When talking about bed bugs, we often mention sealable plastic bags in terms of disposing of infested objects, as well as suffocating bed bugs. Having this in mind, it’s normal to think about killing them with plastic objects or sealing them to death.
Plastic isn’t the most durable material but when it comes to bed bugs, some methods that involve plastic are vastly used, meaning that this material is quite popular for this purpose.
Now, can bed bugs survive in plastic objects? Bed bugs can’t live in plastic, but they can survive there for an extended period. For example, if you seal the bed bugs in a plastic bag, they can’t feed, and because of that, they will eventually die.
In this article, we’re going to talk about bed bugs and plastic objects such as plastic bins, bags, and containers. We’ll also examine some of the most efficient methods of killing bed bugs by using plastic.
This is going to be an interesting read, so take a break and learn something new, even if you don’t have an infestation in your house.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Plastic Containers?
Plastic containers seem like a good idea for protection against bed bugs. You grab your belongings, put them inside, and you have fully protected your belongings from these suckers.
The issue with many plastic containers is that they don’t have an air-tight seal, e.g. they don’t have gaskets. This means that the plastic container will need to be wrapped in a plastic bag before it’s able to protect your stuff from bed bugs.
Bed bugs are very small and thanks to their flat bodies, they can find a way out even though the tiniest crack. This means that bed bugs can live in a plastic container if it has an opening big enough for them to pass through.
Aside from non-gasket plastic containers, we have some plastic containers with gaskets. This type of plastic containers gives us an air-tight seal thus removing the need for a plastic bag. However, this container is hard to find in a decent size, as many of them are very small.
If you manage to get your hands on one of these, we recommend using them if you need frequent access to the container.
Can Bed Bugs Climb Plastic Objects?
Since bed bugs don’t have sharp teeth and can’t burrow, some may think that these pests aren’t able to traverse various locations. But they are professional voyagers, the bed bugs can climb on to anything – including walls and plastic objects. So yes, bed bugs can climb plastic objects the same way they climb on your walls, legs of your bed or any other furniture in your house.
Due to the shape of their body, bed bugs can also take advantage of small nooks and crannies in your house. When it comes to traveling and traversing the environment, bed bugs are one of the most agile pests out there.
Can Bed Bugs Climb up Plastic Bins?
Bed bugs can climb up plastic bins but will NOT enter inside if your bin is properly secured. Plastic bins function in the same way as plastic containers. If your bin is secured and sealed tightly, bed bugs can’t get inside. On the contrary, if your lid isn’t placed properly, bed bugs will gladly intrude that space. A narrow gap with dimensions equal to a credit card is enough for bed bugs to pass through.
Plastic bins aren’t made to kill bed bugs but to protect your stuff from them by not allowing them to get inside. Although bed bugs can theoretically be suffocated inside, we don’t recommend doing it this way because it will be very hard to accomplish, in the best case.
Remember, bed bugs can survive for as long as one year without a single drop of blood. If your plastic bin isn’t secured properly, depending on the gap, you can use tape to secure it additionally. If the living conditions in your bin or even vacuum bag are perfect, bed bugs will stay there and will escape only to feed.
Be sure to always secure your bins tightly and check if there are tiny cracks there. These perfidious pests can outsmart us even now, after thousands of years living with them.
Can Bed Bugs Chew Through Plastic?
As we know, bed bugs don’t bite you. They have a tiny straw instead of a mouth, which they use to extract the blood from your body. Since they don’t have a mouth and no teeth, bed bugs can’t chew through anything, let alone plastic. This is good news because they can only pass through tiny holes and not directly through materials.
As long as you have everything sealed, bed bugs won’t have access. In the case of plastic bags or containers, you’ll only need to seal them and you’re good to go.
Can Bed Bugs Go Through a Plastic Mattress Cover?
Mattress covers are great for keeping bed bugs away from your mattress. While this solution may be cheaper, it has two purposes – to keep bed bugs away from the mattress and to kill already entrapped bed bugs. Bed bugs won’t be able to go through the mattress cover if it’s zipped properly.
