Can Bed Bugs Live Outside??

No one wants to be confronted with a bed bug infestation and one of the burning questions – can bed bugs live outside? Can Bed Bugs Live Outside

Will these tiny bed bugs survive outside/ in the lawn or yard – you may find dead bed bugs after you’ve used bed bug steamers

The reason for this is that if they can, many people become concerned that they could reenter a home after bed bugs have been eradicated and begin a new cycle. 

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Can Bed Bugs Live Outside??

Bed bugs like to hideout in small dark spaces and there are many opportunities for them to do so in the indoor environment, with small crevices and cracks in furnishings being ideal locations for these creatures.

Their name might suggest that they prefer to inhabit a bed but this is misleading, since they will happily set up home in any item within a house.

One of the main priorities when looking for a place to stay is food, and bed bugs will live wherever food can be most easily accessed. In answer to the question of can bed bugs live outside, they can but the simply prefer not to. 

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Bed bugs have become used to living in the indoor environment, and as we mentioned they live where there is food. These minute pests feed off a host, in this case, a human and so they will find homes where their host can be easily accessed.

With humans spending a lot of time within the home, it makes sense for the bed bugs to do the same. That being said, bed bugs can often be found in outdoor areas which are frequented often by their human hosts, this can include things such as;

  • cars
  • outdoor furniture such as deck chairs and wooden tables
  • tents
  • sheds and other outdoor structures.
  • Wood piles 

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Bed bugs prefer to live in a warmer environment and this is of course, more simple when indoors. Being outside would not harm them but they are not as keen on the cooler temperatures of the outdoors.

  • There are factors which determine how long bed bugs can survive outside and some of these are as follows.
  • Temperature extremes will have some effect on bed bugs but they really do have to be extreme. These are pretty resilient little animals and are likely to survive hot and cold temperatures, but will likely die off if the temperature drops well below freezing.
  • Of course, as with any insect, the bed bug has predators, and depending on the prevalence of these in your garden will depend on how long the bed bugs can last. Some of the most common bed bug predators include lizards, spiders and ants.
  • If the bed bugs do not have access to food, they will eventually die out. That being said, these tough little pests can survive for months without food but the females will be unable to produce eggs if they are not fed. 

Can Bed Bugs Get Back Inside once Removed form the House?

Now that we have established that bed bugs can indeed live in an outdoor environment, we need to find out whether they can return after you have kicked them out of the home.

Bed bugs are unable to fly or jump, like their distant cousins, the fleas in carpet but they can still return into a house by way of attachment once they have been sent packing. 

They do this by simply being on something that is returned inside, for example if they have been living in a garden table which you then cover with a table cloth for a BBQ.

Once the BBQ is over, you return the table cloth into the home and any bed bugs who have latched onto it will hitch a ride inside too.

It is important that if you know there is a bed infestation outdoors or you have recently evicted some from within the home, that you are extremely careful when bringing things back in from outside.

It is also worth noting that whilst they are extremely small insects, they can travel around 20 metres in any one day and so can easily march right back into the home should they wish to. 

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How Can I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

If you are unfortunate enough to have some unwanted visitors in the form of bedbugs, there are some things that you can do in order to rid your home of these lodgers.

  • Using a professional heat treatment.
  • Applying insecticide products to affected areas.
  • Vacuuming affected items thoroughly.
  • Use an oil based varnish on wooden furniture.
  • Avoid having clutter inside or outside the home.
  • When bringing items inside the home, whether from your own garden or anywhere else, thoroughly check them for the presence of bed bugs. 

Related: Flea Eggs Vs Dandruff

Conclusion

Bed bugs can be a real nuisance and once you have successfully eradicated them from your home, you are surely going to want to make sure that they do not return.

With this in mind it is important to understand that simply removing affected items outside is not enough to kill these pests because they can still thrive in an outdoor environment.

There are measures that you can take in order to avoid their return, however and most importantly you should stay vigilant.

Resources

  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/bedbugs-infestation#2-5
  2. https://nysipm.cornell.edu/whats-bugging-you/bed-bugs/bed-bug-faqs 
  3. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7454.html

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