Bed bugs are, if anything, resilient little parasites that virtually never give up. If you are wondering, “Do bed bugs go away if I just wait long enough?, ” then the answer is, “Not likely.”
You have to understand the mentality of a bed bug. They are not going to leave as long as they have a perfectly good host sleeping nearby from whom they can get an occasional blood meal. That just wouldn’t make any sense to them.
The fact is, bed bugs’ very lives depend on making your life miserable. They feed almost exclusively on human blood, though they also will feed on animals. That means, therefore, that bed bugs are not likely to “pack up and leave” unless you do.
I Have Bed Bugs: Do They Go Away On Their Own?
Again, the short answer is, “No, bed bugs don’t just go away.” But, it is of course, possible that they might sometimes leave if they no longer are getting any blood meals. But that might take quite a long time, and you can’t afford to let yourself be feasted upon and profusely bug-bitten in the meantime. “Waiting them out” is not a viable option.
What, then, should you do? The answer is that you have to take concerted, consistent action to actively kill all the bed bugs in your house. If even a single impregnated female bed bug survives, the nightmare of bed bug infestation could start all over again!
How Long Can Bed Bugs Live In An Empty House?
How long can a bedbug, or a whole bed bug population, survive in an empty house? Now, that’s a difficult question, and even scientists who devote a lot of time, though, and energy to studying bed bugs aren’t quite agreed.
But here are some bed bug facts that will give you an idea:
- A bed bugs’ life span can be anywhere from a few months to a full year.
- Most bed bugs don’t feed every day. Once a week is about average.
- A bed bug can live 6 to 12 months without a blood meal, depending on the climate and other factors.
- Bedbugs need blood-meals to reproduce and molt. And a young bed bug can’t reach maturity unless it passes through 5 molts.
What this all adds up to is that a bed bug infestation would eventually die out on its own if there were no people or animals around to feed on, for long enough. But, that process could easily take a year.
Thus, there are buildings that have been suffering from bed bug infestations for as long as 10 years straight, maybe sometimes even longer. And a house or apartment being empty between residents really doesn’t help much unless it was a very, very long interval.
Do Bed Bugs Go Away After Treatment?
You may be wondering about how to treat a bedbug infestation. Will fumigation for bed bugs be effective? If there are a few survivors, will they figure, “This place is no good to live in anymore: let’s get out of here!”
The answer is that bedbugs have nerves of steel. They do not flinch in the face of danger. They just hang around waiting to get revenge on you for your extermination efforts next time you fall asleep.
While you aren’t going to get rid of bed bugs by using repellents, you can help reduce the number of bites you’re going to get by rubbing your skin with such things as calamine lotion or rubbing alcohol. Nothing really makes them go away or 100% keeps them from going after you if you’re in the same room with them, but using repellents can at least help some.
Sure, you want to persistently keep at them and use every kind of extermination method you can find, whether store-bought bed bug killers, household products put to new use, or all-natural bed bug remedies.
But you have to kill all of them because survivors will not be scared away by the carnage all around them. As long as a warm-blooded mammal sleeps in the room, they just won’t get the message.
How Will I Know If A Treatment Has Been Successful?
After you have applied all of your anti bedbug wisdom to its fullest extent, and possibly, have called in the pros for assistance, how do you even know if they’re really gone?
5 Signs of a successful bout with the bedbugs include:
- Dead bedbugs lying around your home here and there.
- You go for days or weeks without seeing any bed bugs, bedbug eggs, or tell-tale signs like bed bug feces or molt sheddings.
- You aren’t getting any new bites, that you notice anyway. And you don’t itch horribly like before.
- You set up one or more CO2 best bed bug traps and are not catching any bugs in them.
- When you do a quick check in “the usual places” like under the mattress, in the mattress seams, in the box springs, along the base boards, and the like, you can’t spot a one of them.
However, none of this actually proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bed bugs are gone. It only shows you that you killed most of them, and their population must surely be very low. Only time will tell if Operation Bed Bug has truly been a success or not.
However, there is one exception to this rule: if a professional exterminator, using specialized equipment, heats your home’s interior to 118°F or higher for even an hour or so straight, you can be sure all bedbugs (and their eggs) died. They simply aren’t built to withstand that level of heat for that long.
But even a heat treatment that kills every last bug can’t prevent a reinfestation, so you need to take steps to learn how to prevent bed bugs from getting back into your house after the war is over.
And that means you have to get your prevention measures in order before you even finalize the eradication. Otherwise, you could have new bed bugs getting into your house almost immediately after just killing off the old ones, which would be (of course) an exercise in futility.
The conclusion of it all is this:
- Bedbugs are one of the most stubborn and obnoxious species of insects on the planet.
- They don’t go away easily.
- You can’t count on starving them out or waiting them out. All you can do is patiently work on killing them all and then doing everything you can to make sure they never get into your house again!
But don’t give up, on the other hand, because there are many bed bug-killing success stories out there. And there’s no reason why your bed bug story can’t end the same way!