Bed bugs on the outside can still walk across the plastic mattress cover but won’t get inside if it’s zipped. The same applies to bed bugs on the inside. They can move around the mattress but they won’t be able to get out unless you open up the plastic cover.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a plastic mattress cover or any other type. Bed bugs will climb on top of it easily. The only difference is that you might see them more clearly on the plastic cover. Still, chances of bed bugs piercing through a plastic mattress cover are zero.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Plastic Toys?
Yes, bed bugs can live in plastic toys but this rearly happens. The reason for this is that toys in your house are probably used by your children and as such, they’re not a good place for the bed bugs to hide or lay eggs. The only situation where bed bugs will surely infest your plastic toys is if they’re under your bed.
Everything that’s under your bed will most likely be infested, including toys. Toys that aren’t in use and are left unattended for a certain period will also be more prone to infestation. As long as toys aren’t used very often and are close to you or other members of your family, bed bugs are likely to live there.
They still need to feed and they’ll always choose a place closer to you unless we’re talking about big infestation that occupies the whole living place.
When it comes to toys, bed bugs prefer stuffed animals over plastic toys.
How Long Do Bed Bugs Live in a Plastic Bag?
Bed bugs can live up to one year in a plastic bag without eating. That’s pretty insane, considering that humans can’t survive without food and water for more than a week. Their lifespan inside a plastic bag also depends on the temperature.
Since very high temperatures can melt plastic bags, very cold temperatures seem more viable. In this case, their lifespan may be shortened if you decide to freeze the bag with bed bugs or something similar (click to read more about bed bugs and cold temperatures).
Do Bed Bugs Suffocate in Plastic Bags?
They need air to survive but bed bugs won’t die out of suffocation inside the plastic bags. They will die because of a lack of food. Even if you seal your plastic bag completely, chances are that some air is still left inside. This means that bed bugs won’t have any problem breathing and living normally, aside from not eating.
If a plastic beg is even slightly open, the air still gets inside and on top of that, it allows bed bugs to go out, which is a problem on its own.
Do Bed Bugs Like Plastic?
Bed bugs will always choose fabric over plastic but we can’t say that they hate it or love it. The fabric allows them to lay their eggs and keep them in place since it’s not as smooth as plastic. On the other side, plastic is usually flat and smooth, making it harder to keep the eggs in place.
Often, the fabric has tiny holes in it that allow bed bugs to hide, whereas plastic is almost always hole-free. That’s why bed bugs hide in your mattress, bedding or bed in general.
Is Plastic Protection Good for Preventing Bed Bugs?
Yes, plastic protection is more than good enough for preventing bed bugs. By plastic protection, we think about both plastic containers and plastic covers for your bed. The reason for this is that plastic is solid and is not susceptible to letting through some air, unlike clothes or fabric.
Clothes and fabric are loose and they let through a substantial amount of air, further extending the lifespan of bed bugs. Aside from that, it’s easy to see if there’s a crack in the plastic, unlike the materials we’ve mentioned.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Using Plastics – 5 Best Plastic Cover for Bed Bugs
Plastic Bed Covers for Bed Bugs
Heavy Duty PEVA Waterproof & Dustproof Covers
- Premium grade 100% new, non-recycled plastic highly durable to...
- Size(approx.): 4 sizes optional: 100 x 200 cm / 200 x 200CM / 200...
- Waterproof, moistureproof and dustproof furniture cover keep your...
- Suitable for cleaning, dirt covering, decoration and so on.
- 100% Risk Free Buy &Fast Delivery: We are confident with our...
If you want premium-grade covers for an affordable price, look no further than water and dustproof covers from Hersent. These covers are made of non-recycled plastic, which adds durability and decreases the chances of ripping and tearing.
The most important thing is that it’s very successful at keeping bed bugs out of your furniture, due to its dimensions of 118″ x 158″. These are plastic covers for bed, meaning that its dimensions are more than enough for two sofas or one big couch.
Plastic Couch Cover for Bed Bugs
1. Standard Sofa or Couch Storage Bag
No products found.
Those who have infested couch in their homes should not worry anymore because the storage bag from Zero Waste Moving is here to fix things. This is a completely USA-made product that aims to satisfy the needs of even the most demanding users.
We have a 3-millimeter thick, heavy-duty, no-hole plastic able to withstand all kinds of rips and tears. With its dimensions of 102 inches in length, 48 inches in height, and 36 inches in depth, it’s able to completely encase your couch, keeping it intact against bed bug attacks.
