The Lifespan of Insects

Most people probably don’t think much about insect life spans, but did you know that insect life spans are playing out in your home every day? You might never even know some of those insects are living in your house. But there are other insects you will notice in your home, and their lifespans are the ones that will matter to you.

You see, as insect life spans play out, their populations can grow significantly. And that can cause huge problems in your house, even leading to major infestations that require an exterminator to get rid of them. So, as a homeowner, what do you need to know about insect life spans?

Why You Need to Know About Insect Life Spans

Insect life spans may not seem like a really big deal, but you might be surprised at how useful it can be to know a little bit about them. See, most insects have fairly short lifespans (less than two years, sometimes only a few weeks or days), and that means a lot can change in your house in a short amount of time if insects decide to live in your house.

It’s one thing when a few random bugs get into your home. You can vacuum them up or shoo them out of the house fairly easily. But all of that changes the moment they start reproducing. When bugs reproduce, the babies think the place they were born is home. And if they have plenty of food around them, they don’t have much reason to leave. So they end up reproducing as well. If the insects have a 90-day lifespan, that means by the end of a year you could have at least four generations of insects living in your home with each generation bigger than the previous.

That’s really how infestations start. Infestations aren’t just a result of a lot of bugs wandering into your house all at once. Infestations grow in your house when pests go unnoticed or ignored. Knowing how long an insect’s lifespan can be could help you figure out how long it might take for an infestation to start in your home – and could motivate you to call your exterminator sooner rather than later.

Every insect has a unique lifespan, so it’s a good idea to look up the lifespan of pests that you’re seeing in your home. But to get you started, let’s look at the lifespans of a few common insects you may find in your home.

Lifespans of Common Insects

Bed Bugs

Everyone’s heard of bed bugs, and unfortunately, they’re becoming more and more common. These bloodsuckers often live in or around your bed so they can feed during the night. Needless to say, you don’t want these insects living in your home.

Bed bugs can have lifespans up to a year, though it depends on the temperature of their environment. More often they live for about 6 months. For the first five weeks of their lives, they are going through their different phases of growth until they reach adulthood. They must have a blood meal before shedding into their next growth phase though, so if they don’t have a meal, they can live for months in the same stage.

When bed bugs reach adulthood, they can begin reproducing. A female bed bug lays about 6 eggs per day and can lay up to about 250 eggs in her lifetime. That’s more than 40 days of laying eggs. The eggs hatch after a week, so one female bed bug can lay enough eggs to have new bed bugs hatching for 5 weeks straight. The bed bug does have to feed before laying eggs, so the egg-laying may actually be a little more spread out, but nonetheless, she can leave behind hundreds of babies that can feed and reproduce in just weeks.

Calling an exterminator is the best way to get rid of bed bugs. They’re resistant to a lot of pesticides, so different measures need to be taken to exterminate them. If you see evidence of bed bugs, call your exterminator right away so you don’t have to deal with the bites longer than necessary.


Ants have a more complicated lifespan than other insects, but that shouldn’t really be surprising considering that ants have a more complex society as well. Most ants that you see in your home are worker ants, which are sterile females and do most of the grunt work in the colony. Apparently, some of them can live for several years, but many of them die younger due to external threats, etc.

Male ants, on the other hand, have extremely short lifespans – only about a week long. They do very little in the colony except help it grow. After the male ants have mated with female ants, they die. The queen ants, after mating, go on to lay their eggs and can mate with more males throughout their entire lives, laying hundreds of thousands of eggs before they die. These females can live for several years, even decades if they are well-protected.


Flies are a particular problem during the summer. Sure, it’s normal to have a few flies show up during the year, but when are flies enough of a problem to call an exterminator? Well, they’re really only something to call an exterminator over when they are laying eggs all over your house. At that point, you’ll have a lot of flies hatching in your home, and it will be much more challenging to get rid of them on your own.

A fly’s lifespan is only about a month long, but it can reproduce a lot during those short few weeks. A female fly can lay eggs several times during her life, and each time she can lay up to 120 eggs. So it isn’t unusual to have several hundred baby flies come from one mother. An exterminator will be able to help you get rid of the flies by finding both the eggs and the adults around your home.