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How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Without Food?

It may not seem like it, but this is actually an extremely important question to ask, with implications that are further reaching than you might think. How long bed bugs can survive without eating is directly connected to why these blood-eating pests are so difficult to get rid of.

Here’s what you need to know.

According to the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources Department, an average bed bug can go for 20 to 400 days between feeding, if the right conditions of temperature and humidity are present. Some adults have even survived longer than 400 days without food in the laboratory at low temperatures. That means they can hide for a really long time. Before you start thinking that this is a good thing, let’s see how this affects homeowners trying to get rid of these bugs.

When bed bugs are found, the first course of action most people take is to go to the internet for answers. They’ll usually type something like, “How do I get rid of bed bugs?” and then they are excited to find that there are a ton of self-help articles on the subject.

They proceed to stick items in plastic bags, rip the guts out of their belongings, lay out traps, put down toxic materials, use foggers, wash and dry all their clothes and bedding on the hottest temperature, and even attempt to raise the temperature to a deadly level with heaters and fans.

But, if they don’t burn their homes or apartment buildings to the ground, and make it through without getting sick, the results are usually bleak. If the pests disappear at all, it is only for a short time. And when they return, they return in force.

Getting rid of bed bugs requires expertise and experience. These pests learn to avoid areas that are dangerous. You can apply all the self-help pest control you want, but the best result you’re likely to achieve is temporary success. Those bugs will flee deep into the walls of your home and into secluded spaces until it’s safe to return.

If the population contains females with eggs, those pests will be back in much larger numbers later. And, since they can go 40-400 days without a blood meal, they can easily wait for you to expend yourself on every crazy bed bug do-it-yourself pest control idea available on the web.

If you have bed bugs, the best idea is to call someone who has the specialized knowledge to properly corral and eradicate these frustrating and resourceful pests. These bugs are no fun to have around, and even less fun to have returning over and over again.

Kill them all, the first time, with the help of a certified and experienced pest controller, like Moyer. Give us a call at 215.799.2010 or fill out the form below and we will contact you.


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