Can A Bed Bug Infestation Occur in Outdoor Furniture?

Posted by Jeremy Ecker on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

bed bug infestationIf you think a bed bug infestation can’t occur in outdoor furniture, think again.

It’s true that bed bugs can’t survive extreme heat or cold—you can kill them by freezing them or subjecting them to temperatures above 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Bed bugs also don’t like circulating air, so outside isn’t their preference.

But in most locations, it rarely gets hot or cold enough long enough to kill bed bugs in outdoor furniture. And bed bugs can nestle themselves into tight spaces within the furniture so well that they can mostly escape air flow, unless the outside furniture is in a particularly windy location.

Bed bugs also need blood sources to live, but they can go at least 40 days without blood, and some older-stage bed bugs can live longer than a year without feeding. So just because a chair, couch, love seat, or other piece of furniture has been outside for awhile—away from blood sources—doesn’t mean it’s free of bed bugs.

Be Careful of Outdoor Furniture

Realizing that bed bug infestations are possible in outdoor furniture, you can take several steps to prevent bed bugs from getting into your home—which is where they would most like to be.

1.    Don’t think you can simply set furniture outside to get rid of bed bugs. If you have extreme weather on your side, this can work, but it’s an unreliable method and bed bugs can adapt to most outside weather conditions.

2.    Inspect outdoor furniture that you have on patios, porches, decks, etc. If bed bugs establish themselves in a piece of your outdoor furniture, it won’t be long before you have a bed bug infestation in your home.

3.    Pay particular attention to any outdoor furniture that is an area where pets frequently are. Pets can also serve as hosts for bed bugs. Bed bugs can easily live in outdoor furniture while feeding on a nearby pet.

4.    Don’t pick up furniture that’s been thrown out. It’s a shame what some people throw away, but perhaps the reason a nice piece of furniture has been jettisoned is that it has bed bugs. If you can’t resist, be sure to go over the chair extensively to check for bed bugs.

Photo Credit: Wicker Furniture by SocialWicker