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Can Bed Bugs Survive in the Cold?

When homeowners learn that their house is infested with a pest as pervasive and invasive as bed bugs, they immediately start to think of ways to get rid of them. Of course, one of the best ways to do this is to determine what bed bugs like, and then apply the opposite treatment. Bed bugs, it is known, like warm bodies that they can feed off of. Although the bodies may not be able to be removed from the home, is it possible to remove the warmth? Many people will take bedding and other moveable items they believe are infested and place them in the freezer. So, can bed bugs survive the cold?

Optimal Temperature for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs often burrow themselves into small, warm places such as into the nooks and crannies of beds, couches, and other cozy places. They do this for many reasons. The first is that they are not easily found in these areas and so, they can continue to increase their population and come out only when it is time to feed. The second reason they like these places is because they are warm, usually about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the ideal temperature for bed bugs.

Cold Temperatures and Bed Bugs

Although bed bugs prefer temperatures that are fairly mild, they can survive cold temperatures for an extended period of time. To kill bed bugs below the freezing point, they usually must be exposed to the cold temperatures for approximately four days. An article in Yale University School of Public Health states that female bed bugs can better withstand cold temperatures than their male counterparts. 

Females will freeze at temperatures between -4 degrees Fahrenheit and -20 degrees Celsius. Female bed bugs will not die at this stage, but instead, freeze. Their egg production will also greatly slow down at any temperature under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as well. This could mean that even though freezing temperatures will not kill bed bugs right away, they may prevent an infestation from quickly becoming worse.

To treat bed bugs with cold treatments, they must be exposed to below freezing temperatures of at least -30 degrees Celsius, which is -22 degrees Fahrenheit. Bed bugs must be exposed to these temperatures for a period of three or four days in order for this cold to affect them. Most home freezers do not reach these temperatures and so, when placing bedding and other materials inside of them to kill bed bugs, the length of time these items are left in the freezer will need to be extended.

Bed Bugs and Hibernation

Like all insects, people tend to wonder if bed bugs hibernate in the winter and then show up again in the spring. These pests do not hibernate the same way bears do. Instead, they freeze their body liquid and enter a dormant state known as diapause. This is partial hibernation. Going into this state allows bed bugs to remain dormant and go without food for several months. Bed bugs typically enter this state at temperatures of approximately 61 degrees Fahrenheit. They will remain in this state until temperatures improve and allow them to function normally again. However, even in this state, being exposed to extreme cold is enough to kill bed bugs.

Bed Bugs and Winter Colors

Flannel is big in Missouri during the winter months and it turns out that bed bugs are not only attracted to cozy surroundings, they are also attracted to cozy colors. Flannel is primarily made up of red and black colors, two hues that bed bugs happen to love. Flannel is used not only in clothing, but also in blankets, bedding, and home decor. No one really knows why bed bugs are attracted to flannel, although it is thought that they allow bed bugs to hide better.

Contact Our Missouri Pest Control Specialists for Help With Your Bed Bugs

Bed bugs do not have a season in Missouri. Although they thrive in warm temperatures, they can survive extremely cold temperatures, if only for a short period of time. Due to the fact that bed bugs are so hearty, and so resistant to different temperatures, it is best to call a St. Charles pest control specialist when you have an infestation. At Amco Ranger, we know the bed bug remedies that can eradicate your infestation and keep it out for a long time. Call us today at (636) 223-5703 to schedule a free inspection and to learn more about our bed bug control methods.

What do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

Baby bed bugs are known as nymphs and if you see them, it means there is a very good chance that you have an infestation. Nymphs indicate that there is an infestation with females laying eggs. It also means that all of the adult bed bugs are feeding on human hosts, which is an annoyance and can make going to bed a little less comfortable. Due to this, it is crucial that all homeowners know how to identify nymphs that can indicate a much bigger problem.

The Appearance of Baby Bed Bugs

Nymphs are typically quite flat and no larger than a grain of rice. They are white and their shell is very soft, which makes them easy for homeowners to kill simply by pressing on them. Many people believe that baby bed bugs, or nymphs, are so small that they cannot be seen by the naked eye, but that is not true. However, because they are so small in appearance, they can be difficult to spot. Nymphs do not go through a metamorphosis like other insects and so, they look very similar to adult bed bugs. 

All bed bugs are flat, but there is an exception when they feed. After they eat, their abdomens expand because of the food they have just consumed. This, however, is not visible with the naked eye and requires a microscope to observe. As such, it is not a viable method of distinguishing nymphs from adult bed bugs.

The Size of Baby Bed Bugs

Although the term ‘nymphs’ refers to baby bed bugs that have just been born, all bed bugs go through five juvenile stages before they are adults. During the first two of these stages, baby bed bugs are considerably smaller than adults. Still, even during these stages, bed bugs will become bigger with each stage. They will be larger in the second stage than they were the first, and larger still in the third stage than they were in their second. During the third stage, a bed bug will be approximately half of the size it will be as an adult.

