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« Bed Bugs, taboo or timely? | Main | Hotels Save Thousands with Dogs and Heat »
Tuesday
Sep212010

Bed Bugs Came Out Of Nowhere! - Explaining the Surprise

I often hear, "They just came out of nowhere! What happened?"
The apparent surprise attack of the bed bug is not driven by climate change or even a hoax gone wrong.  The bed bug is a extraordinarily efficient creature with a very short maturation cycle.  This means that one mother bug could reasonably see 3+ generations of children in her first 90 days of life.  That translates in to about 800 bugs in 90 days!

Lets consider the life cycle here...
Female lays about 5 eggs per day - Every egg laid is fertilized.
Eggs take 17 days to hatch.
Nymph must eat 5 times and molt each time to reach sexual maturity - about another 25 days. 

So somewhere around day 40 the first days eggs hatch, then on day 41 the next 5 hatch, and so on. 
But consider, those first hatched eggs will start laying their own after another 25 days.
This is why, to a human, the issue seems to go from nothing to out of control so quickly. 

To put this in perspective I spent some quality time with excel and knocked out this little graph. 

The tipping points are clear. Unless you want to be the stuffed pig at the banquet, you must identify the presence of bed bugs before the 2nd generation start hatching and reproducing again.

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