Different Stages of a Bed Bugs Life Cycle

The Actual size of bed bugs shows them as small, flat, wingless, oval-shaped blood-sucking insects found in furniture, cracks in the walls, and clothing. They prefer to live near food, and their primary hosts are humans. Although Nymph bites do not cause disease, they can cause an itchy, swollen red patch on the skin that should disappear in a few weeks.

They are reddish-brown in hue, growing up to three times their original size and turning red after feeding. They can be seen without a microscope, but bed bugs emerge only when their hosts are sleeping (mostly at night). We will explore the life span of bed bugs and identify the various stages of life. If you have ever asked, how long does it take for bed bugs to mature? This article is for you.

The Infestation Stages of Bed Bugs

The First stage

The infestation stages of bed bugs begin with one-bed bug getting into a mattress, wood, or carpet. Bed bugs will generally only choose moist locations frequented by humans as their primary feeding source. They can remain there for weeks before dying. This is the First stage of infestation.

Life Stages of Bed Bugs

If you have ever thought about the Lifespan of bed bugs, the answer is 6 to 10 months. During this time, there move across various stages of their life. There are six life stages of bed bugs. In all these stages, they are called nymphs until they attain adulthood. These stages are known as the Bed bug nymph stage. These six stages include: 

The Laying Stage

This is also referred to as the Bed bug Larvae stage. These eggs are so small that they can only be seen under a microscope. These tiny bed bugs are known as bed bug larvae; from here, they grow and progress through five stages before becoming fully formed adults. However, even if they are young, they can feed and will require food to begin their growth process. Feeding comes naturally to bed bugs; they can feed when they hatch.

The First Nymph Stage

This is the beginning of a bed bug’s life cycle. They are still considered babies at this stage, measuring only 1.5 – 2 millimeters in length. They are yellowish and will remain so until they feed. Young nymphs can and will feed to grow and progress to the next stage of life; if they don’t, they won’t molt. Molting is the process of shedding their skeletons to become larger. They do not have internal skeletons like mammals. Because their skeletons grow on the exterior, they must shed them regularly to expand in size. Before reaching full age, bed bugs will shed their bones five times. The average duration for a bed bug to remain in this stage is seven days. 

The Second Nymph Stage

This is the second Bed bug nymph stage after molting from the first. They are still yellowish at this stage and will only turn reddish when they feed. They will join the adults in feeding, and if they only eat once, they will lose their skeleton when their time is up. They haven’t grown significantly in size since their last molt. They’ve only grown by 0.5 millimeters, bringing their total size to 2 millimeters. They will grow until they reach the fourth stage, at which point they will significantly grow and transition into maturity. Like the First stage, bed bugs will not stay in this stage for more than a week, and it will only require them to feed once to go to the next stage.

The Third Nymph Stage

By this time, they should be around 2.5 millimeters in size. They will only feed once at this stage and remain the same size for one week before moving on to the next. They can be considered bed bug children; they will maintain their yellowish color and will only turn red after feeding. 

The Fourth Nymph Stage

They grow to a length of 3 millimeters, increasing 0.5 millimeters from their previous stage. They’re still yellow, but it’s a little darker than it was when they were younger. They are often mistaken for having a brown color. This is their teen or adolescent stage, during which they lose their exoskeletons and molt into adults. They only need to be fed once.

Transition into Adulthood

They grow significantly from their previous stage, reaching a length of about 4.5 millimeters and a fully brown coloration. However, their females are not old enough to lay eggs at this stage. It should have been at least five weeks since they were larvae at this point. Although they can be termed young adults at this time, they still have a little more growing to do before they get to the actual size of bed bugs.

They gain 0.5 millimeters in length and reach their maximum adult length of 5.0 millimeters. After this stage, we no longer refer to them as nymphs but rather as unfed adults. They molt once more before reaching full adulthood. They live for around ten months after this stage and then die (although there are some rare cases where they live for up to a year).

bed bug infestation life cycle

The Second Stage

The second stage is the reproduction stage. Bed bugs reproduce by traumatic insemination. Traumatic insemination occurs when a male finds an already fed female, pierces her abdomen with his hypodermic penis, and then releases sperm into her mesospermalege. However, the sperm does not fertilize straight away; instead, it travels to the female’s sperm bank and remains there until fertilized with an egg.

If you have ever asked, when do bed bugs start laying eggs? The fertilization process takes two to three days, and throughout that time, the female must feed to lay sterile eggs. The number of eggs she will produce is controlled by the amount of sperm stored in her sperm bank and fertilized. The eggs hatch in approximately 6–10 days after being laid, and new bed bugs are born.

Female bed bugs can lay as many as 500 eggs in their lifetime, but they do not lay eggs far from their homes, and when they do, they secrete glue on the eggs, which causes them to cling to the spot where they were laid. So they can lay eggs even if gravity is working against them (for example: on ceilings and walls).


Regardless of their age, bed bugs can be terrifying to individuals of all ages, and they should not be overlooked. If you find anything that meets the description in this article, contact a pest control firm right away, so they can help you get rid of it before it turns into a full-fledged infestation.