How Often Do Bed Bugs Bite?

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

Bed bugs may feed on you up to three times within the same night. This will usually leave a distinctive line of bites, a telltale sign that you have bed bugs living with you. Once back in their hiding places, bed bugs will digest their food before coming back out to feed over the proceeding nights. On average, bed bugs typically feed every five to ten days.

Variations in Bed Bug Feeding Schedules

Availability of Food

The first factor that affects the frequency in which a bed bug will feed is, obviously, the availability of food. If there is a regular and constant supply of food, they will feed and bite regularly and consistently.

Generally speaking, bed bugs will, on average, only need to feed once a week, though. In the right temperature conditions, which is around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, a female will feed every two days.

However, if you are sleeping among a thriving population of bed bugs, all will be needing to feed at different times. Expect bites every night if you have an infestation in your mattress. Females are unable to reproduce or lay eggs without blood.

There could be hundreds, or thousands of hungry bugs in your mattress, with around half of these being females, ready to lay eggs. As their population continues to increase, so will the number of bites you get.

Living Conditions

The conditions that the bed bugs are living in will also affect how often they bite. While prime temperatures give bed bugs regular opportunity to bite, things change when the temperature drops. If the temperature is too cold, the growth of a bed bug population may slow down, However, it won’t completely stop.

This does not mean that they will stop feeding through. Bed bugs will mate directly after feeding and will lay eggs daily when they are well fed. However, cooler temperatures will cause a female bed bug to lay fewer eggs.

Eggs that have been laid in a colder environment may also take slightly longer to hatch. These creatures are incredibly versatile and resilient; they will wait until conditions are ideal before hatching.

Therefore, a bed bug infestation will continue to grow, even in unfavorable conditions, although it will take a little longer to see a boost in numbers. Do not rely on keeping the heating off through winter to try and stop these creatures from feeding on you. This won’t, unfortunately, work on the bed bugs — it will just leave you miserably cold.

How to Stop Bed Bugs From Biting

If you do not want to get bitten, you must act fast to eradicate the problem. It can take months to successfully wipe out a bed bug population; there really is no quick fix.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs will continue to thrive as long as they are in the right conditions. The most efficient way to deal with a bed bug infestation is to involve a professional exterminator. However, even the results of this type of pest control treatment are not instant.  

A professional may advise certain preventative measures, to help reduce the number of bites you are getting. This may include encasing your mattress in plastic to make it more difficult for the bugs to bite you. It will not guarantee to stop the bed bugs from feeding on you, but is less likely.

Remember, it is unlikely that the bed bug population will be confined to your mattress and bed. These creatures like to spread out around your home. As bed bugs are such great climbers they may also scale the walls and descend from the ceiling.

Chemical pesticide treatments over a number of weeks are likely to be the best option to kill these bugs, although you can also try alternative sprays and treatments first before moving onto using harsher products.

One of the best bed bug sprays that I’ve yet to personally use is the completely natural Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer. Not only does it have a 100% kill rate against live bed bugs in controlled tests, but it’s also child and pet friendly. This product can be used against both light and heavy infestations, and most importantly, it’s laboratory tested and completely chemical-free.

While the results may not be instant, these bugs will eventually die out if the correct action is taken. Only when the bugs are gone, will you find relief from the bites.