How Long Do Bed Bugs Stay Dormant?
How Long Do Bed Bugs Stay Dormant? Most insects the ability to remain dormant for a long time. This ability, otherwise known as diapason, is useful for certain reasons, one of which is to slow down their metabolism and also to conserve energy. Dormancy is critical to the survival of the insects during unfavorable environmental conditions such as temperature extremes, lack of food, droughts etc.
Dormancy happens in all of the life stages of insects. Bed bugs can undergo dormancy. So, how long do bed bugs stay dormant? According to studies done about a decade ago, the precise answer is – about 500 days. But like we all know; a typical bed bug would not remain dormant for such a long period of time.
Do Bed Bugs Really Stay Dormant?
Most insects undergo dormancy, and bed bugs are no different. In their lifetime bed bugs do not really go dormant. This can be because of the following reasons:
A conducive atmosphere. Our homes, offices, hotels and every other place bed bugs call home, are places where the environmental conditions are conducive. Humans inhabit these places, and if they do, then bed bugs have no reasons going on a dormant spree.
Availability of a source of food. Dormancy becomes expedient when environmental conditions are harsh, such as during the scarcity of food and other dietary resources. Living within human habitation means those bed bugs in your household aren’t going dormant in the foreseeable future.
There is controlled humidity in our homes, and other places where bed bugs habituate.
There are available hosts and a source of blood for these bugs. So, dormancy is not in sight for them.
While Bed bugs generally survive cold temperatures, a temperature of 0°F will kill them within four days. This is a biological control measure for regions of the world that witness very low temperatures throughout the year. Adult bed bugs are able to survive up to a year without feeding. The nymphs may survive up to three months without a meal. This is dormancy in action.
Bed Bug Eggs and Dormancy
How long do bed bugs stay dormant? is one query that can be extended to their eggs. In cold temperatures, the eggs will take long periods to hatch. If the temperature gets really extreme, then the eggs will be unable to undergo the necessary developments for hatching to ensue. So, they won’t hatch. When the temperature gets favorable, hatching may follow. As can be seen, bed bug eggs do exhibit dormancy.
You may have noticed how it seems like there are fewer bed bugs during the winter period. This is because few bedbug hatching are taking place during this period. Spring seems the perfect period for bed bugs to breed and produce.
Can We Induce Dormancy in Bed Bugs?
This is very possible. But that means lowering the temperature to about 59°F. This temperature will stop the eggs from hatching, and generally prevent their feeding. As a control measure, this strategy isn’t effective against getting rid of bed bugs. You can’t lower the temperature for every room in your household. And if you want to stick to certain rooms, there is no practical way to keep the bed bugs together in one place. Moreover, such very low temperature isn’t conducive for you either. So, it is better to carry on with the conventional way of getting rid of them.
Most questions about how long do bed bugs stay dormant are usually made by people who may want to buy a house – please engage the services of pest exterminators, as there is no guarantee that the bed bugs may have been eradicated while the house was empty or people seeking to go on an extended trip in order to rid of their bugs problem. But are you willing to stay up to a year outside your home?