Also known as nymphs and until you get rid of them, they will make everyone’s life hell! And it’s incredibly hard to remove bed bugs once your home is infested.
As they live on a blood meal, having baby bed bugs is bad news for any home. Once spread, you can find them in the couch, mattress, behind headboards, on many places with regular human contact.
For some obvious reasons, they are called the worst pests you will encounter. So, in this article, I will talk about why you have them, their implications, and ways to get rid of them.
Signs of Young Bed Bugs
How do you know whether a bed bug or something else bites you? I don’t about other insects, but if you notice the following signs, I am sure your house is already infested with bedbugs:
- Itchy and red spots on the body. The center of the spots is where the bug bit you and it will be slightly darker. Sometimes, there may be a cluster of spots on a small area of your skin.
- There will be small blood spots on your bed sheet where they have been crushed.
- Dark but tiny spots of fecal matter may show up on the bedding, mattress, carpet, and other upholstered surfaces.
Bedbugs’ Favorite Living Spots
The flat-shaped skin-crawling bugs can hide in tight areas. So, it’s hard to locate them and getting rid of them. More so, they mainly hunt for blood at night!
The favorite harborage sites for both baby & adult bed bugs are the same. In your home or hotel room, you can find them including the eggs and nymphs in the following spots:
- They prefer to live inside the mattress crevices (their favorite spot!), under furniture, box springs, etc.
- Bedframe areas.
- Sheets, between couch cushions, and blankets.
- Within laundry.
- You can find them under the peeling wallpaper.
- Behind the baseboards, headboards, and frames.
- They also live inside the cracks in flooring or electrical devices.
- Suitcases or such kinds of luggage items.
- In the seam where the ceiling and the wallpaper meet.
They prefer any areas where humans sleep or sit usually. And they identify the human from their body odor, head, even from the CO2 emission.
The bad news is they grow in exponential nature. An adult lady bedbug lays around 500 eggs (usually 1 or 2 eggs per day) in her lifetime and it takes only 2 weeks for the eggs to hatch.
As soon as they hatch, they need to drink blood to live on. So, the baby bedbugs bite as well.
Identifying Bed Bugs
So, what do baby bed bugs look like to the human eye? Well, a mature one looks like an apple seed having dark brown or red color. But the nymphs are more like whitish-yellow. Unlike mosquitoes, they are larger in size and easy to identify.
The little ones look like adult bugs and they are easily identifiable to the human eye. No matter how tiny they are, you can easily identify them even with your naked eye.
Apart from identifying them with naked eyes, you can identify their existence by observing the mattress stains.
Here is a checklist to identify them:
- The color is either reddish-brown or brown. Especially the nymphs have a reddish-brown color. Not dark or black color.
- Usually, ¼-inch long.
- They have a flat and overall rounded shape. Not long or spherical at all.
- They don’t fly or jump ONLY crawl.
Each time the tiny bugs molt (5 times in total), they become bigger. But the baby bites and lives on blood too. Both the baby and adult bed bugs bite using their straw-like antennae.
Some people find identifying the bugs difficult because their nymphs look like the following insects as well:
- Spider beetles.
- Cockroach nymphs.
- Carpet beetles.
Before you can eradicate them and take preventive measures, it’s important to identify them properly to adopt the right measures.
Where Do Nymphs Or Adult Bed Bugs Come From?
You may assume they come from hotels and motels or from your friend’s house. But the list is very large! And it’s important for you to know such sources to take better preventive measures.
Both the adult and juvenile bed bugs may come to your home from the following sources:
- Taxi cabs (yes from the Uber or Lyft as well!), buses, planes, cruise liners, trains.
- Office and federal buildings.
- School, college, and universities, dorms.
- Outside campsites.
- Nursing homes & daycares.
- Police stations, libraries, theaters.
- Fire stations & city halls.
- And yes, from your friend’s house!
So, how do they invade your home from those places? Well, these bugs are also known as hitchhiking bugs. They can hitchhike from any place to anywhere anytime.