The manufacturer also offers a 5-year warranty.
2. STARTWO Furniture Cover Plastic Bag Plastic Couch Cover
- EXTRA THICK: 6 Mil Thick material that resists tears and protects...
- COVER LOVESEAT up to: 68”(Width) x 42”(Depth) x 42"(Height)....
- EASY to HANDLE. Simply place Sofa and Loveseat inside, then fold...
- PROTECT YOUR SOFA AND LOVESEAT. Protect your furniture from...
- O RISK PURCHASE : If you are not satisfied with our product,...
If you want a very, very thick plastic cover for your couch, STARTWO has a solution for you. Their most popular plastic couch cover is now here, boasting a jaw-dropping 0.24 inch thickness.
Not only will it resist rips and tears but also protect your couch from the bed bug avalanche. This plastic cover is made specifically for protection and not for decoration. That being said, it will fully protect your bed and will not tear when carrying or dragging your bed across the floor.
As for the couch coverage, this is something you don’t need to worry about. With its dimensions of 68x42x42 inches in width, depth, and height respectively, it will not only cover your couch but overlap. The manufacturer also offers product returns so if you’re not satisfied, you can do that in the first 30 days.
Plastic Mattress Cover to Kill Bed Bugs
1. Mattress Bags for Moving Queen
- EXTRA THICK BAG - 5-MIL commercial grade for moving and long term...
- DURABLE - 100% high quality plastic will make sure your matress...
- DIMENSIONS - QUEEN SIZE SPACE BAG - 60" x14" x 104" inches. Our...
- SEALABLE LEAKPROOF - The bag can be sealed tight at the end with...
- WARRANTY - 1 year manufacturer warranty on all production defects
Wrapping up your mattress is the best solution to protect it against bed bugs. Two products caught our attention here, one of them being mattress bags by MovingHost.
With its thickness of 0.19685 inches, it’s great for providing protection. Since it won’t rustle, it’s also great for using it as you sleep, not only for storage.
Dimension-wise, we have 60x14x104 inches, which is enough to pack one huge mattress and still overlap. Thanks to high-quality seals, this cover can keep out dust, moisture, and air.
2. TopSoon Mattress Bag for Storage
- This Mattress Bag is made with premium grade 100% new...
- Provides temporary protection for mattress storage, moving or...
- Waterproof Mattress Bag, protects the mattress or box spring from...
- Secure with packing tape for customized fit to keep out moisture
- Mattress Bag size 78" x 10" x 96" 1.5 Mil thick for multi-purpose...
Made of polyethylene, a storage bag from TopSoon represents a durable piece of plastic cover for your mattress. As its name implies, it’s great for moving, storage or disposal of your mattress and serves best as a momentary solution. Aside from its amazing durability, it’s also waterproof and ensures that no water enters your mattress.
It’s not as thick as some of the covers we’ve mentioned (1.5 millimeters) but with its dimensions of 78x10x96 inches it is the most affordable price on the list, it’s more than usable.
As we learned today, plastic can be of great use while fighting bed bugs. Although it’s not as efficient in killing them, it serves as great protection, especially in case of plastic covers.
Plastic covers can’t kill bed bugs directly but by entrapping them, it can lock down bed bugs thus preventing them to get in our out. Furthermore, when it comes to storage and disposal of your mattresses or beds, we suggest buying THICK plastic covers, as they offer the best protection.
If you have a severe bed bug infestation, it’s always smart to call the professionals. However, plastic bags and covers can also come in handy, at least when it comes to eliminating a good portion of the infestation.
Needless to say, that plastic is cheap these days, so it’s always good to have a couple of plastic covers in your vicinity.
List of Sources
Krueger L. 2000. Don’t get bitten by the resurgence of bed bugs. Pest Control 68: 58-64.
Jones Sc, Bryant JL. 2012. Ineffectiveness of over-the-counter total-release foggers against the bed bug (Heteroptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 105: 936-942.
Koehler PG, Pereira RM, Pfiester M, Hertz J. (July 2011). Bed bugs and blood-sucking conenose. EDIS. (26 April 2017)