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How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

life expectancy of bed bugs zoomed in from side of bed

Most people know if they've encountered bed bugs in the past: These tiny parasites, found in mattresses, clothing, and other upholstery, come out at night to feed off your blood and leave tiny, red, itchy bites all over your body.

These bites can appear in large amounts as a rash, and reactions to these bites can vary. Some people may only notice redness and mild irritation to their skin, while others will develop strong allergic reactions that require topical treatment.

Once bed bugs find their way into your home, the best way to get rid of them is by enlisting the help of an exterminator that can kill the living bugs and the eggs they've laid. If you're facing this problem for the first time, here's an overview of a bed bug’s lifespan, how long they live, and the steps you need to take to remove them from your home.

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live?

The life expectancy of bed bugs, especially between meals, is at the center of one of the biggest myths about this parasite. Rumors persist that bed bugs can survive for up to one year between feedings, but this is a misleading statement. Because bed bugs are cold-blooded, they can hibernate, and during hibernation can live for up to a year between feedings. In a normal environment at room temperature, bed bugs have a much faster metabolism and face greater urgency to feed to support their nutritional needs.

So how long do bed bugs live for, really? Unfortunately, bed bugs can still go a long time between feedings even when they aren't hibernating—roughly two to three months. If your home is infested with bed bugs, going out of town for a week won't solve your problem. Rather than trying to wait out bed bugs, the best way to get rid of the infestation is by addressing the issue earlier, rather than later.

What is The Lifespan of a Bed Bug in My Bed?

The typical lifespan of a bed bug is two to four months in normal, room-temperature conditions. This can include a feeding drought of two to three months.

Keep in mind that a bed bug's death won't get rid of the infestation that takes root in your bedding and grows the parasite's population. A single female can lay 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime. These eggs hatch within six to 10 days of being laid, making it very easy for bed bugs to grow their numbers—especially when feeding off you for nourishment.

Once bed bugs find their way into bedding, the colony will continue to grow and thrive unless deprived of nutrients for several months in a row, and/or until a professional bug exterminator has removed the bugs from your home.

How to Identify Bed Bugs

Most people first discover the presence of bed bugs when they notice red rashes, bumps, or irritations on their skin. To confirm their presence, you will need to find the clusters of bed bugs that usually lie hidden in hard-to-reach locations. This can include the seams of your mattress, the corners of a bed frame, or other small spaces where bed bugs can squeeze their bodies.

You may also find them in the cracks of your furniture, between floorboards, and behind furniture such as a nightstand or desk. Small spaces like the edge of your carpet or loose wallpaper can provide another place for bed bugs to cluster in groups when not actively feeding.

How to Find a Bed Bug Exterminator in Tulsa

Whether you identify bed bugs on your own or are suffering from their bites at night, you'll need to contact an exterminator to have the bugs treated. The best way to find a bed bug exterminator in Tulsa is by reading reviews of local service providers, and contacting them to see how quickly they can treat your home. The faster services are rendered, the faster you'll be able to return to normal life.

You can also ask local friends, family, and neighbors if they've experienced bed bugs in the past, and if they have a provider they recommend. As you search, seek out a provider that uses bed bug heat treatment in Tulsa area homes. Heat treatments are the only way to kill 100 percent of bed bugs at all stages of their lifecycle.

Bed bugs can make your sleeping and waking hours miserable—but quick service from a local pest control expert can eliminate even large bed bug infestations, clearing out the parasites so you can rest easily once again.

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