If you spend a night at a motel or hotel without inspecting the beds and other bedsheets for such tiny bed bugs, they will invade your house when you return.
The same is true for using any public transportation as well or visiting nursing homes and daycares.
Visiting guests can also bring those bugs to your home unwittingly. They may bring it from their homes or from the transportations.
You should wash their bedding immediately once they depart. Wash those beddings at the hottest temperature to ensure their surefire kill.
The Bed Bug Nymph Growth Cycle
The juvenile bedbugs are known as nymphs and they reach this stage as soon as they emerge from the eggs. Here is a great guide on the lifecycle of bedbugs.
There are a couple of factors that determine whether these nymphs can become adult bedbugs. Here are the most prominent 2 factors:
- Ideal Room Temperature
Nymphs flourish at room temperature. That’s their ideal growth environment. They can’t grow if the temperature is either below 55 degrees or above 100-degree F.
So, whatever room temperature feels good for you is ideal for them as well.
- Reliable Food Source
Although the adult bedbugs need to feed every 3 to 5 days, they can live for a long period without taking any food. But the nymphs must eat at least once a week to survive and develop.
Under ideal living conditions, they can live as long as 6 to 12 months.
Implications of Bites From Bedbugs
Apart from some allergic reactions, there are no serious physical consequences from the bites of these bugs. And unlike adult persons, babies suffer most from these bites (punctures actually).
The reason why babies suffer most is that they can’t move their bodies like the adult. They can’t even tell the adults what’s bothering them!
So, if these bugs bite you, just keep in mind that your infant is suffering the most. You can apply the following treatment to lessen the discomfort:
- Apply antiseptic cream to prevent an allergic reaction.
- If the bites look irritated, you can apply an icepack.
- Use soap and water to clean the bitten area of the body.
The above treatment should be done immediately before it gets worse. The bitten area becomes itchy but if you scratch it, it will lead to liquid-filled scars or swelling.
You should consult with your doctor if:
- The bite-size grows larger and larger.
- The baby is having trouble breathing or suffers from an intense fever.
- The bites don’t go away within weeks.
How To Get Rid of Baby Bed Bugs?
Oh boy! The hassle of removing them is daunting. It requires a complete and thorough cleaning of your entire house. But if you know how to get rid of weevil from your house, you already know some techniques!
The good news is both the high heat and intense cold kill them momentarily!
I will tell you exactly when to call a pest control professional later in this article, but for now, follow these tips to get rid of them:
- Identify All Infested Areas
Follow the identification guide mentioned above. You can use a flashlight and a magnifying glass to identify them easily.
- Round Them Up!
It’s difficult to get rid of them spot by spot. Instead, you should try to move them to one spot where getting rid of them will be easier for you.
So, start by picking up any clutter.
That way they won’t be able to hide underneath the spots and move to a new location. And eventually, you can round them up in a place to get rid of them easily.
- Regular Vacuum Cleaning
It’s my personal favorite way to contain and get rid of them! Vacuum cleaning can get rid of fleas from the mattress too!
Pay special attention while vacuum cleaning the crevices around the bedframe, box spring, or mattress. Also, make sure to run the vacuum over your dresser, carpets, bed, TVs, etc.
Focus on the crack of the flooring or carpet and other spots where they may be hiding as well.
Vacuum cleaning won’t kill them.
So, when you are done vacuum cleaning, dump out the vacuum contents so that they can’t come back again.
I usually use a plastic bag to seal the vacuum contents and throw them away. And then I clean out my vacuum thoroughly.
- High Heat Wash & Dry
Washing bugs-infested cloths with cold or normal temperature water won’t kill. Any temperature above 122°F will kill them.
So, use hot water of such temperature and detergent to wash all of your clothes and bedding. Then use the highest setting of your dryer to dry them.
Of course, there will be some items you can’t wash. Just put those items in the dryer for up to 30 minutes setting up the highest temperature.
