How Long do Bed Bugs Live in a Plastic Bag – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2-6 months

Nobody quite likes to discover that they have a bug infestation. This becomes even truer when it comes to bed bugs. Bed bugs are perhaps one of the worst infestations that one could obtain. This is because bed bugs tend to live quite a long time while breeding quickly.

Bed bugs quickly become an issue, and removing them is quite difficult to do. This is because bed bugs can live quite a while without feeding, and are hard to locate and kill. Because of this, many people end up struggling to clear up the infestation.

How Long do Bed Bugs Live in a Plastic Bag

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live In A Plastic Bag?

Most people tend to place infested bedding and anything else possible in a plastic bag. How long a bed bug lives within this bag matters on a few different factors, most notably, air supply, last feeding date, and temperature. For instance, in different circumstances, a bed bug may live:

-In an airtight bag: Bed bugs which are placed in a plastic, vacuum sealed or otherwise airtight bag may live up to 18 months when all other conditions are optimal.

-In a bag, frozen: Bed bugs which are placed in a plastic, vacuum sealed or an otherwise airtight bag may live up to 2 months or less if frozen at temperatures below freezing, around the clock.

-In a bag, when the last feeding was long ago: It’s rather hard to pinpoint when a bed bug last fed. However, if they’re not reddish, and don’t look swollen, they may have fed a while ago. Bed bugs in a vacuum-sealed or airtight bag that hasn’t fed in some time will live for up to 6 months or so.

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In summary:

Airtight bag, frozenUp to 2 months or so
Airtight bag, starvingUp to 6 months or so

One may adjust the amount of time a bed bug will live in a plastic bag depending on temperature, how sealed the bag is, and when the bug last fed. Bed bugs are rather resilient, so times may vary depending on the individual infestation and issue.

Why Do Bed Bugs Live That Long?

Bed bugs are known for being extremely hard to rid of. This is because of how the bed bug is able to survive. Bed bugs are able to live for long amounts of time without feeding. Because of this, a bed bug may live up to 18 months in the right setting and right bag.

Bed bugs

Because bed bugs are able to live with little to no food and air, it makes killing them hard to do. Many people result to calling in professionals, applying chemicals and even heating infected bedding to extreme temperatures.

Bed bugs carry disease and are unpleasant to deal with. If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, it’s wise to search all bedding, clothing, and furniture for signs of bed bugs. If any bugs or evidence of bugs are found, be sure to call a professional as soon as possible to prevent further infestation.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. This is a very informative and well researched article, it’s good to know more about how to deal with bed bugs

  2. The information about how long bed bugs can live in a plastic bag is a bit frightening, but it is helpful to know

  3. The article is quite frightening, particularly the section on how long bed bugs can survive in a plastic bag

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