Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Ultrasonic devices marketed to drive bedbugs away don’t have any effect. Bug bombs don’t work. Bedbugs are evolving resistance to a common insecticide that once killed them. Even if the chemicals work, they can be dangerous for the humans exposed to them. High heat can be effective, but that’s not always a practical solution.
Some studies have indicated that cold might kill bedbugs after as little as one hour of exposure. But research published in the Journal of Economic Entomology finds that’s not the case. Cold can kill a bedbug, but only after days.
Joelle F. Olson of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and colleagues froze bedbugs at various stages of life, fed and unfed, for varying lengths of time. The bad news was that the bugs didn’t die nearly as quickly as other studies had found, a mere hour or two at -16° or -17° Celsius. “In our study, bedbugs survived lower temperatures, with eggs surviving in short-term exposures … to temperatures as low as -25° C,” the researchers write. But the bugs are not freeze tolerant, the scientists found, and they can be killed — no matter their stage of life or feeding status. All it takes is 80 hours in temperatures of -16° C.
Not addressed, though, was whether even lower temperatures might kill the bugs faster. Perhaps a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher (-66° C) or liquid nitrogen (around -200° C) could kill in an instant. Items that wouldn’t fit in a fridge could then be disinfected within moments.
With all this said, we at Southern Pest Control have had great success eliminating bedbugs in your homes. If these unwelcome guests have invaded your home, please call us at 800 528-9832, we can help. You are welcome to visit our website at www.southernpestcontrol.biz to meet our team of professionals.
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