How Do Bed Bugs Die

US EPA

Bed Bugs

Top Ten Tips to Prevent or Control Bed Bugs

Related Information

1. Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas, ticks or other insects.

You can compare your insect to the pictures on our Identifying bed bugs Web page or show it to your local extension agent.Exit (Extension agents are trained in pest control issues and know your local area.)

2. Don’t panic!

3. Think through your treatment options — Don’’t immediately reach for the spray can.

Be comprehensive in your approach. Try other things first. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques may reduce the number of bed bugs and limit your contact with pesticides. If pesticides are needed, always follow label directions or hire a professional. There is help available to learn about treatment options. (4 pp, 480 K, About PDF)

4. Reduce the number of hiding places — Clean up the clutter.

A cluttered home provides more places for bed bugs to hide and makes locating and treating them harder. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using special bed bug covers (encasements) on your mattress and box springs makes it harder for bed bugs to get to you while you sleep. Leave the encasements on for a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.

5. Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and any clothing that touches the floor.

This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers Remember to clean them when you do the laundry.

6. Do-it-yourself freezing may not be a reliable method for bed bug control.

While freezing can kill bed bugs, temperatures must remain very low for a long time. Home freezers may not be cold enough to kill bed bugs; always use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Putting things outside in freezing temperatures could kill bed bugs, but there are many factors that can affect the success of this method.

7. Kill bed bugs with heat, but be very careful.

Raising the indoor temperature with the thermostat or space heaters won’t do the job. Special equipment and very high temperatures are necessary for successful heat treatment. Black plastic bags in the sun might work to kill bed bugs in luggage or small items, if the contents become hot enough. Bed bugs die when their body temperatures reaches 45°C (113°F). To kill bed bugs with heat, the room or container must be even hotter to ensure sustained heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are hiding

8. Don’’t pass your bed bugs on to others.

Bed bugs are good hitchhikers. If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it and gets bed bugs.

9. Reduce the number of bed bugs to reduce bites.

Thorough vacuuming can get rid of some of your bed bugs. Carefully vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around bed legs, and all cracks and crevices around the room. Change the bag after each use so the bed bugs can’t escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag and in an outside garbage bin.

10. Turn to the professionals, if needed.

Hiring an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase your chance of success in getting rid of bed bugs. If you hire an expert, be sure it’s a company with a good reputation and request that it use an IPM approach. Contact your state pesticide agency for guidance about hiring professional pest control companies. Also, EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety provides information about IPM approaches, how to choose a pest control company, safe handling of pesticides, and emergency information.

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HOW LONG CAN BED BUGS LIVE WITHOUT FEEDING?

How long can bed bugs live without blood? The answer depends on the age of the bed bug, if it is resistant to certain pesticides and the temperature range it is exposed to. “How long can bed bugs live without feeding before becoming adults?” is the first question to ask yourself.

A newly hatched bed bug is called a nymph. Nymphs go through five stages before becoming mature adults. When a bug molts, it sheds its skin. Immature bed bugs molt five times before reaching maturity and must feed in between every molt. For that reason, nymphs must feed more often. Despite their young age, newly hatched bed bugs can still survive for at least a few weeks without feeding.

But if nymphs can survive weeks without feeding, how long can bed bugs live without blood after maturity? That depends. When living in warm conditions, bed bugs will usually try to feed at regular intervals. Adult bed bugs can survive for about five months without a blood meal.

Once the bed bug settles on a host, it will feed for a few minutes. Length of feeding depends on the stage of development, how much it ate last time and how long it’s been since it last fed. After the bed bug is full, it will leave the host and return to a crack or crevice, typically where other bed bugs are gathered.

Bed bugs usually feed every three to seven days, which means that most of the population is in the digesting state, and not feeding much of the time. However, because bed bug infestations can spread so rapidly, it can often feel like you are waking up with new bites every morning. This can lead to high stress levels and a lack of sleep.

Don’t let bed bugs get the best of you. A pest control specialist can help you kick bed bugs out of your house and keep them out.

