Does Cold Kill Bed Bugs?

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Bed Bugs are a big-time nuisance, and there are so many ways to get rid of them but does cold kill bed bugs? That is a rather interesting outlook that we will unravel in the content of this article. Take a look.

Is Freezing Bed Bugs Backed by Scientific Evidence?

Though bed bugs have been there for centuries, their resurgence in the past few decades has caused people to look for ways to get rid of them.

One popular method is cold because it is seen as a more natural way to exterminate them. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this claim.

does cold kill bed bugs

Bed bugs are freeze tolerant, meaning that they can survive in cold environments, but only to a certain point.

If the temperature is too low or lasts for too long, the bed bugs will die. This makes freezing a viable option for getting rid of bed bugs, but it is important to be aware of the limitations.

Interestingly, bed bugs are susceptible to cold temperatures and major temperature variations and can die when the weather gets too cold. This is because their exoskeleton cannot protect them from extreme cold weather, unlike other insects that have a thicker exoskeleton.

Does cold kill bed bugs?

Yes, but the temperature must hit zero degrees Fahrenheit and remain there for at least four days in order for bed bugs to die.

Even though sub-zero temperatures are common in Ohio throughout the winter, they vary throughout the day.

Bed bugs adopt an energy-saving hibernation state if temperature changes even a degree or two above zero, enabling them to live until the temperature rises.

You may have heard stories of people hauling an infected mattress or couch outdoors in the winter to kill bed bugs.

It’s likely that the temperature dropped low enough for the bed bugs to hibernate, giving the impression that they’d perished. However, when an item is returned to the warm abode, the bugs reanimate.

The chances of winter temperatures reaching and remaining at 0 degrees for four consecutive days are small. In Columbus, for example, the typical winter season has just two sub-zero days.

Does Cold Temperature Kill Bed Bugs in the Freezer?

A close up of a Common Bed Bug found in Connecticut

Bed bugs die when their body temperature reaches -5 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that if you place items infested with bed bugs in the freezer, the cold will kill them.

However, it is essential to take note that freezing will not get rid of bed bug eggs, so it is necessary to take additional steps to eliminate these.

At 0 degrees, bed bugs will stop scuttling around and cease all movement. They will also stop feeding and mating.

Bed bugs are killed by any temperature below 0 degrees, as long as it is maintained for a long enough amount of time. The colder the temperature, the quicker they will die. This makes freezing a viable way to kill bed bugs.

At What Temperature Do Bed Bugs Die?

Bed bugs die at temperatures lower than 0 degrees Celsius. This is a relatively low temperature, which is why many people choose to freeze their belongings in order to kill any bed bugs that might be living on them.

The length of time it takes for bed bugs to die at this temperature becomes shorter as the temperature decreases, so it is important to be aware of the specific needs of your situation when trying to kill bed bugs.

Interestingly, there are still many discrepancies over the exact temperature that kills bed bugs. Several studies have found different results, with some saying that bed bugs die at just one hour and others taking longer.

The reason for discrepancies like this is not clear, but it may be due to the type of blood used or the cooling rate.

Do Bed Bugs Like Cold Rooms?

Bed bugs can survive in cold temperatures, but they prefer warmer environments. They will not die immediately in cold weather, but they will become dormant and eventually die.

Having said that, it is a general misconception that bed bugs only thrive in warm environments. In fact, bed bugs can live in colder climates as well. However, lowering the temperature of a home will reduce the number of bed bug bites.

Interestingly, bed bugs are slowed down by the cold. At lower temperatures, it takes them longer to digest their food, which in turn reduces their feeding frequency and growth rate.

Additionally, the number of offspring a bed bug can produce is also reduced at colder temperatures.

How Can Bed Bugs Survive the Winter?

Bed bugs can survive the winter by staying hidden, migrating to warmer locations, or eating other insects that are living through the winter. Insects have various ways of surviving cold weather, and this makes them difficult to get rid of completely.

Some of the most known ways are –


Insects migrate in order to find a better climate. This can be either because the current climate is too hot or too cold for them or because they are looking for a place with more food.

Freeze tolerance

Insects, including bed bugs, have a high freeze tolerance. This means that they can survive in cold temperatures for extended periods of time.

