At this time of year when the temperatures outside start to fall below freezing in many areas of the country, some people may find themselves wondering if it's possible to freeze bed bugs to death. Knowing the answer to this question can help you get control of your bed bugs and help you rid your home of these invasive insects.
Can you kill bed bugs by freezing them?
Yes, bed bugs can be frozen to death, provided the temperature remains low enough for long enough. To freeze bed bugs, you'll need to place them in temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower) for 4 days or longer. To do this, start by placing bedbug-infested items (clothing, pillows, etc) into sealable plastic baggies. Next, put these baggies into a freezer set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If your home's freezer doesn't give the internal temperature of the appliance, use a thermometer to track the temperature.
If the item you're freezing is very bulky, it could require extra time. The core of the item, whatever the item is, needs to stay at a temperature below zero in order for this method to be effective.
Can you put the bed bugs outside to freeze them?
Some sources say yes, however, the trouble with this method is that the temperatures outside are rarely low enough for long enough. Sunshine, humidity and other uncontrollable factors can cause temperature fluctuations that would prolong the life of the bed bugs, leaving you believing that the bed bugs are dead when they're actually not.
If you do try to put bed bugs outside in sub-zero weather for 4 days, you'll need to monitor outdoor temperature carefully. If the temperature rises above 0 degrees, the counter will need to start over. Be careful not to store anything outside that could possibly be damaged by moisture if condensation should form on the inside of the bag. Keep the item (or items) out of the sun and away from structures that retain heat (like the side of your home).
In reality, freezing bed bugs has some limitations that should be considered when deciding whether or not to use this method of bed bug control. Not every infected item may fit in your freezer, and putting items outdoors can result in damage to the item without resulting in dead bed bugs. The best way to kill the bed bugs in your home is to contact a reputable pest control company in your area.