DTY Bed Bug
Outgrowing a Growing Problem
Beating bed bugs starts with understanding their reproduction


As bed bugs grow, so do their populations. Left unchecked, the high-end reproductive capacity of bed bugs results in structural bed bug populations that become a significant medical issue for inhabitants. Bed bug populations grow through two strategies.

  • Phoresy or an association in which one animal clings to another to ensure movement from place to place. In other words, bed bugs move with people in their stuff. And people both like and have lots of stuff!
  • Reproductively or when female bed bugs move away from the male bed bugs post-copulation. In other words, traumatic insemination stabbing by male bed bugs injures the female bed bug. The female requires healing, so she leaves the bed bug group to avoid such encounters. This further spreads the population and widens the area of infestation.
Graphic courtesy CDC

All stages of bed bugs, C. lectularius, require blood meals from warm-blooded hosts (generally humans). Other mammals and birds can be fed upon in the absence of a human host. Adults and nymphs need about 5-10 minutes to obtain a full blood meal. Adults take numerous blood meals over weeks. Adults live 6-12 months and may survive for long periods absent a feeding.

Mating occurs off the host and involves a unique form of copulation or “traumatic insemination.” The male bed bug penetrates the female’s abdominal wall with genitalia and inseminates the female body cavity.

Per day, female bed bugs place about five eggs, and do so throughout their adult lives. All occur within sheltered micro-locations (mattress seams, crevices in box springs, spaces under baseboards, and many more places). Eggs hatch within 4-12 days. First instar nymphs must take a blood meal prior to molting to the next stage. Bugs go through five nymphal stages (each also requiring a blood meal before molting to the next stage).

Outgrowing a growing bed bug problem may simply involve attacking bed bugs at one of their most vulnerable points: their growth. To do this, a growth regulator must be utilized as part of the professional product application control step within the IPM template.

To meet the challenge of environmentally friendly product application coupled with maximum efficacy, a scientifically proven growth regulator is essential. Gentrol® Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) exceeds these requirements by disrupting the normal development of immature bed bugs.

Critical to the efficacy of Gentrol is strategic application in and around existing and potential bed bug refugia points. This is accomplished though different Gentrol formulations and broad product labels.

Gentrol® IGR Concentrate and Gentrol® Aerosol allow for crack and crevice and/or spot applications per the specific product label. Treatment areas include under beds, bottom side of box springs (do not treat linens and mattresses), bed framing, under and behind night stands, to points where carpet and wall meet, cracks in cove base, molding, and other areas where bed bugs harborage. For heavy bed bug infestations, you can retreat at 14-day intervals.

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