Colder weather is a relief for allergy sufferers but will it keep bed bugs at away? If there is a source of food, bed bugs will stay active all year long. Bed bugs feed on blood and each time we crawl into bed it’s feeding time for them.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like & How Fast Do They Spread?
Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects that are quite small. Nymphs or juvenile bed bugs range from about the width of a quarter in length while adult bed bugs are closer to the width of two quarters. Adult bed bugs are approximately the size of a small apple seed. They are more active at night when the host is sleeping as they seek after warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. They are found in cracks and crevices, including seams in mattresses, sheets, furniture as well as behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. Female bed bugs are capable or laying one to five eggs each day and 200 to 500 over its lifetime. If conditions are ideal they can live up to 300 days. If you do the math, it’s scary!
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Seeing bugs that are about the size of small apple seeds could mean bed bugs. If you notice case skins from shedding or an offensive, musty odor it might be bedbugs. After feeding, bedbugs will go to their hiding spot where they will defecate. On porous surfaces, this will cause black and brown stains. On nonporous surfaces, it will appear as black to brown mounds. You’ll need to look for other signs along with possible bites. Red welts can be caused by other sources and resemble flea bites without a red spot in the center. They are painless at first and turn into itchy welts. Some might mistake them for mosquito bites so you need to find the actual bugs to know for sure.
Can Bed Bugs Survive Cold Weather in Winter?
Furniture is where bed bugs are typically found and these items are usually found indoors where it’s heated, making bed bugs undaunted by freezing temperatures. However, if exposed for long enough to freezing temperatures outside, it may kill them. Studies have been done showing bed bugs that were exposed to temperatures of 113°F will die if they receive constant exposure to that temperature for 90 minutes or more.
Bed Bug Prevention & Control
To prevent bed bugs, try not to buy used furniture if you can help it. If you do, make sure to do a thorough inspection to rule out the possibility of bed bugs being present. Check your luggage after traveling and wash your clothing when you return home with the hottest water permitted for your clothing. Pest control companies will perform an inspection first to make a positive identification. The next step is to get rid of the bugs and the eggs. Most times there will be repeated treatments to make sure they have been eliminated, followed by careful monitoring.
If bed bugs have hitched a ride into your home, they are extremely difficult to control without the help of experienced professionals. Bed bug removal is both timely and costly. If you need to eliminate any pest from your home, this is one that should definitely be left for the professionals to handle. The cold months will not kill bed bugs inside your warm home! Contact Dave’s Pest Control if you have a feeling you’re dealing with bed bugs.