Will Bed Bugs Crawl Back After Being Drowned?


Although bed bugs are excellent crawlers and hitchhikers, which is why they can spread without trouble, they are incapable of jumping like ticks and fleas. They are also unable to swim, which makes them powerless in water.

And now you may be wondering if you can drown bed bugs to get rid of an infestation all-naturally.

Because bed bugs are just like many living creatures that cannot breathe in the water, they can die from drowning. They will have to be in the water for not less than 24 hours to make sure that they will wind up exhausted and suffocated. However, there are better alternatives when trying to get rid of bed bugs.

Provided that you have all the time in the world to hunt down and place in water every single bed bug in your room, feel free to deal with the ongoing infestation by drowning the culprits.

But if you are like most people who are too busy to rely on this approach, it is a much better idea to opt for a different DIY remedy for bed bugs.

Below you will come across some important matters about drowning bed bugs to get rid of them.

Pro-tip: Exposing bed bugs to high temperatures (over 120°F) kills them in a matter of minutes. If you want to get rid of bed bugs without calling an exterminator check the best steam cleaners that produce over 300°F on Amazon now.

Here’s Why Bed Bugs Can Die From Drowning

Unlike human beings and many other living creatures, bed bugs do not have lungsOpens in a new tab.. This does not mean, however, that they no longer breathe. They still do, and it’s for this reason exactly why they can die when placed in water.

Since bed bugs do not have lungs, they do not have nostrils either. They supply their cells and organs with oxygen via their spiracles, which are pores lining the undersides of their tiny bodies.

When dunked in water, naturally, bed bugs won’t be able to absorb oxygen. Needless to say, they will die eventually. Experts say that, in a laboratory setting, bed bugs can survive in water for almost 24 hours.

That is why if you are planning to kill them, you should keep them trapped in water for an entire day.

It’s because of this why taking a shower is not enough to kill bed bugs. If you are in a hotel and you suspect that you are sharing the room with bed bugs, showering won’t cut it.

You may also ask the front desk for additional bottles of shampoo and shower gel all you like, but still, those bed bugs won’t die from drowning. The best thing that you can do is catch a bed bug or two, place in a Ziploc bag, and let the front desk see the evidence.

You can choose between being transferred to a room on a different floor, or ask for a full refund and transfer to another hotel that’s free of bed bugs.

Smarter Alternatives to Drowning Them in Water

Drowning bed bugs in water requires a lot of effort. To attain success, you will have to find every bed bug in the infested room and dump them in water, too.

What’s more, you will have to see to it that they will remain in water for not less than 24 hours to make sure that they will die and won’t be able to start an infestation all over again.

The good news is that there are many alternatives to drowning bed bugs in water!

Rubbing alcohol is something that can kill bed bugs on contact. It is so effective against bed bugs that it can also kill their eggs. All you have to do is spray rubbing alcohol directly on bed bugs and bed bug eggs that you can spot.

However, always keep in mind that rubbing alcohol is a highly flammable substance. If it comes into contact with an open flame, it’s going to combust! Remember two things to keep your house from burning down.

First, spray only small amounts of rubbing alcohol. Second, make sure that there is no open flame nearby.

Aside from alcohol, you may also use certain essential oils. Many of them are toxic to bed bugs, such as:

  • Lavender
  • Neem
  • Tea tree
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Thyme
  • Citronella

However, essential oils won’t kill bed bugs right away. This is why you will have to spray bed bugs and their eggs with your choice of essential oils for several days until you see results.

And by the way, some essential oils are flammable just like rubbing alcohol. Be careful when using any of them.

Bed Bug Interceptors: Another Cheaper Alternative

There is a cheap and simple device that you may use for dealing with a bed bug infestation without using commercially available insecticides which can wreak havoc on the health, or getting in touch with professional exterminators which can leave a gigantic hole in your pocket.

It’s called a bed bug interceptorOpens in a new tab..

Made of plastic that has to be filled with water, a bed bug interceptor works based on the principle that drowning bed bugs in water for a while can kill them.

A bed bug interceptor may have a very simple design alright, but it works wonderfully nonetheless. It resembles a bowl or a cup large enough to accommodate the leg of your bed, which means that you will have to get your hands on a total of four bed bug interceptors to get the desired results.

The product has sides that are too vertical and slippery, making it impossible for bed bugs to climb up. Because of this, those bloodsucking creatures will end up dead instead of winding up on the bed to bite you.

Especially if you suspect that your hotel has bed bugs, you may use bed bug interceptors instead of carrying out other methods that could cause damage to some items in the room, which could lead to additional charges on your credit card bill insert link to What Do Hotels Charge for Incidentals.

But before you start to order bed bug interceptors online, there is one thing that you should know about them: They are pretty much useless if there are already bed bugs on your bed!

Just Before You Attempt to Drown Bed Bugs

Water won’t kill bed bugs on contact. That’s because, unlike insecticides, water does not contain chemicals that are toxic to bed bugs.

Additionally, water does not have a residual action that insecticides do. Once the water evaporates, it doesn’t leave behind anything that can kill bed bugs.

For bed bugs to die from drowning, you will have to submerge them in water for a long time. It is a good idea to keep them there for at least 24 hours to make sure that they’re dead.

Bed bugs may also die of exhaustion and suffocation if they stay on the surface of the water long enough, without being able to escape. This is when the use of bed bug interceptors comes in. Designed to keep bed bugs from escaping, they ensure that the trapped creepy crawlers will die of drowning in water after some time.

If you want to use water in your quest to put an end to your bed bug infestation, go for hot water. You can splash hot water on them, or wash in hot water infested items that are launderable. It works 100% each time.

Here’s a faster solution: Spray bed bugs with rubbing alcohol, which can kill them on contact.

Related Questions

Can I kill bed bugs with cold water instead of hot water?

Just like high temperatures, bed bugs cannot tolerate low temperatures. Experts say that bed bugs will die when exposed to below zero temperatures for a few days. Cold water is not cold enough to freeze bed bugs to death but drowning in it can kill them.

How can I kill bed bugs in items that are not washable in hot water?

These days, there are laundry detergents formulated to kill bed bugs in clothes, bed sheets, curtains, and other launderable items that may be infested with bed bugs. These laundry detergents can produce results even if they are used with room temperature water.

Photo credit: ©canva.com/Isabella

Wyatt Welch

Hi, I am Wyatt, and I live in North Carolina. I've been working as a Pest Control Technician and now I am enjoying my retirement. This blog is a perfect outlet for me to share my knowledge in the field and I'd be happy to help if you have any questions.

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