In general, you should not vacate your home merely on account of having bed bugs. This is not a solution in and of itself. In the first place, you may have to leave your home vacant for a long, long time if your intention is to “starve” the bed bugs to death. The process could take months at the least, and in extreme cases might take as long as a year, and few of us can afford to pay rent in two places while we wait for one to become clear of bed bugs – or make a rent and mortgage payment both.
More importantly, however, you might have to leave your home forever if in order to “starve” the bed bugs if your home contains any alternate hosts that they can feed on, thriving even in your absence. Mice are a primary host that may serve this purpose, and you might not even realize that you do in fact have mice. In short, starving bed bugs of the blood they like to feed on is usually impractical, and often impossible.
Nor do bed bugs make a place so uninhabitable that it must be vacated immediately. Granted, they can make life in a home unpleasant – nobody likes to get bitten, after all. Unlike some insect infestations, however, bed bugs are not linked to any communicable diseases. They are not even classed as a creature with medical importance. So while bits are certainly not desirable, they are not a threat to health and welfare, either.
Habitation helps the cure
The best reason not to vacate your home during an infestation has to do with the biological life cycle of the bed bugs themselves. When humans are absent from a dwelling, the bed bugs may well become inactive, going into a dormant state in which they do not need food for a long time. This explains why it can be so hard to “starve” them out.
For elimination purposes, however, this dormant state is highly inconvenient. The chemicals that are designed to kill them will not work as well on dormant bugs, who may not come into contact with them the way active bed bugs would. It is far better to remain in your home so that the bed bugs continue to creep about in search of a host to feed from. This will bring them into contact with the very chemicals that will kill them.
Thinking of the neighbors
Another problem with vacating the premises is that in many cases it simply encourages the bed bugs to move next door. Duplexes, apartment buildings, and any dwellings that share walls, floors, or ceilings have this problem. There are two problems with sending the bugs to the neighbor’s. First, it is hardly fair to them. Second, and more to the point, they can simply spread back into your home once you return and become a potential blood host.
If you have bed bugs, stay and eradicate them. Vacating the dwelling rarely works to your advantage.