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Humidity of 20% or less

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  1. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 4 2011 14:39:38
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    I was wondering if this is true (pulled it from a website). Our office has low humidity once the heater kicks in. Right now, outside humidity is 20%. Don't they just move to a kitchen or bath where there is some humidity? There was someone trying to lower humdity on a forum a while ago and he was basically told that as long as they can get to your blood, they'll be ok even in low humidity. People in Arizona were saying it has no impact too.

    Below 40-50% humidity, bed bugs in their active stage are killed, but the inactive ones aren't. Below 15-20% humidity, bed bugs in the inactive stage are killed. So if you can get the humidity that low during the winter by heating the house, maybe you can kill the inactive bed bugs and they won't colonize the house much during the summer. But humidity that low may be uncomfortable and increase incidence of respiratory infections.

    Thing I found the answer in an older post (is there more current info?). It said that humidity had little impact: temperature has the main impact. KillerQueen noted that they live in wood, which is dry. Just curious if there are ebbs and flows or changes to activity based on temperature, humidity, etc (indoor):

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  2. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 4 2011 15:49:56
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    I don't know how much any of this helps, but these are my thoughts: I think as long as they're still drinking blood to keep themselves hydrated, they will live happily in dry conditions. I am not sure about their "active" stage vs. "inactive" stage. I think the biggest factor here would be that if they know there's not a food source, they're going to reserve as much energy as possible in order to prolong their life span. One thing I have read is that the bugs of today typically don't live as long without food - I think like 6 to 9 months vs. the old standard of 18 months, which is still used because you just don't know - because they die of dehydration. So I guess if someone was going vacate the premises for several months, the chances of them dying would increase with lower humidity. It would be interesting to know how often these scenarios have been studied in the lab and to know the difference in life span in a controlled setting.

  3. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 4 2011 16:50:58
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    Bed bugs are the camels of the insect world... Low humidity is not an effective control tactic.

    Temperature is the key environmental variable... Temperature determines the life span and rate of development from egg to adult.

    Here is a quote from Usinger's Monograph... Chapter 2... Ecology

    Humidity
    It is generally stated that human bed bugs are but little, if at all, affected by the different degrees of humidity that are normally encountered in human dwellings (Kemper 1936). Relative humidities ranging from 10 to 70% were tested and found to have a negligible effect on the rate of development of nymphs of C. lectularius (Rivnay 1932b).

  4. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 4 2011 16:55:17
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    Hi,

    I tried to quote Doug (thanks for the response) before. It talks about humidity on the development of nymphs and the study is from 1932. Similar to the issue with temperatures and lifespan, have there been changes seen on how humidity impacts the adult BBs that have been exposed to pesticides?

    My curiosity is based on the fact that some anecdotal reports around the school here are that they get less active in the winter. The winters are very dry, depending on the building's heating system.

    Thanks!

  5. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 4 2011 17:50:14
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    I live, as you might imagine from my screen name, in southern California.

    We routinely have humidity in the 20 to 40% range.

    When the Santa Anas kick in, the relative humidity drops to 15%, 13%, sometimes even into the single digits.

    If humidity had that much of an effect on bed bugs, we'd expect to see fewer bed bugs here.

    That's not the case.

    Low humidity is not a reliable way to deter or kill bed bugs.

  6. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 4 2011 18:11:09
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    Thanks, Buggyinsocal.


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