How Long Bed Bug Live Without Food

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Without A Host? (A Simple Answer)

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​Bed bugs are a very frustrating problem for lots of homeowners especially across many states in the United States.

Their excellent adaptability to a wide range of climates and their rate of reproduction have earned these parasites a notorious reputation throughout the country.

Because they get bitten every night by these nasty and stubborn parasites, a lot of homeowners are drawn into the wrong conclusion that leaving the house for a few days can starve the bed bugs to death or at least force them out of the property in search for a new host.

But does it really work?

​The bed bugs’ ability to survive without a host depends on a number of factors. And understanding these critical elements can help you land on the ultimate answer to the question.

​How Does A Bed Bug Feed?

​Before we can really answer the main question, it is best that we first take into consideration how a bed bug feeds.

As we all now know, bed bugs don’t have a chewing mouth part that help them burrow deep into our skin. Instead, these parasites are equipped with a needle like proboscis which they use to pierce through our skin and into the nearest blood vessel.

Prior to feeding, the bed bug excretes an ample amount of saliva which acts as an anesthetic component. It numbs the nerves of the skin surrounding the target area so that the victim doesn’t feel a thing. The be bug’s saliva also acts as an anticoagulant which helps keep the blood flowing as it feeds.

​Is Blood The Only Type Of Meal bed Bugs Prefer?

​Yes. Blood is the only type of nourishment bed bugs require and accept. They can’t and will not feed on anything else other than a thirst quenching blood meal.

Bed bugs need blood for them to molt and to develop full sexual maturity. Proteins and other nutrients found in their host’s blood is essential for the development of their eggs.

The following video is a close up documentary on how a bed bug bites and feeds.

​A blood meal from a human host is what bed bugs prefer. These nasty buggers are significantly attracted to us because of the heat signature that our bodies give off and the carbon dioxide that we exhale. But in the absence of a human host, bed bugs acquire blood meal from animals nearby.

​How Often And How Long Does A Bed Bug Feed?

​When an egg hatches, a nymph emerges. This nymph requires at least one blood meal to molt into the higher stage of its life. The nymph undergoes several molting process (less than two months) before it reaches full maturity.

Nymphs usually take about 5 minutes to feed. Adults on the other hand, may take around 10 minutes per feeding session. It then retreats to a safe spot for digestion of the blood meal it has acquired from its host.

Both nymph and adult bed bugs feed only once per week. If you get bitten by these critters every night, it simply means that you have a sizeable bed bug population to deal with.

​How Long Can A Bed Bug Survive Without Feeding?

​Basically, bed bugs can survive from several months to a full year without a host. But this survivability directly depends on a few factors.

​Adult bed bugs can survive longer compared to the younger ones or nymphs. The absence of a host for a blood meal doesn’t hinder the nymphs from developing into full adults.

Rather, it drastically decreases the amount of time needed for nymphs to reach full maturity. Nymphs become adult bed bugs in just about a month resulting to significantly weaker insects.

Temperature of the direct environment also plays a crucial role on how long a bed bugs survives without a host. Under normal room temperature, adult bed bugs can linger for a year. Increased temperature on the other hand, remarkably decreases the total length of time a bed bug can survive without a host.

Read More Bed Bug Answers

Check out our other bed bug guides. Each guide is expertly crafted to help you make sure these pests never bother you again.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live Without Blood? | 2018 Updated

Are you fed up withbed bugspestering you at night? Then consider yourself lucky as you have reached the right place for all the information.Cimex lectulariusor bed bugs as they are commonly known as; are pests that you don’t want breeding in your house or office. True to the fact, you surely would not want them to be around your family, pets, and anyone dear to you.

These parasites live on human blood and are a menace to mankind. It was believed that they eradicated for about 30 years, only to be found again.

This may seem little weird because their resurgence has taken most of us back. Talking about their feeding brings us to this discussion that most people want to know about is thathow long do bed bugs live without blood.

We have tried to put up everything we know about these pestering bugs in this post. We request our readers to read it till the end if they want to get a detailed understanding of bed bugs.

How Long do Bed Bugs Live Without Air?

If you are concerned about howlong can bed bugs live without air, then you should be told that these bugs can live for 18 long months withoutoxygen. No doubts, this is one of the toughestinsectsto kill.

This is why opting for an exterminator will prove to be a good idea in case your house is infested with bedbugs. It seems that treating your house with heat is the only out and that can be done by a professional only. They still have not been reported to be disease bearers, but these need to be eliminated from your house for your good.

Rest assured, you must be told that these pests are to be taken seriously.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live Without Oxygen?

As mentioned above, bed bugs can live for almost 2 years without oxygen, and this must be a disturbing thought. The problem is these pests usually invade places where you sit for long hours.

They live in the beds and furniture only to come out to bite you when you at rest. They move very fast and seek a hideout even before you have realized that they have bitten you. This is it takes time for some to identify that the bed bugs in their vicinity.

