Bed bugs are not sexually active and therefore cannot lay eggs. However, female bed bugs have sperm that they store and use to fertilize the eggs. This means that the female bed bugs can lay their eggs anytime and not only during the breeding season. As long as they have a regular source of blood, they can reproduce.
The process by which bed bugs reproduce is called traumatic insemination. This process occurs when the male bed bug stabs the female with its reproductive organ and enters her body cavity. Once inside the female’s body, the sperm fertilizes the eggs inside. The female is then ready to lay eggs. In this way, the female bed bug does not have to work very hard to give birth.
When a female bed bug lays an egg, the eggs are similar in size to rice. They are around one millimeter in length and are sticky. This makes them easy to find and remove, but they do not want to lay their eggs in human hair. Unlike lice, bed bugs can easily be eliminated by brushing them off the body. Bed bugs prefer dark, secluded areas to lay their eggs.
The temperature in the area in which the bed bugs live is an important factor in their reproduction. The ideal temperature for the eggs to hatch is 70degF/20degC or higher. In this environment, sixty percent of the eggs will hatch within six days and ninety percent by day nine. Lower temperatures will prolong the hatching process.