Polanco AM, Miller DM, Brewster CC. Survivorship During Starvation for Cimex lectularius L.. Insects. 2011; 2(2):232-242.

Will Bed Bugs Die if They have Nothing to Feed On?

In the case of many insects, homeowners get rid of them by simply taking away their food source. If someone has an ant problem, they’ll clean the surfaces in their kitchen and ensure there was no food lying around. They are a living creature and so, they cannot live without a food source. It makes sense then, that bed bugs would work the same way, right? The answer to that question is not as cut and dry as you may think. For example, going down and checking into a hotel for a few days isn’t going to solve the problem. While bed bugs do need a food source to survive, they can go quite a long time without one.

How long a bed bug can live without food depends on several factors. These include the age of the bug, if it is resistant to any pesticides, and the temperature of its environment. It also depends on the maturity of the bed bug.

Newly hatched bed bugs are called nymphs. These baby bed bugs go through five different stages before they are considered mature bed bugs. During each nymph phase, the bed bug molts and it must feed with each molt. Due to this, nymphs must feed more often than adult bed bugs. Even with this more frequent feeding, nymphs can still live for several weeks without a food source nearby.

Fully mature bed bugs typically feed every three to seven days. When they are living in a warm environment, they will feed quite regularly. When a bed bug wants to eat, it will leave its crevice and find the host. The length of feeding time will depend on several factors such as how much the bug ate at their last feed, how long since it has fed, and the developmental stage it is in.

Adult bed bugs can go five months or more without a meal. Even though they don’t feed as often as nymphs, and most of the colony is in a digestive phase, bed bug bites are still a real nuisance.

How long does it take for bed bugs to die without human contact

Scientific studies have shown that bed bugs (cimex lectularius) adults can live as long as 400+ days without feeding in a laboratory at low temperatures.

Adult bed bugs can live for more than a year and it was found that there can be up to four successive generations per year. As for nymphs the life span is shorter than adults.

  • Adult bed bugs can live 14 months without feeding
  • Nymphs live 5 months without blood meal
  • Females need first blood meal to lay eggs

Starving a bed bug is not an effective strategy in removing an infestation.

Pest management professionals follow specific guidelines to get rid of bed bugs permanently . These procedures will help identify the necessary effort to quickly remove a bed bug infestation in any size property.

To help reduce outbreaks please share with friends and family.

Do bed bugs die if they do not feed?

Bed bugs do require to feed (blood meal) in order to survive, yet there is a 14 month life span of a adult bed bugs without human contact found in scientific studies.

The complete life cycle of a bed bug requires at least one blood meal before molting to the next stage, this again depends on temperature and availability of food/blood meal.

Keep in mind development occurs more rapidly at temperatures between 70° and 82°F.

Can bed bugs live in a vacant house?

Due to an adult bed bug life cycle can last 400+ days without a host. It’s very common bed bugs can live in a vacant home.

Due to the feeding cycle of bed bugs, they may migrate to where a blood meal can be found. This may be the cause of an infestation from a neighbors home that is in your living vicinity.

What is the average lifespan of bed bugs?

The life stages of a bed bug are based on five nymphal stages (not including the egg). Each stage requiring a blood meal before molting to the next stage.

  • Egg – Eggs are white and oval shaped (about 1/16 long)
  • Tiny white nymph – Difficult to see (about 1.5mm) Look like specs of dirt until they move
  • Light nymph with black spot – (about 2mm) Noticeable black spot in abdomen area
  • Light brown nymph – Lager in Size (about 2.5mm) Resembles an apple seed in shape
  • Medium brown nymph – Size increases (about 3mm) smaller version of the adult bed bug
  • Darker brown nymph – Larger in size (about 4.0mm) More pronounce black spot on abdomen
  • Adult – Reddish brown “rust color” flat oval shaped body (about 4.5mm)Egg

All data is based on scientific studies to offer you the facts and not opinions. Our data was collaborated with UC IPM.

Solutions that get rid of bed bugs

Bed bug questions. don’t be shy ask below

We know this is a stressful situation and we appreciate you allowing us to help you thru this. In hopes of showing you are commitment and good faith as your supplier of pest control products.

