Bed bugs are vampires: they feed on the blood of animals, preferably human beings. However, they have been known to feed on pets, like cats and dogs. Birds, rodents and other mammals are also bitten by bed bugs. A bed bug infestation that is concurrent with a rodent infestation, like mice, could keep bed bugs around for even longer than human occupants would ever want.
At each of the five nymphal stages, the bed bug will eat a blood meal and then molt its skin, at which time it moves on to the next stage until it becomes an adult. Typically, they will feed every 3-5 days during their lifespan.
Part of the nightmare of bed bugs is that they can go up to 18 months without feeding, which can make someone who had an infestation sleep with one eye open for months after their last bite, always wondering if the pests might just be lying low.
More in this section:
- What do bed bugs look like?
- What do bed bugs eat?
- Where do bed bugs hide?
- How do bed bugs travel?
- Why are bed bugs a problem?