs. It’s actually the best way to make sure that bed bugs in any life stage will be completely exterminated. As long as the treatment is done professionally, it comes with a few months guarantee.
Maintaining a temperature of 45 °C for at least an hour inside a room is enough to kill bed bugs in all life stages. This includes eggs, nymphs, and adult bed bugs. Skilled pest control technicians are responsible for heating the rooms inside buildings. They also track the temperature during the treatment and do changes to the settings.
By increasing the temperature, the time, required for the bed bugs extermination drops. Air at a temperature of 48 °C should kill bed bugs for approximately 20 minutes.
*Heat treatment is more expensive than other bed bugs control methods.
*In the past, it’s been a reason for fires inside building, treatments are now much more advanced.
*Do not make attempts to heat treat your property or clothes on your own. It may lead to structural damage or even life-threatening risks
Q: Does alcohol kill bed bug eggs?
A: Using alcohol can barely help you with the extermination of bed bug eggs. It is a solvent that causes damage to the egg to some extent, however, it is certainly not enough to kill all eggs. Only a very concentrated alcohol substance proves to be effective. Mind that it’s very dangerous for domestic application and we advise against its usage.
Rubbing alcohol on a surface may repel a bed bug. It will not lay its eggs there but will find a more suitable place for this very fast. Most people are not aware of this and spray alcohol on their furniture.
Applying alcohol on upholstery is very bad for the fabric. It may damage it very badly, depending on how much isopropyl alcohol the substance contains.
Most alcohol products are also extremely flammable. This puts your home at great risk, so we advise against the use of alcohol when dealing with bed bugs.
It’s simply not worth taking the risk of getting stains on your furniture or setting your home on fire. All — for the sake of killing a small part of the bed bugs population.
Q: Can you see bed bug eggs?
A: Bed bugs are most visible to the human eye when they have just finished eating. It is then when their size reaches its maximum capacity. Their eggs are very small and it may be necessary to use a magnifying glass or similar tool to identify them.
However, when the bed bugs’ population is higher than the average, the insects are clustered at a spot. They form a giant black or reddish marking which is very visible. Check our detailed guide to all the signs of bed bugs infestation. It will help you identify the insects and their eggs easily.
Q: Can bed bug eggs be found in carpets?
A: Bed bugs are likely to infest carpets as well. This is usually a sign that their number has become much higher than the average. At this point, you should take immediate action for their eradication.
There are several ways to get rid of bed bug eggs in your carpet. One of them is to use diatomaceous earth and then vacuum of what’s left of the bed bug eggs and shells.
Q: Can bed bug eggs be found in hair?
A: Bed bugs can get in very narrow places that are hard to reach by most other insects. Their small size and activity during the night is a huge advantage.
Bed bugs crawl over the body of people to find a suitable spot for feeding. Once they finish with their meal, they get back to a place that is as close to the food source as possible.
In this aspect, bed bugs may prefer to hide inside the hair of the animal or person they feed on. When they hide in your hair, it may take you a while before you realise that.
- People who wear wigs are most prone to having their hair infested by bed bugs. If they stay there for too long, they may even lay eggs.
- Using substance that contains 90% alcohol or more will kill some of the bed bugs and their eggs. Rubbing alcohol on your scalp may hurt it.
- Men with thick beards are also exposed to bed bugs in their hair. Trimming or shaving it is the best solution in such cases
- Some mineral or olive oils may help you avoid getting bed bugs in your hair. There is no 100% guarantee that such products repel the insects completely.
- A saunа treatment at a high temperature of at least 45 °C for an hour or more is your best choice. As mentioned above, bed bugs die in a warm environment. Their eggs and nymphs die as well.
Having bed bug eggs in your home, in your luggage or even on your body is not life-threatening. Yet, if you don’t take quick actions to eradicate the bed bugs, this will add up on the final costs of the service.
The faster you start the insect extermination, the better. In case you don’t have any experience in pest control, better contact a pest control company — a reliable one that has experience in dealing with the pest infesting your home.
Q: What is the size of bed bug eggs?
A: The size of a bed bug egg is very small. It’s often so small that single eggs are almost impossible to notice without a magnifying tool.
The crawling insects lay eggs with an average size of 1.5mm to 2.5mm. The eggs have a mild transparent appearance. This makes them able to merge with the background of the surface. Generally, the bed bug eggs look like a rice grain.
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How Big Are Bed Bugs
Last Update: 18.07.2018
It’s hard to say exactly how big bed bugs are, as they need to go through 7 stages in order to complete their life cycle. In each particular stage, the bed bug changes its size, appearance and behaviour, that’s why we decided it would be best to give you a deep description of the bed bug’s size in all phases.