We are happy to offer any advice we can to help you. We will do our best to reply, but please be patient as we are helping a large number of customers around the globe.

This Post Has 13 Comments

Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We are here to help you finally get rid of these pests. Just leave a comment or questions and we will be happy to help!

How long can a bed bug live with a host

Can bed bugs or eggs travel on the botshoesr to of your shoes

Yes they can, it is very common they travel from suitcases into your home. Another way we have a lot of readers get them is from their kids backpacks in school. They then come home with the bed bug in the back pack and that night, they begin burrowing into the beds and start feasting. A week later you begin to start noticing the bites.

So its very common these bed bugs migrate on shoes, luggage, clothing, etc.

I had a K 9 detect bed bugs in 1 room in my apartment. I had to pack up the entire apartment in plastic bags in the middle of the flood. I had 3 treatments. The last treatment was in November. there has been no known activity since. We can I finish unpacking and know that the treatments were successful

AWESOME. to hear your bed bug issue is gone. If your not feeling bites for a two week period or so, you can assume a success.

Although… please be aware, neighbors, public transportation, kids backpacks… other external things outside your home. This can bring back bed bugs. It’s possible… not always likely but it happens.

So its always recommended, while you do a monthly cleaning, simply SPOT-Treat your beds, couches, and walls, clothing areas with GreenBeanBuddy residual bed bug spray. This will prevent the pests from migrating from any outside sources.

Thankyou for sharing your story, we’re so thrilled you got rid of your bed bugs! We love it when customers tell us this.

Nobody seems to address specifically: Can bedbug EGGS lie dormant to hatch at a later time, when conditions are more favorable? How long can they last? Will adding moisture to dry old bedbug eggs reactivate them?

Hi Tom, thanks for reaching out. I will be happy to answer your questions. We have bed bug specialist on staff that confirm the answers as well.

As for EGGS being dormant and hatching, yes nymphs(hatchling bed bugs) do lay dormant then hatch later. This is why we recommend a re-treatment around the 7 day point, because this 2nd treatment cycle will get the nymphs that look to feed. These are usually very tiny ones you cannot see very well, yet you feel the bites. (And their bites are usually the more painful ones because they do not inject you with the numbing agent that the large bed bugs do when feeding.).

EGGS cycle usually hatch every 7 to 14 days.

Adding moisture to dry eggs will not re-activate them. In fact, Green Bean Buddy is so effective because the formulation kills bed bugs using a dehydration method that seals out the bed bugs moisture from the inside out, thus causing them to die without becoming immune to our formulation. So the nymphs are affected in the same way.

Thanks for contributing, your questions will help the community and assist us in which guides we should add to help more of bed bug victims and our clients.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

I noticed there are bed bugs in my house and I used pesticides on them, though most of them died but I realized their eggs were still there, my question is, can the pesticide kiilbthe eggs? If it can’t how long can I one use the pesticides on d nymph

Most pesticides will not kills the eggs.

You will notice after a treatment, another cycle occurs of bites a few days later… likely 5 to 7 days. This is the hatchlings from the eggs and these are the most painful bites. The little nymphs do not have a numbing agent like the larger adults when they bite, so you feel it.

What You Want To Do For The Eggs:

We found a way to get rid of the hatchlings and egg cycle with our residual bed bug treatment. You simply spray Green Bean Buddy bed bug killer on any surface (clothing, bed, boxspring, and around the bed on the floor). This will prevent and kill these pests from reaching you. In fact most will avoid the area of treatment and if hatchlings get near it they die. So we recommend a nice barrier every few days until all the hatchlings are gone.

Let us know if you have other questions and thanks for contributing to the community.

which is the most efficient pestside for bedbugs…Iv treated mine for 6months with no success

Hi Lizzy, it’s a process. I would advise the following steps below. It’s important to do a treatment and stay consistent. The reason of being consistent is because these bed bugs can hide in many locations. So it’s important to treat all the areas. To combat this difficulty, you may wish to consider a residual bed bug treatment spray. This allows you to spray the areas, then it leaves a clear residual to protect from re-infestations. This is how health facilities, resorts, and pest managers are using the bed bug treatment sprays.

