Most if not all of us have this little boy curiosity inside of us that would want to find out the fate of a bed bag inside a sealed plastic bag.
Will it die immediately? After a week? Or will it survive much longer than that?
Read on and get ready to quench your curiosity!
How Long Can Bed Bugs Live In A Plastic Bag?
For those who know little about bed bugs, bagging these little blood suckers seems to be the ideal thing to do. On the contrary, there are lots of other ways to get rid of bed bugs that can yield far better results.
The dominant idea of trapping bed bugs in a sealed plastic bag is to starve them out. So we will be looking at the survivability of an adult bed bug when it is deliberately cut off from its food source.
How Long Can a Bed Bug Last?
An adult bed bug can survive without a blood meal for about 6 to 12 months. On the other hand, a nymph, or a bed bug in the early life stage has a significantly 50% lesser survivability rate which is equivalent to just about 3 to 5 months. This is because a nymph needs to feed at least once a week for it to progress into maturity.
Another important factor that directly affects the bed bug's ability to survive inside a sealed plastic bag is temperature. Bed bug populations thrive comfortably under normal room temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, moving the temperature up or down can potentially weaken the parasite's natural ability to survive. Exposure to as high as 117-122 degrees F and as low as -18 degrees C can result to the parasite's mortality.
Lastly, the amount of oxygen inside the plastic bag also plays a critical role in affecting the survivability of bed bugs. Like any other living organism, bed bugs need oxygen to survive.
However, it is virtually impossible for a typical homeowner to accurately monitor the level of oxygen inside the plastic bag. Besides, these parasites are so small that the air inside the bag is more than enough to sustain them for quite a while.
Can A Bed Bug Chew Its Way Out Of A Plastic Bag?
Although the term bed bug bites have been used for a very long time, it doesn't mean that the phrase itself is entirely true particularly to its literal sense. The question above can be easily answered if you know the actual mouth parts of a bed bug and how it feeds.
Like mosquitoes, bed bugs are equipped with an elongated proboscis which is capable of piercing through the skin of its host. These parasites locate the source of their next blood meal through the warmth of our body and the carbon dioxide that we exhale.
The video below is a short observation on bed bug behavior inside a sealed plastic bag.
Bed bugs have a special capability of locating the nearest possible blood vessel from the surface of our skin. Prior to feeding, the parasite injects its saliva which has anesthetic and anticoagulant properties.
Although the bed bug is equipped with a needle-like mouth part, it is incapable of piercing through the hard plastic surface of the bag.
Can You Kill A Bed Bug Inside A Plastic Bag?
If your patience is growing thin, crushing the bed bug inside the plastic bag is a faster alternative. The bag serves as a protective bubble which isolates the bed bug from its direct environment which is in this case, your bedroom. Crushing the bed bug directly as you see them without the aid of a plastic bag will only leave stains on your clothes and bedding.
You can also do a little science experiment in your own bedside laboratory by trying to suffocate the bed bug inside a sealed plastic bag. As mentioned earlier, bed bugs also require oxygen to survive.
You simply have to flush the air out of the plastic bag before sealing. Make sure that the plastic doesn't have any hole on it. However, this may require a lengthy observation since bed bugs require a small amount of oxygen due to their small size.