How Long Can Bed Bugs Survive Without A Blood Meal?

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Bed bugs can live for extended periods without a blood meal. How long can bed bugs survive without a blood meal? In most situations, even when a house is left unoccupied for an extended time, it is still recommended to exterminate bed bugs from the premises. 

Bed bugs may survive without a blood meal for up to a week, but will eventually die from dehydration or starvation, according to the University of Kentucky. These insects feed exclusively on human blood and can reproduce rapidly, so it’s important to take steps to remove them if you discover them in your home.

Continue to read to find more about bed bugs’ survival rate without blood. 

How long can bed bugs live throughout their life?

Bed bugs go through five instar stages as they grow. The bed bug will change in size during each stage as it molts and grows. The length of time a bed bug survives without a blood meal depends on its age.

Younger bed bugs can survive for longer periods without food than older bed bugs. Additionally, the larger the bed bug is, the more time it can go without feeding.

How Long Can Bed Bugs Survive Without A Blood Meal?

Bed bugs usually feed every few days and will shed their skin in between each feeding. Once they have fed, the bed bugs will continue to suck blood until they are old and die.

Additionally, the female bed bug needs nutrients to produce eggs while the male needs nutrients to create sperm.

How Long Can Bed Bugs Survive Without A Blood Meal?

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Bed bugs can survive for a significant time without a blood meal. They may not feed for various reasons, including the temperature of their surroundings and food availability. The effectiveness of this technique is debated, as different studies have yielded different results.

Bed bugs have a lower thermal death point than most other insects, meaning they can only survive up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, some bed bugs may have adapted to high or very low temperatures. Additionally, bed bugs can hibernate in between feeding times if necessary.

Bed bugs have a life cycle that is important to understand to eliminate them. Bed bugs can go into hibernation when the temperature is over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and baby bed bugs need to survive five different stages before becoming adults.

Bed bugs go through five stages of development- egg, nymph, juvenile, subadult, and adult. Each stage has different feeding requirements. They feed and shed their skin twice in each stage.

As they grow closer to adulthood, the nymph needs less food; however, the temperature can affect nymphs, and they may not survive if dormant for too long without food.

Interestingly, different bed bugs can live without a blood meal for different lengths of time. Some can survive up to eighteen months, while others only have a two-week window.

There are nearly one hundred different kinds of bed bugs worldwide, making them a difficult pest to eradicate.

How long can bed bugs live without a host?

Baby bedbug or cimex after sucked blood from skin

Bed bugs can live for a significant time without a blood meal. Since they can go into a dormant state where they can survive for months without food.

The time factor for eliminating an infestation will depend on how long the bed bugs have been living without a host and how large the infestation is.

Temperature is one of the factors that can determine how long these insects can live without food. Because the success of this strategy is debatable, we believe it’s advisable to try a few other approaches before starting any treatment.

Bed bugs have a complex life cycle determined by the time between feedings. Young bed bugs, or nymphs, require more frequent feedings than adult bed bugs to grow and molt. The other factor determining the length of time between feedings is the temperature and humidity in the environment.

In general, bed bugs will live longer when it’s cooler and more humid; conversely, they will die sooner when it’s hot and dry.

Interestingly, bed bugs hibernate in cold weather when their preferred temperature range is impossible. When food is scarce, they can also become inactive.

Baby bed bugs, also known as nymphs, will not be able to reproduce until they have completed all five stages of development. This process usually takes around two weeks.

Bed bugs will go through five stages of growth. During each stage, the nymph feeds and sheds its skin. If they’re dormant for too long without food, they may not survive.

There are nearly one hundred different types of bed bugs worldwide, and each variety can have a different answer to this question. It depends on the kind of bed bug infested in your home. The type of bed bug is another factor that can influence the infestation.

What do bed bugs eat other than blood eating things?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They are attracted to their prey by emitting carbon monoxide, and they respond well to moisture and warmth.

How long can bed bugs live without food?

Bed Bug on the upholstery of the sofa

How long bed bugs can live without food depends on some factors. The most important is the bug’s age and its body’s development. Young bugs die faster than old bugs, and bugs that have not fully developed their bodies need to eat more often to survive.

Bed bugs are not picky eaters and can survive for long periods without a blood meal, especially in a smaller areas. Temperature is also a major factor in how long bed bugs will live without food. In cold apartments, bed bugs will use less energy and survive longer.

How fast do bed bugs multiply?

Bedbugs are not considered a major pest because they are slow to reproduce. Each egg takes ten days to hatch and another five to six weeks for the offspring to develop into an adult.

It means that it can take up to eight weeks for a bedbug population to grow exponentially.

How long can bed bug eggs live?

Bed bug eggs can only live for about ten days before hatching. The eggs will hatch faster if the temperature and humidity are high. The bed bugs eggs will take longer to hatch if the temperature and humidity are low.

How fast can bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs can lay one to 12 eggs every day, and an infestation can grow in weeks or months. Bed bugs can live up to 500 days without a blood meal, and their eggs can hatch in as little as six days.

How long can bed bugs live in an empty house?

Bed bug infestations

Bed bugs can live for an extended period without a blood meal. They can go up to 400 days without one. It is due to their ability to go into a dormant state where they don’t need to feed.

However, the feeding cycle causes them to migrate and look for another host. Bed bugs are also the most common pest found in abandoned homes.

How do bed bugs die naturally?

When their body temperature rises too high, bed bugs die. The faster they die, the greater the temperature.

All stages of bed bugs’ lives are killed by exposing them to temperatures over 113 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. All bed bugs are killed rapidly at temperatures higher than 60 degrees Celsius.

How long does it take bed bugs to die?

Bed bugs are a huge problem in homes all over the world. It typically takes 2-4 treatment sessions over 3-6 weeks for bed bugs to die.

The size of the house also affects how long it takes for bed bugs to die. If it’s a large house, it will take longer for the bed bugs to be eliminated.

Do bed bugs stay in your body?

Bed bugs typically prefer to feed on open areas of the skin. They are often found around the head, neck, arms, and legs. They generally cannot live on their hosts or be discreet when bloated.

Do bed bugs stick to your skin?

Bedbugs are more likely to spread through backpacks, luggage, shoes, and other goods than spread through our bodies. They don’t cling to your hair or skin as lice or ticks do.

They prefer not to remain in our clothes close to our bodily heat, so they are more likely to move onto us if they fall off an item close by.

Can bed bugs live in your hair?

Bedbugs are not like other bugs and prefer to travel on items farther away from the body. For example, they will not stick in hair or stay close to our bodies, like lice and ticks. They only travel on backpacks, luggage, shoes, etc.

Can bed bugs fly?

Bedbugs cannot fly and will crawl if they need to move. If you put a blow dryer behind them, they will be forced to fly because of the wind.

They can travel about 1 meter per minute on their own, but they can cover more ground if they are moved quickly. 


Bed bugs have a specific taste for human blood and can survive up to one year without a human host. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t feed on organic waste or leftover crumbs, and neither do they eat dead skin.

In conclusion, bed bugs can only eat blood and are resilient creatures. Although professional pest control experts have the tools to eliminate them, bed bugs also have a high chance of surviving under low temperatures. They use low energy, which helps them stay alive during cold weather conditions.

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.