If you can’t treat items with your washer or dryer, place them in a plastic bag and keep them outside for a few months. Without a food source, they will die hungry.
Simply throw away any furniture that you can’t clean. But paint them with the ‘BedBugs’ mark so that no one else gets them and infests their homes.
- Freeze Your Bedding & Clothing
You can kill such bugs by freezing them as well. So, your clothes and bedsheets in the freezer for a few days or put them outside when the temperature is below freezing.
If you want to freeze them to death, that’s a cost-free way!
- Clean Up Other Items
Throw out anything that does not have value like old books, magazines, clothes, and anything else lying under your bed or floor. You will be doing so to get rid of their living spots.
Never ever move bug-infested items from an infested room to a cleanroom. You will just help them spread! Clean all of your drapes, carpets, linens, and other hiding places.
- Scrub Mattress with Stiff Brush
Getting rid of the larvae or the egg hidden in the crevices of furniture and mattresses is crucial.
To scrape away the bed bug larvae or eggs, scrubbing the seams of your mattresses with a stiff brush is an effective way.
- Fix All The Cracks
Doing so will reduce the number of spots where such bedbugs live. So, fix or seal all the cracks in the wallpaper or paint. Glue down your loose wallpapers.
Tape up all the broken electrical outlets.
Don’t keep your bed attached to the wall. Keep it at least 6 inches away so that they can’t climb on.
- Monitor The Affected Areas
It will take some time to completely wipe them out. Check all those infested areas you have just cleaned after a week.
If you don’t see any of their activities, probably they have moved on to a new place!
- Retreat Again If Needed
As I said earlier, it’s hard to get rid of them completely. If you miss any spots while cleaning, they will invade other areas of your home pretty soon.
If you spot them again, you may have to try a different approach. If it seems a cumbersome task for you, call a professional.
- Exterminate with a PRO
Pest control companies have access to some chemicals and treatments that are not available to the general public. If you can’t wipe them out on your own, you should hire a professional.
Most of the time, such pest control companies will give you some advice to prep your home before they can start working. So, follow their advice.
The Behavioral Pattern of Bed Bug
To understand why it’s difficult to get rid of them completely, you must understand their behavioral pattern.
Their secretive lifestyle, activities, and habits have made them very difficult pests to get rid of. They don’t even have a central nest like ants and other insects like termites.
They activate mainly at night. So, unless you look for them unearthing their hiding spaces, you won’t be able to see them in broad daylight. Here is a quick video explaining why it’s so hard to get rid of them.
As they multiply quickly, a complete infestation begins rapidly even if you bring one of them home from outside. In fact, if you leave behind a female bug after a thorough cleaning, it will invade your home again.
The most alarming thing about such bugs is that they can double every 16 days! So, rapid reproduction, cryptic lifestyle, and high resistance to chemical treatments have made them quite difficult to get rid of.
A Note About Hiring The Pest Control Professional
Wiping out the bed bug infestation is a process and there are no shortcuts. Of course, not everyone is up for this hassle to handle themselves.
So, if you are to hire a professional to get the job done for you, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Depending on the situation, they will apply the right method.
A popular method is to apply heat treatment. It’s popular because it kills the bugs immediately without leaving any residue.
Another method is to apply the chemical bed bug treatment method. But it can take almost a week to get rid of the bugs and it leaves a residue. But it does a pretty job preventing the re-infestation.
So, before you hire a pest control company, ask all of your questions beforehand like their success rate, years of experience, and suitable procedures to follow.
How long it will take to treat the entire house will depend on how well you follow their instructions regarding prepping your room.
Any pest control company will give you a preparation sheet to follow before they can treat all the infested rooms. I strongly recommend allowing yourself adequate time to prep your room as per their instruction.
If you can’t follow their instruction, they may have to delay the treatment which won’t be a pleasant situation for any party.
Available Bed Bug Treatments Offered By PRO
There are mainly 3 types of treatments available for you. Of course, the pest control company will recommend the suitable one for you inspecting your house, but it’s important to know what they are and their implications.
