Discovering the presence of baby bed bugs in your space can be alarming. Usually, it’s a sign of an infestation.
What’s more, baby bed bugs require your blood to develop into healthy adults.
Even creepier is how they function primarily at night when you’re asleep so they can feast.
Due to their tiny sizes, they can be difficult to identify. Plus, their love for hiding in cracks and crevices makes them difficult to trace.
Consequently, you should take time to learn all you can about baby bed bugs. That way, you’d be able to curb any likely infestation simmering in your space.
What Are Baby Bed Bugs?
Also called nymphs, baby bed bugs are simply the mini version of adult bed bugs.
In her lifetime, an adult female bed bug can lay approximately 200 to 250 eggs. In one particular case, a female bed bug laid up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. An egg takes only about 6 to 10 days to hatch.
Thereafter, baby bed bugs emerge from their eggs, seeking almost immediately their first blood meal.
Before turning into adult bed bugs, baby bed bugs go through five critical stages of development. Each nymphal stage of development usually takes about a week to complete.
More importantly, blood meals are crucial for molting from one nymphal stage to the other.
Without feeding, a baby bed bug’s development stalls. And it’ll take longer than the usual five weeks to finally molt into a sexually mature adult.
What Are the Five Stages of Development of Baby Bed Bugs?
As soon as they hatch, baby bed bugs enter their nymphal stages of development.
The baby bed bug’s development can last anywhere between one to four months. It depends on the availability of food and temperature levels.
1.The first nymphal stage
At this stage, the baby bed bug has just emerged from its shell. It’ll start looking for food quickly. Here, it also has a size of 1.5mm in length.
2.The second nymphal stage
The baby bed bug enters its second nymphal stage after going through its very first molt. At this stage, it measures 2mm long.
3.The third nymphal stage
After its second molt, the baby bed bug enters the third nymphal stage, measuring 2.5mm long.
4.The fourth nymphal stage
As a 4th stage nymph, the baby bed bug attains a size of 3mm long.
5.The fifth nymphal stage
At its final stage as a nymph, the baby bed bug grows up to 4.5mm long. Upon attaining adulthood, it will measure 5.5mm long. Bed bugs have a lifespan of about four to six months. However, under favorable conditions, some can live up to a year!
What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?
Baby bed bugs sport three body parts, six legs, and two antennae. They’re wingless though and cannot fly.
They do not metamorphose. Therefore, just like their adult counterparts, they appear flat and oval-shaped.
However, baby bed bugs appear smaller than adult bed bugs. A typical adult bed bug measures 5.5mm in length – about the size of an apple seed.
On the other hand, a baby bed bug at its first nymphal stage measures 1.5mm in length. Though, at its fifth and final nymphal stage, it measures 4.5mm in length.
Again, unlike adult bed bugs which appear reddish-brown, baby bed bugs look white.
Nonetheless, as they continue feeding and molting, they turn yellowish. Thereafter, they finally turn reddish-brown as adults.
Due to their size and color, it can be difficult to spot them accurately though. They’re visible with the naked eyes, regardless.
Can Baby Bed Bugs Be Found Only in Beds?
Due to their name, many people think baby bed bugs dwell only in beds. Nothing could be farther from the truth!
Of course, you’re likely to find them in your bed. Still, they can be found in so many other places within your space.
You can find them in your sofas, couches, travel bags, and headboards. They can also be found behind picture frames or even electrical outlets.
Needless to say, you can find them everywhere.
What Does It Mean If You Spot Baby Bed Bugs?
In any new environment, it is rare to find just baby bed bugs dominating the area. Usually, where there are baby bed bugs, there are also adult bed bugs close by.
As exceptional hitchhikers, adult bed bugs typically are the original invaders of any new environment.
They normally disperse to new locations via one’s clothing, luggage, and other accessories. Moreover, baby bed bugs don’t have it in them to travel around like their adult counterparts.
Therefore, if you’ve noticed signs of baby bed bugs in your space, then it is likely that adult bed bugs are reproducing rapidly nearby. At that point, an infestation may be brewing.
Besides, baby bed bugs upon reaching adulthood will also start breeding. It could take about just a month for this to happen.
If you think you’ve spotted any signs of baby bed bugs within your space, you shouldn’t waste much time getting rid of them.
That way, you can curb a possible infestation from getting out of hand.
Do Baby Bed Bugs Bite?
Baby bed bugs indeed bite. And it’s for the simple reason of drawing blood for survival.
The nymphal phase is a critical period in the life of baby bed bugs. They depend solely on blood to completely mature into adults.
An adult bed bug can go up to 400 days without feeding. Yet a baby bed bug will die within a relatively short period without feeding.
Baby bed bugs are most active at night when you and I are asleep. To feed, they inject their extended beaks into the skin to draw out blood.
These ‘bites’ take anywhere from three to 10 minutes.
Bites from baby bed bugs are generally painless. Certain components within their saliva function as an anesthetic to make the feeding process pain-free.
Still, the bitten area may become quite itchy. In rare cases, the bite may result in an allergic reaction after the bitten area gets infected.
When baby bed bugs bite you, you’re likely to spot bite clusters containing about three to five bites within the affected area. Bites usually appear zigzagged.
Do Baby Bed Bugs Spread Diseases?
Unlike some insects like mosquitoes or ticks, baby bed bugs aren’t known to transmit germs or diseases.
Therefore, while you certainly don’t want them anywhere near you, you need not fret about contracting any diseases from them.
