Can Bed Bugs Survive Cold?

Can Bed Bugs Survive Cold?

Bed bugs have been an unwelcome part of human life for centuries, but luckily we have learned a lot about them in recent years and know how to keep them away. One of the most common questions is: can bed bugs survive cold?

The short answer is yes, they can. Bed bugs can survive temperatures below freezing, but they don’t enjoy it. They prefer warm climates and will detect any temperature change that may occur in their environment. While cold temperatures can kill bed bugs, the process takes hours of exposure to low temperatures and it is not always successful.

How Cold Do Bed Bugs Need to Be to Die?

If the temperature is sustained at or below 0°C (32°F) for at least four days, many bed bug adults and all bed bug eggs will die. This includes insulated areas such as walls, floors, and furniture.

However, bed bugs are survival machines and have developed ways to cope with cold weather, such as by:

  • Seeking shelter: Bed bugs will hide in warm areas if they sense a change in temperature. This is why they are so often found in human beds.
  • Producing antifreeze-like proteins: Bed bugs produce natural antifreeze-like proteins to help protect themselves from the cold.
  • Slowing metabolism: Bed bugs are able to slow down their metabolism in cold weather causing them to survive for longer, often even going into a state of hibernation.

How Can I Keep Bed Bugs Away in Colder Seasons?

The best way to keep bed bugs away from your home is to prevent and treat infestations. The following steps can help you prevent an infestation:

  • Keep your home clean and clutter free. Bed bugs like to hide in messy areas like behind furniture and in piles of clothes.
  • Vacuum regularly and throw away the vacuum bag after use.
  • Check furniture, beds, and bedding for any signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
  • Check hotel rooms when travelling.
  • Wash bedding and clothing regularly with hot water.
  • Check yourself for bed bugs if you suspect you may have been in contact with them.

In summary, bed bugs can survive cold temperatures but it is not their preferred environment and lowering the temperature won’t guarantee their demise. The best option is to take preventative measures and treat infestations as soon as possible.

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