Will bed bugs be killed through freezing? That is the purpose of this article; to discuss and provide answers about the possibility of bed bugs dying through freezing.
Bed bugs have gained notoriety for causing a wide range of problems resulting from their feeding activity.
Bed bug bites are known to cause a variety of health conditions which include allergic symptoms, skin rashes, psychological effects, as well as itchy skin among others.
When dealing with a bed bug infestation, a lot of options are available. This includes freezing.
Will freezing kill bed bugs? This guide focuses on the impact of low-temperature extremes on this species.
Can You Freeze Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are known to survive in the harshest of hot and cold weather conditions. This of course includes freezing conditions. However, this isn’t to say they can’t be killed through freezing as you’ll find out shortly.
The hardiness of these pests places them among the most difficult to deal with.
However stressful and difficult your bed bug infestation is, there’s always a solution. Having said this, we’ll find out if freezing is even effective in bed bug extermination.
If it does kill bed bugs, is it a reliable approach to a bed bug problem? Stick with us to find out.
Bed Bugs And Temperature
Bed bugs can be killed through freezing and heating. However, it must be stated that these pests have a high tolerance for cold.
As such, you’ll need to take extra measures to ensure they’re killed. What are these extra measures? Now, bed bugs are known to withstand temperatures as low as 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
They could even survive at lower temperatures by lowering the freezing point of their body fluids. However, this will only keep them alive for a few days until the temperature improves. There lies their weakness!
The extra measure to take in ensuring that bed bugs are killed requires leaving or placing them in sustained sub-zero temperatures.
Despite lowering the freezing point of their bodily fluids, bed bugs are unable to survive beyond a few days.
Bed Bug Hideouts In Cold Weather
When bed bugs infest, they use a variety of areas for cover.
These are their hideouts. You’ll find these bugs around bedding, in couches, toy boxes, curtains, door hinges, wall sockets, wallpaper seams, and closets.
Other possible hideouts include cracks on walls, in books, behind picture frames and posters, window moldings, underneath rugs and so many other areas.
The mention of these potential hiding spots is necessary as it helps you appreciate the extent of the coverage area for treatment.
Can bed bugs survive under sub-zero temperatures?
This is an important question to ask as most people will want to find a natural way to get rid of these pesky bugs.
Is There a Specific Freezing Temperature that Kills Bed Bugs?
There is! Recall we mentioned that freezing temperatures won’t kill bed bugs immediately. It works with timing.
These bugs will have to be exposed for a specified duration before they’re killed.
Freezing temperatures of about 3.2 degrees F held for as long as 80 hours should suffice.
Creating the Right Freezing Conditions
Certain freezing conditions are sub-par and won’t have the desired effect.
In other words, you’ll need a good freezer that will be cold enough to kill bed bugs. You may want to keep up with the temperature by using a thermometer to measure the current temperature.
Temperatures of Bed Bug-Infested Items Being Frozen Must Reach 0 degrees F
The most likely household items to get infested by bed bugs include bedding and couch covers. When using the freezing treatment to exterminate bed bugs, ensure the temperature holds at about 0 degrees F at the middle.
In other words, bed bugs may seek to escape the freezing conditions by moving from the outer parts to the middle of the items. Ensure they don’t get a refuge by measuring to ensure the middle temperature reaches as low as 0 degrees F.
When held for about 80 hours or more, such items can be removed from the freezer with the confidence that all infesting bed bugs are dead.
How Reliable And Sustainable Is Freezing For Bug Control?
While bed bugs may get killed with severe freezing conditions, doing same on a large scale may not be as reliable and sustainable, at least when using diy techniques. However, commercial bed bug extermination adopts the freezing technique.
Rather than use the freezer, pest management companies adopt a different strategy that involves the use of specialized equipment. Such specialized equipment creates the ideal conditions.
Ideal conditions in this sense translate to the generation of tiny snow particles from carbon dioxide.
Is this even possible? It absolutely is!
When these tiny snow particles are formed from carbon dioxide, bed bugs are frozen to death. This method is used extensively as an environmentally friendly bed bug extermination strategy.
You’ll Need to Call for Professional Help
In order to benefit from this commercial bed bug freezing technique, you’ll have to call for professional help. There are lots of pest management services on hand to move-in to commence treatment. You have to make your pick from the several.
Calling for professional help shouldn’t be done without due diligence.
In other words, you’ll need to find out about the company, their quotes for bed bug control, and how it has served previous clients and the level of satisfaction derived from its services.