Like their adult counterparts, they pose no health risks to humans.
What Signs Signify the Presence of Baby Bed Bugs?
Baby bed bugs are visible with the naked eyes. You may see their movements. Yet, it may not always be easy to spot them in action.
These insects are nocturnal creatures. They prefer to keep a low profile during the day. Plus, they’re exceptional hiders – finding solace in cracks and crevices.
Again, because of their color and tiny size, it can be difficult to identify them.
Yet, they aren’t as skillful at covering their tracks as they are at hiding.
Spotting groups of tiny eggs on your mattress may be evidence of their presence.
Furthermore, the identification of dried excrement, usually appearing as black/brown spots on your bedding may suggest they’re nearby.
Aside from bite marks, you’re also likely to spot stains of blood on your sheets and nightwear.
Lastly, baby bed bugs molt at each of their five stages of development. So, you’re likely to discover shed skins on infested surfaces if they’re around.
As their numbers gradually expand, however, it becomes easier to spot them.
You may discover their movements especially where they’re huddled together around cracks of bed frames, seams of mattresses, or sometimes even in books
Are Baby Bed Bugs Fast?
Baby bed bugs are not fast – at least not as fast as adult bed bugs.
Adult bed bugs move at the speed of four feet per minute. Suffice it to say, they aren’t the quickest insects.
Baby bed bugs move even slower than their adult counterparts. They sport incredibly short legs. So, they aren’t even quick enough to evade some squashing should they expose themselves.
In most cases, however, they won’t needlessly expose themselves. Until it’s safe to feed on your blood without getting caught, they prefer staying hidden.
Are Baby Bed Bugs Attracted By Filth?
Contrary to what most people think, a filthy environment doesn’t attract baby bed bugs. Baby bed bugs are likely to be as present in squeaky-clean rooms as they are in filthy ones.
The point remains that baby bed bugs need to feed on blood to aid their development.
Thus, you’re likely to locate them anywhere they can get hold of their blood meal. As long as their source of food is available, they’ll be found there.
For easy access to bite people at night, they like to hide deep in upholstered furniture, in mattresses, box springs, headboards, and bed frames.
Can Baby Bed Bugs Breed?
It is highly unlikely for baby bed bugs to reproduce sexually. At the nymphal stages, they’re simply not mature enough to start breeding.
Once they become adults, however, female bed bugs can start laying eggs.
Also, inbreeding is a common feature among these insects. Thus, as soon as a male baby bed bug attains adulthood, it can mate with its mother.
How Do You Get Rid Of Baby Bed Bugs?
It can be challenging trying to get rid of baby bed bugs as they hide so well.
Yet, you must take quick measures to eradicate them if you’re convinced of their presence. Otherwise, it’d be difficult to keep them in check once their numbers expand rapidly.
Here are some initial steps you can take to eradicate baby bed bugs yourself.
1. Clear the clutter
You should first clear all clutter around your space. It isn’t unlike baby bed bugs to aggregate themselves in piled clothes and belongings.
Also, you should wash your bedding, curtains, linens, and clothing in hot water, drying these on the highest dryer setting.
2. Vacuum your space
Next, you want to vacuum your bed including the mattress, bed frame, headboard, and box spring.
Don’t also forget to vacuum the area surrounding the bed including cracks near the bed.
Plus, I encourage you to scrub the seams of your mattress or furniture upholstery with a firm brush to displace baby bed bugs/eggs.
3. Use a steam cleaner
Using a steam cleaner is an effective means of getting rid of baby bed bugs.
The heat from steam cleaners is usually deadly to baby bed bugs.
Make sure to use the steam cleaner on the top of every surface including your mattress, carpets, and rugs.
Also, apply the steam under surfaces and along the baseboard of rooms. It is again vital to get steam into cracks and crevices within your space.
Even though effective, steam cleaners only cause harm to those baby bed bugs they get into direct contact with.
Plus, you should make sure to exercise all safety precautions to prevent any casualties.
4. Use pesticides
The use of pesticides remains a productive method in controlling baby bed bugs.
There are more than 300 products approved by the EPA for use against bed bugs. You don’t require any special training to use most of these products.
Yet, you should take note that one chemical product may vary from the other in how it kills bed bugs. Don’t forget to follow every label instruction before using any pesticide in your home.
5. Encase your mattress
You can also use a bed bug mattress cover to encase your mattress.
Doing so will keep baby bed bugs already around the mattress trapped. After a while, they’ll die of starvation.
Encasing your mattress will also prevent baby bed bugs on the outside from entering and infesting your mattress.
You may choose to get a new mattress anyway if you find the old has been infested.
However, if the baby bed bugs are still around in other parts of your home, changing your mattress will not help much.
You should be able to deal with baby bed bugs by following the above-listed strategies.
However, if you continue to find signs of baby bed bugs, then it may be time to hire the services of professional exterminators.
They are more skillful in using a combination of different methods to combat an infestation.
Conclusion: Don’t Let the Baby Bed Bugs Bite
It can be unsettling when you discover signs of baby bed bugs around you. These pests need blood to grow. And even more disturbing is that their presence may indicate the existence of adult bed bugs that may be reproducing.
Baby bed bugs are also tiny. Plus, their desire to hide in cracks and crevices can make it difficult to spot their activities.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to panic. You can choose to make use of the strategies listed above or contract the services of professionals.
Whichever steps you decide to take, make sure to act quickly.
The earlier you take action, the better it is to successfully rid your space of an infestation.