If you have had or have bed bugs, also known as Cimex Lectularius, it is typical to want to try to quarantine the area of the home where the bed bugs reside.  However, the lifespan of a bed bug is very complicated! And you will most likely not be able to outlast the bed bug. A typical bed bug life cycle in the prime state is approximately 5-8 weeks. However, there are several different factors that determine the answer to the question: how long can a bed bug live?

Food Supply

How long do bed bugs live? Most organisms need food to survive, and in the case of bed bugs, their food is blood. However, unlike many animals and humans, the bed bug can also survive a long period of time without eating. Adult bed bugs can live many days without food consumption, even up to a year or more. Small bed bugs in the baby or nymph stage of development are not able to survive as long as adult bed bugs without food. Although the bugs will not die immediately from a lack of blood, they do lose the ability to reproduce.

Bed bugs develop in a five-stage life cycle. The pest originates as bed bug eggs. It can take about a week to seven days for the bed bug eggs to hatch. The bed bugs must feed at least once before they can develop to the next stage. If the bed bug does not eat, it will stagnate at that stage. This can lengthen the life of the bed bug as just plateaus at that stage. Once it can eat again, the bug can develop at the normal rate until it reached the next life stage. A bed bug with a normal growth pattern will be reaching maturity at about five weeks.

You will be able to tell if a bed bug has reached another stage in its life cycle as the bugs shed their exoskeleton between each life stage. You will find yellowish exoskeletons wherever the bed bugs are nesting.

How long can a bed bug live?
There are many factors that determine how long a bed bug can live.

Temperatures

Another factor that answers the question is the temperature of the living area. Bed bugs thrive in warm temperatures, which is why we have seen that bed bug infestations seem to be worse during the summer months. The bed bugs cannot survive during extremely cold temperatures, but this means VERY extreme temperatures, such as 0℉ for 4 days. At those cold temperatures, bed bugs die. Bed bugs will remain dormant at lower temperatures, but this does not mean that the bed bugs are gone.

So, if you think you can just turn down the heat and kill the bugs, that is not going to work! Their metabolism does slow down in cooler temperatures, so the bed bugs do not need to eat as frequently. This may cause people to think that the bed bugs are gone.  

High temperatures can be lethal for bed bugs.  But the temperature needs to be over 113℉ for several hours or 120℉ for several minutes.  Some people think if they just turn up the heat in their house that it will kill the bed bugs but this simply is not true.  You could possibly kill bed bugs in your car by leaving it in direct sunlight during the hot summer temperatures, but this will not happen in homes or apartments.  There are usually too many cool spots available to house the bed bugs and insulate them from the natural summer temperatures.

Feeding Zone Activity

What we mean by feeding zone activity is the movement created by the food hosts or humans.  Bed bugs risk their lives every time they feed off a live organism. It is common for a person to simply roll over and kill bed bugs during their sleep.  The bed bugs may get stepped on if they are crawling near the bed.  

We often see bed bugs in chairs or recliners where a person may spend a lot of time during the day. Obviously, more movement where the bed bug lives can lead to the death of the bed bugs.

However, even if you are very active in the feeding zone, it will not significantly reduce the number of bed bugs in your home. You will need a solution to kill these pests at a much more rapid rate.

Conclusion

Based on the information above, the average adult bed bug typically lives between 4 to 6 months because of the variety of factors that contribute to the longevity of the bug. If there are problems with finding food or less than optimal temperatures, the life span of the bed bug actually lengthens as they can sustain life in a stagnated state.

In addition, the rate of reproduction goes up when bed bugs are feeding regularly or living at a comfortable average temperature. Therefore, even though the bug may die sooner as they have passed through all the life cycles, you will see more bed bugs in this type of infestation because they are multiplying at a faster rate.   READ MORE 

Treatment Options

Now that you know the answer to the question, you need a solution to the problem. Regardless of the age of the bed bug, we believe heat is the best option for eradicating bed bugs in your home. Heat kills bed bugs at every stage of their life cycle, even the bed bug eggs,  during the winter and the summer! Unlike chemicals that rely on bed bugs getting the chemical on them and don’t kill the eggs, our heaters are specially designed to reach temperatures that can penetrate hard-to-reach areas.   READ MORE

Heat will draw the bugs out of their nesting places as they will initially think the rise in temperature is due to a person in the room. Thus they will come out to feed, not realizing that their death is imminent.

We offer free phone consultations to determine the most effective heat treatment for your home.  We offer full-service options where we can treat large and small areas.  DIY options are also available and work well for small bedrooms. We will give you all the training you need to kill the bed bugs in your home

We know you are looking for a cost-effective way to find a solution to your bed bug infestation. And you also want the peace of mind that these bed bugs will not return. So give us a call and let us know how we can help you eliminate bed bugs for good in your home!

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