Bed Bug Eggs Size
The size of the bed bug is not constant as it goes through many life stages before it reaches maturity. The lifecycle of the bed bug contains 7 stages (5 of each larva) and the insect grows progressively in each of them.
Size of a Bed Bug Egg
The bed bugs eggs are the first stage of the cycle and at that time it is about 1mm long. It’s white and is very distinctive. You will see many of these at the place of infestation – usually under the mattress of the bed. If you notice bed bugs there, make sure to treat the bed bugs on the mattress properly.
First Stage Larva Size – Nymph Phase
During the first stage of the larva, the bed bug grows in size a little bit and reaches a length of about 1.5mm. In this phase, the bed bug isn’t sexually mature yet and the nymph needs to complete a moulting stage that may happen only after the first blood meal. In this phase, the insect is usually white or light yellow.
Second Stage of Bed Bug Larva
When the insect reaches this larval stage, it grows with additional 0.5mm and becomes 2mm long. To go further, it needs to feed with blood again to complete another molt stage. The colour becomes darker than the first stage. The insect gets a red-brown body and distinctively yellow head.
Third Phase of the Bed Bug Life Cycle
Without exception, the bed bugs grow exponentially with additional 0.5mm and become 2.5mm long. It still needs another blood meal for the next molt stage and doesn’t change its appearance significantly.
Size of Bed Bugs at Fourth Stage
During this phase, the bed bugs become a little darker and its colour is red-brown. It reaches a length of 3mm and takes another blood meal for the penultimate moult phase. Luckily to everyone, professional pest treatments can take care of bed bugs in all of their life stages.
Fifth Larva Stage
This is the last larval stage of the bed bug and it’s also the phase during which the bed bug goes through the molt stage for the last time. At this time the bed bug increases its size significantly with about 1.5mm and becomes 4.5mm long. This growth is 3 times higher than in the previous stages.
The bed bug’s body shape also alters a little bit and the back of the insect becomes wider.
Adult Bed Bug – Last Stage of the Life Cycle
This is the 7th and final phase of the bed bug’s life cycle. It’s the time when the bed bugs reach its limits in terms of size and maturity. It becomes about 5.5mm long and is now able to take repeated meals instead of just one. There aren’t any molt stages at this time.
The adult female bed bug is able to lay up to 5 eggs each day and this repeats until the end of the bed bug’s life cycle. This makes this insect able to multiply really fast. That’s why it’s reasonably to exterminate them immediately when you spot the bugs. If you can’t deal on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help for professional bed bug extermination.
When completely fed, the bed bug changes its form slightly. It becomes a little longer and thinner. If you notice any of these, it means they’ve just finished feeding and best to not be smashed as it this will leave a blood spot on your sheet, mattress or furniture.
What is the size of a bed bug full of blood?
How big do bed bugs get, you probably wonder, don’t you? When completely grown, adult bed bugs can reach a size of about 5.5mm long. While feeding with blood their diameter grows mostly in length. This means that right after the feast a bed bug can significantly increase the size of its diameter and becomes about 6mm long.
The crawling insect needs roughly 3-10 minutes to become fed up with its victim’s blood, often leaving a severe rash and itchy bite marks after that.
How Big Are Bed Bugs Compared to Fleas
Fleas are significantly smaller than the bed bugs but this can hardly be seen with naked eye. The average size of an adult flea is 3mm which is about 2 times smaller than the average adult bed bug (5.5mm – 6mm).
Both bed bugs and fleas can cause severe problems to humans such as:
- Itchy bites;
- Psychological effects.
While bed bugs prefer to bite humans and rarely animals, it’s exactly the opposite for fleas – they prefer to attack animals and bite humans pretty occasionally.
How Big Are Bed Bugs Compared to Ticks
The only similarities bed bugs and ticks have are the following:
- Both are flat:
- They bite people;
- Feed on people’s blood.
Now the differences. While bed bugs are insects, having 6 legs, ticks are arachnids (an adult tick has 8 legs) such as the spiders.
While in unfed condition, adult female black-legged ticks (red and brown coloured) are approximately from 3 to 5mm long. After being engorged with blood meal, female ticks change not only their size (about 10mm long) but also their colour appears darker.
Adult males are smaller than females and are uniformly brown in colour. Nymphs are between 1-2 mm long, also eight-legged and larvae are less than 1 mm long (about poppy seed sized) and have only 6 legs.
Matteo Grader is a senior pest technician and specialises in bed bugs treatments. He is knowledgeable and has experience in treating a wide variety of pest infestations in and around London. He likes helping people get rid of their pest problems and is always happy to explain to people how to prevent such problems.