Egg-laying

Bed bug leaves egg

Fig. 18. When the bed bug nymph leaves the egg, it pumps liquid into the head and wiggles its way out using peristaltic movements. (Askew)

Once the female has mated, development of the eggs in the ovaries is completed, and she can now begin to lay eggs. They are laid in the hideouts, glued to the ground. A bed bug egg is approx. 1 mm long, it is whitish and almost pear-shaped. Under optimum conditions, 25-27 degrees Celsius and easy access to blood, she will lay 4-5 eggs per day for the rest of her life, which can be up to 300-400 in total.

This is not such a large number compared to many other insects, but bed bug eggs sit in a relatively protected environment with good chances of survival and hatching. At a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius the eggs hatch after about a week, and the little bed bug nymphs squeeze out of the eggshell (fig 18). At room temperature, the eggs hatch in 10-11 days. At lower temperatures development time is extended further and comes to a halt at temperatures below 14 degrees Celsius.