After 9 months of no eating......are they dead?(22 posts)
I had my sister living with me in my spare room. She brought bed bugs home from god knows where and we had the room treated. She then moved out. She has been gone since last November and no one has slept in the room since. No activity in any other rooms. If there were any bb's left alive in that room, would they be dead at this point from starvation?? Im afraid to let anyone sleep in there. Thoughts??
If you had the room treated and have not gotten any bites or seen any evidence of bbs, I would say you are probably in the clear. Otherwise they would have moved over to your room because they move to wherever they can find a host. They may be lazy, but they love to eat!
Seems like if any bugs were still alive, they would have tracked you down in other rooms and bitten you by now. They sniff out human blood and follow the trail, right? Maybe you're just very lucky and the treatment worked 100%. Hope so!
Thank you for your response. I hope you are both right. The room was treated but then immediately the host was gone so I was worried the bugs would not be drawn out into the poison. I caulked the room as well. I had a feeling at one point they were in the walls as I was finding them mostly by the molding on the floor behind the bed. Just hoping they maybe got too weak to travel after the treatment and if anything was left there it would have died from not eating. After 9 months I would have seen signs in other areas of the house correct???
so alive after 9 months or so? Is it possible?
Well, the truth is that under ideal conditions the current reported duration is about 18 months.
With your situation it seems likely that there are no surviving bed bugs however, there is at least some small level of possibility that there may be a surviving bed bug.
You might conduct an inspection and try placing an active type trap that emits CO2 for a few days to see if any are caught.
Hope this helps ! paul b.
That was very helpful Paul, thank you. There seems to be a great debate about the time frame for starvation. I was reading through some old posts and everyone has their own opinion about it. Since I havent seen any activity in all these months Im hoping for the best. Thats the only room in the house that isnt air conditioned so its been rather hot in there all summer. Hoping if anything indeed did survive, the heat would have done their lil weak bodies some harm lol Im thinking if there were survivors they would have found their way into my room by now which isnt that far away. Fingers crossed.
does anyone have an answer to my last question?
In my view "hoping" and "keeping your fingers crossed" are poor substitutes for taking proper actions against bed bugs.
Even though the possibilities that there are any survivors are small, perhaps it's wise to remain prudent and at least place a few active type monitors to help you "know for sure".
Of course it's your call.
Hope this helps ! paul b.
you make perfect sense Paul....thanks again
It is what it is and, this just ain't rocket science !
Have a great day ! paul b.
It's not rocket science thats true but this buggers can turn even the most solid minded people into a crazy person. Its all I think about! Im cautious everywhere I go. Having this experience has changed me and Im not sure for the better. Im not even comfortable at the movies anymore =(
I go to the movies but I put bed bugs "out of my head" for those three + hours while I'm there.
Dare I say that is the one flaw in my bed bug defensive profile.
miserableone - 16 hours ago »
That was very helpful Paul, thank you. There seems to be a great debate about the time frame for starvation. I was reading through some old posts and everyone has their own opinion about it.
I just want to clarify some of the discrepancies about this issue.
People here used to cite the finding from the 1930s that bed bugs could live in starvation mode for up to 18 months.
However, research published in May 2011 by Polanco, Miller and Brewster suggests much shorter lifespans for current strains of bed bugs -- how long depends on the temperatures.
Doug Summers references and quotes some of the article in this and following posts in the same thread.
That research does indeed suggest starved bed bugs will not live 18 months today. Note that any bed bugs in your home might not have been starving-- they could have fed on someone else. We can really only apply this data to starvation situations, like bed bugs trapped in a sealed container.
If you've actually had the room sealed off to a degree that bed bugs did not go looking for another host in another room, then running a CO2 monitor as Paul suggests, maybe for a week or so, seems like a good idea.I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
Thats the kind of answer I was looking for nobugs. The room was not sealed just no one went in it for the last 9 months. Its a spare room. I do have 2 other bedrooms across the house that people sleep in. I havent had any activity in those rooms in that time period and we all react badly to bites. I was kind of hoping that when we caulked the spare room whatever was there got caulked in the wall and died (we think that was the harborage area, the wall) . The room has been a steady 80 degrees since June. Its the only room with no air conditioning.
It sounds like a CO 2 monitor like the Bed Bug Beacon for a week or so, just to be on the safe side. Just because you can't be 100% sure.
The dry ice monitor is an option too but there have found keeping it in dry ice can potentially rack up similar costs.
OK had a curry so have my second wind.
The core issue here is you are trying to be empirical when you should be experimental. In essence don't guess know.
I would strongly advise you to put a bedbug beacon in the room for 2 weeks and avoid entering the room at all apart from to check it once a week. In the occupied too
S you should check the useful tools and FAQ's for monitoring solutions to deploy in the occupied rooms.
The reality is that anything alive would have most likely left the room to investigate other CO2 sources in that time frame although that can also be dependant on the configuration and construction of the property and that gets back to the empirical / experimental debate again.
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miserable - have you yourself experienced reacting to bed bug bites? You said your sister had them in the room she was using. There's a possibility that some escapees did track you down and you don't react to bites. Everyone in my family reacts differently.
I hope you're clear. A monitor sounds like a really good plan.
"Well, the truth is that under ideal conditions the current reported duration is about 18 months."
Ideal has to be defined. Under conditions of higher, summer heat such as 80s-90sF you will have more feeding and quicker generation time; under conditions of coolness such as mid 50s-60sF you will have less feeding and slower generation time. Higher heat and not enough blood meals can lead to quicker deaths due to higher metabolism and less food. Cooler temps and slower metabolism allows the bugs to last longer without feeding so much.
As Nobugs pointed out, the newer research also uncovered that 18 months is a little long.Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
Thank you David, Lou and Nobugs. All of your input was very very helpful. I will take everyones advice since you pretty much all agree lol Lifekeeps.......I do react very badly to bites. They flare up very quickly and they itch like crazy for weeks. I have not had any bites in the 9 months that the spare room is empty. Thats part of why I asked for advice on this matter. Everything I have read states that when the food source is gone from a room, the bugs will go to where the food is.....in this case that would be my room. Since we havent had activity in the last 9 months I assumed the bugs just died off but Im learning to not assume when it comes to BB's.
Be sure and update us on what happens, miserableone. Maybe we'll have to get you a new username at some point too.
From your lips to gods ears NoBugs lol wouldnt it be nice to be able to change my user name to something happier =) I will keep everyone posted.
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