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How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Underwater? Solved

Last Updated on April 22, 2024 by Alene Schill

Bed bugs, which are a variety of domestic pests, can lead to substantial levels of anxiety and unease.

These small, wingless insects feed on the blood of humans and animals and can infest beds, furniture, and other household items. 

While bed bugs are commonly associated with the bedroom, they can also be found in other home areas, such as the bathroom.

This raises the question: how long can bed bugs live underwater?

We will explore the answer to this question and provide additional information on bed bugs and their behavior.

Can Bed Bugs Survive Underwater?

Image of a Bed Bug

While bed bugs [1] are not aquatic creatures and do not live underwater, they can still survive for a limited time if submerged.

According to research, bed bugs can survive underwater for up to an hour. 

This is because they can enter a state of suspended animation, known as torpor, which allows them to conserve energy and withstand extreme conditions. 

However, it’s important to note that bed bugs are not typically found in water-related environments and are more commonly associated with beds, furniture, and other household items. 

Effective prevention and control measures, such as regular cleaning, inspecting second-hand items, and seeking professional pest control services, can help prevent and eliminate bed bug infestations.

How Do Bed Bugs Survive In Water-Related Environments?

While bed bugs do not live in water-related environments, they can still survive in areas with high humidity or moisture, such as bathrooms or basements. 

Bed bugs can survive in these environments by slowing their metabolism and conserving energy, much like when submerged in water.

They can also move to drier areas in search of food and shelter. 

Reducing humidity levels and addressing leaks or water damage is essential to prevent bed bugs in water-related environments.

Proper ventilation and dehumidification can help to control moisture levels and discourage bed bug infestations. 

Additionally, inspecting any second-hand furniture or items brought into the home for signs of bed bugs is essential, as they can easily hitchhike on them.

How Can Bed Bugs Be Prevented in Water-Related Environments?

Reducing humidity levels and addressing leaks or water damage is essential to prevent bed bugs in water-related environments.

“I don’t camp; I don’t hike. I hate bugs, and I’m phobic of snakes.”

– David Grann, Author

Proper ventilation and dehumidification can help to control moisture levels and discourage bed bug infestations. 

It’s essential to seal any cracks or crevices that bed bugs may use as hiding places and encase mattresses and box springs in bed bug-proof covers.

Can Bed Bugs Swim?

Close Up Shot of Bed Bugs

While bed bugs do have legs, they are not strong swimmers and cannot swim for long periods.

However, they can crawl across wet surfaces and cling to floating objects, such as clothing or debris, to survive. 

Bed bugs are not typically found in water-related environments and are more commonly associated with beds, furniture, and other household items. 

5 Effective Methods for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

  1. Thorough cleaning and vacuuming infested areas: Bed bugs can be challenging to see, so it’s essential to thoroughly clean and vacuum infested areas, including mattresses, furniture, and carpets. Be sure to use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to capture any bed bug eggs or larvae.
  2. Encasing mattresses and box springs in bed bug-proof covers: Bed bug-proof covers can help prevent bed bugs from infesting your mattress and box spring and make it easier to detect and control any existing infestations.
  3. Using insecticide sprays or dust designed explicitly for bed bugs: Insecticide sprays and dust can effectively kill bed bugs. However, it’s essential to use products specifically designed for bed bugs and follow the instructions carefully.
  4. Seeking professional pest control services: Professional pest control services can provide effective and efficient methods for getting rid of bed bugs, including heat treatment or fumigation.
  5. Steam treatment: High-temperature steam treatment can kill bed bugs and their eggs, as they cannot survive temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit [2]. Be sure to use a steamer designed for bed bug treatment and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

FAQs

Can bed bugs survive a washing machine?

No, bed bugs cannot survive a washing machine. A typical washing machine cycle’s high temperature and agitation will kill both bed bugs and their eggs. It’s essential to use the hottest water setting and dry bedding and clothing on high heat to eliminate all bed bugs.

Will bed bugs wash off in the shower?

No, bed bugs will not wash off in the shower. Bed bugs are not easily dislodged from surfaces and can cling tightly to fabrics and other materials.

Additionally, bed bugs do not typically infest bathroom areas, as they prefer to stay close to their food source, which is usually humans sleeping in beds.

Key Takeaways

While bed bugs are not aquatic creatures and do not live underwater, they can survive for up to an hour if submerged.

Bed bugs are resilient pests that survive in various environments, including high humidity or moisture. 

Effective prevention and control measures, such as reducing humidity levels and seeking professional pest control services, can help to prevent and eliminate bed bug infestations. 

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/bedbugs-infestation
  2. https://www.britannica.com/science/Fahrenheit-temperature-scale

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