Do bed bugs feed every night?
Persons are dealing with a bed bug problem experience tremendous discomfort caused by their feeding activity.
These bugs need to stay around areas where suitable hosts are to get their regular fill of blood. This brings ups the question of the regularity of feeding. Do bed bugs feed each night?
In this article, we discuss everything about feeding and also mention the impacts of such feeding activity.
Persons dealing with an infestation hardly seem to have a peaceful night’s rest without these bugs digging in for some blood meal.
You’ll find information on feeding frequency and more as you read through the article.
Do Bed Bugs Have a Feeding Schedule?
Often people assume that bed bugs only feed and night while they stay out of sight during the day. That isn’t entirely true, especially when there’s an entire blown infestation.
When they need to feed, bed bugs find a nearby host they can draw blood from. This is especially true when the host is stationary.
Bed bugs mostly come out at night to feed, not because they’re nocturnal creatures but simply because it’s the time when their hosts are stationary or fast asleep.
At night, you’re likely to be sleeping or resting, thus allowing these pests to draw blood without interruptions.
So, in reality, a definite feeding schedule is non-existent. Nevertheless, these bugs feed in the evenings for the reasons stated above.
After drawing their fill of blood, they return to their harborages and only emerge at the next feeding cycle.
Bed Bugs Feeding Frequency
How frequently do bed bugs feed? This is the main focus of our discussion as it provides an understanding of feeding behavior and patterns.
When these pests emerge from hiding, they target exposed parts of your body to draw blood. In other words, bed bugs need to find exposed skin to start feeding.
This isn’t hard to find, and when they see the right spot, these bugs begin to draw blood using their specialized mouthparts.
A bed bug can draw blood from one spot if it’s not disturbed until it has a complete blood meal. However, that isn’t always the case, as there may be two to three bite locations from one bug.
Bed bugs don’t feed every night but need to take time off to digest the blood they provide.
This will usually take anywhere from 5 to 10 days for digestion to be complete. When completed, they’ll need more blood or continue the feeding cycle.
What goes on between feeding and digestion is crucial to their continued existence. During this time, bed bugs mate and lay eggs which further worsens an infestation.
Here, it’s clear that blood is needed for bed bug reproduction which is why they thrive when conditions are favorable.
You’re Likely to Experience these Bites Every Night
Irrespective of bed bugs feeding once every 5 to 10 days, you will still experience their bites each night. Why is that so, and what does it portend?
First, you must understand that a single bed bug can lay up to 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime. Each time these eggs are laid, it takes about 6 to 10 days to hatch.
It simply means that there are lots of bed bugs in need of a blood meal. Not all of them will feed at once; some might be mating and laying eggs while the blood gets digested.
Still, yet, others might be actively feeding at that same time. Like clockwork, this activity goes on constantly.
That is why persons with a bed bug infestation will notice signs of their feeding every night. Here, the only relief you’ll find is by taking definitive action to eliminate the problem.
Bed bugs mostly stay within eight feet of their food source during infestations.
How Bed Bugs Get Drawn to Hosts
You might wonder how these bugs can find their way to your body for a meal. There are lots of misconceptions about what goes on.
Some assume that the smell of their skin or bodies draws these bugs out. That isn’t the case, as chemicals and carbon primarily draw bed bugs in addition to body warmth and moisture.
All of these are emitted when you sleep and allow bed bugs home-in on a potential host. Most of these signals can be picked up by bed bugs as far as three feet from your bed.
Without these bodily emissions, bed bugs are likely to go on a random search, especially when they get into new territory.
With a constant supply of blood, the reproduction rate is significantly higher. There’s a drop in reproduction as hosts become fewer, which means fewer feeding opportunities.
Bed Bugs Can Stay or Long Periods without Feeding
One of the reasons why bed bugs are among the most difficult pests to deal with is their longevity in their absence of hosts to feed on.
When these bugs infest a property, they can remain or survive for long periods ranging from three to five months.
This is especially true when humidity and temperature conditions are favorable. This highlights why you must call for proper treatment of an infested area to get rid of them.
Even a single bed bug can lead to a resurgence in their population. So, professional pest control is needed for complete elimination.
Bed Bugs Lay Eggs at Different Times
One of the reasons why it seems bed bugs feed every night is because they lay eggs at different times.
This causes variations in hatching periods, meaning different nymphs and adult bugs will feed at other times. As explained above, each bug has its unique feeding cycle.
As a host, you and members of your household are likely to find signs of feeding activity from the previous night. Your best bet to deal with the problem is calling for professional extermination.
We’ve seen that bed bugs don’t feed every night, as the blood-fed one needs to be fully digested. This typically takes around 5 to 10 days.
Within this time, other bed bugs will feed while the others digest.