How is bedbug feeding characterized?

Updated: Apr 18, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Bedbugs are 5-7 mm in length with reduced wings and modified mouthparts for piercing and sucking. These insects live between wooden floorboards, in furniture, in bed frames, in mattresses, or behind peeling paint. Bedbugs sneak out to grasp human skin with their forelegs, pierce the skin, and inject anticoagulant- and anesthetic-containing saliva.

Bedbugs normally feed at night, usually approximately 1 hour before dawn. However, if the conditions are favorable, they also feed during the day. Feeding takes 3-12 minutes. In proper conditions, adult bedbugs can survive without a meal for 1 year or longer. Each female lays approximately 300 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs hatch in 10 days. The nymph stage lasts 6 weeks, undergoing 5 molts.


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