How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Without a Host?

By Ann Hills / a couple of years ago

Bed bugs are wingless, blood sucking insects that feed on sleeping or static humans. They are nocturnal nightmares as they are most active at night. Bed bugs could be said to be the unwanted companion of humans because anywhere you find human beings, bed bugs are likely there.

Bed bugs, just like the Triatominae otherwise known as the kissing bug, can be very dangerous. A recent research by the Penn Medicine researchers in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics confirmed that bed bugs are able to transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, which is the parasite that is well known to be the major carrier of a very deadly disease, the Chagas disease.

Aside from the fact that they cause Chagas disease, bed bugs can also affect your sleep, and when that happens quite often, it will eventually lead to insomnia. Other problems bed bugs cause include swelling, they also trigger allergic reactions as well as itching.

How Do You Know If Bed Bugs Are Your Unwelcome Guests?

People hold a general belief that bed bugs only live crowded, unkempt or dilapidated places. However, recent knowledge has proven that they are no longer attracted by grime alone; they also fancy clean environments. As a matter of fact, they can be present in hotels, too.

One may wonder how possible this is. This recent discovery might not be unconnected to the movement of people from one place to the other. Remember bed bugs are those unwelcome 'company' of humans. This means that since human beings certainly move from one place to another, bed bugs also accompany them everywhere they go. This means a bed bug in one’s house, for instance, could follow him into a hotel room from one place to the other and infect such a room.

If you keep your nose to the ground, you will notice that they emit an unpleasant odor but only few people can perceive this. They also drop fecal spots which are usually dark brown, reddish brown but sometimes yellow. It could be a challenge spotting them because they could be very small.

How Do You Know You Have Been Bitten By A Bed Bug?

For a fact, you can say that whilst men sleep, bed bugs go feasting. The size of the bug doesn’t affect how much blood it sucks, as a bug can take six times its weight in blood and usually sucks for 6- 10 minutes. According to researchers, if you sleep in a bed bug infested room, you can be bitten by as many as 500 times during an 8 hours sleep.

Bed bug bites may not appear right away, it sometimes takes a few days for the symptoms to develop. The symptoms start by feeling itchy swellings on the skin. Multiple bites may appear in a line or cluster in a small area of your body and this may cause a burning sensation. Due to the many numbers of bites, you will end up having blisters all over. Although the blisters eventually leave after some time, more blisters will appear if you continue to live in a bed bug infested room.

How Then Can They Be Exterminated?


The unfortunate thing is, gone are the days when these bugs are exterminated by the use of insecticides. These days they have somehow found a way as they have grown resistant to insecticides that have annihilated them in droves in the past. Bug areas are a cause for grave concern because once they arrive in a place, they are difficult to totally exterminate as their procreation is swift and huge. Female bed bugs could lay as much as 500 eggs and they hatch in a matter of days – less than two weeks.

The eggs do not need any fanciful or cozy environment to hatch, they could be laid on bare and hard surface and with normal room temperature in place. They are on the way to becoming a bug and turning a menace on the host; and they are very productive, which is why once they get into a room, they quickly multiply.

But as difficult as they are to get rid of, bed bugs, according to the article on this link, don’t cope for long in hot temperatures; bed bugs reportedly can’t cope for long if the temperature is maintained at 118 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes.

Can bed bugs be starved to death? That’s another thing about them. They are "die hards". They do not die easily and not even the threat of starvation can end their lives so quickly. Bed bugs can actually go 20 to 400 days without food depending on the temperature and humidity available. But then, how do you starve bed bugs, seeing that they feed on the blood of humans? Vacating your house for several months won’t get rid of them, at least there is no research to prove this.

How Do You Handle Bed Bugs Since They Cannot Be Starved To Death?

Prevention should be the first step. Do all you can to ensure those unwelcome guests do not 'break' into your home through an unsuspecting host which could even be you! Most times, it is picked from another location and brought into yours. So when out of town and in lodging, look at your beddings closely and watch out for any indicators of bed bugs. If you perceive any sight of it, you may then need to change the room. When you return from your voyage, don’t just release your clothes back into the wardrobe, just sundry at the highest possible temperature.

But if you feel you have failed at the prevention stage, you might have to step up your detection which is the second step. Since their primary preference is something ‘cushion’ which makes the bed a choice location, it will be ideal to look out for their droppings and foul smell around the bed area.

No one is immune to picking up bugs as it could be picked anywhere – on the sofa, in transit buses and even in the restaurant. In fact, anywhere humans are, bed bugs are not far away.Do not allow bed bugs to kick or frustrate you out of your own house. A pet control specialist can help you get rid of bed bugs out of your house and there are many natural remedies to help you get rid of these nasty pests. A little research on Google could be all you need to find some of these natural remedies.

About the author

Ann Hills

My name is Ann Hills and I am a food blogger and a yoga teacher. When I was a child, I often got around my mother and watched her cooking in our kitchen. My mom always says to me that: “Kitchen is the heart of any home”. I strongly believe in her saying that’s reason why I prefer spending my money to make my home better than other stuff.

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