Winter is a slow time for many wild critters and pests. From bees to deer, many potential property invaders take the colder months off to recoup as their food sources replenish. However, not all pests indulge in winter vacations. For instance, take the relentless bed bug. While these parasitic insects may peak during the fall, they rarely take time off. To better understand how bed bugs are spending their winter and what you can do to protect yourself, read on.
Do Bed Bugs Remain Active in Winter?
There are dozens of examples of biting insects that enter a hibernation-like state called diapause every winter. Flies, gnats, and mosquitoes all pause their development as temperatures drop. Yet the bed bug does not.
The primary reason for this is each insects’ respective home. The flying pests all live outside. Bed bugs, however, tend to tucker themselves into your home’s dark, warm crevices. This lets them avoid the falling temperatures and this is how they survive winter’s cold spells. Afterwards, they focus on eating and mating, and eat and mate, they will.
While the frigid weather may limit their willingness to hitch a ride outside, winter still provides an opportunity for bed bugs to spread. As college students go home or families visit other branches of relatives, bed bugs find their way into luggage or piles of dirty clothes and come along on the return trip.
Once home, bed bugs can take up residence in numerous places. They are attracted to tiny, dark holes where they can hide. You may find them behind curtains, in clothes drawers, or under loose wallpaper. It’s sometimes possible to spot adult insects or their pinhead-sized eggs, but their night-time bites serve as their more typical introduction.
Should You Still Protect Your Home During Winter?
The short answer is yes. Even as other pests hunker down to make it to spring, bed bugs are still active and spreading.
Before leaving for home from a dorm or hotel, inspect your luggage, including any exterior pockets, for signs of the creatures, such as small brown or red-brown stains. When you arrive back home, wash in warm water all the clothes that accompanied you on your trip.
Bed bugs crave hiding spaces, so you can make it more difficult for them to find suitable places to live by limiting clutter and sealing any potential cracks in your walls or flooring. Wash your bedding and curtains regularly, too.
How Can Truly Nolen Help?
Even with the highest standard of preventative measures, bed bugs can breach your perimeter and sniff out a safe spot to bide their time. Before you start saying goodbye to your clothes and furniture, call Truly Nolen of Cambridge. Our integrated pest management plan can help remedy the problem with limited hassle on your end.
When our technicians visit, they will inspect your home for signs of bed bugs. If they find evidence of the pests, they’ll begin to prep the area for treatment. This process includes removing bedding, linens, and window treatments for cleaning and bagging potential hiding spots like artwork or books for further inspection.
We use a high-pressure misting system that helps get our treatment materials into almost any crook and cranny of the room. We’ll also apply our treatment to upholstered furniture if needed.
To protect your home after we leave, you should use encasement systems for any mattresses, box springs, and couch or chair cushions. These systems help block bedbugs from finding a place to live in your furniture.
Ten days after treatment, the previously infested areas should be re-inspected to ensure the job is complete. While there’s no way to guarantee that bed bugs will never occur again, we can work with you on a seasonal treatment plan that keeps critters and pests at bay.
If you need bed bug removal in Cambridge, call our Truly Nolen team today. You can also schedule an inspection through our online form.