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How Can Bedbugs Live For So Long Without Feeding?

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Bed bugs can strike terror in even the bravest heart, and their notorious ability to survive under even the harshest conditions has given them something of a mythical status in the American mind. But how many of the urban legends surrounding bed bugs are true and which are more exaggeration than reality? For every fact floating around about these pests, there are just as many, if not more, statements that are less grounded in science. You may, for example, have heard that bed bugs can live for over a year without food; while that figure may be technically true, placing it in its proper context can help you understand both how bed bugs survive and how they can be eliminated.  

Exploring the Hardiness of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs do deserve their reputation as consummate survivors.These tiny pests are resistant to most known insecticides, reproduce quickly, and can build whole colonies through a single pregnant female. And, as many have learned, even starving them out is rarely an option. Under laboratory conditions, an adult bed bug was found to be able to survive for over 400 days without eating, ready to resume its normal functions as soon as it found a new supply of food. Bed bugs manage this feat by controlling their metabolisms; like all cold-blooded animals, their metabolism slows when cold, allowing the bug to stay alive in a sluggish torpor for as long as it needs. 

Kickstarting Bed Bug Metabolisms

Thankfully, most American households are not kept under laboratory conditions, and the typical room temperature of a home will not allow bed bugs to survive so long. At most, you can expect your unwelcome guests to last a few months without food. Of course, many homeowners don't have the luxury of avoiding their bed and furniture for months at a time. Thankfully, their sensitivity to heat is also bed bugs' greatest weakness, and they can be outright killed when exposed to high temperatures. 

Combining Heat Treatments With Other Removal Methods 

If your home has suffered a bed bug invasion, your bed bug treatment specialist will in all likelihood deploy a few different methods to remove them thoroughly. Heat treatment is an especially popular option, since it requires no lingering chemicals and typically is not hot enough to damage your personal property. Other options may include pesticides, mattress encasements, and physically vacuuming up the pests. It takes dedication and an eye for detail, but with the right pest control service on your side, you should be able to rid your home of bed bugs once and for all. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Arab Termite and Pest Control.


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