Can Bed Bugs Survive In Water? (Answered!)

7 Min Read

Due to their inability to swim, bed bugs cannot survive in water. They are able to climb and jump, but not swim. Furthermore, they can float in water due to their small legs.

Bed bugs are really stubborn and are very hard to get rid of. Except for water, they can survive almost anywhere. Bed bugs can be killed under certain conditions. 

They can survive almost anywhere, but they can be eradicated. Is it possible to kill bed bugs economically? In order to permanently eliminate bed bugs, some precautions need to be taken after you kill them with water.

Can Bed Bugs Survive In Water: Getting Rid of Them

Bed bugs reside on the bed sheets, carpets, cracked walls and many other places inside our house.

This is why they get their name as Bed bugs. The difficulty in getting rid of them is that they cannot be easily killed once they start living. 

They can survive almost any condition, even cold water. They cannot swim on the surface of water because of their small legs. Instead, they float and floating on water can be dangerous as they can live up to seven days in water if they float. 

We can get rid of bed bugs if we drown them deep inside water, this will almost minimise their oxygen consumption and eventually cause them to die.

Due to their light weight, they are difficult to submerge deep underwater. Their weight cannot break the surface tension of water, causing them to float.

Ways To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Through Water:

In order to get rid of them, we can either freeze them or heat them with hot water. If we submerge our furniture’s lower areas in water in order to drown these pests, they will be unable to hide in our furniture, beds, or anywhere else.

The pests can be removed from our bedsheets, pillow cover or curtains by washing them with detergent and hot water.

As a result, water will have a lower surface tension. Bed bugs are forced to go down inside the water and will eventually die.  

Despite washing them, they still have a chance to survive. In precaution, you should use a dryer in order to get rid of any pest left.

Drying the clothes, curtains or bedsheets on highest temperature between 60 degrees will get them killed. Dry them for at least 30 minutes.

Precautions While Using Water To Kill Bed Bugs:

  • After killing bed bugs, it is important to seal the clothes, curtains or bedsheets with plastic bags for protection. We have to protect them from other bed bugs present in the house. This will prevent other bugs from entering recently washed clothes. 
  • Heat kills bed bugs when their body temperature reaches 115 degrees.
  • Bed bugs can survive even inside water for 24 hours in cold water.
  • Sometimes bed bugs can survive even after 24 hours so in this case it is important for bed bugs to get dried after they are washed.

 What Causes Bed Bugs To Survive In Water?

The bed bug can survive in water if certain conditions are met. If the water is at normal room temperature, they are most likely to survive more than a week as described earlier.

It is possible for them to survive while floating if they are not submerged in water. People might think that they have died if they are floating but that is because of their small legs that cannot swim. 

Other than that, they can survive like any other pest. There are few pests more powerful than bed bugs. This is one thing that makes them stubborn. 


Do Bed bugs drink water?

 Bed Bugs usually don’t rely on water. They don’t need to drink water as we humans do. They do need fluids to survive which they fill by night through blood.

Do Bed Bugs drown in water?

Bed Bugs do not drown in water themselves. They are extremely light weighted.

They don’t break the surface tension of water on their own unless there is some force applied to them. We can do that by putting detergent on water, it will break surface tension.

What immediately kills Bed Bugs?

Bed Bugs die immediately in the highest temperature like 100 degrees.

They cannot survive through heat; it can kill them. We can kill them in the fastest way by either submerging them in the hottest water or by steaming things that cannot be washed.

Will water kill a Bed Bug?

Yes, water can kill a bed bug unless it is not cold water or room temperature. It typically needs to be very hot in order to kill them. They need to be drowned in the water to do so.

Can Bed Bugs survive in the washing machine?

Although bed bugs are most likely to get killed from washing machines if hot water is used.

Still, it is possible for them to survive. You can kill them by drying them at high temperatures. It will kill them and chances of them to survive will become minimum to zero.


While Bed bugs are one of the most stubborn pests in the world, they cannot survive in hot water.

 They will die in a short time as there will be no oxygen supply for them. Unlike most other pests that can survive in water. Since they have small legs, they cannot swim in water. In the absence of submersion, they can survive for up to seven days on water.

 The eggs of these pests can even survive inside the submerged water for more than 24 hours. Heat can kill them immediately as they die when their temperature reaches 115 degrees.

Share this Article