- Traditional Insecticide Treatment
It varies how long it will take to complete the treatment if you decide to apply this method. It takes even more days to finish the job.
To exterminate the nymphs completely, most pest control companies schedule a follow-up treatment after 2 weeks of initial treatment.
The follow-up treatment is necessary to destroy the eggs of the bed bugs. The initial treatment can’t destroy them. As multiple treatments are necessary, an extended timetable should be assumed.
- Heat Treatment
It has to be done by a Pest Management Professional. Do not try this yourself. Only they have those specialized heaters to kill all the bugs in a room within 6 to 8 hours.
They set the temperature sensors to monitor the heat and heated up the room from 135°F (57.2°C) to 145°F (62.7 °C). Of course, there are other setups necessary like strategic placements of fans to evenly distribute the heat.
The best part of the heat treatment is that slow rising room temperature lures the bugs out from their hiding places and kills them ultimately. Applying this method will kill the eggs and nymphs as well.
- Cryonite Treatment
Some homeowners don’t feel okay to apply chemicals everywhere inside their homes to kill the bedbugs. For them, some pest control companies offer the Cryonite treatment to freeze the bugs to death where no chemical is necessary.
The professionals use the Cryonite machine to convert the liquid CO2 to dry ice particles. As the temperature of the snow coming out of the dry ice is -110°F, it kills the bugs as soon as it reaches them.
Being electronics safe, it’s highly effective to kill bedbugs from cars, trucks, and other vehicles where you can’t apply heat or liquid.
This is not a standalone method. Meaning, it still requires vacuum cleaning, mattress encasements, active monitoring, and trapping, etc.
What Keeps Bed Bugs Away?
The easiest way to prevent the nymphs’ infestation in your bedroom is to keep the bed bugs away. Luckily, there are certain scents that bed bug hates most.
There are some natural remedies you can apply.
So, if you try even only one of the ingredients mentioned below, these blood-sucking parasite won’t be able to ruin your good night sleep:
- Apply Rubbing Alcohol
The scent of rubbing alcohol prevents the bed bugs from laying eggs. So, spraying it all over your bed can be an effective baby bed bug prevention mechanism for you.
When comes to contact, rubbing alcohol can kill the bugs. Even if it does not, it’s deadly repulsive for them. As long as they smell the scent, they won’t bother living in the mattress or anywhere!
However, there is a catch…
Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable. So, don’t go nuts and misuse it! Never mix it with other ingredients to increase its efficacy.
- Try Lavender Oil
When it comes to home remedies of pest control, lavender oil is known to repulse bed bugs. Yes, it does not kill them; but it is now to keep them away from your bed.
Just a few drops (5 to 10) of 100% pure lavender essential oil should do the trick. Get multiple atomizers and fill them with lavender oil. Leave those atomizers in several parts of your house, not just in the bedroom.
The bed bugs will leave your house. So, there won’t be any adult bed bugs which will solve the nymphs’ problem.
- Apply Peppermint Oil
Not just for cool sensation, you can use peppermint oil to solve your bed bug problem too. They hate the strong scent of peppermint oil!
That’s because the high menthol content of the oil irritates not only bed bugs but also any pests you may have.
Spray the diluted peppermint oil on your mattress, headboard, or anywhere else you suspect the pesky bugs may hide. They won’t bother you at night from the following day!
- Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
It does not just prevent bed bugs, it kills them! Not just bed bugs, it’s super effective to eliminate any creepy pests like termites you may have in your bedroom or anywhere.
Don’t worry. Its scent is safe for humans. But it can harm your pets. So, keep them away while it’s in your room.
Apart from killing bed bugs by damaging their exoskeletons, its pungent smell is super effective to keep them away too.
However, the problem of killing beg bugs with DE is that such bugs only come out at night and it works only on adult bed bugs.
So, if you decide to apply DE, you need to leave it on the mattress and other places on the bed overnight.
