What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like? (Find Out Now!)
When pests wreak havoc on your home, they can be irritating, expensive, and even harmful. If you suspect that you may have bed bugs, the first step is identifying what bed bug eggs look like. Bed bug eggs resemble the eggs of other bugs, so accurate identification is extremely important.
Bed bug eggs are transparent or pearl white little dots, depending on where they are in their hatching cycle. They are 1 millimeter in length, so they can be difficult to spot with the human eye. However, the more familiar you can become with what bed bug eggs look like, the better you can treat your infestation problem.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval, brown insects with flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs do not fly, but rather crawl quickly and feed off the blood of humans and other insects. While they don’t transmit disease, they are a nuisance.
What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?
Bed bug eggs look like little dots that vary in color from transparent to pearl white. The color of the bed bug depends on where it is in the hatching cycle. If the bed bug egg is fresh, it may appear shiny due to the sticky substance secreted by the female bug.
These insects are about 1 millimeter in length, so they are difficult to spot with the human eye. They are often found in clusters, usually on wooden or fabric surfaces. If the egg doesn’t stick to the surface it was laid on, like metal or plastic, it probably won’t hatch.
Bed bugs prefer to hide, so they lay their eggs within a 20-foot radius of their feeding source. You will usually find bed bug eggs in the bedroom, as they can’t travel far, about 3 to 4 feet per minute. Bed bugs usually lay their eggs in the mattress folds or around the bed frame.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
You’ll typically find bed bugs and their eggs in furniture, clothing, or bedding. They spread by crawling throughout the night, laying eggs, and contaminating your home.
If you find bed bug eggs but no bed bugs, the bug likely traveled on your belongings. Because bed bugs can’t move very quickly, they are known hitchhikers. They will attach to your luggage, handbags, clothes, boxes, and sometimes even your body.
Do Bed Bugs Bite?
Bed bugs do bite, but they’re active mainly at night when you’re sleeping. These bugs feed by piercing your skin and drawing your blood through their elongated beak. After they feed, they then crawl back into their hiding place.
An initial bed bug bite is painless but later turns into itchy welts. You’ll often find bed bug bites where there is exposed skin while sleeping. Bed bug bites are usually in clusters of 3 to 5 bites, appearing in a zigzag pattern.
If you notice a large number of bites, develop blisters, see signs of an infected bite, see a dermatologist. A dermatologist may suggest an antihistamine pill or liquid to control the itch of a bed bug bite. If it’s a more severe infection, they may prescribe an antibiotic or over-the-counter antiseptic medication.
What Do Bed Bugs Eat?
As mentioned before, bed bugs need blood to survive and for the female to produce more eggs. Their source of blood often comes from humans. These bugs prefer to hide near the host of their food, which is why you often find them in mattresses.
Bed bugs are nocturnal, so they stay hidden during the day and then awake at night to feed. Once they have found their host, the feeding process lasts about 10 minutes. A female bed bug can lay one to seven eggs per day and can do this for 10 days after one meal.
If a female bed bug wants to continue laying eggs, she will have to feed again. The more blood the female bed bug gets, the more eggs she will be able to produce. This is what will lead to a bed bug infestation.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
If you wake up with itchy welts that weren’t there when you went to sleep, you may have bed bugs. This is especially true if you have recently gotten a pre-owned mattress or furniture. However, mosquitoes or fleas can also have this effect, so it’s essential to know the signs of a bed bug infestation.
Signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
- Bed bug excrement on your sheets, mattress, pajamas, or walls. These appear as dark or rust-colored spots.
- Bed bug fecal spots, eggshells, or bed bugs’ shedded skin.
- A musty smell, often the odor of a bed bug’s scent glands.
If you notice some of these signs and suspect that you may have an infestation, remove all of the bedding. Carefully check for the signs of the bugs or their excrement. If you have a box spring mattress, remove the dust cover and examine seams in your bed frame. Peel back any fabric that is attached to a wooden frame.
You’ll also want to check the areas around your bed. Check any books or electronics on your nightstand, the edge of the carpet, and in electrical outlets. If you find signs of infestation, immediately start the process of killing them and preventing their return.
How To Kill Bed Bugs
There are several ways to kill bed bugs, and their eggs, that have wreaked havoc on your home. Some of the best methods to kill bed bugs are heat treatments, insecticide sprays, diatomaceous earth, vacuuming, and removing clutter. While some of the most effective ways are the most expensive, it’s worth it to remove the pest from your home.
Bed Bug Extermination Method 1: Heat Treatments
If you discover that you have a large-scale bed bug infestation, a heat treatment is the recommended removal method. During this treatment, professional exterminators will bring in industrial size heaters to raise your home’s temperature. Depending on the size of your home, this process can cost upwards of $5,000.
While heat treatments are expensive, there are several benefits. The heat can penetrate hard-to-reach places to kill the bed bugs. This treatment is often only required one time to remove the infestation, and it’s healthier for your family and the environment.
Bed Bug Extermination Method 2: Insecticide Sprays
Professionals have used pesticides for many years to kill bed bugs and other insect pests. This method requires a professional exterminator to spray insecticide around the infected areas of your home. This process is typically less expensive and more discreet than a heat treatment.
Though insecticides are less expensive, they require more treatments to kill the bed bugs, especially those in hard-to-reach places. This method doesn’t always reach bed bugs that are expert hiders. Furthermore, spraying insecticides in the same area that you sleep is not recommended.
Bed Bug Extermination Method 3: Diatomaceous Earth
If you’re looking for a DIY method to kill bed bugs, diatomaceous earth is a product that can do the trick. Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance that you can apply to carpets, baseboards, and other infested areas. The substance will dry out the bed bugs and kill them within three days after exposure.
This substance is a popular extermination method as the product is inexpensive and still effective. However, diatomaceous earth does not disappear on its own, so you will need to remove it from all surfaces.
Bed Bug Extermination Method 4: Vacuuming and Removing Clutter
The final method is vacuuming and removing clutter from your home where bed bugs like to hide and lay eggs. While vacuuming and cleaning your home are important during the removal process; they will not remove an infestation. This method will only be effective if you pair it with heat treatment, insecticide, or diatomaceous earth.
Decluttering is essential to removing bed bugs from your home as they like dark, cluttered spaces.
What’s the average cost to treat a bed bug infestation?
Exterminators charge by the room, square footage, or a flat fee, but several factors will affect the price. Homeowners typically spend between $1,000 to $2,500 to exterminate bed bugs. You can pay as little as $300 for a minor problem or as much as $5,000 for a large infestation. The level of infestation, the size of the space, and the type of treatment will determine the price of the removal. Removal for a studio or 1-bedroom apartment can cost $300 to $900. A 2 or 3-bedroom house can cost $400 to $900, and a 4-bedroom house or larger can cost $800 to $1,200.
How do you remove bed bugs from clothes?
If you find that you have bed bugs in your clothes, first separate the infested clothing from other laundry. Separate your clothes into colors and whites as you would usually do and put them into tightly sealed plastic bags. Dry-clean only clothes should be separated into their own bag and sent to a professional familiar with bed bug removal.Once you’re ready to wash, wash your clothes at the highest temperature allowed by the manufacturer using regular detergent. Immediately place used plastic bags into clean plastic bags, tightly seal, and dispose of them in an outdoor trash bin. After washing, quickly switch your laundry to the dryer and set the temperature to more than 120 degrees. Dry for at least 30 minutes in order to remove any bed bugs or eggs from your clothing. After drying, place clothing back into sealed plastic bags until your home is treated.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
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