The Color of Baby Bed Bugs

When bed bugs first hatch, they are entirely white or off-white in color. Bed bug eggs are the same color, which is why some people confuse the two. Bed bug nymphs will remain this color until they begin to feed. 

After a bed bug feeds for the first time, it will have a round red spot in its abdomen. This is where they store the blood after they feed. Once they have digested this food, they will shed their skin and grow bigger. As nymphs begin to digest and grow, they will start to turn from white to brown. This is caused by the bed bugs using the nutrients from the blood that they eat from their host. As the bed bug babies grow into an adult bed bug, they will start to get browner and browner.

Adults are brown throughout their entire body. This is a result of feeding on a host on a regular basis. Once brown, bed bugs never return to their white color again.

Do Nymphs Crawl?

Anyone that has a bed bug infestation in their home may have seen them crawling around at some point. There is a good chance that when this happens, people are seeing adult bed bugs. 

Bed bugs in general, no matter their age, do not crawl very quickly. The first reason for this is that they simply do not need to crawl fast. Their main method of survival is to hide rather than run away. Bed bugs also do not have very long legs. Rather, they are quite short and stubby. As a result, bed bugs are unable to run very quickly. Bed bugs also rarely travel at full speed. They reserve this only for when they sense danger but even then, they cannot move very quickly. 

Baby bed bugs are even slower than adult bed bugs. Although they can crawl, they do not do so very often. Instead, they prefer to remain hidden rather than attempt to run away from a threat. They come out mainly at night, also to avoid running into any threats. 

Contact Our Missouri Bed Bug Specialists for Help with Your Infestation

It is important to be able to identify bed bugs during all stages of their life. This is the only way to determine if you have an infestation. If you believe your home is infested with bed bugs, call our St. Louis bed bug specialists at Amco Ranger. We will conduct a free inspection to determine the severity of the infestation and advise on the methods we use to get rid of it. Call us today at (636) 223-4804 and say good-bye to bed bugs tomorrow.

Can Bed Bugs Fly?

Bed bugs may seem like a pest problem that occurs only in seedy motels, but the truth is that these insects can be found even in your own bed. Bed bug infestations are on the rise, partly due to increased travel and a lack of awareness.

Bed bugs can be annoying. They feed on hosts—humans— at night. You may not even know you have them until you wake up with bite marks. These bites can cause itchiness and rashes. You may not be able to sleep well with all these bugs attacking you at night.

Bed bugs hide in box springs, mattresses and furniture. If you have an infestation, it can seem as though these pests are everywhere. But how do they travel from place to place?

How Bed Bugs Move

It may seem as though bed bugs fly, since they can travel so quickly. The truth is, they don’t have wings, so they can’t fly. They don’t even jump. They get from place to place simply by crawling. They have the ability to crawl very quickly, thanks to their six legs.

Bed bugs can travel long distances. They can easily traverse hallways, heating ducts, and laundry or mail chutes. They have been known to travel through apartment buildings with ease.

Bed bugs had wings at one time—many years ago. However, they have evolved since then. It was determined that they no longer needed wings. If they flew around, there was the risk of them being seen and killed. Now, they hide, living secretly in your house.

Because they do not fly, they live close to you. They stay in your bedding during the day. They can also hide in cracks in walls and floors. They then come out at night to feed on you. Bed bugs do not like pets as their hosts, so you don’t have to worry about finding them on your dog or cat. 

Bed bugs can get from place to place quickly because they can be easily transported. They go wherever humans go, so you can find them in your car, on the school bus, in a taxi or on a plane.

Bed bugs can latch onto your clothes and jackets. They can hide in your child’s books. They can hide in luggage and purses, so you need to be especially careful when traveling. If you stay in a hotel with bed bugs, you can easily bring them home. Bed bugs can also travel in soft items, such as blankets and towels. Be careful when buying used furniture, since you may bring home bed bugs as well.

Even those who are disabled can’t get away from bed bugs. These pests can hide in wheelchairs, prosthetics and other medical devices. These bugs are so small—about the size of an apple seed—so finding them and eliminating them is no easy task.

Do I Have Bed Bugs?

Do you think you might have bed bugs? Here are some signs to look for:

  • You see bugs. Bed bugs are reddish-brown and the size of an apple seed. They are about the width of a credit card.
  • You see evidence. You may see blood stains on your sheets. There may be droppings on your bed or on the floor. They sometimes shed their skins, so you may see shells.
  • Bites on your skin. Bed bugs tend to attack the arms and shoulders. These bites are red and itchy and can be found in a line pattern.
  • Strong smell. Bed bugs release pheromones when in large numbers. They have a musty odor that smells like wet towels. 

