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There is a plus and a minus when it comes to whether or not the cold temperatures have an effect on bed bug infestations; depending on how you look at it. One would think that when bone chilling weather comes then the bed bugs go and even though you might think that to be true it is not entirely. Your occurrence of bed bug contact might drop but all that means is that the bed bugs are in submission — meaning that they’ve traveled deeper in your furniture or walls to seek refuge or find more insulation. That is why at times people think that the problem has gone away but in reality it is still there.
Do Bed Bugs Like heat or cold?
Well since bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and animals they have to be where the people are. Bed Bugs prefer temperatures to be in between 70°F – 80°F. During these specific temperatures bed bugs can most successfully meaning rapidly reproduce. Speeding up the growth stage in many instances. Both extreme heat and cold can be used to kill bed bugs, but the temperatures must be intense to have an effect.
Can Bed Bugs Survive Through the Winter?
Bed bugs spend most if not all of their time indoors if they can help it. Therefore, outdoor temperatures may not always have a significant impact on them. If they are exposed to cold temperatures, they typically will go dormant to conserve energy. Even extreme cold will likely not kill bed bugs right away. Home freezers often do not reach temperatures severe enough to kill bed bugs quickly, so freezing time will probably need to be extended.
Even if bed bugs do survive cold temperatures, studies have found egg production and hatching success to be reduced. That being the case, cold temperatures are not completely useless when it comes to eradicating a bed bug population but will not completely.
Does Cold Temperatures kill Bed Bugs?
Cold temperatures can kill bed bugs if they are exposed to temperatures at or below 0℉ for an extended period of time. Approximately 3-4 days to be precise however though female adult bed bugs are hardier to kill than the rest. According to a study found in this article, The University of Kentucky Female adult bed bugs have a supercooling point, the temperature at which the bug will freeze, of around -20℃ or -4℉. Though bed bugs can survive at low temperatures, the article also states that development may be halted at temperatures below 50℉, meaning bed bugs may remain in nymph stage until the environment is warmer.
Do Bed Bugs Hibernate in the Winter?
Bed bugs do not hide away in a cave for months like bears do or even like Cicadas when they go into the ground but they can enter a state of semi-hibernation, called diapause. Diapause is an interval of energy conservation and slowed metabolism that enables bed bugs to go dormant, surviving without feeding for months. This is how they are able to stay secluded in an area for so long, making people seem like they have left. Bed bugs may enter diapause at temperatures below 60℉ in an effort to endure suboptimal conditions until said conditions improve. Even in this state, extreme cold can kill bed bugs if temperatures dip low enough.
Winter calls for flannel sheets and cuddling up by the fire. Unfortunately, bed bugs like the warmth too. All of the extra blankets and thick sheets only give bed bugs more places to hide. Not to mention, when it’s so cold outside, humans generally prefer to stay inside. With their human hosts posting up in a climate-controlled environment for the winter months, bed bugs have extended access to a delicious blood meal.
Bed bugs don’t have an offseason. If you suspect that you have a bed bug problem, call Eco Bed Bug right away. Our pest specialists are bed bug experts and they can get rid of your bed bug infestation for good.