Can bed bugs survive outside in winter?

Bed bugs are small insects, brownish in color and oval in shape. In their fed state, their shape changes to elongated. Their size is 5-7 mm, similar to an apple seed. They are nocturnal insects that come out at night and hide during the day. But most importantly, they are a pest.

So, what is their optimal temperature? Is there a possibility they will die outside in winter? Can we freeze bed bugs to death?

Bed bugs and temperature

Numerous creepy crawlies and other creatures are influenced by temperature. This important factor may enhance, diminish, and even stop their reproduction. According to entomologists, bed bugs are less mobile in winter especially when they’re outside and it’s very cold. Since their mobility and reproduction are both impaired, it may be difficult for them to survive in cold weathers as compared to hot weathers.

Likewise, cold temperatures hinder their digestion and reduce their levels of vitality. This usually happens for bed bugs when the temperature gets around 0 degree F. When it is much lower than that, they may even die in a matter of days (but not immediately).

According to clinical dermatologists, bed bugs are an epidemic for humans, typically found in every temperature and climate all over the world. There are numerous species of bed bugs, and some of them will be adapted to more extreme climates.

We typically hear about the regular bed bug, named Cimex lectularius. Other species are increasingly prevalent in tropical reasons, especially Leptocimex boueti. These species are better adjusted to warm climate and less tolerant to cold temperatures.

Can bed bugs survive in winter?

Yes, bed bugs are resistant to cold and can survive in winter. Fortunately, in spite of the fact that they do stay dynamic in the winter, there is a possibility of not having another generation during cold days because they cannot reproduce as fast as they do in summer seasons. Thus, they cannot irritate us as they do in summer seasons, either.

Whether or not they’re moving near, bed bugs are a terrible plague. After getting into the warmth of your home, they will reproduce and immediately become a major issue. They are fabulous at covering up in a wide range of places you wouldn’t think of. They are likewise amazingly hard to slaughter. Even if you endeavor in a DIY bed bug spraying and it appears to work, it is more than likely that you didn’t kill them all because some eggs and larva still remain.

Temperature range for survival of bed bugs

Bed bugs may die if they stay outside in a very cold winter for very long. But low temperatures will not instantly kill them unless they are extremely low. They can survive at a temperature 46 F, but reduce their mobility in these circumstances. They can lower the temperature of their body fluids, which allows them to live for some more days in a cold temperature.

Some bed bugs can survive to 14 degrees F, but only for some time. They freeze when they get exposed to 32 degrees F for 70 hours. Generally the lower temperature should make the bed bugs die. However, if the temperature lowers down gradually, the bed bugs will start a state similar to hibernation in which the adults can survive for months. That’s why during winter, the inside of the house is their survival spot, where they usually reside in tiny holes, bed sheets, and warm wooden places.

Bed bugs live excessively where the temperature is warmer inside our houses because they prefer warmer temperatures. If the temperature inside the home is warmer and feels like spring or summer, they will have no issue living there. Bed bugs breed, process, and go on with their life cycle more rapidly, thriving faster when it’s hotter.

Is freezing bed bugs useful to kill them?

So, is it possible to slaughter bed bugs using cold temperatures? It is not very easy to do so because as you can see above, there are many variables to consider, and it is definitely not the best method.

Still, some professionals freeze bed bugs to immobilize them and apply different methods to exterminate them. They use such a type of equipment that generates snowy particles from CO2 gas. This is the same gas used to create fizzy drinks. These small and tiny particles are deadly for bed bugs but will not be harmful to us, our clothing and other sensitive things around us.

The best decision to get rid of bed bugs in the summer, winter or spring is to look for the assistance of experts who have the information and the appropriate equipment to destroy your bed bugs issue. We can get rid of bed bugs by freezing them, but as I told you above, this is not the best way because some of them are more resistant to cold temperatures, and gradually reducing them will only make them immobile in a state of hibernation. Cold is not effective as compared to common sprays and pesticides.


Bed bugs are resistant to cold temperature and they can survive at temperature of 46 F and lower. They thrive in warm temperatures but will not necessarily die in low temperatures unless the change in weather is very aggressive and extreme. In any case, relying on cold temperatures is not the best method of disposing of bugs in the winter.

The best way to keep your home bug free is to be cautious constantly. Continue vacuuming your home and wash all bed garments and material at regular intervals. Keep attentive for significant hints to detect bed bugs and maintain your home bug-free.The best way to keep your home bug free is to be cautious constantly. Continue vacuuming your home and wash all bed garments and material at regular intervals. Keep attentive for significant hints to detect bed bugs and maintain your home bug-free.


Benoit, J. B., Lopez‐Martinez, G., Teets, N. M., Phillips, S. A., & Denlinger, D. L. (2009). Responses of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, to temperature extremes and dehydration: levels of tolerance, rapid cold hardening and expression of heat shock proteins. Medical and veterinary entomology23(4), 418-425.

Olson, J. F., Eaton, M., Kells, S. A., Morin, V., & Wang, C. (2013). Cold tolerance of bed bugs and practical recommendations for control. Journal of economic entomology106(6), 2433-2441.

Kells, S. A., & Goblirsch, M. J. (2011). Temperature and time requirements for controlling bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) under commercial heat treatment conditions. Insects2(3), 412-422.

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