The age of the insect is the most obvious factor that determines how long the Bed Bugs can live without feeding. In addition to the age of insects, there are two other factors, they are the resistance to certain pesticides and the temperature range.
The Bed Bugs get started their life from a nymph, a newly hatched Bed Bug. A nymph will go through five stages before they become mature adults. You may wonder how long a newly hatched Bed Bug can live without food. By knowing it, it may ease you to find the best method to get rid of the Bed Bugs early.
How Long Can a Newly Hatched Bed Bug Live without Feeding?
When passing the five stages before becoming mature adults, nymphs will moult and shed its skin. The immature Bed Bugs moult about five times before reaching maturity. They also must feed in between every moult. That’s why nymphs have to feed more often.
According to some sources, newly hatched Bed Bugs can live without feeding for at least a few weeks up to one month. While, the mature Bed Bugs that can live without feeding will depend on the three factors that we’ve mentioned above.
When Bed Bugs are living in warm conditions, they will commonly try to feed at regular intervals. Reportedly, the adult Bed Bugs can survive for about five months without feeding. After the Bed Bugs settle on a host, they will feed for a few minutes.
Furthermore, the length of feeding will depend on the stage of development and how long it has been eaten and how much it ate last time since it last fed. Once the Bed Bugs is full, it will then leave the host. Then, they will go back to a crack or crevice, commonly where other Bed Bugs are gathered.
You should know that Bed Bugs commonly feed every three to seven days, meaning that most of the population is in the digesting area and also not feeding much of the time. But since Bed Bug infestations can scatter so rapidly, it can often feel like you’re waking up with new bites every morning. Sure, it will lead to high stress levels and a lack of sleep.
What Are the Factors that Affect Bed Bug Survival Without Feeding?
As we’ve mentioned, there are a bunch of factors that determine how long either newly hatched Bed Bug or adult Bed Bug live without feeding. Let’s learn those determination factors below!
1) Age of the Bed Bug
The age of the Bed Bug is the obvious factor that determines how long the Bed Bugs can live without feeding. In fact, a Bed Bug will go through five stages from new hatching to a full-grown adult. During each stage, the Bed Bug should feed at least once before it can moult and grow to the next stage of life.
If a Bed Bug does not eat for a couple of weeks during each stage of growth, it will likely die. Furthermore, the duration the Bed Bugs can survive without food also increases during each stage of life. After they develop into full adults, they will be able to live for up to one year without food.
One research revealed that adult Bed Bugs will be able to survive for up to 18 month without food, as long as their living conditions are optimal.
2) Bed Bug’s habitat and activity level
In addition to the age of the Bed Bugs, their habitat and activity level is also another factor that determines how long the Bed Bug can survive without food. In this case, the Bed Bugs that make a colony closer to bed or other furniture need to travel less to look for food. If the Bed Bugs do not need to move too far, they will be able to survive longer without food. Certainly, the Bed Bugs that have to travel longer to feed will have to gain a bit more often.
The temperature is also an important factor to determine how long the Bed Bug can survive without feeding. In hot temperatures, the Bed Bugs may consume more energy and they have to feed more often to stay alive. While in cold temperature, the Bed Bugs use less energy and remain dormant.
Well, those are the three factors that determine how long the Bed Bug can survive without food.
Additionally, there was a study that concerned Bed Bugs in 2009. In the study, Entomologists examined various Bed Bug nymphs which were fed only once and allowed them to develop into the first instar stage. The Bed Bugs were then not given any food. The study resulted in the fact that the Bed Bugs’ survival time at different temperatures significantly varied.
Some researchers also found that at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the Bed Bugs could last about 28 days on average in their first in-star nymph stage. The Bed Bugs which were kept at a temperature of 98.6 degrees would only last for an average of 17 days.
Is the Bed Bugs Population Higher Than Other Pests?
The female Bed Bugs usually lay one egg each day and will take around 10 days for the egg to hatch. The newly hatched Bed Bug will take another five to six weeks for the bugs to grow into full adults. In comparison, a housefly commonly lays about 500 eggs in three to four days and female mosquitoes usually lay dozens of eggs every day.
Even though the Bed Bugs population is lower than other pests, but they are actually dangerous if they grow very quietly. You may not find that you have a problem until the colony becomes too big to control. It is known that a single female Bed Bugs is introduced into a home and they can grow into a group of thousands of bugs within three months.
Even if you stop them from feeding, you cannot get rid of the Bed Bugs completely if they grow in a large colony. To reduce the spread of the Bed Bugs infestation, you may need to limit their access to blood.