I think one reason they been around for 6 months is you may not know the true source of the problem. This is very common. We’ve found the bed bugs hiding in picture frames way up on the wall. Then other times they were in electrical outlets. And of course… neighbors or when you travel on public transportation. They literally can hitch a ride.

We had someone who was a mechanic, and they worked in a car which had bed bugs. He didn’t know that they were jumping on his clothes from the vehicle he was working on. So they can come from multiple sources. This is why we have had such great success in residual bed bug spray. The simple fact that is kills and then spray along your doors, windows, walls, bed, couches, linens, etc. This will be like a shield which these bed bugs will either come near and die or simply evacuate due to the formulation.

Steps To Follow & Products To Use:

1. Identify what a bed bug looks like – so you can identify the different sizes of them.

2. Where do bed bugs hide – so you know where to treat.

3. How to treat bed bugs yourself – You can use these procedures during treatment.

Lastly, how to keep bed bugs away permanently with re-treatment. This is because re-infestations can come from external sources.

You can consider a Residual Bed Bug Spray to combat the problem. You may also want to consider a bed bug steamer as well.

Thanks for sharing with the community. Let me know if you have other questions. I think the guides will definitely help, just be consistent and remember when doing a treatment, SPOT TREAT… don’t drench. This will give you more product to use later on just in case you need to re-treat or want to prevent the infestation after its gone.

What Temperature Do Bed Bugs Die At?

Bed bugs are one of the many parasites that can plague homeowners. Like most other parasites, bed bugs are small, resilient, and very nasty. The fact that they tend to live in our beds only makes them even more repulsive.

With that being the case, it’s not surprising that people are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to kill, control, and prevent bed bugs. One curious method that we’ll discuss here is temperature.

People rarely think of using temperature for dealing with pests. This is especially true nowadays with the thousands of pesticides, repellents, and pest-control tools available on the market.

Avoiding the unnecessary use of pesticides is always a good idea. Also, it’s important to remember that repellents aren’t always effective. So, especially since these are our bedrooms that we’re talking about, it’s worth asking, “Can heat kill bed bugs?” We’ll answer that question and a lot more in this article.

Are bed bugs temperature resistant?

The short answer is no, they are not. Like any other living thing, bed bugs do die below or above specific temperatures.

The longer answer, however, is that these temperatures are somewhat difficult to reach. In fact, a lot of what you might have read online under “tips and tricks” is actually wrong. There are a lot of people and blogs that cite using moderately cold or hot temperatures to kill bed bugs, which is almost always misleading.

The fact of the matter is that bed bugs can, unfortunately, survive a lot of extreme temperature fluctuations. The temperatures that are lethal to bed bugs often can’t be reached in an average household and can also require additional equipment.

Discovering the actual temperatures needed to kill bed bugs often dissuades people from attempting this method at all. Instead, they’ll turn to pesticides and other traditional methods to deal with their parasite problem.

What temperature do bed bugs die at?

According to various scientific studies, the temperature that is lethal for adult bed bugs is 118.94°F (48.3°C). On the other end of the spectrum, the temperature at which adult bed bugs freeze to death is -19.48°F (-28.6°C).

Although these can be tricky to achieve in a residential setting, it isn’t impossible. Before you consider using temperature as a weapon, it might be good to know which works best: heat or cold. This will depend on the equipment that you have on hand.

Can you freeze bed bugs to death?

Some modern freezers can reach 0.4°F (-18°C), although many freezers come up short in that regard. At normal freezer temperatures (which reach 6.3°F/-14.3°C, on average), bed bugs will die in 24 hours. It would be safest to leave them in there for at least four days, though.

If you want to freeze your unwanted bed bug guests to death, you’ll need:

  • A remote thermometer to verify the temperature in your freezer
  • Bags with airtight seals to store the infected items in (since you definitely don’t want bed bugs crawling around your freezer)
  • Time

That last point may be surprising, but bed bugs can survive in freezing temperatures for quite some time. So, if you want to be certain that your efforts will yield a positive result, be prepared to set aside enough space in your freezer for at least 4–5 full days. Also, remember to put every infected item in a sealed plastic bag to ensure that your bed bugs are confined and can’t escape.

