Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs in Books?
Bed bugs are experts in the game of hide and seek. These bloodsuckers love dry and cool corners and can live for days or weeks without feeding. These critters can also hitch a ride in your luggage or clothes, which can turn your home into a potential bed bug breeding area. So, do not be surprised if you find bed bugs in retail facilities, schools and even libraries.
So, Do Bed Bugs Lay Their Eggs in Books?
Yes. Bed bugs can lay eggs in library books. Anyone can borrow library books, including those who are dealing with a bed bug infestation at home. Once they return the books, there is a possibility of these critters travelling in books.
One bed bug can lay up to 250 eggs in its lifetime. The eggs hatch within 6-10 days and the young nymphs start looking for a blood meal.
An adult bed bug can live for 2-4 months. There may be 3 or more generations of bed bugs every year. Bed bugs could feed once a day or before they moult.
Young nymphs can live without feeding for months. Adults and older nymphs can live up to a year without a blood meal.
The Extent of Damage Caused by Bed Bugs
Bed bugs cannot feed on books because they only feed on blood. However, it does not mean that the books are safe from any kind of damage.
Bed bug-infested areas have a telltale sign – blood spots. These are bed bug excrements that stain the infested area. If bed bugs have invaded your books, those stains will damage the books.
How Long Will They Stay in the Book?
Bed bugs can stay in books for a long time because they can survive for months without food. They usually go out to find a host, but they will go dormant if the conditions are not favourable for them. However, they cannot survive when the temperatures reach 118⁰F or drop below -13⁰F.
Can You Put Your Books in the Microwave to Kill Bed Bugs?
The microwave is not the best place to treat bed bug-infested books. It can reach a high temperature, which can damage the book. Books with a metallic material are a fire hazard. Overall, you shouldn't use a microwave to treat books that harbour bed bugs.
Can You Freeze Books to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs do not survive in freezing temperatures. It is deadly for them. Put the infested books in a zip lock bag and deep freeze it for a few hours. The zip lock bags prevent the books from being exposed to ice or water in the freezer. Take the books out of the zip lock bag and inspect them for live bugs. It is better if you freeze the books overnight, so the eggs will not have a chance of surviving.
How to Kill Bed Bugs Hiding in Books
Heat treatment is extremely effective in killing bed bugs, but it should be done properly. It is the go-to method for most pest control companies. They raise the temperature of the infested area using a portable heater. The bugs will eventually die because they cannot survive in extreme temperatures.
There are also portable bed bug heaters that you can now use on your own to heat-treat bed bugs that are infesting not only your books but other belongings as well. Temperatures reaching 48 °C or even more will kill bed bugs and even their eggs.
Paper is known to combust at temperature reaching 233 °C, which means that lower temperatures can still be safe for your books and not damage them. Since the use of a microwave is not advisable, the use of the oven is also not recommended.
The use of the right heat treatment equipment to get rid of the critters stuck in your book is more advisable than putting your books in the oven or microwave. Portable heaters like the ZappBug Oven 2 can be used for heat-treating your bed bug-infested belongings.
Bed bugs can live for a long time without feeding, but you should not give them a chance to recuperate. Isolate the bed bugs in your books to prevent them from accessing food. You can put the books in a zip lock bag and store them.
It is not the most ideal method because it takes a long time for the bugs to die. Bed bugs hibernate, so they will not die easily. However, isolating the books is much better than doing nothing at all. That way, the bed bugs will not be able to infest the other books.
Pesticide application is the most common way to deal with bed bugs, including those hiding in books. You can target the book’s spine where the critters might be hiding. After treating the books with a bed bug killer spray, make sure that you apply a residual spray to the bookshelves to prevent bed bugs from coming back and starting another infestation.Another option is by lining your bookshelves with diatomaceous earth. It is an effective powder that will target the nervous system of the bugs and kill them slowly but surely. You can use a powder applicator to reach hard to reach spaces and create a clean line of powder that will act as a barrier. This will prevent bed bugs from reinfesting the books or remaining bugs in the books from spreading.