Getting rid of bed bugs can be a tedious task, and there are many ways to go about doing so. You may think that bed bugs would starve to death rather quickly, but realistically it is much more complicated than that. Depending on their life cycle, bedroom conditions, and other variables, bed bugs can live anywhere from a few weeks to over a year before starving.
What They Eat
Bed bugs’ main source of food is human blood, which they get through biting you when you are sleeping or are in your bed. If you have pets such as dogs, cats, or other animals in your bedroom, the bugs will bite them as well. Blood is their only source of food, and they cannot feed without some sort of host near them.
How Often They Eat
Young and adult bed bugs feed once every 3 or 4 days, taking the time in between to fully digest their meal. Despite the fact that they eat this often, they are capable of withstanding long periods of fasting, because they have evolved to enter a hibernation stage during long periods without food.
Bed bugs don’t feed on an exact schedule, but feeding every 3 to 4 days is the average necessity. In some instances, depending on the conditions of the bedroom, bugs may need to feed every 1 or 2 days, or potentially go even longer before needing to eat.
Feeding in Different Stages
While these adult bedroom bugs and nymphs feed the same way, feedings have different implications for different stages. Once hatched, nymphs feed the same way that adult bugs do, but they can’t move into their next stage of development without feeding. Each feeding allows nymphs to mature and move into their adult form, where they are capable of reproducing. In order to get to adulthood, nymphs must feed about 5 times. This makes them more susceptible to starving, as it is vital to them for molting and maturing.
Bed bugs can survive for various periods of time depending on the conditions of your bedroom, and some bed bugs starve at different rates than others. In warmer conditions, bed bugs need to feed more often, and therefore tend to starve more quickly in high temperature conditions. Humidity can also make them starve more quickly as well. A hot, humid bedroom is a bed bug’s worst nightmare.
Does Starving Them Out Work?
While starving the bedbugs is helpful and can decrease their life-span, it shouldn’t be your only method of clearing your bedroom of the bugs. It’s important to use methods of treatment other than starvation to rid your bedroom of bugs, or they may continue to live on for months. Trying to get rid of these bedroom bugs through starvation only can make the problem worse and lead to spreading.
Without feeding, nymphs will not be able to fully mature, thus decreasing the amount of reproducing bed bugs. Only the adult bed bugs that already exist in the bed will continue reproducing, which they will do for the entirety of their life span.
Need to Get Rid of Those Pesky Bed Bugs?
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