Bed bugs can survive in cold temperatures, as long as they have the appropriate shelter. Cold temperatures do not kill them immediately, but over time, cold exposure will make them dormant and will eventually kill them. You can also avoid exposing your home to extreme cold by installing a heating system.
Keeping temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit is one of the most important ways to get rid of bed bugs. The temperature needs to remain consistent for three to four days for the bugs to die. However, most home freezers do not reach this low temperature. Therefore, you may need to put items in the freezer for a longer period of time.
Although bed bugs can survive in freezing temperatures, they do not normally live outside. When temperatures dip below freezing, they enter a state known as diapause. This allows them to conserve energy and stop developing until the temperatures are higher. However, this process is not necessary very often for bed bugs as they feed off of warm-blooded hosts.
A study conducted by Joelle F. Olson evaluated the freezing point of different stages of bed bugs to determine whether they were freeze-tolerant. She wanted to determine whether younger bed bugs would survive the cold better than older ones. While bed bugs are generally freeze-tolerant, they are not supercooled as well as some other insects.