How Long Can A Bed Bug Stay Dormant?

Bed Bug on skin

Bed bugs, like most other insects, possess a behavioral characteristic that allows them to enter into a hibernation-like condition called diapause that enables the insects to go dormant.

The Purpose of Diapause:

  • Slow down the bed bug’s metabolism.

  • Conserve energy and enable them to resume their normal behavior when environmental conditions are again conducive.

Bed Bugs Generally Do Not Go Dormant Because:

  • Homes and businesses are environmental conditions both bed bugs and people find conducive.

  • Environment has warm temperatures without extreme variations.

  • Controlled humidity.

  • Favorable place to take meals and a place that provides shelter and protection.

  • Where bed bugs have available hosts and a source of blood, they may rarely, if ever, go into diapause.

A laboratory study that is decades old showed bed bugs being dormant for about 500 days; however, that is not typical since bed bugs in a natural setting will attempt to consume a blood meal rather than remain dormant for such a long period.

More recent studies related to bed bugs and dormancy showed cooler temperatures inhibit bed bug activity when the temperature in their habitat is below approximately 60° Fahrenheit.

Cold Temperatures & Bed Bugs:

  • Bed bugs are resilient to cold temperatures and adults may survive for up to a year without feeding and nymphs up to three months without taking a blood meal.

  • Even when dormant, cold temperatures reach a point where bed bugs do not survive.

  • Studies have generally shown that bed bugs do not survive temperatures of 0° Fahrenheit for more than four days.

Resources

Protect Your Home from Bed Bugs

Can bed bugs live in the cold?

Can You Bring Bed Bugs Home from Office Building

How to Find Dead Bed Bugs | Signs of Bed Bugs

How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestations | Bed Bug Facts

Anatomy of a Bed Bug | Identify Bed Bugs

Can Bed Bugs Jump or Fly? | How do Bed Bugs Travel?

When Do Bed Bugs Come Out? | Are Bed Bugs Nocturnal?

Life Stages & Cycles of Bed Bugs

Do Natural Bed Bug Remedies Work? | DIY Bed Bug Treatments

Does Bed Bug Spray Work? | Get Rid of Bed Bugs

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