The short answer to this is – nowhere! Bed bugs are active year-round. They don’t hibernate, die off or migrate. Because these pests live primarily indoors, they can thrive throughout the cold winter months due to the sustainable heat found in our homes and a readily available food source (us!) throughout the season. In fact, bed bugs can even go several months without eating and still survive.
Bed bug populations can actually boom in the winter months for several reasons: increased holiday travel means more opportunities for them to hitch a ride to new places; college aged students are coming home for break bringing bed bugs with them; humans are spending more time indoors allowing the pests more opportunities to eat; and using thicker bedding and blankets in the winter allows them more coverage and opportunities to hide.
Bed bugs reproduce quickly and can become a problem overnight. They are great hiders and will get into places you wouldn’t even think of looking. They can survive a wide range of temperatures (even withstanding extreme cold for short periods of time) and are very difficult to get rid of.
Help keep your home bed bug free this winter with these bed bug prevention tips:
- Check for signs of bed bugs any time you travel or return home. Check headboards, box springs, mattresses, couches, chairs, curtains, picture frames, desks, and anywhere else you suspect bed bugs. This applies to hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and even homes of friends and family. If you find any signs of bed bugs, change rooms or facilities immediately.
- Use duffel bags vs suitcases because duffel bags can be washed and suitcases cannot. Regardless of what type of luggage you use, always inspect it carefully after you return home from travel. Leave them outdoors for the inspection before bringing them inside. Never store them under the bed or in the closet; instead keep them in the attic or the basement.
- Wash everything after traveling. After inspecting your luggage outdoors, put all your belongings directly into the washing machine. Undress in the doorway of your home and put those clothes in the washer, as well. Wash everything in hot water and dry on high heat.
- Vacuum often trying for at least once a week. After vacuuming, dispose of the contents immediately in a sealed plastic bag.
- Inspect anything new before bringing it into your home. This includes new and used furniture, appliances, and even clothing.
- Declutter your home, especially in bedrooms. Try and create a clutter free zone in an 8 foot radius around your bed.
- Call a professional to help with bed bug control. Bed bugs are incredibly difficult to get rid of. A professional pest control company can utilize the most up to date technology and treatment methods to help safely and effectively eliminate your bed bug problem.