All of this information are available with reviews. You get tons of feedback by reading through the reviews about different services. Now, you shouldn’t expect a 100% pass mark for any. There are bound to be complaints against even the best bed bug exterminators.
However, your preferred pick should be one that has the most positive reviews and customer experience. That way, you’re able to cut through the many unreliable pest control services.
Freezing Can Be Combined with Other Extermination Strategies
When treating for bed bugs, using other strategies, extermination through freezing should also be considered. You may decide to take off all bedding and covers and place them in your freezer while you spray or apply other pesticides.
Adopting multiple approaches to treating bed bug infestations gives you more advantage. Consider this an all-out approach to taking back control of your home.
Freezing Can Be Done On A Small-Scale
When adopting the diy bed bug extermination approach, this is usually carried out on a small scale.
This is so because your freezer isn’t large enough to contain all bed bug-infested items. You may want to take advantage of the winter season when freezing conditions are at their peak.
During such times, infested items can be taken out and left for about 80 hours or more. Only remove those items which won’t be damaged by extreme cold. This helps to flush bed bugs out of your home.
DIY Treatments aren’t as effective as Professional Extermination
One of the things you’ll need to know when dealing with a bed bug situation is that DIY treatments only give temporary relief. In other words, your DIY methods may only cause a temporary setback to bed bug presence.
However, these pests come back with a bang after a while.
The reason for that is simple; the limited knowledge of bed bug behavior. With limited knowledge, there’s little you can do in terms of adopting and applying effective treatment methods.
When a professional pest service is involved, the treatment process is much more comprehensive. All possible hideouts are located and highly effective treatment processes are applied.
Repeat treatments are provided cost-free when problems persist. However, you’ll need to only hire a reputable pest control service.
Will Bed Bugs Stick Around When A Room is Cold Enough?
You’ll need to consider the temperature and time required for bed bugs to get killed to have an idea whether this is possible or not. How cold is your room? Certainly not below 3 degrees Fahrenheit!
At such a temperature, it will be too cold for you to stay.
The need to heat your room will naturally kick in. So, a cold room is never considered an effective way of killing bed bugs as they’re known to be tolerant of low temperatures.
At Low Temperature, Bed Bugs Feed Less Often
As part of their survival instincts, bed bugs are known to feed less often when exposed to extremely cold temperatures. With cold, digestion takes longer, thus affecting their need to feed frequently.
This translates into slower growth which in turn impacts their reproductive capacity.
Due to adverse temperature conditions, feeding frequency is limited to about once a week. Here, it’s evident that such a drop in temperature does a lot to give relief from their feeding activity.
Bed Bugs and Winter
Have you ever wondered how bed bugs brave the winter season and remain alive during the cold period?
Well, it’s due to 3 main reasons; freeze intolerance, migration, and freeze tolerance.
This says a lot about the ability of bed bugs to prevent their body tissues from freezing. This condition is achieved when these pests lower the freezing point of their bodily fluids.
This process is generally known as supercooling.
When winter sets in, bed bugs find the outdoors not favorable enough in terms of temperature conditions. The natural reaction to that is migrating to warmer locations.
Unfortunately, they’re likely to gain entry into the nearest home by embarking on a journey.
The easiest way infestations happen is when these bugs hitch a ride in luggage, used furniture, purses, backpacks, and the likes. Your home provides the ideal temperature condition plus guarantees food (blood) availability.
Freeze tolerance of bed bugs automatically kicks in when both physical and chemical processes combine to preserve the body tissues of these bugs under low temperatures.
Bed Bugs will Die When Exposed For Long Outdoors
When infested furniture is taken out during the winter season, the cold outdoors can kill these bugs.
However for this to be possible, such furniture or infested items will have to be left for long for the desired effect to set in.
Freezing Treatments Have their Many Limitations
If you’re considering freezing as the only control measure to apply to bed bug problems, you’ll be disappointed as it isn’t effective enough to deal with a full-blown infestation.
Other extermination strategies can be applied alongside freezing.
These include vacuuming, the use of stickers, steaming treatments, and fumigation.
The combination of multiple treatment strategies helps you better treat an infestation as opposed to using only one method (freezing) of treatment.
Bed bugs are killed by freezing temperatures.
However, certain conditions need to be met for this to be successful. We’ve provided information on such conditions and more and hope this article helps you tackle your bed bug issues.