How Often Do Bed Bugs Feed?

How Often Do Bed Bugs Feed?

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects with a unique feeding habit. They hide in furniture and wait for a human host to come and feed on their blood. This can be very unsettling and can drive people crazy if bed bugs are found in their home. Knowing how often bed bugs feed is one of the best ways to help manage them and prevent re-infestation.

Bed Bug Feeding Habits

Bed bugs usually feed on their hosts every 5 – 10 days. They usually feed for three to five minutes and may only consume one or two drops of blood. As they get fuller, they will take longer to feed, usually around 10 minutes. Bed bugs can also go for long stretches of time without feeding as long as 18 months in rare instances.

Preventing Bed Bug Feeding

The best way to prevent bed bugs from feeding is to make sure your home is clean. Because bedbugs can survive in small cracks and crevices, regular cleaning and vacuuming can be helpful in keeping them away. It’s also important to avoid sleeping in the same bed every night, which can provide the bugs with a consistent source of food and make it easier for them to find you.

Signs of Bed Bug Feeding

Though they are small, bed bugs can leave behind signs of their presence. After they feed, they leave behind small, red, itchy bumps on their host’s skin. Some bed bugs can also leave behind a sweet, but bad, smelling liquid, likely caused by the saliva they secrete when feeding.

Bed Bug Control Measures

If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, the first step is to contact a pest control company. There are also some DIY methods that can be used to control bed bug population, such as:

  • Vacuuming: Vacuuming carpets and furniture can help to remove bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning carpets and upholstery can help to kill bed bugs.
  • Encasements: Mattress and box spring encasements can help to prevent bed bugs from inhabiting mattresses and box springs.
  • Insecticides: Insecticides can be applied to infested areas to kill bed bugs.


Bed bugs feed every 5 – 10 days and can survive without feeding for long periods of time. To help prevent re-infestation, it is important to keep your home clean and vacuum regularly. If you suspect you have an infestation, contacting a pest control company is recommended for effective bed bug control.

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