Many people believe that bed bugs become inactive during the winter, much like fleas or mosquitoes. While extreme cold can kill bed bugs and their eggs, warm homes can keep them alive even during the harshest winter.
Bed bugs can survive in temperatures between 0 ̊F and 117 ̊F. Even at 0 ̊F, it can take up to four days for bed bugs to die.
Because bed bugs can survive such a wide range of temperatures, they can infest homes during any season. Constant vigilance is key to preventing a bed bug infestation during any time of the year.
Bed bugs, as their name suggests, typically hide in beds. Mattresses, bedding, pillows, and even bed frames can become infested with these blood-sucking pests.
These parasitic insects are so small, they can fit onto the head of a pin. This can make finding them a challenge. Bed bugs can squeeze between baseboards, into electronic appliances, and the cushions and upholstery in your home.
Bed bugs are nocturnal, coming out to feed late at night. During the day, they tend to hide in dark, small spaces. Searching for live adult bed bugs beneath your mattress, reddish stains around your bedding or little black inky dots on your furniture or clothing can all help you to find the source of an infestation.
There are several ways that bed bugs can find their way in your home. Some of the most common entry points include:
Purchasing a used mattress or bedding set can save you some money, but if you’re not careful, you could be inviting bed bugs into your home. Treating used furniture and bedding to high temperatures for an extended period can kill bed bugs before they take up residence in your home. Tossing your sheets and pillows into your dryer on high heat for an hour or so will kill nearly all adult bed bugs and their eggs.
Infested hotel rooms can also help bed bugs travel into your home. When traveling and staying in hotels, be sure to check beneath your hotel mattress for signs of bed bugs. These tiny creatures can sneak into your luggage or clothing and enter your home.
Those living in large apartment complexes may be at risk if their neighbors are suffering from bed bugs. Carpeting and ventilation provide excellent unseen pathways for bed bugs to travel between apartment units.
Avoiding bed bugs in winter is easier than you may think! Though bed bugs can withstand extreme temperatures, there are also several proven methods for preventing an infestation and destroying live adults and their eggs.
The best thing that you can do to avoid a bed bug infestation during winter is to keep your home clean. Vacuuming your carpets and floors every day can help suck up any errant bed bugs seeking to make your home theirs.
Also, power outlet covers can be an affordable, simple option. Bed bugs often hide inside of power outlets, and blocking access to these is an excellent step to preventing them from becoming a problem.
Relatives often come to visit during the holiday season, and they may unknowingly bring bed bugs with them. Sometimes, despite your best prevention techniques and methods, bed bugs still find their way into your home.
To avoid a heavy infestation and the resulting itchy bite marks, it may be best to contact professional pest control technicians. Combination treatments are the most effective way to prevent and eliminate bed bug infestations, and professionals have access to a variety of equipment and pesticides.
If you're a resident of the northern New Jersey area and you need expert pest control services, don't hesitate to contact us today!
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