Identifying bed bugs and their eggs comes in handy in not only differentiating between it and other household insects but also ensuring that you mount an appropriate response to them.
This might seem like a simple task but there has been a campaign that has debunked this.
In one campaign by the University of Minnesota, it was found out that many people couldn’t identify with a bed bug.
In its findings, it was shown that 76% of all the samples that had been submitted for identification were indeed not bed bugs. Now, if this was hard enough, then how about identifying bed bug eggs themselves? Read on to find out.
Table of Contents
What do bed bug eggs look like- Color & Shells
After bed bugs have mated, the female is expected to lay eggs. The eggs are oval in shape and normally white in color. The size of the egg is approximately 1/32″ or 1/16″ long.
This size is typically smaller than a grain of rice but a rice grain is almost 50 times smaller. There have been propositions mentioning the efficacy of using a light-emitting diode (LED) to be able to shine on the eggs and make it easier for identification and observation.
One thing that you should know is that the eggs are so tiny that you wouldn’t necessarily see them with your naked eye. You will need to magnify their sizes with the use of a magnifying glass. This might still take you some time if you are looking for the eggs in a light-colored wall.
White wall are known as the biggest culprits and hide the eggs even from a magnifying glass. This is where your vision acuity comes in. Further magnification of the egg reveals that it is not all white but rather a conformity of a silvery and cream-colored appearance.
An unhatched egg has the cream-colored appearance while a hatched egg is silvery. The latter is basically a remnant of the shell of the egg.
In a dark colored setting, the eggs can be very visible to the naked eye and this might mean that the blocks are basically clusters of many eggs clutched together to form one big rice-grain-sized egg. In real sense, it is not however.
In regards to the shape, the egg is more ovoid or at times oblong. One end is marked by an eye spot that can be seen as a slightly dark mark.
It is important to be able to differentiate the fecal matter, eggs and egg shells of bed bugs. Well, as you might expect, the fecal matter is quite the opposite color of the eggs. They are dark in colour and can also be seen on the sidelines of mattresses or along the corners of your wall.
Are Bed Bug Eggs Hard-how do the feel like?
You might wonder why this question is of essence in discussions but they may as well point out to perhaps someone wanting to crush them, ease of removal from household items without squashing onto them or mere curiosity.
If you have bed bugs, you can feel them and determine their fragility. At first instance, you need to ensure that the eggs you are touching are indeed a bed-bug’s. You wouldn’t of course feel these very tiny eggs even when your mattress is heavily laden by them.
While there is not any defined texture that is associated with bed bug eggs, at least information from hear-say has established that bed bug eggs are soft and since they are too small, the feeling is like rubbing some dust through your fingers.
However, you can actually feel some bit of grittiness depicting some rounded content suggestive of eggs. Perhaps the reason as to why some people say the eggs are hard is due to the fact that the eggs are strongly adherent to the item they have been laid on.
Bed Bug Eggs, Shells Pictures & images
How many eggs do bed bugs lay-Where & How Often
Bed bugs are like egg-laying machines. An adult female bed bug lays about 2-3 eggs or at times even more in a day. This means that the bed bug may lay hundreds of eggs in its lifetime.
This has been stipulated to be between 200 and 250 eggs. The number of eggs laid per day will be dependent on the presence of optimal conditions that are required to lay eggs.
These eggs can be laid either in clusters or singly and therefore may be associated with a small time difference between subsequent laying.
This includes warm temperatures and enough blood-meal in a day. It is also known that a single female can be responsible for more than 4000 bed bugs within a span of f6 months.
When and where do bed bugs lay eggs
Bed bugs have a pre-determined specification of the place it can lay its eggs. They are bright and since danger poses when the eggs are visible, wit is often required.
Fortunately, many people already know about this. Owing to the color of the eggs, they are mostly deposited on the wall especially the white or cream-colored ones. They may be engraved in the crevices or cracks on wall and the corners of the walls.
They are commonly seen as a line of white tiny balls along the corner from the top to bottom. So long as an area is well protected, it serves as a potential hiding spot for the eggs. These are areas rarely accessed by anyone and therefore good for the wellbeing of the unhatched eggs.
In addition, the places need not obey the law of gravity as these eggs are highly adherent to the places they have been laid on.
