vacant home bed bugs

Bed bugs can live about 4 months or more when living in an empty house. There are several variables that come into play when determining when bed bugs die.

How long can bed bugs live in an empty house or apartment?

  1. The temperature of the home if it is hotter in the home the bed bugs will die sooner. If the home is colder the bed bugs can live longer sometimes up to a year.
  2. When was the last time they fed? If bed bugs do not get the blood they are more likely to die and since the home is empty they do not have a meal source.
  3. Other factors including humidity levels, energy exertion, and predators will determine how long the bed bugs survive in an empty house.

If you are moving into an empty home or apartment, you can spray the area before moving into it. Just buy the insecticide that we recommend here and spray the area.

You might be wasting some money by spraying if there are no bed bugs but the spray we recommend kills ants, spiders, and most other bugs. Looking at it like you are just cleaning the place out of any bugs before moving in.

Will Bed Bugs Leave if There is No Host?

Bed bugs will die after 4 months if they have not had a blood meal. They do not leave an empty home or apartment unless someone comes into the place and sets down a bag for them to crawl onto to hitch a ride.

Bed bugs are the ultimate hitchhikers!

  • They can easily hide in small cracks and crevices, such as clothing and luggage that get transported from place to place.
  • It’s not just humans who unwittingly transport bed bugs; furniture moved between locations may be home for these pests too.
  • Public transportation offers a perfect way for them to travel around undetected – they’re experts at blending in with upholstery on buses or train seats so even if people don’t know about it, their journey continues until someone unknowingly brings them into another accommodation space.
  • The same applies when living within multi-unit buildings -shared spaces make it easier than ever before for bedbugs to spread throughout apartments quickly!

A bed bug will normally travel up to a 60 feet radius from its hideout.

Bed bugs will roam around indiscriminately until they detect a nearby human. If it can’t find a blood host, it will return to its hiding place where it can stay until it dies of starvation.

How Do You Check for Bed Bugs in a Vacant House?

Bed bugs will hide in places where humans sleep or in areas they sit or rest. A vacant home or apartment should not have any beds or furniture in it but if it does that is where you should check for bed bugs.

My brother and I were selling a house that we had rented. Once the tenant left the home, we went into the home and began throwing out some furniture and trash that the tenant left behind.

I know what bed bugs look like and where bed bugs hide, so I did an inspection of the couch that was in one of the bedrooms. Immediately I saw the bed bug and let my brother know we have to start treating the home with insecticide and IGR to get rid of them.

We had planned on it taking 3 months to renovate the house. I know the DIY pesticides to use to get rid of bed bugs from an empty home. We started that process and in 3 months we had renovated the home and killed all the adult bed bugs and eggs.

If you are not as good as me at spotting bed bugs or bed bug poop you can use lures and traps to see if you have bed bugs. These traps and lures can help you to figure out if there are any bed bugs in the house or apartment.

Another thing I noticed at the house with bed bugs is on the baseboards and trim around doors I did see black flecks. It may look like pepper flakes and that is bed bug poop which tells you there are still bed bugs in the home.

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live in a Cold House?

Bedbugs thrive in temperatures between 70 to 800 F, which is suitable for quickly and successfully reproducing and progressing through various growth stages.

However, both extreme cold and heat will kill bed bugs.

Bed bugs can die if the house is severely cold and the cold temperature is sustained enough. Female adult bedbugs are ‘tougher’ than others because they usually have a super cooling point of -300 C to -220 F.

If bed bugs are subjected to extremely cold temperatures, they will not die right away instead they go dormant to conserve energy.

So, bedbugs can live in a cold house since the temperature in the house will not reach low enough to kill an adult bed bug or the eggs immediately.

Moreover, internal temperatures in the house may fluctuate, particularly during the day. A cold house will not kill the bed bugs if anything it may make them last longer since they can go dormant.  

Do Bed Bugs Go Away in Winter?

Bed bugs do not go away in winter. In fact, they are not only active during winter, but they can still reproduce during these cold months depending on the house conditions. If the house is vacant for long periods and a bed bug has no meal, it will go into diapause.

Bed bugs will usually enter semi-hibernation or diapause to escape extreme cold temperatures.

Diapause is an intermission of energy preservation and reduced metabolism that allows bedbugs to enter dormancy, thus surviving without feeding for many months.

They can enter this stage at temperatures below 61 degrees Fahrenheit in an effort to survive suboptimal conditions until the conditions recover.

How Do You Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Vacant House?

You can get rid of bed bugs in a vacant house the same way you would get rid of them in a full house, albeit faster and simpler.

The best way to remove bed bugs from an empty house is to get an exterminator to permanently kill them as quickly as possible. You can also buy insecticide from DIY pest control online. Just follow the directions to spray the insecticide.

Here is what we use to get rid of bed bugs in a vacant home.

Best Insecticide

Temprid FX

Temprid bed bugs
  • Quick knockdown
  • Long-lasting control
  • Broad-spectrum insecticide
  • Kills bed bugs
  • Concentrate spray
Best IGR

Gentrol Aerosol

  • Disrupts development
  • Growth regulator
  • Stop reproduction
  • Hard-to-reach areas
  • Works on bed bugs

Can Bed Bugs Lie Dormant for Years?

As we said previously bed bugs can also go into a hibernation-like state, just like bears. When they are in a dormant state, bedbugs are not active and thus do not feed.

They can stay dormant for up to 6 months or longer without feeding and if the temperature in the surroundings drops below 550 F, they may stay dormant for up to a year.

What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your empty house?

If you have already moved into a home, condo, or apartment and the place has bedbugs, follow these simple steps to eliminate the bed bug infestation problem forever:

Find Infested Areas

Bed bugs tend to multiply very quickly, and therefore it is important to identify and find them before they reproduce.

So check the seams of your bedding, cracks, between the cushions, seams of the carpets, behind picture frames, in drawers, and the furniture joints.

I recommend using a flashlight to find bed bugs.

Contain the Bed Bugs

After you have isolated the infested area, you need to contain them and prevent the spread. You can suck up the bugs using a vacuum cleaner.

Note that this method will only pick up active and live bugs, and will leave behind the eggs, which may hatch and spread again.

Kill the Bugs with DIY Insecticide

If you don’t want to get an exterminator, you can kill the bed bugs using pesticides from a DIY pest control store online.

We recommend products that we have used to get rid of bed bugs in houses we have owned as rentals or homes we flipped.

Hire an Exterminator

But if you don’t want to go through all these troubles, you can just call a professional exterminator to get rid of bed bugs.

Use a Washer and Dryer

Collect infested clothing or bedding and wash them in extremely hot water for up to 30 minutes.  Dry the clothing in the dryer on the highest heat setting for more than 60 minutes.


Bed bugs can live in an empty house or apartment for about 1 year or more depending on the conditions. Before you move in make sure you check old furniture or the baseboards and trim for bed bug poop or an actual bed bug.

If you find bed bugs in the home or apartment have the owner or landlord spray the home to eradicate them before moving in or finding a different home.

If you move in and find the bugs after you are already in the home then use our DIY solution or call an exterminator. There you have it the answer to how long can bed bugs live in an empty house.

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