How Long Does It Take To Starve Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs (cimex lectularius) need a blood meal to survive and grow. They feed only on blood by sucking it from the host. They’re likely to starve and die if they go long enough without a human host, but how long does it take to starve bed bugs?

In this article, we discuss the time it takes to starve bed bugs to death, how long they can survive without feeding, and what conditions affect this timeline.

Keep reading, as you’ll learn a lot about the life of a bed bug without food.

How Often Do Bed Bugs Eat?

On average, adult bed bugs feed once every three to four days. The feeding habits of the bed bugs depends on the environment. When the temperature rises, eating habits increase. High temperatures cause the bed bugs to dehydrate.

how long can bed bugs live without food

These pests do not take water or eat any other food other than sucking the blood of the human body or animals. The water needed for their body comes from the blood they feed on. They will eat more when environmental conditions are high and eat less when conditions are more habitable.

How Often Do Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs bite three to four times during a feeding. It presents itself as a series of bites in a straight line. If there are more bedbugs, there can be multiple straight line series of bites, indicating multiple bedbugs. Depending on their conditions, such as temperature, a single bedbug may feed more often than the regular three to four days.

Can You Starve Bed Bugs To Death?

The answer is yes, you can starve the bed bugs to death. The time a bed bug can survive without feeding is between 20 days and 400 days. This time it takes depends on the bed bug’s environment, breed, and time since its last feeding.

At high temperatures, the bed bug’s starvation increases as the higher temperature will cause it to become dehydrated. As mentioned in this article, bed bug feeds only in blood. So if their food supply is cut and the temperatures in their environment are increased, then starving condition rises. The bed bug can survive longer than one year without food in cold conditions.

How Long Does It Take For Bed Bugs To Starve

The time a bed bug can survive without feeding is between 20 days and 400 days. The young bed bugs and nymphs can survive without feeding for two weeks to 1 month.

Starving bed bugs is not that hard since all you need to do is prevent them from feeding on a human host. You must understand that bed bugs can live for several months without a blood meal.

How Long Can A Bed Bug Live Without A Host

A bed bug can survive without a blood meal for more than 12 months, although this survival is affected by temperature levels and the level of infestation.

If they had all been fed recently, then abandoned for a year, it is possible that many bed bugs would still be alive. The only effect this would have would be that their population would cease to continue growing. 

What Is The Lifespan Of A Bed Bug

On average, a single bed bug will only live a few months. The regular lifespan of a bed bug starts with an egg and ends with a mature grown bed bug that has lived a full life. The more stable living conditions for a bed bug, the more regular its life and death will be. The biggest factor in how long a bed bug lives is the temperature of its environment.

A bed bug instar (developmental stage) plays a large role in survival times. First instar bed bugs are the first larval stage. At this stage of the bed bug life cycle, a blood meal is crucial to growing into the next stage. After feeding, they will spend the next few days digesting their meal (if they had one).

Without blood meals to continue growing, each instar bed bugs survived fewer days than their counterparts that did get to feed at some stage.

A bed bug living in a warm and humid environment will thrive and it will grow to maturity much quicker. In colder climates, everything slows down for a bed bug. They don’t get to grow to maturity as quickly and can survive much longer than a few months.

If bed bugs are without a blood meal, they won’t be able to multiply. In a regular bed bug life cycle, they need a female bed bug to feed on a host. Afterwards, she will lay multiple eggs each day. If she continues to feed, the can continue to lay many eggs of the course of her lifetime. As each egg hatches, the larvae will grow into pupae that will instantly begin seeking food. 

Without a food source, the females cannot continue to lay new eggs and the new bed bugs won’t survive to grow to maturity, which is necessary for laying more eggs.

Can Bed Bugs Live Without Blood

Bed bugs need to feed on a host to survive, as blood is the only food source they’re interested in. If you are waiting it out, then you can rest easier knowing they are slowly going to starve to death. Although it will take a long time, a bed bug will die if it does not get blood to feed.

do bed bugs feed every night


There are much better ways to get rid of bed bugs. Starving them, though it may take time and can be tricky, can be an effective method of killing bed bugs. You just need to be careful not to feed them in any way. You have to consider the duration they can survive without food; then you will starve them nicely.