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

If you think you have bed bugs, you need to act quickly. They are hard to kill and can go one year without eating. Female bed bugs can lay eggs daily. Bed bugs tend to be resistant to over-the-counter chemicals, so killing them on your own can be impossible. 

A thorough inspection and treatment is needed to eliminate these pests for good. Bed bugs can come back, so regular maintenance may be needed. Contact a professional today so you can live and sleep in peace again.

Contact Amco Ranger Today

Bed bugs are annoying pests. While they can’t fly or even jump, they can still cause problems.

Don’t let bed bugs irritate your skin and ruin your sleep. Call Amco Ranger today and we can provide you with bed bug solutions in the Missouri area. Our professionals can help you get rid of bed bugs and other household pests for good. To schedule a free inspection, contact us today. Call or text (636) 224-6098 or fill out the online form.

Bed Bugs: How and Why are They in My Home?

Bed bugs are a nuisance, and notoriously difficult to get rid of. They also spread quickly and easily, leaving just about anyone susceptible to finding the critters in their home. Understanding these pests and how they live can help prevent them from getting into your home, and help you deal with an infestation should one occur.

How do You get Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are skilled hitchhikers. They are often transported by humans through belongings such as suitcases. They are also transported in purses, backpacks, and other items with soft surfaces. When bed bugs are disturbed, they will move to other areas. This can cause other areas, such as storage that contains clothing, more difficult to spot and treat. Bed bugs can also travel between different units in apartment buildings and hotels. 

What Causes Bed Bugs?

While bed bugs can find their way to just about anywhere, there are some factors that will put you more at risk for finding them in your home. These common causes of bed bugs are:

  • International travel
  • Changes to pest control management practices
  • Resistance to pesticide

How do You Know if You Have Bed Bugs?

It’s easiest to treat bed bugs if you can catch them early. Some common signs and symptoms that will alert you to a bed bug problem are:

  • Red, itchy bites
  • Uncomfortable nights, as that is when bed bugs feed
  • Blood stains that look like small rust spots on the bed
  • Oval brown exoskeletons left behind as bed bugs molt
  • Strong, unpleasant, musty odor

How to Prevent Bed Bugs?

Of course, the best method for dealing with bed bugs is to prevent them from entering your home at all. Some good ways to do that include:

  • Cover power outlets. Bed bugs hide in these to avoid extermination and can use them to travel to other areas of a home or building. 
  • Store clothing in vacuum-sealed bags. This is particularly important when traveling, as bed bugs are easily transported from hotels to clothing in suitcases. Doing this at home can also prevent a bed bug infestation.
  • Call a pest control service. When an infestation has already begun, a pest control service is the most effective way to eliminate it. However, these services can also take preventative measures to help protect your home.
  • Declutter. Clutter provides a good hiding spot for bed bugs. Remove all clutter from your home, particularly if it’s pushed up against walls. 
  • Cover your mattress and box spring. This is one of the best ways to prevent a bed bug infestation. 
  • Inspect used items. Bed bugs easily travel in clothing, furniture, and other items that people often purchase used. Before bringing anything into your home from someone else’s, inspect it thoroughly to ensure it does not house bed bugs.
  • Use your own blankets. When moving, movers often include blankets to help protect furniture. These blankets have been on several other pieces of furniture that could have contained bed bugs. Use your own blankets instead. 
  • Caulk. Cracks on the interior and exterior of a home allow bed bugs to travel relatively freely. Repair these cracks by caulking them, and seal bed bugs out.

How do Bed Bugs Spread?

Bed bugs live in soft, often upholstered areas such as bedding, couches, and clothing. Mature bed bugs and their eggs are often found in new and used furniture and clothing. Bed bugs can crawl and so, they can easily spread from one room of a home to another. They are also very adept at finding their way in between multiple units of a housing complex. Bed bugs are most commonly spread from boxes, suitcases, and other items that are taken from one place of accommodation or residence to another. 

How can You Detect Bed Bugs?

The first signs of bed bugs are either red, itchy bite marks on the body, or the rusty blood stains they leave behind on beds and other furniture. 

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are attracted to warm-blooded creatures. They need these hosts, which include humans, pets, and rodents, to feed from. Your breathing attracts bed bugs from the carbon dioxide you exhale. Your body temperature attracts bed bugs because you are generally the warmest thing in a room. According to this 2013 report, if you’re alive, you attract bed bugs.

A Missouri Pest Control Service can Help You Control Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are certainly no fun to deal with, and your home could easily become infested with them. To prevent bed bugs from entering your home, or to get rid of them if they already have, you need the help of an experienced pest control service in Missouri. At Amco Ranger, we have the tools and the knowledge necessary to eliminate bed bugs from your home once for good. Call us today at (636) 441-2847 to learn more about how we can protect your home.