Bed bugs are tiny, blood-sucking insects that thrive in human environments. They are notorious for infesting homes, hotels, and other living spaces, and are known to cause itchy bites and sleepless nights. But can bed bugs live outside? In this article, we’ll explore the life cycle and habitat of bed bugs to answer this question and provide tips on how to prevent and eliminate bed bug infestations.
WHAT ARE BED BUGS?
Bed bugs are blood-fed bugs and they feed on mammalians. This makes humans a main food source for them.
There are three life stages of bed bugs and their appearance is different in all those stages. But the bed bug body is flatted, oval-shaped, and 1 to 5 mm in size.
Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood, and their preferred host is humans. They are most active at night and are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide that humans produce.
DO BED BUGS LIVE OUTSIDE?
Yes, they live outside. But this is not the way they prefer. Bed bugs are likely to host in places that are close to their food sources.
So, where they live outside is usually those places on which they can easily reach people to feed.
If you are looking for bed bugs outside, you should search such places.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR BED BUGS OUTSIDE?
As I told you above, they will probably be around that stuff that you visit often. These are possible hosts for bed bugs when they are outside:
- Furniture in gardens
Habits and behavior of bed bugs
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can be transported on luggage, clothing, and other items. They are also very good at hiding and can fit into the smallest crevices and cracks. Bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide that humans produce, which is why they are often found in beds, sofas, and other areas where people sleep or rest.
BED BUGS IN CARS AND TENTS
The main place for bed bugs outside is cars. Cars provide bed bugs to hide and become closer to the people they will feed on.
Bed bugs can easily hide under trims or mops and feed on you or your kids while you’re driving.
Tents are also available to keep bed bugs inside. Because a tent will provide an ideal temperature for bed bugs and people living or sleeping inside a tent will be a feeding option for them.
CAN BED BUGS SURVIVE OUTSIDE IN SUMMER OR WINTER?
I know why you ask this question. You wonder whether bed bugs can live under higher or very low temperatures.
First, we need information about at what temperatures bed bugs will start dying to answer this question.
CAN BED BUGS LIVE OUTSIDE IN HEAT OR COLD?
Bed bugs do not like hot, because very high temperatures will cause them to die because of dehydration. They will start dying after 113°F when they are exposed to this temperature for a few hours. Above this temperature, they will die sooner.
Bed bugs also do not like cold. But they can easily survive up to 45°F. Under this temperature, they will slog on living. Under extreme colds like 0°F, they will die.
So, will bed bugs survive outside in summer or winter? Probably, yes.
Even if you have a hot summer with high temperatures like 113°F, they will still be able to hide in cooler and darker places to keep their body warm and stable.
And if you do not have a very cold winter with a lot of snow and degrees under 0°F, they will have a chance to survive.
CAN BED BUGS LIVE OUTSIDE IN GRASS?
This is possible too. But it won’t be a good choice for bed bugs. They need feeding to keep living and grass won’t offer them more options.
If you found a bed bug in the grass, it’s most likely to move from somewhere to another one. The grass is not an option to host bud bugs but only a way to their hosts or food sources.
CAN BED BUGS LIVE OUTSIDE IN WOOD?
Woods are good places to hide from bed bugs just like furniture or beds. So, you can find them in the woods.
But there is still the same problem here. How can a bed bug living in wood keep feeding? If woods are close to those places where you sleep or spend a lot of time outside, then bed bugs can live in the woods too.
CAN BED BUGS LIVE OUTSIDE IN THE YARD?
No, open places like yards are not an option for bed bugs. They love and need hiding from people and yards with no cracks or holes won’t help them with this.
If you find any bed bugs in the yard, they are walkers from somewhere to another one too.
Treating bed bug infestations
Treating bed bug infestations can be challenging, as they are very resilient insects. Professional pest control services are often needed to fully eliminate bed bugs. Some treatments that may be used include:
- Insecticide sprays and dust
- Heat treatments
- Cold treatments
- Vacuuming and steaming
It’s important to follow the instructions of a licensed pest control professional to ensure the most effective treatment.
How to get rid of bed bugs naturally
While professional pest control services are often the most effective way to eliminate bed bugs, some natural remedies may help to reduce their numbers. These include:
- Diatomaceous earth
- Essential oils (such as tea tree, lavender, and peppermint)
- Vacuuming and steaming
- Encasing mattresses and box springs in bed bug-proof covers
It’s important to note that natural remedies may not be as effective as professional treatments, and should not be relied upon as the sole method of eliminating bed bugs.
How to prevent bed bugs from spreading
Preventing bed bugs from spreading is crucial to avoid a full-blown infestation. Here are some tips to prevent bed bugs from spreading:
- Quarantine infested items in sealed bags until they can be treated.
- Avoid bringing used furniture into your home or business.
- Inspect and vacuum luggage after traveling.
- Avoid clutter and keep your living space tidy.
- Alert your landlord or property manager immediately if you suspect bed bugs.
Common myths about bed bugs
There are many myths surrounding bed bugs, which can make it difficult to effectively prevent and treat infestations. Some common myths include:
- Bed bugs only infest dirty or unsanitary spaces.
- Bed bugs are too small to see with the naked eye.
- Bed bugs can jump or fly.
- Bed bugs only bite at night.
It’s important to educate yourself about bed bugs and their behavior to effectively prevent and treat infestations.
Can bed bugs live outside? Yes, they can. But when you come across a bed bug in your garden, yard or grass, what you must be worried about is the possibility of bed bugs being inside your home.
If you have bed bugs in your home and trying to find them all, you must check your cars. Bed bugs can be transmitted by yourself in your clothes to your car and after they settle in your car, they will quickly multiply.
Searching your garden and outside your home after a bed bug invasion will be a good precaution to get rid of bed bugs permanently.
Can bed bugs live in the outdoors?
While bed bugs prefer indoor environments, they can survive outside for short periods. However, they are most commonly found in areas where humans live or gather.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that are about the size of an apple seed. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies and are wingless.