Bed bugs thrive in the right conditions. Without even realizing it, you may help them to settle in by making the environment favorable to their growth.
You can learn how to make your home unfriendly for them. This will not eradicate the problem but it may help you to win a battle.
Table of Contents
Where are Bed Bugs Usually Found?
Bed bugs are constant travelers, and they like to stay close to humans for feeding purposes.
In addition, there are many places that determine their hiding spots. So, the varying surrounding factors will conclude their sweet spots at the end of the day.
In Your Bedroom
Bed bugs can live in any room, but they are often found in bedrooms. They like bedrooms because we are spending a lot of time sleeping without moving and they can feed on us while we are not moving.
Additionally, bed bugs manage to stay inside wall cracks and crevices. Such spots provide them warmth and safety on top of everything.
Bed bugs have been found on taxis, trains, subways, buses, airplanes, school buses. These places are easily contaminated because many people visit them every day.
If you travel frequently, there is a chance that you might be carrying bed bugs somewhere in your suitcase or travel bag. Additionally, bed bugs are also found in timely habitats like below a bus or a car seat.
Since the seats and interior have innumerable nooks and crannies to hide in, bugs often prefer to stay there. When a passenger sits down, bed bugs can sneak out and enjoy a meal and the person will likely be unaware due to the powerful anesthetic contained in the bedbugs bite.
One of the common places in which you can expect the presence of bed bugs are stuffed toys. Bugs prefer moving over and hiding in surfaces by “plushness”. Whether it be toys or anything related to fabric, these bugs can find their home there.
Toys should be properly checked to avoid bites caused by bed bugs.
Best Environment for Bed Bugs
There are certain conditions that ensure better bed bug growth. Some places naturally provide these conditions where infestation takes a stronghold that becomes complicated to address.
It’s important to note that Bed bugs go through three life stages; egg, nymph, adult. The best condition for each stages slightly differ.
The ideal environmental temperature for bed bugs is between 64°F to 84°F (18°C to 29°C). At this temperature bed bugs reproduce and grow easily.
It’s easier for bed bugs to thrive in environments like our bedrooms the temperature is ideal for them. Having this warm temperature enables them to grow rapidly in number.
There is no major difference for the best temperature need for adults, nymphs and eggs. Between 64°F to 84°F (18°C to 29°C) is fine for the three stages growth.
Temperate Temperatures Favor Bed Bugs Growth
Research show that bed bugs are well adapted at the range of 50–75% RH (Relative Humidity). The effect of temperature outweighs the effect of humidity above 95°F (35°C). Below this temperature, we observe a significant decrease in survival time under 33% RH.
Humid Environments Favor Bed Bugs Longevity
Bed bugs feed on mammal’s blood. They prefer human blood but can also feed on your pets. Bed bugs prefer places where we spend most of our time with little to no movement, like bedrooms. Bed bugs are active at night to feed on sleeping human’s blood.
Mature bed bugs can survive for long months without feeding on a host. This lets them survive when people go out in summers for traveling purposes.
Nymphs requires a blood meal between each molt. The nymphs molts about five times before they reach maturity. Additionally, female bed bugs require blood feeding to lay eggs in a particular time pattern.
As expected, eggs do not requires a blood meal to survive, they are self sustainable.
Food Rich Environments Favor Bed Bugs Growth, Spread and Longevity
Their flattened bodies enable them to fit into tiny cracks and crevices. In your bedroom, they like to hide in the cracks and crevices closest to the feeding spot. They are most commonly found right on or around the bed. Clutter, cracks and crevices help bedbugs to stay un-noticed and thrive.
It is observed that they prefer dark colors like red and black over light colors like white or yellow. An observation concludes that pregnant bed bugs prefer to lay eggs in dark to protect their eggs from predators.
Crevices and dark colored environments help bed bugs to hide
Some furniture provides the ideal hiding spot where we can not notice bed bugs (such as fabric and crack of wood). They thrive in places that absorb moisture and with low thermal conductivity and since wood and fabric just do that for them, they prefer to stay in those kind of furniture. Those furnitures causes the bed bugs to spread at different places around your room.
Box Springs and Mattresses
One the best places for a bed to thrive will be in box springs and mattresses. These box springs and mattresses cause these bed bugs to grow and stay around the whole premises.
Furnished Environments Favor Bed Bugs Growth and Spread
Environments Where Frequent Travels Take Place
Consider that you have traveled to another place while you stayed in a hotel room. There is a possibility that you might carry bed bugs with your belongings when you travel back. It can cause infestation into your actual residence.
So, frequent travel can invite more bed bugs into your actual residence.
Environments Where Frequent Travels Take Place Favor Bed Bugs Spread
What’s the Worst Environment for Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs also suffer from unfavorable external circumstances, which sometimes cause them to migrate. So let’s have a quick look at some of the worst environmental conditions for bed bugs.
