When do Bed Bugs Normally Hatch?
Bed bug eggs usually hatch anywhere between two to 10 days after they are lain, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. A fumigation treatment by professional exterminators may not work to kill bed bug eggs, so the treatment should be repeated about two weeks after the eggs hatch.
Eggs are white elongated ovals about the size of a pinhead. As the eggs mature, they may turn pink and grow two "red eye" spots that are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. One female bed bug can lay up to 250 eggs in her 10- or 11-month life span. She lays eggs in clumps of about 10 to 50 at a time. Because the eggs’ surfaces are so sticky, empty egg cases can still be found long after the bed bug larvae, called nymphs, have hatched.
Hatched and unhatched bed bug eggs are found inside of any small wall or furniture cracks, rips in mattresses or crevices in wood, so finding the eggs in a room can be difficult. These spaces only need to be as wide as the female’s nearly flat body. Beg bug nymphs and adults are usually not too far away. Most bed bugs stay within a 15-foot radius of wherever a person sleeps – bed, recliner or couch.
Bed bug eggs are tough to kill. Many insecticides do not affect them, although they can kill adults and nymphs. Some times fumigation treatments by professional exterminators kill eggs, according to Cornell University. Other, non-chemical ways to kill bedbug eggs are freezing them in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for one month or placing them in a dryer set on high heat for one hour. Steam sometimes kills bed bug eggs when the steamed item is allowed to air-dry.
Female bed bugs lay more eggs when the room temperature is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also the ideal temperature for nymphs to quickly grow into adults. If eggs spend time in a room which gradually becomes hot or cold, the eggs will survive to hatch because the temperature change was slow enough for the egg to cope with. Females can lay several generations of bed bug eggs in their lifetimes, if they can survive repeated impregnations. Female bed bugs do not have sexual organs. Males pierce their exoskeletons and inject sperm into their bodies.
- University of Minnesota Extension; Prevention and Control of Bed Bugs in Residences; Dr. Stephen A. Kells, et al.; 2011
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Managing Bed Bugs; Barb Ogg, PhD; Apr. 5, 2010
- University of California-Davis Integrated Pest Management: Bed Bugs; May 2009
- Cornell University Integrated Pest Management: FAQ List for Bed Bugs