How Big Are Bed Bugs When They Start Biting

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Bed bugs do bite. They need to do it in order to survive. Just like any other insects, they go through a few stages before becoming adults. A lot of people are wondering whether they bite throughout their life or just when they are at a specific age. If you are wondering about the same thing, you can find the answer below.

Bed bugs start biting right after they hatch. When talking about the size, they are about 1/20th of an inch long. Apparently, they bite throughout their teenage stages and they will keep going even when they are adults. The only stage when they go through where they do not feed on their host is when they are eggs and the only time when they will stop biting is when they die.

How Big Are Bed Bugs When They Start Biting

How big are bed bugs when they start biting?

As stated before, they bite throughout their teenage stages and they will keep going even when they are adults and the only stage when they go through where they do not feed on their host is when they are eggs. The only food for them is blood. Whenever they feel hungry, they will look for their targets to suck. After they have hatched, it takes only three days or so for them to start hunting.

  • Life stage: Egg
    Do they bite?: No
    Size: 1 mm (grain of rice)
  • Life stage: First instar (nymph)
    Do they bite?: Yes
    Size: 1 mm (grain of rice)
  • Life stage: Second instar (juvenile)
    Do they bite?: Yes
    Size: 2-3 mm
  • Life stage: Third instar (juvenile)
    Do they bite?: Yes
    Size: 3 mm
  • Life stage: Fourth instar 9juvenile)
    Do they bite?: Yes
    Size: 4 mm
  • Life stage: Fifth instar (juvenile)
    Do they bite?: Yes
    Size: 5 mm
  • Life stage: Adult bed bug
    Do they bite?: Yes
    Size: 5-7 mm (apple seed)

All the stages are similar. The only thing that makes them different is that bed bugs with smaller sizes do not need a large meal. However, when it comes to their habit of biting, everything is the same.

The youngest bed bugs known as bed bug nymphs are about 1 mm long or 3/64 of an inch. Just like adult bed bugs, they need to feed on blood. In fact, they will feed within the first few days of hatching. After getting fed, they can start to grow. To be able to grow quickly, they use the nutrients that consist in the blood. Before growing to the next stage, the nymph will only bite once.

As you can see from the information above, bed bugs go through several stages called nymphs or instars. They have five nymphs or instars. It gets bigger each time as it develops through each stage. To grow to the next stage, they will have to feed. It means it is needed for them to feed exactly five times to become adults. To achieve the result, they will feed once every two or three days. While bed bug nymphs are about 1 mm long or 3/64 of an inch, bed bug juveniles are known to range from 1 mm long to 5 mm long.

As for adult bed bugs, they are between 5 and 7 mm long. Just like bed bug juveniles, bed bug adults bite frequently. They usually feed once every two to three days. Another fact that they share with bed bug juveniles is there is no need for them to continue shedding. However, they still have to suck blood as their meals. Blood is the only food for them, so without it they would starve to death.

Talking about the feeding frequency, it actually depends on the temperature. If the place is comfortable or if the temperatures are high, bed bugs will feed every two to three days. If they are in cold weather, they feed far less frequently, about once a week. The reason is because their metabolism is slower.

The difference between the size of male bed bug and female bed bug

The size of male bed bugs and the female ones are slightly different. The female ones are slightly bigger compared to the male ones. The female bed bugs are around 0.5 or 1 mm or longer. Aside from the size, female bed bugs are also different because their abdomen or rear section is wider across and more rounded at the end. As for the abdomen of the male bed bugs, it has a pointed tip.

What about their biting habits? There is no difference between the biting habit or the female bed bugs and the male ones. Both of them feed on average every two or three days. As you probably can guess, the female ones have to feed so that they can keep producing eggs. To produce an egg at a time, they use the nutrients that they get from blood. After the process of mating, they will lay around an egg per day for a few weeks. However, it is only possible for them to do that if they have the access to blood meals. During this period, they will feed regularly every two or three days. While the female bed bugs need to suck blood to produce eggs, the male ones need it to produce sperm. Every male bed bug tries its best to mate as much as possible. They have to keep feeding regularly as the fluids loss through sex.

Do bed bugs get bigger when they bite?

To make their belly full, bed bugs feed for a maximum of 10 minutes. When they are fed, their size gets bigger to accommodate their meal. For your information, there are a total of 11 individual segments of the abdomen of the bed bug. All of them are in a horizontal stripe formation. Each of them is more than just for show. When they feed, each of them expands to become bigger. After sucking the blood for 10 minutes, their abdomen will increase until it doubles or even triples in size.

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