Does The Cold Kill Bed Bugs? (**A Quick Guide**)

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​Have you ever wondered why bed bugs love to sleep with you in bed?

Why, of all the places in your house, do their populations thrive best inside your bedroom?

The answer is simply the condition of the environment.

​The ideal bed bug habitat is our bedroom because it is where favorable temperature is maintained and it is where their main source of food (that would be us) is often found.

But do you know that we can also exploit temperature and use it to our advantage on our plight in getting rid of bed bugs completely?

Continue reading this guide to find out how cold affects bed bugs and if freezing truly kills them.

​As mentioned earlier, temperature is one of the two main reasons why bed bugs prefer to retire in our bedroom. The ideal temperature for bed bug populations to flourish is somewhere around 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Under this condition, nymphs develop faster into full-grown and reproducing adults in as fast as three weeks. Female bed bugs can lay about five eggs a day and no less than 300 to 400 eggs throughout her lifetime.

Read Also: Do bed bug traps work?

Significant changes in the environment’s temperature can have a ripple effect on bed bugs. A little higher or lower can dramatically slow down the development of bed bugs.

These nasty critters however, have different levels of tolerance on heat and cold. Bed bugs can die in a matter of minutes when consistently exposed to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit of steam. At 150 degrees fahrenheit or higher, these insects can die almost instantly.

On the other hand, bed bugs have a deeper tolerance for colder temperatures. Bed bugs are blessed with a natural ability to alter the freezing point of their system’s fluids and adapt to the changes in the environment effectively.

​Read More: Click here to learn more about finding bed bugs.​​​


As mentioned earlier, colder environment only slows down the development of bed bugs. It doesn’t necessarily mean that cold will repel them.

Besides, bed bugs will have plenty of cracks, crevices, and holes to cramp into whenever temperature of their direct surrounding falls to a couple of degrees.

The following video will explain more on how freezing affects bed bugs.

Freezing does kill bed bugs. However, this remedy is not as effective and as practical as heating. 

With freezing temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, bed bugs die but only after a few days of consistent exposure. According to experts, bed bugs die at least after four days of being consistently kept under freezing temperatures.

Read Also: How do you get rid of bed bugs fast?

​This is simply the reason why freezing is effective but not ideal in killing bed bugs. If you are to do a little experiment about it, secure your bed bug infested clothing in a sealed plastic bag and place it inside the freezer. 

​We’ve already established the fact that freezing is not really a viable option in at least curbing the fast increasing population of bed bugs inside your apartment. Because of this, you will to consider these proven effective alternatives:

Hair dryer

This may sound hilarious but the use of a hair dryer is downright effective as far as killing bed bugs is concerned. 

Hair dryers generally blast off hot air with temperatures reaching 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the dryer at the highest temperature setting and point it directly towards spotted bed bugs.

This simple yet effective remedy is best for those who don’t have enough energy to spare for a more comprehensive bed bug crackdown mission.

Hot water wash

If you are planning on washing your bed bug infested clothes, mattress covers, pillow cases, and blankets or comforters, it’s best to do it with hot water. Secure your laundry in a tightly sealed bag as you take it out of your bedroom and into the laundry area. 

Set your washing machine at the highest temperature setting. By the way, you have to first make sure that the fabrics you are about to wash with hot water can withstand the needed heat. Finish off with the hottest setting of your dryer for a sure kill.

​Vacuum cleaner

Using your vacuum cleaner is a simple yet effective method in significantly reducing the number of bed bug invaders. And in terms of the equipment, the greater the suction power, the better.

Read Also: What’s the best vacuum for bed bugs?

You must also use a crevice tool to effectively reach the nooks and crannies of your mattress, bedframe, nearby furniture, and all the corners of your bedroom. After cleaning, seal the bag and dispose of immediately.

Steam cleaner

The steam cleaner is your insurance after using your vacuum cleaner. Some bed bugs may have escaped the first stage but these critters will have nowhere to hide in the face of a powerful steam cleaner.

Read Also: What’s the best steamer for bed bugs?

​The ideal steam cleaner can effectively work through thick surfaces such as high pile carpets. Go for a steam cleaner that can be highly efficient in blasting high temperature steam up to 3/4 of an inch from the targeted surface. 

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

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