Heat or Low Relative Humidity
Bed bugs continue to function throughout the year, but excessive heat can cause them discomfort. Though it depends upon a particular region’s weather severity, heat can impact bed bugs. According to a New York pest controller:
- In peak summer months like July and August, bed bugs tend to come out due to dehydration/thirst
This explains our idea about bed bugs functioning throughout the year. It is true that they survive the entire year, but the severity of any season will impact them, if not kill them.
Eggs, nymphs, and adults die within 1 h at 102°F (39°C), 111°F(44°C), and 115°F (46°C), respectively. Bed bugs (C. hemipterus) started to die after losing 35–45% of their body weights in water.
Dormancy in Cold
Bed bugs being an indoor pest, would not be taken away by the weather trolls in general (can survive temperature up to 4°F (-15°C). Bed bugs will keep feeding on blood with the presence of a host in whatever season.
If you keep the indoors cold, there will be fewer bed bug bites. But according to bed bugs biology, winters tends to slow down their metabolism. The reason refers to their longer feeding time due to slow metabolism in cold temperatures. This promotes dormancy in these blood-sucking insects.
Studies shows that at around 61°F (16°C), bugs freeze their body liquid and enter a dormant state called “Diapause” the partial hibernation. Their egg production will also greatly slow down below 50°F (10°C). But if they are exposed to temperatures of 0°F (-17°C) for 4 days, death occurs.
It turns out that most insects, including bed bugs, absolutely hate scents like citrus, mint, and cinnamon. These scents can drive these blood-sucking creatures away. But it isn’t this effective to get rid of bed bugs when an infestation occurs.
One of the worst nightmares for bed bugs would be an exposure to light colors. This is because bright colors expose them to light and even predators, causing them to lose water that might leads to death.
Factors that Don’t Affect Bed Bugs
When there are some factors that impact bed bugs’ growth, some factors don’t affect them at all. To shake off your doubts, let’s get to these factors holding no influence on bed bugs.
Most people perceive that bed bugs prefer to be around dirty or grim corners, but that’s another myth. Bed bugs are just attracted to human blood and warmth. Therefore, you must not conclude infestation due to dirt in your home.
Besides, you can consider clearing clutter from your bed, ensuring no hiding spot for bed bugs.
Bed bugs are nocturnal, they neither like light nor heat. Therefore, they could be a bit sensitive to the warmth that radiates from certain lights.
But light definitely will not kill bed bugs, or irritate them enough to make them leave your home. They will certainly emerge from the dark if they have to fulfill their needs.
People might think that air conditioning keeps bed bugs at bay, but that’s not true. Also, air-conditioned rooms aren’t cold enough for bed bugs to migrate somewhere with warmer temperatures. Air conditioning will just slow down their activity, and that’s all to it.
Therefore, air conditioning will have absolutely no impact on bed bugs.
Bed bugs can actually survive for more than a year if the living conditions are favourable. So it’s a bad idea for anyone to starve them to death in any case.
Do bed bugs like clean environments?
Bed bugs are blood-sucking creatures, and they have no association with clean or dirty environments. There is a big misconception that bed bugs prefer to be around dirt. They really don’t have any reason to be around dirty environments.
Do bed bugs like heating blankets?
Yes, they’re quite happy at the temperatures an electric blanket would have. In fact, one of the hypotheses is that central heating – keeping the house a certain temperature – has actually helped them.
Do bed bugs hate cold rooms?
It is true that bed bugs dislike cold environments. Bed bugs fail to prolong their survival in extremely cold below 4°F (-15°C) conditions. In such conditions, they prefer somewhere warm.
Can bed bugs survive in water?
Bed bugs can remain in water for several days, as long as they don’t get pushed beneath the surface. A bed bug’s eggs, on the other hand, can survive submerged in water for as long as 24 hours.
What seasons are bed bugs most active?
Bed bugs are very active in peak summer months as it is a peak time for traveling. It makes it easier for them to move out to a different place and infest new home. Besides, these bed bugs can survive throughout the year but show signs of hibernation in winters.
Should you avoid using red and black suitcases?
As a matter of fact, studies have proved that bed bugs have a preference for red and black. Light color will also help you to spots them easily. So it is recommended to use a light colored fabric or plastic luggage set when traveling.
In conclusion, if we talk about the ideal environment for bed bugs then its between 64°F to 84°F (18°C to 29°C), with availability of food. Most bedrooms can provide bed bugs with such an environment where they can thrive and grow stronger.
Whereas, if we conclude the worst environments for these bugs, environments with citrus, mint, and cinnamon scents, and extreme temperature environments (hotness: 113°F to 118°F (45°C to 48°C) coldness: 0°F (-18°C)) are proven worst conditions for bed bugs survival.