Due to the difficulty in getting rid of bed bugs, tips and tricks for killing bed bugs are everywhere. Many people question if you can suffocate bed bugs and what the best way to do it is. The answer is yes, it can be done, but it may be more complicated than you think.
Like other living things, bed bugs require oxygen to survive. A 2016 study showed that bed bugs were susceptible to very low oxygen levels and nearly complete mortality could be achieved in as little as 8 hours. That being said, the scientists that conducted this research used highly specialized equipment that is not available to the general public. These results may be helpful in developing future bed bug treatments, but they are not an option for homeowners.
In reality, it is difficult to deplete oxygen levels to a degree that it will affect bed bugs because they need so little air to survive in the first place. Many people place their contaminated items in plastic bags in hopes that eventually the bed bugs will die from lack of food and air. If this is your plan, removing as much air as possible does seem to kill bed bugs faster. Vacuum sealed bags, space bags, and other products that remove air can be used to decrease the length of time that you will be without your items, but it is not a very effective solution. Actual times that bed bugs can live in these types of low-air environments depend on many factors including: temperature, humidity, how recently the bed bugs have eaten, and the amount of air remaining. In these types of situations, reports of complete bed bug death ranges from one week to several months. Due to these factors, accurate estimates cannot be given, and other extermination methods are recommended.
While it is possible to suffocate bed bugs, it can be difficult to attempt and does not guarantee results. Better options for bed bug control include: heat, cold, desiccants, and chemical sprays. Using a combination of these tried and tested methods will yield the best results. PF Harris can help you get rid of bed bugs without spending a fortune. Our home pest control products have been helping homeowners for over 90 years. Discover the Harris difference today and say goodbye to bed bugs.