A common question people ask is can bed bugs live and survive outdoors, in the grass, or at the park, etc.
The short answer is: Yes, they can live outdoors. Just not for long.
Bed bugs can spend time outdoors but with or without the ideal living conditions, they will look for a way to get inside a home or they will eventually die.
In this article the Gunter pest control experts will elaborate on how long can they survive outdoors and where do they hide.
Keep reading if you, too, have asked yourself or have asked other people any of the above-mentioned questions.
Can Bed Bugs Live Outside In Your Lawn?
Not In the grass itself. Bed bugs cannot live there and they won’t enter your home, feed, and go back to the lawn. However, on rare occasions, if there’s a porch, patio, or any other place with furniture where you and family members spend time, then bed bugs may survive.
Rattan furniture, patio furniture, and your pet’s bed can all become a hiding place for bed bugs. Generally speaking, bed bugs are indoor pests so the chances are that if they can get as close to your lawn, they will enter your home, and live there.
Bed bugs could hide outdoors before finding a way to infest a property. Hiding places can be pergolas, fences, woodpiles, general lawn clutter, cracks in walls, etc.
How Can Bed Bugs Show Up Outdoors?
Most often than not, bed bugs will find themselves outdoors by being thrown away along the old and infested mattresses, upholstered furniture, or simply by falling off from the person or item they were hitchhiking on.
Why is this a problem for them?
Outdoor environments do not provide the right living conditions for bed bugs. Bed bugs need a dry and secure shelter as close to a food source as possible. That’s why bed and furniture inside your home are ideal for a bed bug infestation to grow and spread.
However outside there are none of these conditions. People often compare bed bugs to fleas and ticks, in terms of being insects are bloodsucking parasites.
Ticks and fleas mainly feed on animals, which are abundant in the open. With bed bugs, that is not the case. They won’t hide in the grass, bushes, or in your flowers.
Bed bugs need dark, warm, secluded places nearby their food source. They won’t find that outside a house or apartment.
How Far Can Bed Bugs Travel Outside
As they do not fly or jump, their only means of transportation is walking or hitchhiking.
However, even though they are tiny (usually no more than 4mm) they can travel large distances – about 20 feet per night. This means that bed bugs may walk up to your home, although that is rarely the case. Most often they come into your home by hitchhiking.
How Long Can They Survive Outdoors?
The lifespan of bed bugs living outside depends on the following factors.
1. First And Most Important – Food
Bed bugs can survive up to 4 months without food. In colder environments where their metabolism slows down, they can survive up to a year. Whether they are outdoors or indoors they will die, naturally, if they can’t find food for a long period of time.
2. Natural Enemies Of Bed Bugs
In addition to food scarcity, there are other dangers to bed bugs in the wild, such as natural predators and weather conditions that can lead to an early death. Natural bed bugs predators are some lizards and some spiders, cockroaches, and also Pharaoh ants. It’s important to state, that these bugs can not be a reliable means for bed bugs control, and can hardly contribute to regulating bed bug populations. For the sake of knowledge, they are a factor in the survival of bed bugs.
Bed bugs will not survive in water for long. Rains pose a danger to their lives if their outdoor hiding place fills with water during rain.
Can Bed Bugs Live Outside In The Cold?
Colder temperatures generally are not as threatening to them, unless they drop to -18°C. As we said above, when it’s cold their entire bodies’ temperature lowers as well and they can remain in this state for up to a year with no need for food. If the temperatures go below that, they will die.
Can Bed Bugs Live Outside In The Heat?
Heat can also kill them. While outside temperatures can never go as high to kill them (near 50°C) a professional treatment can do the job. It is one of the most effective ways to deal with a bed bug infestation in homes, as 50°C kills bed bugs in all their life stages.
Tips For Preventing Bed Bugs Infestation
It’s hard to prevent such infestations, as you can never be sure who is going to bring the infestation to your home. That’s why it’s always crucial to Inspect a hotel or motel before staying there for there is no guarantee for a safe return from your travel.
According to Jordan Foster, a fantastic bed bug professional from London, an unsuspecting victim can pick up bed bugs without knowing. Bed bugs can spread via public transportation, airplanes, clothing stores, from staying at a friend’s house or even going to a party at someone’s house.
However, Here Are Some Things You Can Do To Prevent An Infestation:
- After traveling, leave bags outdoors overnight.
- Wash clothes immediately after coming home from a trip.
- When buying second-hand furniture or anything else, inspect the item for bed bugs before bringing it inside of your home.
- Never throw away infested items without treating them first. This can cause the bed bugs to spread to neighboring areas and after a while, your home can get re-infested.
- Maintain your home’s cleanliness.
- Keep clutter around your bed to a minimum.
- Be vigilant around the bed area.
- If you’re bitten and have blisters, or see red or black spots on bed sheets, suspect it’s bed bugs and call professional exterminators.
Can bed bugs live outdoors? Bed bugs are indoor pests that feed mainly on humans. They will never prefer to live outside, they would try to get to the nearest house. They sense the carbon dioxide that people emit while breathing and that’s who they find you.
To sum up, your lawn is safer from an infestation of bed bugs, than your home is. And at the first signs and suspicions of bed bugs, you should seek professional help as they are difficult to treat and DIY methods won’t work.