Does Suffocating Bed Bugs Work?

Over the years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a bed bug infested residence, and talked with customers that become extremely frustrated as they face the task of solving a bed bug problem. “What if there are bed bugs in my shoes? What if there are bed bugs in my radio? What if there are bed bugs in my lap top? What do I do?”

All legitimate questions, and the answers haven’t always been easily available. We know that bed bugs will crawl inside of electronics, because we routinely read examples of bed bugs being found there. We know that bed bugs can be found on shoes, especially as in many instances, bed bugs may have hitchhiked into a home on a person’s shoes. During our inspections, we’ve found bed bugs inside newspapers, magazines, on a person’s belt, on hats, on lap tops. You get the idea.

We know that a Zapp Bug heating chamber has been a fantastic option to address many of a household’s items that can’t be treated with pesticides. Heat kills bed bugs, there’s no question about that. But what if you don’t have access to a Zapp Bug? Is there another option, a less expensive option, that will also eliminate bed bugs on those items that can’t be chemically treated? Which is why we’ve asked the question:

Does suffocating bed bugs work?

Our experience has been that it does. We’ve placed hundreds of bed bugs in air-tight vials – including eggs – and have never seen one survive past 5 days. During these 5 days, we’re never opening the vials, and the vials are being maintained at room temperature.

Can suffocation be a practical, useful tool then? Absolutely – when supplemented with other remediation measures.

The items you’re going to want to deny air to are going to have to be on the small side: lap tops, cell phones, small electronics, shoes, toys, books, CD’s, paperwork, etc. You’re going to need large enough air-tight bags that stand no chance of air finding their way inside once sealed, and no chance of tearing. Examples we can point to, and items you can Google search, would be: jumbo slider zip bags, vacuum storage bags, and space bags. All of these bags can definitely be closed and sealed properly.

You’ll need to prepare to be without an essential item for a few days if suffocation is the way you wish to proceed. If being without an essential item is just not possible (ie. lap top, cell phone), then vacuuming that item can be sufficient. But for those items you can air-tight and let them sit undisturbed, then suffocation should be considered as another useful piece of ammunition in the fight against bed bugs.

If you have any question about this measure, or any other remediation measure, please call us anytime.