Many people wrongly assume that they cannot get bed bugs during the winter time. However, this is not true. Here are two things that you need to know about how bed bugs respond to winter and what you can do to fight against bed bugs.
#1 Bed Bugs Thrive Indoors During The Winter
It is true that bed bugs have a hard time surviving outdoors during the winter time. This is because bed bugs enjoy when it is nice and warm; when the outside temperatures get too low, any bed bug that is stuck outside may be killed and their eggs will not survive freezing temperatures.
However, most modern homes are kept at a nice and cozy temperature during the winter and do not get nearly as cold as it does outside. This allows bed bugs to continue to thrive inside homes even when the temperatures outside get really cold. Most homes are still warm enough for bed bugs to move around and continue to lay eggs. Even if you think your house is a little on the chilly side, it is probably still warm enough for bed bugs, especially since bed bugs like to seek out the warmest areas of your home, such as inside of your bed, chairs and couches — places that are sure to be nice and cozy even if you turn down the thermostat.
#2 Thorough Cleaning Is The Best Way To Fight Bed Bugs
The best way to ensure that bed bugs do not get into your home is by keeping your home as clean as possible so that there are not conditions present for bed bugs to thrive. During the winter, make sure that you wash all the bedding in your house every week. This will reduce the number of dust mites in your bedding and reduce the food available to potential bed bugs. When you take your bedding off your bed, vacuum down your mattress as well. This will help further remove dust mites from your bed. At least once a season, use a steamer on your bed to kill any potential insects or bacteria lurking around it.
For other soft surfaces in your home, such as your couch or your chair, vacuum them every week as well to keep them clean. Wipe down all hard surfaces in your home with a wet rag each week as well. Doing this will help reduce the chances that your home will be appealing to bed bugs this winter.
Furthermore, if you have a humidifier, try to lower the humidity levels in your home and turn down your thermostat when you leave for the day. Making your home cooler and drier will make it a less appealing environment for bed bugs this winter.
For assistance with bed bugs, contact a pest control company like Ottowa Pest Removal.
If you’ve been battling pests not in your home but in your garden, you may have reached a tipping point where pesticides are starting to look like a good idea even if you’ve been trying to avoid their use. One tactic for controlling mites, aphids, and scale is to buy (or attract) and release ladybugs, but there are a few things you should know before actually buying a case of these winged garden saviors. They do a good job, but if you aren’t aware of these three considerations, you could end up making your situation worse.
While there are a few species in North America, two of the species stand out: Hippodamia convergens, also known as convergent ladybugs or lady beetles, and Harmonia axyridis, or the Asian ladybug. Buy only the convergent bugs because the Asian ladybugs can find their way into your home and become a pest themselves — not to mention, they bite humans and are considered invasive in many areas. If you try attracting ladybugs instead of buying them, assuming you live in an area not currently dealing with swarms of them, monitor the ladybugs you find. If they’re red and have distinct, separate white marks above the wings, they’re convergent. If they’re yellow or orange, and they have whitish blotches above the wings, they may be Asian beetles. If you start to attract a lot, spray the area (and douse the bugs) with warm, soapy water.
Supporting Your Ladybugs
So you’ve purchased or attracted the right species of ladybug; now it’s time to be a good host. Provide shelter and food for times when garden pests are few (Apartment Therapy suggests building a feeder laced with raisins); mist plants before releasing the bugs so that they have some water while they bug-hunt. Keep them cool; release them in the evening and not in the middle of a scorching day.
They’ll Leave Soon
Sadly, keeping ladybugs in your garden is a neverending project. Ladybugs you release will soon fly away, and those you attract may stick around for only a short time, too. If they do fly away, that’s kind of a good sign that they’ve eaten so many bugs that the food supply in your garden is now low. However, you’ll have to attract or release more ladybugs within a few days to prevent the garden pests from growing in number again. So you may have to work on this weekly or daily to ensure the ladybugs control the other garden pests.
If you have other questions about using ladybugs or have found yourself the unfortunate target of an infestation in your home, contact a pest control company, such as pest control by Peninsula Pest Control.