It may sound strange, but this is very true, and by the time you become familiar with the fact that your house is infested with bed bugs, it may be too late as they must have spread all over the place.

Again, there is no need to worry as you can resort to one of the so many advanced methods of wiping them out. Look the solution can be found anywhere that you can read and try, but contacting a professional agency can help you destroy these pests everlastingly from your house.

You surely want to keep your kids and pets away from these bugs. Otherwise, they are troublemakers that you want to be done with perpetually.

How Long do Bed Bugs Live Without a Meal?

It is not easy to state a number for this question because we are discussing insects that have a cycle of life. No one can predict how long a living thing will live and insects, no matter how intimidating they are no exception to this.

Yes, but what we can inform you is that these parasites are quite strong as they can live for weeks to a year’s time without any food to eat. Now, that’s unbelievable and the fact that this makes your job demanding while trying to exterminate them.

The best part is they come out at night, devour on your blood for 2 to 5 minutes and then slither into crannies and crevices. They remain in hiding for the whole day, and that does your job of annihilating them a big problem.

Do you need to find out where do bed bugs hide during the day? We would suggest leave it to an expert as they know what is best and can eliminate the colony of bed bugs from your home forever.

How long can bed bugs live without feeding?

It is quite difficult to give you an exact number as forhow long can they go without food. What we can say is that these bugs undergo 5 instar stages to reach maturity. A nymph or newborn needs to be fed once a week to move on to the next level.

The reason can be found in their being cold-blooded that have a slow metabolism. It is believed that adult bugs can live a full year without food and you should not be surprised to know of it. Strange are their ways, but these insects can cause nuisance once they infest your habitat! They feed animals like dogs and cats besides humans, so if you own a pet, you be careful of keeping your house free of these pests.

To be precise, nymphs can live for weeks without food, let alone the adults as explained. However, what needs to be stated here is thatbed bugsare pests that need to be eradicated from your home or office.

They are a menace, and that is how they are to be treated. Some people may not feel a thing with a bed bug bite, but some may develop immediate breakouts and hives. What we suggest is that there is no need to wake up to a new bite every day. So, get in touch with a professional that can help you get through the situation.

They know it all like how long can bed bugs live in the cold or how long can bed bugs live in heat as this can help them take on a course of treatment. Are you still thinking?

How long can bed bugs live without a host?

We, human, need hosts to live. As human, other living beings will need hosts too. For a bed bug, a host means a food source. So,how long can bed bugs live without a host?

What a bed bugs need for living?

Bed bugs can survive in very hard conditions. They are resistant to hunger, heat and cold. They need two basic things to keep living:

  • Food
  • Optimal temperature

Let’s see how those things work with bed bugs.

What do bed bugs eat?

Bed bugs are blood-fed which means their main and only food is blood. They can feed on animals like dogs, cats, birds or bats. But if there is human around, their favorite is always us.

They climb on human and suck their blood. So what they first need to survive is blood which can be found easily everywhere.

Ideal temperature for bed bugs

Bed bugs can live in higher and lower temperatures. When it’s too hot or too cold for them, they will slow down but keep living.

Bed bugs will start dying after 113°F and under 0°F. Between 45°F and 100°F they will have no problem to adopt their environment.

Where do bed bugs live?

If you are looking for them at home, you must first check those places:

  • Furnitures
  • Cracks on the walls
  • Mattresses
  • Under carpets
  • Behind pictures
  • Old books
  • Inside your clothes

As you see, they have various places to hide and have host. They usually keep hiding during the day, because they don’t like to be realized.

Can bed bugs live without a host?

We must make something clear to answer this question: What is a host for bed bugs?

For bed bugs, host means a place where is close to their food sources and where they can hide safely.

So there are two features of bed bug hosts:

  • It’s close to food source
  • You can’t find it easily without making detailed search.

And yes, all bed bugs need a host to live. But this host isn’t something like we people understand. They don’t need a place for having diner or watching television. It’s only somewhere where they can hide safely.

How long can bed bugs live without a host?

The answer depends on how long they can survive without living. Because to have a host or not to have it isn’t important for bed bugs.

Bed bugs can easily survive without feeding for several months. In some cases, they can live for more than a year without food and this will depend on how well they fed before.


How long can bed bugs live without a host?For a bed bug,hostmeans food. If they don’t have a host, it means that they don’t have a food source.

Because bed bugs always have a host near to their food sources. Otherwise, they can’t feed often or enough and this will cause them die.

So, the answer to that question is tightly connected to how long they can live without feeding. A bed bug can easily live for several months without feeding and more than a year in some cases.

If abed bugloses its host and food source, that means it will die at least in 2 or 3 months and 1 year at most.

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Without Food?

Science can be frustrating. You may have been researching “how long bed bugs can survive without food” for a while now and found 63 different answers. Why are there 63 different answers? Why can’t you just get one answer and be done with this? You may read on a website that they can survive 18 months or more without food and how on Earth is that possible? Let me clarify and provide you the answer you’ve been looking for…..sort of….

