Can bed bugs swim?(9 posts)
Is there any scientific study that answers this question?
One of our regular posters, said she saw one floating in her bath tub one time while taking a bath. I think it was itchyscratchy, but I could be wrong. So I guess they can at least float, whether they can actually swim, I have no idea.
I think the issue is "Will they DROWN!"
I treated the home of a very spiritual lady on Monday and she had a bowl of water (with rocks) under an infested bed. In it was a recently fed adult BB, very much alive, and another adult dead. Not very scientific but I guess it appears, at least, that they can float/swim for a period but eventually, if unable to get out, drown. The bowl was very smooth so I guess the BBs could not get traction on the sides. Definately theorising however.
We found a dead adult in a contact lens case that was filled with a lens cleaning solution. My daughter had been away for a long weekend, so who knows how long it had been in the case.
If they can swim, then why does Mineral Oil help in isolation? Is there something about that repels them, or kills them?
They can't swim but don't drown fast either.
i'm half tempted to catch some just to watch them drown...sick i know, but i'm feeling quite deviant towards these little bastards.
Bed Bugs cant swim.
They will however sometimes float and float for long periods of time. The reason for this is two fold.
- Water has a surface tension that means that for something to pass from the surface to inside the liquid with tension must be broken. Most commonly this is due to weight and something sinks. Bed bugs are light and do not therefore pierce the surface of the water
- Bed bugs have a waxy like chitin coat that does not mix well with water, a bit like a scotch guard coating. This obviously repels water and keeps them afloat.
Once the surface tension is overcome a bed bugs will quite quickly drown but as we have previously discussed water itself is not an efficient control mechanism because you would quite literally need to flood your entire home and make sure there were no pockets of air for them to survive in.
I have however used this as a demonstration to illustrate to people that it is not so much a matter of what you use but how you use it. The most notable example of this was a commercial property I inspected that had been liberally sprayed with two highly flammable products to prove the point I drowned a few bed bugs in a cup of water.
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