Do Bed Bugs Go Away In the Winter?
Since a lot of the bugs that tend to bite and sting us during the summer also go away during the winter months, it’s perfectly normal to ask “do bed bugs go away in the winter?” Mosquitos, bees, and other types of bugs—including bed bugs—do tend to go into a type of hibernation mode when exposed to the cold… but that doesn’t necessarily mean they go away, especially if they’re able to escape the cold by living in your warm home.
Here’s all the information you need to know about bed bugs and what to do if you find them in your home.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on blood. They tend to make their homes in beds (hence their name) but can also in other small cracks and crevices in your home. While bed bugs don’t carry diseases, their bites can lead to skin rashes, allergic symptoms, blisters, or itchy welts on the skin.
Do Bed Bugs Go Away in the Winter?
The unfortunate answer here is “no.” Bed bugs do not just go away in the winter time.
Bugs hibernate in a different way than animals do. Rather than sleeping through the winter, most bugs and insects go into what’s called “diapause” which is a low-energy state, pausing their development until they are ready to become active again when the warm weather wakes them up. While a lot of annoying summer pests like gnats, flies, and mosquitoes tend to go away in the winter time due to the cold weather, bed bugs are entirely different.
In most cases, bed bugs thrive inside a home whether it’s cold or warm outside. In fact, they can be extremely active in the winter months, especially if you keep your home nice and warm to combat the cold. So if you notice bed bugs in your home, don’t wait for the cold outdoors to scare them away. You’ll need to call a pest control professional to get the issue resolved right away.
What Temperatures Do Bed Bugs Like?
Temperatures that bed bugs find most habitable tend to be around the same temperatures that people like. If you’re keeping your home at a comfortable, spring-like temperature, then the bed bugs will also thrive. They will only go into a state of inactivity—or diapause—if the conditions in the home become unpleasant.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
There are many ways bed bugs can spread, all without being affected by the outside temperatures. Bed bugs can easily climb onto your suitcase, jacket, or shoes while traveling through hotels, airports, or taxi cabs. Bed bugs can even lay their eggs in your items if you’ve traveled to a location with a bed bug infestation without knowing, then hatch when you’ve arrived back home.
Even if you leave your items in the cold when traveling, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe from bed bugs. It takes several days of very cold temperatures to kill bed bugs since they are more tolerant of cold then of heat.
If you believe you’ve transported bed bugs into your home, don’t wait to see if they die out before calling in professional help.