How Many Eggs Do Bed Bugs Lay?

  • Written By Dan Edwards on December 18, 2017
    Last Updated: December 30, 2020

They are tiny creatures with a big, bad reputation. Bed bugs have the tendency to multiply in numbers and in a very short period of time. Even worse, this breeding is happening out of sight so the numbers can be deceiving.

It is extremely difficult to detect these creatures, especially in the early days. Their eggs are even more challenging to spot than the bugs themselves. You will most likely need professional intervention to deal with a bed bug problem properly.

Taking a closer look at the number of eggs that a single bed bug lays will probably alarm you. A female bed bug can lay up to seven eggs at one time, and she is capable of laying eggs every single day.

If you have more than one female roaming around your home, which is usually the case, you are likely to find bed bug numbers developing rapidly. A single, pregnant female bed bug could single-handedly cause an infestation. Bed bugs tend to stay on the move after mating, so their eggs will be scattered across various locations.

Once these eggs have successfully hatched, the mating process will begin all over again. With optimal temperatures and conditions, every female can produce up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.

Bed bugs will continue to lay copious amounts of eggs if they are not stopped. Therefore it is crucial that you act fast to prevent an infestation from developing. Left to their own devices you could be dealing with up to four generations of breeding bed bugs within a year.

Bed Bug Eggs
CC Image courtesy of AFPMB

If you have only a small infestation and wish to try getting rid of bed bug eggs without professional help to start with, then buying a high-quality steamer can be a good investment. Steamers can heat carpets, curtains, mattresses and other materials and fabrics to a high enough temperature to kill both bed bugs and their eggs quickly and effectively.

If you’re looking for a powerful and reliable steamer for use against infestations and at a good price, the PureClean XL Rolling Steam Cleaner is a great choice. It’s heavy-duty, made to last, and produces a great covering of extremely hot pressurized steam – exactly what you want in order to kill insects and their eggs on impact.

This steamer can be used on a wide number of surfaces and objects, including mattresses, carpets, curtains, clothing, box springs, bedding and baseboards.

However, it should be noted that bugs and eggs hidden within deep grooves and crevices may resist and survive this form of heat treatment, and if this is the case, it would be wise to consult professionals for further treatment advice.

What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?

Before we get into the details of how many eggs a bed bug will lay, it is important to know what they look like. However, even if you know what you are looking for, they are not easy to spot. You may be able to find them in small cracks or crevices, but you will need a magnifying glass to do so.

Bed bug eggs are typically around the size of a speck of dust. Therefore, they can be laid in large numbers without being detected. They are a rounded, oval-like shape and approximately 0.06 inches in length.

The eggs are white or cream in color. Being light in color also allows them to blend easily into light-colored surfaces. Especially if you have a cream or beige mattress or white bedsheets, which are common colors for such products.

Bed bug eggs – CC Image courtesy of British Pest Control Association

After being laid, these tiny eggs are also very sticky. They have the ability to adhere to most surfaces and materials. This means that they could be hiding on, or in, any number of your possessions, without you knowing.

How Often Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?

Bed bugs are keen breeders and the female will lay eggs daily, given the right conditions. Optimal conditions are around average room temperature or between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, before a female can lay eggs successfully, she must have a full belly.

With regular access to blood, a female bed bug can lay eggs frequently. As long as a female bed bug is fed and fertilized, she will continue to lay eggs regularly over the span of her lifetime. As bed bugs typically live up to one year, but can live even longer, the numbers can really add up quite quickly.

If a female doesn’t have access to regular food, she will still continue to lay eggs, however, the frequency will decrease. The number of eggs may drop to around seven to 10 eggs per week, as opposed to the average of three or four per day on a full belly.