How Often Do Bed Bugs Bite?

​​How Often Do Bed Bugs Bite?

If you are waking up in the morning with small red bites on your body, you may have bed bugs in your mattress. If you have a number of bites in different places, it is likely that more than one has bitten you. However, the same bug may also feed multiple times.

Unbelievably, these bugs can survive for many months without feeding. With that said though, this will be through circumstance rather than choice. In the right environment, these creatures will feed often, in order to reproduce.

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There are a few different factors that will directly impact how often a bed bug will bite.  These bugs may feed on you up to three times within the same night. This will leave a distinctive line of bites, a telltale sign that you have bed bugs living with you. Let’s look at some conditions that affect how often these pests bite.

How Often Do Bed Bugs Bite

CC Image courtesy of British Pest Control Association

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. 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.

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