Bed bugs can go without feeding for up to 400 days, so they can survive in a mattress for up to a year or more, according to the University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Adult bed bugs have been shown to survive prolonged low temperatures without feeding.
Bed bugs can survive for a long period of time in a mattress because the host provides warm temperatures that facilitate the development of the bed bugs, adds the University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Because a bed bug infestation is difficult to correct as a result of the life cycle of the bed bugs, taking preventative measures is important, states the Illinois Department of Health. A mattress cover or encasement prevents the bed bugs from migrating out of the mattress to feed, eventually killing them.