A bed bug basically undergoes five stages before becoming a full-grown adult. Once the egg has hatched, which would normally take about one week up to twelve days, there are five nymphal stages.
The nymphs however can be just as pesky as their adult counterparts because by this time, they will already be feeding off warm-blooded hosts particularly humans if found within the confines of your home.
How Big is a Bed Bug Nymph?
Bed bug nymphs look like their adult counterparts except that they have a lighter reddish-brown color. As they begin to mature, their color will become more pronounced.
During the first nymphal stage, bed bugs will measure approximately one and one-half millimeters in length. They will feed on a host and then begin their first molting phase which is called ecdysis.
After the first molting stage, they will once again feed of a host. By this time, they will already measure about two millimeters in length. Once feeding is done, they will once again undergo ecdysis.
By the third nymphal stage, the bed bugs will be about two and one-half millimeters in length. Molting phase will again begin after which, they will now be in their fourth nymphal stage.
During this time, the nymphs will be approximately three millimeters in length. By the fifth nymphal stage, they will now measure about four and one-half millimeters in length.
Once the final molting phase is through, they will become full-grown adults. By this time they will be about five millimeters in length.
Unlike other bloodsucking insects, bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases that can harm their hosts particularly humans. However, a bed bug bite may cause discomfort and irritation, the severity of which is dependent on the person’s allergic reaction to the saliva and enzymes injected through the skin.
Treatments therefore of bed bug bites will mostly be palliative and will also address the allergic reaction. For the most part, over-the-counter medications and topical creams are the recommended treatment products for bed bug bites.
However, if the bites get infected, a visit to the doctor is highly advised.
While the bites are being treated, it is also important to “treat” the house to get rid of the bugs. Depending on how bad the infestation is, you can do a general cleaning of the house taking particular care to clean mattresses, upholsteries, linens and clothes. Using bug sprays or insecticides is also advised.
If the infestation is severe, professional bug exterminators are recommended.