Do bed bugs hibernate in winter?

Bed bugs are nasty critters that can quickly infest your home if not dealt with immediately and thoroughly. You may think that these pests will freeze and die once winter comes. However, that isn’t entirely true. Bed bugs don’t hibernate. However, they can enter a dormant state called diapause if they get cold enough.

What causes dormancy?

Bed bugs don’t generate their own body heat. Therefore, they’re dependent on the specific temperature of their environment. If the temperature dips below 7 degrees Celsius, the bugs will slow down and may even go dormant.

While in a dormant state, bed bugs cannot breed or produce eggs and don’t need to eat. In temperature-controlled, warm structures, bed bugs can survive one to four months without a meal. They may survive a year or longer when the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius. However, as soon as a food source is reintroduced and if it’s warm enough, they’ll “wake up” and continue their life cycle. Therefore, making your home cold won’t kill these pests.

How to control and prevent bed bugs

Since bed bugs can be active any time of the year, it’s important to stay diligent about preventing an infestation. Here are a few tips from Health Canada:

  • Reduce the places bed bugs may hide by de-cluttering your home.
  • Carefully inspect used items and bedding before you bring them into your home.
  • If you suspect there are bed bugs in your home, look for the bugs, exoskeletons, and fecal stains in cracks and crevices such as baseboards, the corners of mattresses/box springs/bed frames, in and under sofas and chairs, the tops of curtains, behind wall decorations, etc.
  • If bed bugs are present, vacuum the furniture, under the furniture, and around the baseboards frequently and empty the vacuum contents outside.
  • Place infested fabric items into a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes and store in bags or containers.
  • Seal cracks and crevices between baseboards, in walls, ceilings, around windows, and door frames. Repair or remove peeling wallpaper.
  • Check any entry points on walls that are shared with neighbours and openings that allow access to the inside of the wall, such as spaces where pipes, wires and other utilities enter, and tighten loose electrical faceplates.

Moreover, be vigilant when going somewhere with high turnover of people sitting or sleeping.

If you’re already dealing with a bed bug infestation, don’t fight the problem alone. Treating bed bugs is a complex process that requires professional help. Poulin’s Pest Control offers bed bug treatments, including heat treatments to effectively rid your home of bed bugs. The heat treatment process uses electric heaters and powerful fans to raise the temperature of bed bug infested areas to bake the insects to death.

Bed bug treatments and control in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan

Poulin’s Pest Control can help you get rid of bed bugs once and for all. We’ll exterminate the pests so you can rest assured that your home or business remains free of bed bugs. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.

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