The reason there are 63 different answers is because different factors and influences can change how long bed bugs can survive without food. Let’s take age for example. We know that 1st instar or “baby” bed bugs (right after they hatch out of an egg) can’t survive without food as long as adult bed bugs. Seems fairly simple and straightforward as a newborn human couldn’t survive as long as an adult without food. Activity level can also change the time it takes for bed bugs to die in the absence of food. If a bed bug is in a vacant apartment actively searching for food, they can’t survive as long as a bed bug in a jar on a scientist’s desk. As the bug in the vacant apartment wanders around looking for food, it is using energy and, therefore, will succumb sooner than the bug sitting in the jar. Again, using humans as an analogy, if someone is starving in a desert and wandering around looking for food they will succumb to the conditions sooner than if someone is stuck in a cave and can’t move around and use energy as quick as the person wandering. Make sense why there seem to be 63 different answers?

So the answer to the question depends upon why you are asking? If you have a vacant apartment that has bed bugs, and you want to know when it can be rented out, the answer is probably nine months or more. Research has found live bed bugs in vacant apartments six months after they vacated and how long they survive depends upon how active they are, the temperature in the apartment and what stresses they may have been exposed to. Because of all of these factors, there is no way to guarantee how long you should leave an apartment vacant to starve the bed bugs inside. In fact, you may be putting surrounding apartments at a higher risk as the bugs in the infested, vacant apartment are probably going to search for food, and that may increase the chance that a surrounding apartment becomes infested.

In a similar scenario, I have found live bed bugs in summer camps ten months after they were vacated. The difference in this setting is that the cabins were not heated over the winter, and the cold temperatures assisted the bed bugs in surviving longer than normal. How long could they have survived? The world may never know….

Lastly, many ask this question because they have personal belongings they want to seal in bags or in storage and want to know how long they have to leave the items before they can use them again. Unfortunately, this may be the toughest question to answer. You can find reports online that state people have observed bed bugs surviving 18 months or more when placed inside a jar and left in storage. To be honest, 18 months seems a bit long to me but bugs inside a container or bag and unable to search for food could probably survive 9-12 months or maybe much more. A good recommendation for this scenario is to add stresses to the setting to make the situation as difficult as possible on the bugs. Increasing the temperature, adding pesticidal dusts when possible (by label directions) and other treatment options can increase the stress on bed bugs in these situations and decrease the time they can survive.

So the answer to the question is…….don’t rely on starving bed bugs as a treatment option. Too many factors can influence how long they can survive and unless you can survive without an item for 12-18 months or more I would recommend finding a way a way to treat the item.

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September 21, 2018 4 Comments

Bed bugs rely exclusively on blood for survival. This fact makes many homeowners believe they can just starve them to death by leaving the house or apartment vacant for a while. These attempts to starve bed bugs are fraught with difficulty and usually fail because bed bugs have the ability to go without food for very long stretches of time. The amount of time they can live without a host varies greatly based on many factors, but can be anywhere from 20 days up to 400 days!

Some of the factors influencing how long bed bugs can live without a blood meal are: age, temperature, humidity, and energy exertion. Young bed bugs (1st instar) cannot survive as long as older bed bugs without a meal. This makes sense if you think of it the same way that young human babies cannot live as long as adults without food. Bed bugs are also sensitive to temperature and humidity. Although they can survive at temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, their ideal temperature for growth and development is much closer to room temperature, approximately 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature cools, the bed bug will exert less energy and can actually end up living longer than normal without a meal.

Researchers have found that adult bed bugs can live without food in laboratory conditions for over a year (400 days). These optimal conditions typically consist of adult bed bug specimens living in cool temperatures where they use very little energy. These “perfect” conditions are unlikely to occur in the real world, but even in regular homes, they have found bed bugs alive after the home has been vacant for over 6 months. Long story short… it is unwise to try to starve bed bugs as a treatment plan.

There are many treatment options available to help control bed bugs . Many people immediately turn to professional exterminators, but they can cost a small fortune. Few people know that with the proper products and a well-rounded treatment plan, they can do their own bed bug control. PF Harris has a full line of bed bug products to help you get rid of bed bugs. For the best home pest control products , trust PF Harris to help you take back your home.


If you’ve had a treatment and you put all your stuff in bags and it’s been about five months are the bedbugs still on your clothes can you open those bags now

Riley Sizelove says

Thank you for contacting P.F. Harris. We always recommend running clothes through a clothes dryer on high for 25 minutes. Bed bugs will not survive that process and is highly effective. This could be done before or after you bag them. There is no perfect timeline for keeping them bagged. Each situation varies. Thank you, P.F. Harris.

I hired a exterminator. to get rid of them they sprayed my house one time already i have too wait two weeks until they come back out will the second get rid of them.

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