It is important to be aware of this when trying to get rid of bed bugs, as freezing them will not always kill them.

Pests have many different strategies for dealing with cold weather. One of these is freeze tolerance, which involves using physical and chemical protection to prevent damage from the cold.

This allows them to survive in cold climates.


Insects, including bed bugs, have the ability to lower their body temperature in order to survive in cold environments. This is known as freeze-intolerance, and it allows them to live in a variety of climates. This process is also called supercooling.

Why Does a Bed Bug Die in the Cold?

Bed bugs do not migrate because they dislike being outside. They are not freeze-tolerant. This implies that they reduce their body temperature without being cold.

They may stay unfrozen in temperatures ranging from -6 to -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

Despite their greatest efforts, they freeze solid at this temperature. The fact that they are freeze-intolerant is irrelevant. They still perish at low temperatures.

At roughly fifty degrees Fahrenheit, bed bugs become dormant. They no longer scurry about, eat, mate, or lay eggs. They seek an enclosed location to hide and wait for it to warm up.

Temperatures much beyond their supercooling threshold make bed bugs vulnerable. Any temperature below 8 degrees might be fatal if sustained for an extended period of time.

Do Bed Bugs Bite During Winter?

Cimex Lecturalius

Bed bugs are not as active in colder temperatures, but that doesn’t mean they don’t bite. In fact, they may be more likely to bite during the winter months because people are spending more time indoors.

If you think you have a bedbug infestation, it’s important to take action right away.

They also mate during this time, so it is important to be aware of bed bugs if you are traveling during the winter.

Can Bed Bugs Survive Outside in Winter?

Winters generally will not be chilly enough to destroy your bedbug infestations. However, if you reside in the extreme north, it may get too cold for them to survive.

According to the research, if bed bugs are subjected to temperatures of degrees Fahrenheit or below, they will finally die. If the winters are extremely cold, leaving them outdoors may result in their death.

However, there are some drawbacks to this approach:

The bed bugs must be kept in sacks. It will not be as chilly inside the bag or box as it will be outside.

To destroy bed bugs, the temperature must be kept steady at 3 degrees or below. If the temperature climbs beyond the threshold before they die, they will be able to continue living normally. They will even feed again if given the opportunity.

Bed bugs will escape if the packages are not securely sealed. They’ll look for a warm place and return to your home. Then you will unintentionally spread your bed bug infestation throughout your house.

The cold may cause harm to your valuables. Valuable gadgets may freeze or become wet, and your clothing may become moist and moldy.

It’s not a great idea to leave stuff outdoors in the cold.

Do Bed Bug Egg Die in Cold Temperature?

Bed bug eggs end up dying in the cold, just like adult bed bugs. When the temperature drops below a certain point, the eggs will not be able to survive.

This is great news for the public who are trying to get rid of bed bugs, as colder temperatures can help kill off some of the population.

Though bed bugs can survive in lower temperatures, eggs, and nymphs (young bed bugs) are less resistant to the cold than adults are. In general, though, freezing weather is not a reliable way to get rid of bed bugs.

There are a few reasons why bed bug eggs might die in the cold. For one, adults are capable of moving around to try and find somewhere less cold/hot.

Additionally, if the temperature is too low or too high, it can be harmful to the eggs. Lastly, if there is moisture in the air, it can cause the eggs to freeze or mold.

How to Kill a Bed Bug in the Freezer?

Baby bedbug or cimex after sucked blood from skin

To kill bed bugs in the freezer, place the afflicted item in a bag and seal it before putting it inside. You should bag your stuff for two reasons:

It protects against frost damage. Delicate items may twist and break if left in the freezer for days. Bagging them protects them.

It prevents the bed bugs from escaping. Bed bugs in your frozen food are the last thing you want.

You don’t have much else to do. Simply place the package in your freezer for as long as necessary.

Identify the areas of your freezer that become the coldest. The coldest areas of your freezer are most likely to be against the sides. Placing items here allows them to freeze.


According to research, bed bugs are less vulnerable to freezing temperatures than previously thought, but given enough time and low enough temperatures, freezing may still be an effective method of management. If you bed bug problem get in touch with a pest control company.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.