Acton Pest Control: Can Bed Bugs Live Outdoors?

Can Bed Bugs Live Outdoors

Having bed bugs is a frustrating pain. Once you have acquired an infestation, it can feel like an insurmountable obstacle to rid yourself of your unwanted guests. Some people think that simply putting furniture and other indoor items outside might be enough to kill bed bugs, but this can be counterproductive and ineffective. If you have a bed bug infestation, calling pest control in Acton is the best solution.

How Hardy Are Bed Bugs?

While some people think that simply exposing bed bugs to extremely high or low outdoor temperatures is sufficient to kill them, this is often not the case. Bed bugs evolved for millions of years under all kinds of outdoor conditions to reach their current forms. This required them to live outdoors in relatively temperate environments in caves, trees, or other sheltered areas from which they emerged at night to feast on blood.

Today, the bed bugs that we humans are concerned with feed exclusively on the blood of humans and domestic animals. Because they follow us wherever we go, they tend to live in indoor environments. Though the conditions outside of these environments might not be suitable for their survival, they can remain successful as long as they can continue to find hosts.

Bed bugs can be killed by extreme temperatures, but there is no guarantee that setting a mattress outside will kill a resident population, including its eggs. In order to survive, bed bugs need to eat at least once per month. Immature nymphs go through five distinct stages, and food requirements are different for each stage. Some need to eat every few days while some can last months or even a year without a blood meal.

Since bed bugs set outside will likely be able to find a meal within several months, and because outdoor temperatures rarely remain at extremes for long periods, bed bugs usually survive life outside. Though we may dislike them, cockroaches, fire ants, and pharaoh ants often prey on bed bugs. Unfortunately, there are almost always a few bed bugs that survive even the worst onslaught by their common predators.

How Do You Kill Bed Bugs?

So, what does it take to kill bed bugs and their eggs? Killing a whole indoor colony requires that the entire colony be exposed to extreme temperatures at the same time. Heating bed bugs and their eggs to around 122°F (50°C) can kill them, but this requires a room temperature of at least 135°F (57.2°C). While these temperatures are easy to reach in a drying machine, it is considerably harder to bring a room to such a high heat. Freezing bed bugs is another way to kill them, but temperatures must remain under 0°F (-18°C) for over four days for both bugs and their eggs to die off. 

Another popular way of killing bed bugs is by using insecticide. Because bed bugs respond differently to insecticide treatment at different life stages, multiple application sessions are usually required to eliminate a population. Since stray eggs can find themselves wedged in relatively safe areas, professional bed bug removers usually make multiple visits over a long period of time.

Bed Bug Removal

Removing bed bugs from your home is possible, despite rumours you may have heard to the contrary. Doing so effectively, however, requires persistence and professional oversight. There are plenty of resources online urging homeowners to attempt removal on their own, but these articles are often written by professional bloggers without actual removal experience.

If you have a bed bug infestation, the best thing you can do for your home is to contact professional removal services. At Truly Nolen, we work with homeowners to ensure that your infestation is gone for good.