Placing infested belongings outside in the cold temperatures of a Cleveland, OH winter are not always enough to kill bed bugs. In order to kill bed bugs by freezing, temperatures need to remain at 0 degrees F continuously for at least 4 days. Since temperatures fluctuate outdoors during winter, it might take two or more weeks for a bed bug to die under these conditions. Cold is not a recommended control method, although flash freezing with carbon dioxide is becoming popular with professionals.
Heat kills bed bugs. Bed bugs cannot survive temperatures above 120 degrees. Steam is produced when water reaches 212 degrees F. Using a steamer is similar to the flash freeze method. It provides near instant death to all life stages, adults, nymphs and eggs. The reported thermal death point is 113 degrees F. Raising the temperature of an entire room to 113 degrees F will kill all life stages of bed bugs after one hour of exposure.