- Tea Tree Oil
If applied carefully, tea tree oil can also be an effective mechanism to keep the bed bugs away from your home. The reason you need to be careful because it’s a toxic essential oil that can be deadly for your pets.
The lingering strong scent of tea tree oil can keep the bed bugs away for a very long time. When comes in direct touch, it can damage their exoskeletons and eventually kills them!
So, put it in a spray bottle and apply it to the headboard and bed frame. You can even spray it all over the bed and furniture if you have a real infestation.
Just make sure your pet does not digest it. And as the scent of tea tree oil can be annoying and unbearable for some people, you can use a mask to avoid this unpleasant situation.
- Blood Orange Oil
A true bed bug repellant that you can try. It’s highly effective because of its acidic scent that any kind of pest hate. There are plenty of ways you can use blood-orange oil to get rid of them.
First, you can mix its few drops with water in a spray bottle. And spray the solution all over the mattress and headboard. Apply the same in other areas where you suspect the infestation.
Then leave it there to dry.
Another method is to pour a few drops of the oil into a diffuser and let it work the whole night.
Yes, they are natural. But don’t let your kids or pets come nearby during the process.
- Try Lemon Juice
We love the fresh scent of lemon but the bed bugs don’t! That’s a very unpleasant smell for them. So, you can try it and it’s safe for kids and pets!
Spray the freshly squeezed lemon juice in all the areas where such bugs may hide. Leave it there and watch the magic.
They will leave your room and probably the home. As a bonus, your room will be full of pleasant citrusy smells.
- Powdered Pepper
Yes, it’s proven to be effective to keep bed bugs away but you need to be extra CAREFUL! I don’t need to remind you why.
Now, let’s talk about its efficacy and how to apply it.
Bed bugs or any pest hates the aroma of the powdered pepper and that’s why it works like a charm.
Keep your pets and kids away from the powder. Wear protective clothing and eyewear to protect yourself. If it comes in contact with your naked skin or eyes, you will have a burning sensation!
Now, on the mattress and headboard, sprinkle the powder. Pretty soon, those creepy bugs will be gone!
- Paraffin Oil
Because of the antibacterial properties of paraffin oil, you can use it to fight the pesky insects that are making your life miserable. The good thing about paraffin oil is that it’s completely tasteless and odorless.
Put it in a spray bottle and spray it on your mattress and furniture. Because it’s colorless, it won’t damage your bed sheet or furniture color.
Personal Observation on Natural Insecticides
Yes, there are plenty of them and they are effective to kill bedbugs. In fact, you will get amazing results spraying alcohol and essential oils too.
Apart from that, you will get effective results using silica dust, botanical pesticides, etc. But do not buy any commercial insecticides to kill or prevent bedbugs that are not EPA approved.
Do not apply any of such insecticides in excess quantities. That will result in skin irritation and other undesirable reactions.
Other than the above home remedies to kill or repel bed bugs, you may be tempted to use baking soda to kill bed bugs. But sadly, baking soda does not kill bed bugs 🙁
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It means infestations have already started. Young bed bugs reach adulthood within weeks and they start to lay eggs too. So, infestations will grow exponentially pretty quickly.
They invade your house through hitchhiking from motels, hotels, public transports, etc. Also, if you don’t clean your entire house every now and then thoroughly, it will be infested with them.
No. In fact, both the young and adult bed bugs crawl slowly because of their tiny legs.
Pink or red bumps in lines or clusters. Their bites are not painful but very itchy! If you scratch, it will become swollen or lead to liquid-filled scars.
Diluted rubbing alcohol kills them almost instantly. But that’s not the effective methods to get rid of them. You should thoroughly clean the entire house and take preventive measures.
Yes but only if you wash them with extremely hot water and dry the cloths with the highest settings of the dryer.
Even the just born baby bed bugs can cause serious itching and you can forget about your peaceful goodnight sleep. Understandably, they are pretty hard to get rid of as well.
The only effective measure is prevention in the first place.