Fall is a beautiful time of year. The weather starts to cool off, the leaves begin to change, and all of a sudden, it’s sweater season. Pumpkin spice drinks start appearing everywhere, and perhaps best of all, the bugs that have been out all summer start to disappear. Does this mean you don’t have to worry about bed bugs once fall rolls around?
Where do the Bugs Go?
Where do bugs go when they start to disappear in the fall? The answer to that question depends on the species of bug. Some bugs migrate south to warmer temperatures, just like birds. Others, such as wasps and certain types of beetles, find shelter and hibernate like bears. This is why you may notice more bugs in your home in the fall- they’re trying to get inside so that they can hibernate safely. Some bugs, such as mosquitoes, die when the colder temperatures hit.
What Happens to the Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are hardy bugs and can survive most chilly temperatures. The cold will kill bed bugs if they are exposed to temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit for several days, but if they are already in your home, they’re perfectly content to stay there in the warmth. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are at a greater risk for an infestation during the winter months. Actually, you are at a greater risk during the summer.
Bed Bug Weather
Peak season for bed bug activity is between April and November. This is because bed bugs love the warmth. Though high temperatures such as 140-150 degrees for prolonged periods of time will kill them, they thrive in warm weather. They are most active in the summertime, partly due to the warm weather and partly due to the increased risk of taking taking them home as an unwanted souvenir from a family vacation from the hotel or airplane. Because it starts to get cold in the fall and winter, it can slow down the activity of bed bugs a bit and give you a slightly lower chance of having an infestation, but it doesn’t entirely stop infestations.
Do They Still Spread?
If bed bugs are less active during the winter, does that mean they won’t spread and you don’t have to worry about an infestation? The answer to this question is no. Bed bugs can still spread just like they can in the summer. As long as they’re in a sheltered, warm space, such as a house, car, or airplane, they’ll be able to live their normal lives. The risk factors in the winter are similar to the ones in the summer, as far as travel is concerned. Be extra cautious if you are visiting your family or friends for the holidays. You could pick up bed bugs from an airplane, from a hotel, or even from your family or friends’ homes.
How Do I Know if I Have Bed Bugs?
It’s always a good idea to check for signs of bed bugs every once in a while, regardless of the season, especially if you’ve gone on a vacation. These little pests may be seeking refuge from the cold in your home. Look for small black or red-tinged spots- these are bed bug fecal stains. Keep an eye out for actual bed bugs scurrying around, and if you wake up with small, itchy red welts, don’t ignore them. They may be bed bug bites. Check your home for signs of bed bugs after hosting family for holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas as well. A well-meaning family member may have bed bugs in their home and accidentally transport them to your house on their clothing, purse, or even in their car.
Can I Freeze Bed Bugs?
Don’t attempt to treat your home yourself! If you find bed bugs trying to shelter themselves from the cold, it may be tempting to throw your sheets in the freezer to kill them and call it a day. First off, your freezer may not be cold enough to do any damage- remember, they can survive temperatures above zero degrees Fahrenheit. Even if your freezer is cold enough, you’d have to leave your sheets in there for up to four days in order for the bugs to die.
How do I Get Rid of Them?
Bed Bug BBQ uses heat treatment to get rid of bed bugs. This bed bug extermination process gets rid of bed bugs in just one day, is safe for all types of homes and businesses, and won’t fill your home with chemicals! Contact Bed Bug BBQ today for a FREE quote and inspection at (216) 221-1227 or through our website! Check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.