How long can bed bugs live without a host?

We, human, need hosts to live. As human, other living beings will need hosts too. For a bed bug, a host means a food source. So, how long can bed bugs live without a host?

What a bed bugs need for living?

Bed bugs can survive in very hard conditions. They are resistant to hunger, heat and cold. They need two basic things to keep living:

  • Food
  • Optimal temperature

Let’s see how those things work with bed bugs.

old tv and old house

What do bed bugs eat?

Bed bugs are blood-fed which means their main and only food is blood. They can feed on animals like dogs, cats, birds or bats. But if there is human around, their favorite is always us.

They climb on human and suck their blood. So what they first need to survive is blood which can be found easily everywhere.

Ideal temperature for bed bugs

Bed bugs can live in higher and lower temperatures. When it’s too hot or too cold for them, they will slow down but keep living.

Bed bugs will start dying after 113°F and under 0°F. Between 45°F and 100°F they will have no problem to adopt their environment.

an old book

Where do bed bugs live?

If you are looking for them at home, you must first check those places:

  • Furnitures
  • Cracks on the walls
  • Mattresses
  • Under carpets
  • Behind pictures
  • Old books
  • Inside your clothes

As you see, they have various places to hide and have host. They usually keep hiding during the day, because they don’t like to be realized.

an old wall with cracks

Can bed bugs live without a host?

We must make something clear to answer this question: What is a host for bed bugs?

For bed bugs, host means a place where is close to their food sources and where they can hide safely.

So there are two features of bed bug hosts:

  • It’s close to food source
  • You can’t find it easily without making detailed search.

And yes, all bed bugs need a host to live. But this host isn’t something like we people understand. They don’t need a place for having diner or watching television. It’s only somewhere where they can hide safely.

an opened drawer in a cabinet

How long can bed bugs live without a host?

The answer depends on how long they can survive without living. Because to have a host or not to have it isn’t important for bed bugs.

What makes them live long or die is food:

Bed bugs can easily survive without feeding for several months. In some cases, they can live for more than a year without food and this will depend on how well they fed before.


How long can bed bugs live without a host? For a bed bug, host means food. If they don’t have a host, it means that they don’t have a food source.

Because bed bugs always have a host near to their food sources. Otherwise, they can’t feed often or enough and this will cause them die.

So, the answer to that question is tightly connected to how long they can live without feeding. A bed bug can easily live for several months without feeding and more than a year in some cases.

If a bed bug loses its host and food source, that means it will die at least in 2 or 3 months and 1 year at most.

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