Can Bed Bugs Survive Outdoors?

Bed bugs are one of the most annoying pests that can infest your home. Not only do they multiply in huge numbers quickly, but it is also challenging to get rid of them. Not just inside, but most homeowners are terrified at the idea of having bed bugs outside around their houses. But can bed bugs survive outside? The short answer to that question is yes. Bed bugs can survive outside, but not for too long. If their living conditions are not ideal, they will look for a way to enter a home where the conditions are more favorable or die. Bed Bug Exterminator Chicago | BBEC explores how long bed bugs can survive outside and how you can prevent a bed bug infestation.

How Do Bed Bugs Show Up Outside Your Home?

In most cases, bed bugs will enter your yard or lawn through old furniture, mattresses, and upholstered chairs that are thrown away. They can also fall off a person or item that they were latched on to. However, the outdoor atmosphere doesn’t provide bed bugs the right conditions to survive. Bed bugs require dry and secure shelter close to a food source. They need warm, dark, and secluded places to live comfortably and grow. That is why they usually grow inside beds and furniture in your home. The outdoors don’t have any of these conditions. As a result, they may only survive long if they again enter your home, hitchhiking on some person or item.

How Far Can Bed Bugs Travel?

Since bed bugs cannot jump or fly, their only means of transport are hitchhiking or walking. However, they can travel long distances, almost 20 feet per night, even though they are small. This means they can sometimes walk up to your home and enter through openings in your windows, cracks in the wall, or just the door when it is left open.

How Long Can Bed Bugs Survive Outdoors?

Bed bugs’ life outdoors depends on the following factors:


Food is the most crucial factor determining how long a bed bug can survive outdoors. Bed Bugs can go up to four months without food. Their metabolism further slows down in colder environments where they can survive up to a year. However, bed bugs will die naturally if they don’t find food for a long time, indoors or outdoors.

Weather Conditions

Bed bugs cannot survive in water for long. As a result, they will only last for a while outside if it starts raining. They will also not survive if their regular hiding place outside gets flooded.


Bed bugs can survive in cold temperatures. This is because they lower their body temperature to cope with the cold around them. However, they will not be able to survive if the temperature drops to below 18 degrees Celsius. Bed bugs cannot tolerate too much heat as well. While the outside temperatures may not be hot enough for them, temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius can kill them. That is why professional heat treatments are considered one of the most effective ways of killing bed bugs. 

How to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation At Home?

It can be hard to prevent bed bug infestations at home. You never know who could get these pests into your house. In addition, you may sometimes bring them home after a vacation yourself. That is why it is important to check hotels and motels to ensure no bed bugs are present. Similarly, you must also check public transport, clothing stores, airplanes, and other areas that could be breeding grounds for these pests. Below are a few tips to prevent bed bugs from entering your home:

  • Leave all your bags and other luggage outside your home overnight after returning from a trip.
  • Wash your clothes immediately
  • If you buy second-hand furniture or other items, inspect them thoroughly to ensure it is not infested with bed bugs.
  • Treat any infested item before throwing it away. If you throw away the infested items as they are, the bugs may infest your neighboring areas and eventually return to your home.
  • Ensure your home is clean all the time
  • Minimize clutter around your bed
  • Seal all cracks and crevices in your walls, as bed bugs could enter your home from there
  • Regularly check switchboards, especially the ones you don’t often use, as these bugs could make them their home.

Getting rid of a bed bug infestation is extremely difficult. While home remedies may work to a certain extent, professional bed bug exterminators like Bed Bug Exterminator Chicago can help you eliminate them from your home. They have years of experience and the right tools to free your homes from these troublesome pests.

Kyle Baxter

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