The depiction of a pest is something that is a nuisance, something annoying. It is also a way of describing an insect that attacks valuable items; crops or food for instance.
Many pests are simply a nuisance but others are truly destructive. And some are incredibly hard to get rid of. Bed bugs are definitely in the last category. While they don’t carry disease, they can cause allergic reactions, and they are one of the toughest pests to eliminate.
Not everyone likes the idea of chemicals to control pests. Some prefer natural methods such as lemongrass which can repel ants. Others prefer a more hands-on approach. But, what about letting nature take its course alone? How long would it take for bed bugs to simply die out?
How can you kill bed bugs?
There are methods of eliminating all common household pests. There are treatments for termites, and ways to get rid of cockroaches. Both of these pests are notorious for being difficult to budge once they have reproduced en-masse. Bed bugs are in the same category.
As far as the hardest pests to remove are, bed bugs are easily in the top tier. There are a number of natural methods for repelling bed bugs but they need something far stronger for elimination.
Diatomaceous earth is one common method for eradicating a bed bug infestation. This chemical is very safe for humans but is deadly for bed bugs. Yet, it can take a lengthy period and a lot of treatments before it proves 100% effective.
Another method being used today is the use of high temperatures, and occasionally very low temperatures too.
Does heat kill bed bugs?
As a way of avoiding chemicals, heat is being used quite widely by pest control experts now. Searching bed bug heat treatment London will bring up many options for this non-toxic method of pest control.
Severe cold for a prolonged period is known to kill bed bugs. One effective method to ensure you don’t bring bed bugs back from a vacation is to put clothing inside a sealed bag and place it in the freezer for a few days. However, this isn’t entirely practical for many people and is ineffective if the house has been infested already.
Therefore, many pest control experts now use high temperatures to treat bed bug problems. 90 minutes of exposure to temperatures around 47.8°C will bring a bed bug infestation to full mortality.
Alternatively, you could just let them starve.
Can you starve bed bugs to death?
If you prefer to let nature do its work then you will have to cut off the food supply. To do this you can seal your mattress so that the bugs cannot get out to feed. But, this only works if they are living in one location.
In most cases, the only way to starve bed bugs to death would be to move out of the home for an extended period. A very young bed bug could starve in just over a month. However, fully grown bed bugs have been known to survive without eating for much longer.
The Cimex lectularius is the bed bug species commonly found in Europe, the UK, and the US. Starvation periods for bed bugs of this type have been recorded as long as 425 days if the conditions are right. It would seem trying to starve bed bugs to death is not the most practical solution.
Will bed bugs just die out if you leave them alone?
Theoretically, if bed bugs had only invaded one room you could seal this off and leave it. The problem with this idea is that bed bugs are known to travel and spread through buildings searching for food supplies.
Even if bed bugs could be contained, they breed and grow very quickly. Bed bug entomology studies show that they can mature in as little as a month and reproduce several generations in just a year.
Bed bugs also live an average of at least 10 months, but sometimes much longer. Many studies have shown bed bugs to be able to live for over a year, with or without food.
For bed bugs to die naturally it would take an empty home and no food supply for possibly over a year. Covid has presented the right conditions in some countries for this to work. Namely in the hospitality sector where hotels and guesthouses have remained unoccupied for many months.Ways to handle pests generally don’t include ignoring them, and bed bugs won’t just disappear without treatment.
In general, though, the only way to completely remove bed bugs is to call in a pest control firm. Heat treatment has been proven to be an effective and safe way to clear bed bugs from a home or other building. And, it removes the need for potentially harsh chemicals.