Live Outdoors

Do Bed Bugs Live Outdoors

It’s a pretty common question we run into. People tend to wonder where bed bugs come from. Many pests such as mice and roaches come from outside the home. With bed bugs, the origin always seems to be a building… But when did they get inside, to begin with? This is a tricky question to answer. First, we need to ask if bed bugs can live outdoors. In this article, we’ll cover how bed bugs thrive, where they survive, how long they can stay outside, and how to stay safe. These bloodsuckers are some of the most persistent and resilient pests… So prevention goes a long, long way here.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way: Yes, there are some bed bugs outside. Some. A bed bug will never choose to be outside; they are parasites that have completely adapted to indoor life. Moreover, just about the only thing they eat is human blood. Therefore, being aware of the places bed bugs occupy outside is the best way to stay safe.

How Do Bed Bugs Get Outside?

Bed bugs are very accomplished hitchhikers. Bed bugs can hitch a ride on a pants leg or shoelace and find themselves knocked loose outside. Once outdoors, they will hide in the same places they do indoors. They look for nooks and cracks in furniture and hard surfaces. The most common way for bed bugs to make it outside is when people discard infested furniture.

They will avoid going down into the grass at all costs. You may find them on porches of infested buildings or along with door frames. Why don’t they feed on animals? They aren’t adapted for it. Even if a bed bug manages to go outside, it won’t do well. They are adapted for dark, warm, isolated spaces… Everywhere the outdoors isn’t. Keep away from discarded mattresses, old couches, and all that tempting “boulevard furniture.”

What Do Bed Bugs Do Outside?

Mostly, they hide or try to get back inside. The way they do this is a bit creepy. Bed bugs can sense CO2 and heat. When you breathe, you release CO2, which bed bugs can detect. Once they have your “scent,” they can walk up to 20 feet each day. That may not sound like much, but that’s six thousand body lengths. For you, that’s like a six-mile walk. So be on the lookout if your neighbor is spraying for bed bugs. The insects may be driven outside by the chemicals and visit you instead.

They might even go after your car. Any artificial structure where they can find hiding spots, heat, and seclusion will be attractive. Be sure to give your new garden planters and patio furniture a thorough inspection!

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live Outside?

Bed bugs can go a long, long time without food. Five months. That’s plenty of time to find their way back inside.

What Should I Do About Outdoor Bed Bugs?

You should kill them if you see them! But prevention is still key here. As they live outdoors, treating your outdoor wood with insecticides and regularly vacuuming cushions will help. It is also important to seal rattan furniture because bed bugs can easily hide in this. Remind neighbors to heat treat clothes and furniture before throwing it out if they have bugs. Otherwise, they could come back – Or come to you! You should also seal your house. Close cracks, freshen up weather stripping and be vigilant. Lastly, avoid discarded furniture. A free couch might look nice, even if it doesn’t smell funny… But pick the wrong one, and you have an expensive, itchy problem to deal with that could last months. If the worst happens, give us a call.

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