As for the type of things you’ll want to freeze, any item that can survive in such temperatures for 4–5 days can be frozen. Shoes, books, cloth items, toys, pictures, and even electronics without LCD screens can all be put in the freezer and come out unharmed.

If you have bed bugs living in electronics with LCD screens, in items that contain a lot of moisture, or in items that are too valuable to risk putting them in a freezer, you might want to consider another method of bed bug control.

Keep in mind that the length of time is important. Bed bugs have been known to survive temperatures of even -13°F (-25°C) for quite some time. So, you’ll have to make sure to keep them in the freezer long enough to kill them.

How can you use heat to kill bed bugs?

If you want to try heat instead of freezing, you absolutely can. This is often the less practical route for a couple of reasons.

  • Not many homeowners have a suitable way to reach steady temperatures of 113°F (45°C) or of maintaining that temperature for a long period.
  • Few infected items could survive such temperatures for long enough.

Also, remember that the higher the temperature you can achieve, the faster you’ll deal with the problem.

At 113°F (45°C), it takes 94.8 minutes to kill adult bed bugs. The trick here, as with the freezing method, is to make sure that all the bugs are subjected to the heat treatment. You can’t allow a single one to escape and hide somewhere.

For this reason, when using heat, you might want to subject your entire home to this treatment. After taking everything that can’t survive such temperatures outdoors (including yourself).

You should call a pest control company that specializes in heat treatments. They’ll use special equipment to increase the temperature in your home to the required level. This should kill every living bed bug inside – if maintained for enough time. While that is happening, you’ll have to deal with the bed bugs in the items you’ve brought outside in a different manner.

What temperature do bed bugs eggs die at?

So far, we’ve been talking about killing adult bed bugs. We haven’t mentioned what temperatures you need to kill bed bug eggs.

As with other parasites, bed bug eggs are generally more resilient than their adult counterparts. They can survive temperatures that are up to 130.6°F (54.8°C), which is why this is the minimum treatment temperature we’d recommend. As far as freezing is concerned, -46.3°F (-43.5°C) should be enough for bed bug eggs, as long as you give it enough time.

3 Comments

Eileen

At what temperature will bugs and eggs die in a shorter period of time, say 5 or 10 min? There are some smaller items I don’t want to put in the dry, but I could put in boiling water or in a glass pan in the oven.

InsectCop

I would suggest you try another method instead since I’m not sure what would be the temperature to be lethal in such short timeframe. Here’s our article about getting rid of bed bugs.

Tasha Eason

My 1987 clothes dryer reaches >130 degree max increment on my gauge. In 2016, I dealt with these bugs several months & rounds of professionally applied pesticides. Now in 2020, exactly 15 days after 1st noticing the aroma of them, & a professional spray, there is not one sign of anything near an egg laying adult. Day 15-20, both myself & 1 of 2 cats have been attacked by hatchlings, followed by finding up to 100-120 eggs that have just dropped from any surface that wasn’t directly treated, ie, underneath a cats fav window seal, around the vacuum cleaner, & under 3 total pieces of antique furniture. The bugs may have entered my home as eggs via cushions on last summers lawn chair that had covers removed, were laundered & kept on the drying cycle around 40-50 min. The fabric did not seem to conduct heat well & they were left in a temp storage area, not quite 2 weeks before re-doing another 30-40 min dryer cycle once, then storing in a vacant room, inside one of those 3 pieces of furniture. My 2 worst ground zero egg drops! The temps on this site prob were never achieved within pores of my cushions. It’s sure cost me to use best available info till I found this page. Which was 112 degrees & 10 min, I’d found in 2016. Now, in 2020 I’ve been just lost in .gov sites that haven’t provided any easily findable info I could use, 1st just searching for kill times & temps. So I thought I’d share, & say THANKS 4 the INFO.

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