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Bed Bugs in Winter: Are You At Risk?

 In Antworks Pest Control Portland, Bed Bugs

Antworks provides expert pest control services in Vancouver WA and Portland OR.All pests hibernate in winter, right? Wrong! When the freezing temperatures of winter hit the Pacific NW, we might be tempted to think that every creepy, crawly, and awful pest goes away for good. Unfortunately for human beings, not every pest can be so easily defeated! There are two factors that make a pest a risk in winter: where they live, and how they adapt to cold weather.

Here at Antworks, we want to give you the best information and services we can, so you can protect your home year-round. Read on to find out the answer to: Bed Bugs in Winter: Are You At Risk?

Why are Bed Bugs a Problem in Winter?

Bed bugs live indoors, and they adapt extremely well to cold temperatures, going into a mild state of hibernation. This is what makes them especially difficult to defeat. Winter in the Pacific NW involves long, rainy days: weeks where everyone huddles at home, sealing themselves–and pests!–inside of their homes. With extra blankets, sweatshirts, and heavy winter jackets floating around, bed bugs will have even more places to hide!

Bed Bugs Love Life Inside

Bed bugs feed on blood. They also love being warm. Bed bugs will do almost anything to get these two things. This can create a serious problem for humans! And because bed bugs are so tiny, it can be weeks before you know you even have bed bugs.

Cold Weather and Bed Bug Hibernation

You might think–I can fix my bed bug problem! I’ll just put all the furniture that’s infested outside, killing the bed bugs and solving my issue!

Not so fast. Bed bugs can survive cold temperatures! They have adapted to shut down in cold weather, going into an intense hibernation. It takes 88 hours and temperatures consistently under zero degrees to kill a bed bug–otherwise they hibernate and awaken again as soon as it’s warm enough. If you are using the cold to “kill” bed bugs, you might be making your issue even worse! The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to use chemical solutions, or intense heat.

Recommendations to Prevent Bed Bugs in Winter

As we’ve learned by now, bed bugs can be a serious problem in winter. This season of holidays can mean frequent traveling and lots of guests coming in and out. Here are our best tips and tricks for preventing bed bugs–especially during winter:

  • When traveling, keep suitcases off the floor and away from the walls.
  • After you come home from traveling or a night away, wash all clothes immediately. Dry on high heat. Inspect your suitcase, to make sure nothing hitched a ride on the way back!
  • Wash sheets and bedding frequently, on high temperatures (especially when drying). When you change a bed’s sheets, take a look in the creases or lining of the mattress for any signs of bed bugs.
  • Vacuum your couch, furniture, and any carpeting frequently.

For Bed Bugs in Winter, Call a Professional

Your home can be infested with bed bugs–even in the dead of winter! Don’t mess around with chemical sprays or DIY heat treatments. Call a professional exterminator as soon as possible, to beat these bugs before spring! At Antworks, we’re always here for you–call today to schedule a bed bug treatment!