When it comes to bed bugs, we are talking about insects that are highly resistant to cold. When exposed to particularly low temperatures, they know exactly how to cope with it. They are able to survive for several days while being exposed to freezing cold temperature outside during the winter.
Even if the temperature gets as low as 3 degrees Fahrenheit, they can endure it for about 80 hours before dying. This applies to bed bug adults, nymphs and eggs as well. Constant exposure to -4 degrees Fahrenheit would kill them off in 48 hours, which is still a lot of time.
Not to mention that the temperature doesn’t get that low in most climates. In this article, we are going to talk some more about how bed bugs manage to survive during the winter.
Can Bed Bugs Survive Outside in Winter?
When bed bugs can’t manage to hitchhike themselves into houses, they need to deal with the freezing cold winter. However, as long as the temperature doesn’t get as low as 3 degrees Fahrenheit, these insects can be fine for several days, if not more.
This is mainly thanks to their high cold tolerance, as they are able to go into a semi-hibernation state. They have the ability to change the freezing point of their bodily fluids, which means that they are not going to freeze up.
In general, they can survive for about 4 days during the winter. Meanwhile, if they can’t figure out how to get to a warmer place, they are going to die.
Do Bed Bugs Hibernate in the Winter?
Bed bugs do enter a semi-hibernation stage when it gets too cold in the winter. What they do is they basically reduce the freezing point of their bodily fluids in order to save their lives. This is why it is so hard to kill bed bugs by exposure to cold temperature compared to heating them up.
In the typical snowy winter, these insects can survive for about 4 days. Their ability to cope with cold so effective that the temperature has to go down to 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit to kill them in 80 hours. Even if the temperature is minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, they are able to stay alive for about 48 hours.
Of course, the temperature will rarely be as low as those minimums in most climates and it also has to be consistent in order to kill bed bugs. However, it is still a good practice to put infested items in the refrigerator on a low setting and just leave them there for about a week.
Do Bed Bugs Come in the Winter?
Bed bugs will always do their best to get inside households where they can reproduce and feed themselves. They are very good at hitchhiking themselves to the closest house or establishment where warmth is guaranteed.
In today’s day and age when people are constantly moving from one spot to the other, it is easy for bed bugs to spread to more convenient places. Although freezing cold temperatures can hinder their activity, it is still not enough to stop them from hitchhiking.
Therefore, the possibility of bed bugs invading your house is still pretty high during the winter. During the winter, it becomes an increasingly pressing problem for them to find a warm place to stay at as soon as possible. When they enter their semi-hibernation stage, their main objective becomes to wake up from it.
There is always a chance that you bring some bed bugs home when you go somewhere for the holidays, be it in the summer or winter. Backpacks, suitcases and automobiles are all highly sought-after targets for bed bugs in the winter. They can lay their eggs there, which will hatch once you get home.
Will Bed Bugs Go Away in Winter?
Bed bugs are not going to go away in the winter like some other insects do. Freezing cold temperature is not such a big of a deal for them. They are able to enter a semi-hibernation stage during those months, which serves them well until they find the next warm place to stay at.
They just reduce the freezing point of their bodily fluids and thus it doesn’t matter to them if it is freezing cold outside. Bed bugs are not likely to spend much time outside anyway. Since people are so active around them, they can quickly spot a purse, backpack or suitcase and hop in.
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They can also hop in when you open the door of your automobile. After all, it is warm and there are plenty of hiding spots there for bed bugs too. These locations are temporary for these insects, as they only use them for hitchhiking. Eventually, you are going to head home and take those bed bugs to your warm household.
Bed bugs definitely go away from the cold, only to find themselves in the warm homes of us, humans. They want to wake up from their semi-hibernation state, which is why they try their best to invade our homes in the winter. This also means that the chances of bed bugs invading your house won’t decrease at all in those months.
Are Bed Bugs More Active in Summer or Winter?
We can say that bed bugs are more active in the summer because in those months, the humidity and heat is more ideal for them. It causes them to become more active even during early fall in some climates.
The warmer the temperature, the more eager these insects are to breed and feed. The winter is slightly worse for them because it can force them to enter a semi-hibernation state, which makes them slower. But still, we are talking about indoor pests who always find a way to enter homes or other, warm establishments.
- Related: Do Bed Bugs Die in Summer?
This is not a problem for them in the winter either, as it becomes even more urgent for them to find such places. We can conclude that they are vigilant all year round, yet they definitely have more hurdles to overcome in the winter.