Folds and seams of mattresses, box springs, frames of beds and plywood are potential places.
If you can take a look at your bed at its joints and even dismantle the bed itself, you will meet hundreds of eggs lodged.
You will find that there has been a history of hatching and laying cycles with shells visible and skins of a couple of nymphs already molted.
Bed bugs can also lay their eggs on you whether on your clothes or on parts that resemble a crevice or a hiding spot such as the folds of your abdomen or under-arm.
Whether they hatch on you is dependent on your level of hygiene. If your hygiene is poor, then you will definitely be one of the best nesting spots of bed bugs.
The time they lay
Bed bugs lay eggs at any time of the day. This depends on the responsible mating time.
However, some other factors may have an impact on the time the female chooses to lay. This school of thought is sparked by the fact that the eggs are normally found in designated places. This means that the location is an important determiner.
Life cycle-how long does it take bed bug eggs to hatch
After laying the eggs, it will take approximately 6 to 17 days for the eggs to get hatched. It is during this time that the new bed bug, nymph, seeks its first meal.
The range of time it takes for the eggs to hatch is influenced by the presence of optimal temperature and blood-meal and will therefore hatch faster if all these are present in good quantity.
The nymph then matures with its length of time dependent on temperature. The nymph highly demands frequent blood meals so as to nourish itself in between molts.
It will require 5 molts for complete maturity and this may take a month or even 21 days in temperatures that are warmer. Molting involves shedding of the outer exoskeleton so as to increase in size.
If the season is cold, then it might take as long as 2 or 4 months to mature. It is interesting to note that any adult male and female can mate regardless of maternal relations.
Adult bed bugs live for an average of about 2 or 4 months again depending on the prevailing temperatures and adequacy of a blood meal. The following is the change in size as the bed bug grows:
- Eggs (1mm).
- 1st – 5th stage nymph (1.5 – 4.5 mm).
How to kill/Get rid of bed bug eggs
Diatomaceous earth (DE): the use of DE is a natural method that kills bed bugs efficiently. It does so by absorbing the protective exoskeleton making it dehydrated and eventually dead within hours.
Heat Treatment: there are special heating equipment that are used to de-infest homes. The machines are portable and have fans that heat the adjacent air to as high as 120 – 130°F.
This is closely monitored with temperature sensors. This method is quite effective and has been shown to be able to eliminate bed bugs in a single day rather than a couple of days.
It is however an expensive method and at times may require that insecticides be used for bed bugs re-entering your dwelling.
Cold treatment: if bed bugs are exposed to freeze- cold temperatures for a long time, then you can kill them. Temperatures as low as -16°C for about 3 days are enough to put the infestations to a stop.
You can also choose to use this method to immobilize the bed bugs and stop them from spreading and growing while you dispose of the item.
Using encasements: this involves the use of a covering made of fabric and zipping a mattress in it. This majorly creates a barrier between the bed bugs and the surrounding preventing escape and spread.
This is a good way to contain infestations. This method may be used as an accompaniment after you have killed the bed bugs and have bought a new mattress too.
Use of interceptors: they are a good method since they prevent the bed bugs from climbing the bed. When the bed bugs try to climb the leg of the bed, they are trapped within the interceptor. They can also be a useful monitoring and evaluation tool.
Insecticides: call a professional to do this for you. It is not advisable for you to do it by yourself as the chemicals used require the use of protective attire.
There are a variety of chemicals that have been approved for use as an insecticide such as Transport®, Temprid® and Phantom®.
Use of insecticide does not entirely depend on the chemical used but also the ability to decipher places that are hot spots. Spray areas where the bed bugs hide such as crevices, cracks and inside joints of beds and other furniture.
After spraying the whole room take out the sheets and clothing then wash them in hot water to remove the chemicals. Fumigation is quite similar that is used to kill bed bugs with a lethal gas such as sulfuryl fluoride. This requires that you vacate the building for a couple of days (College of Agriculture, Food and Environment).
Other ways to get rid and prevent
Other ways that you can use to get rid and prevent bed bug infestations include:
- Examine your bedding and clothing frequently before your sleep and before travelling.
- Store your luggage on raised stands rather than placing them on the floor
- When you are from a visitation and bed bugs were evident, leave your bag outside and call bed bug professionals.
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