Knowing how bed bug infestations grow gives you an insight into why they can grow so fast and why it is so important that you act quickly if you have an infestation.
These bugs mate in using a rather bizarre process called traumatic insemination. A male pierces the abdomen of a female with his genitalia and injects his sperm into her abdominal cavity where it passes eventually into her ovaries.
This process is rather traumatic to the female because of the wound, leakage of blood and increased risk of infection and disease. The mating process also will reduce the lifespan of the female bed bug.
After getting impregnated the female may try to avoid mating again by isolating herself and moving away from the main infestation area.
Unfortunately, this process also makes it more likely that the bug that hitchhikes on your personal belongings such as clothes, luggage, or backpacks could well be a pregnant female. The eggs are carried for 4 to 6 weeks which also increases the chances that any bug you bring home will be a pregnant female who is soon going to lay eggs.
Since Bed bugs can live up to 12 to 18 months and a female is capable of laying from one to as many as twelve eggs per day, over the course of her lifetime, a female can easily lay 200-500 eggs.
To reproduce both the male and female bed bugs must feed at least every 14 days but the female will lay eggs as long as she has access to food. An infestation from just one female that is pregnant and has ready access to blood meals can rise to an infestation of thousands in just months.
Eggs take between 6 and 120 days to hatch depending upon the temperature. Then they go through about 5 molting steps as they progress to adulthood. At each molting they shed their old skin and grow a new one, leaving the discarded shells behind as a sign of an infestation that you can find.
Once a Nymph or baby Bed Bug reaches adulthood they too can become pregnant and further increase the infestation.
This is why it is so crucial that you know how bed bug infestations grow as act as you find one. The longer you wait the larger the infestation becomes! Get all the information that you need in my new book here.