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10 Things You Need to Know About Bed Bug Behavior and Control

Understanding Bed Bug Behavior and Control Techniques

Bed bugs have long been a nuisance to homeowners, renters, and travelers, and the search for effective control measures continues. The behavior of these pests varies depending on the season, temperature, and other factors.

Understanding their patterns can help in preventing infestations and eradicating their presence.

Bed Bug Preferences

Bed bugs prefer moderate environments with temperatures ranging from 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. They are attracted to sources of CO2, heat, and moisture.

This means that they are particularly drawn to sleeping areas where humans and pets spend several hours every day. They can detect body heat and the release of CO2 as we exhale, making them keen on infesting bedding, mattresses, and other furniture.

Bed Bug Hiding Spots

Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices around their feeding areas. They can be found in the walls, floors, baseboards, moldings, and small spaces around furniture.

These pests are particularly skilled in moving around and can hide in very small spaces where they cannot be seen. They are also known to lay their eggs in these hiding spots, making it vital to identify and eliminate them to prevent future infestations.

Bed Bug Survival in Cold Weather

Bed bugs can live in a wide range of temperatures, but they have a limit to how much cold they can tolerate. When exposed to freezing temperatures, they gravitate towards heat sources to survive, and some may even go into dormancy.

Bat bugs, which closely resemble bed bugs, are known to have a higher tolerance for cold temperatures. They can survive in temperatures as low as 41 degrees Fahrenheit, making freezing an ineffective control measure.

Freezing as a Bed Bug Treatment

Cryonite and liquid carbon dioxide are two popular methods used to freeze bed bugs. Cryonite utilizes a CO2 snow that immediately freezes bed bugs on contact.

Liquid carbon dioxide is sprayed onto infested items, penetrating deep into clothes, mattresses, and furniture to freeze any bed bugs or eggs present. Both methods require surrounding temperatures to be maintained at levels of -110F for a prolonged period.

Using a conventional freezer to treat infested items can also be effective if maintained at that temperature for seven days. However, it’s essential to note that bed bugs can withstand freezing temperatures for long periods of time, and proper treatment and disposal of infested items is crucial in preventing further infestations.

Freezing Techniques for Bed Bug Control

Freezing clothes is an effective method of killing bed bugs on the go. To do this, place the infested clothes in a plastic bag and put them in a freezer that maintains temperatures below -19C for at least seven days.

Several studies have confirmed the efficacy of this method in killing bed bugs and their eggs. Hard freezing, where infested items are suddenly exposed to very low temperatures, has also been shown to be effective in treating infestations.

Gradual freezing, where infested items are slowly exposed to lower temperatures over a longer period, can cause bed bugs to migrate to warmer areas of the house, rendering the treatment ineffective.

Bed Bug Activity in Different Seasons

Bed bugs are active year-round, but their activity levels vary depending on the temperature, humidity, and availability of hosts. During winter, bed bugs may hide deeper inside furniture or go into a dormant state, reducing their feeding activity.

In summer, bed bugs are more active, laying more eggs and feeding more frequently. Travel can also affect bed bug activity patterns as they hitchhike on hosts and infested items.

Bed Bugs and Hibernation

Although bed bugs do not hibernate in the traditional sense, they can enter a metabolic state of lowered metabolism and inactivity. This occurs during times of low host availability, such as during winter when human activity indoors decreases.

During this time, bed bugs’ heart rate and breathing also slow down, allowing them to survive for longer periods without eating.


Bed bugs continue to be a problem for homeowners, renters, and travelers worldwide. Understanding their behavior patterns, infestation signs, and control techniques is vital in preventing them from becoming a severe issue.

Freezing treatments and prevention measures remain among the most effective ways to eliminate bed bugs and keep them away. By educating ourselves and taking the necessary steps, we can mitigate the adverse effects of bed bugs and enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep.

Bed Bug Survival in Cold Conditions

Bed bugs have become a significant issue for many homeowners, apartment dwellers, and travelers globally. Their ability to survive in diverse environments and locations makes it challenging to control their population.

Bed bugs are known to infest homes, dormitories, healthcare facilities, and hotels. They have become increasingly prevalent as they hitchhike on clothing and luggage items carried by travelers or are introduced into homes through used furniture.

Understanding bed bugs’ survival in cold conditions is vital to prevent their spread and infestations.

Bed Bugs and Ideal Temperature

Bed bugs prefer moderate environments averaging between 68F and 86F, making them well-suited for indoor living. These pests thrive on human blood and can survive in rooms with poor sanitation or clutter areas.

They are attracted to CO2 and body heat and sense the presence of humans when they exhale, sense body heat, and emission of CO2. Bed bugs can sense the presence of a host at a distance of 6-10 feet, making them quick to move to where humans are.

They are drawn to sleeping areas as they provide an optimal feeding ground. Bed bugs can go up to ten months without feeding, but with regular blood meals, they live longer.

Bed bugs may travel up to 20 feet to feed, but they will establish their hiding spots within 5 feet of human hosts.

Bed Bug Lifespan in Cold Environments

Bed bugs are known to live in a wide variety of temperatures, but they have a limit to how much cold they can tolerate. They can survive for short periods of time in temperatures below freezing, but they require optimal conditions to thrive.

Bed bugs can live up to a year in temperatures above freezing, provided they have regular blood meals. When exposed to freezing temperatures, bed bugs often become immobile and prefer to seek warmth to survive.

Bed bug larvae are less tolerant of cold conditions, and they can die quickly when exposed to freezing temperatures. Adult bed bugs can survive for longer periods than the larvae, and their survival also depends on the conditions to which they are exposed.

Bed Bug Origin

Bed bugs are indoor pests that have been around for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated in the Middle East, but they have since spread throughout the world, often hitchhiking in suitcases and on furniture.

Bed bugs’ spread is often attributed to travelers who contract bed bugs from infested environments and carry them home. In addition to traveling, bed bugs’ introduction into homes can also occur through the purchase of used furniture and equipment.

This is because bed bugs are known to hide in cracks and crevices of furniture and appliances, making it challenging to detect their presence. People buying used furniture are, therefore, at risk of introducing bed bugs into their homes without knowing so.

To prevent bed bug infestations, always inspect furniture and appliances before bringing them into the home. If traveling, check hotel rooms and luggage to ensure no bed bugs are present.

Additionally, keep a clean environment and regularly vacuum or heat treat areas where bed bugs could be hiding.


Bed bugs are prolific breeders and can survive in various conditions. They are attracted to moderate environments where humans reside and can survive up to a year in temperatures above freezing, provided they have regular blood meals.

Bed bug introduction into homes can occur through the purchase of used furniture and traveling. Preventing bed bug infestations requires constant vigilance and a commitment to keep the environment clean and free of clutter.

In conclusion, understanding bed bug behavior is critical in preventing infestations and controlling these pests in our homes, hotels, and other environments. Bed bugs prefer moderate temperatures and are attracted to sources of carbon dioxide, heat, and moisture.

They hide in crevices and cracks around the areas where they feed and can survive up to a year in favorable conditions, or even go into a dormant state to prolong their lifespan. To control bed bugs, it is essential to maintain a clean environment and regularly vacuum areas where they could be hiding.

Prevention measures like checking used furniture and luggage are also crucial in preventing bed bug infestations from occurring. With proper understanding of bed bug behavior and the use of effective control measures, we can prevent them from becoming a significant nuisance in our homes and other environments.

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