Why Bed Bug Activity May Increase With Cold Weather

November 17, 2021

Have you been holding off on turning the heat on? It’s okay if you have. In fact, you’re in good company if you call Maine, or New England for that matter, home. We’re a stubborn lot but even the most resilient Mainer will eventually cave and turn on the heat. The thing about cranking the furnace on though, is it can cause a strange phenomenon to occur related to bed bugs. 

bed bug crawling on a portland maine homeowners bed

What does turning on the heat have to do with bed bugs?

Generally speaking, when you think about bed bugs, it’s in relation to vacation or travel. Not turning on the heat. And while many Maine residents have brought bed bugs home with them after a getaway or business trip, it’s also quite common for these biting pests to fly under the radar until a later date (more on that in a minute).  In fact, it’s entirely possible to wake up to the realization that you have a bed bug infestation only when you turn the heat on in the fall. 

Still confused? You see, bed bugs like to hide. While infestations of these bugs are frequently found on mattresses, behind headboards and bedframes, and other hiding spots close to the bed, it is not uncommon for bed bugs to hide under carpets, behind walls, or even in baseboard heating.

Why bed bugs like baseboards

Baseboards are a great place for bed bugs who’ve enjoyed a blood meal to hide away. It leaves them out of sight and protected. That is until the furnace comes on and the intensity of the heat drives them out into the open. Bed bugs do not like extreme heat for the simple reason it can kill them. Understandable right? And while most homeowners keep their homes around 70 degrees, give or take a few degrees, and not the 113°F needed to exterminate them, it will make them less comfortable and apt to vacate the hiding spot in search of cooler shelter. 

Are bed bugs easy to miss?

If you’re asking yourself how does someone not notice bed bugs when they first infest, there could be a couple of reasons. Bed bugs can go a long time without eating, up to 400 days to be more precise. If bed bugs were introduced into your home, it’s possible they enjoyed a bloodmeal and then went into hiding.

Another reason people may not realize they have an infestation is that not everyone whose bitten by these bugs show any signs and/or they may attribute a bite or red mark to a different bug altogether. Additionally, it can take up a couple of weeks for a person to have a reaction to the bed bug bite - plenty of time for these pests to eat and disappear. 

What to do if you notice a sudden influx of small brown bugs in your home

If you’re concerned that your home is experiencing an infestation of bed bugs, the first recommendation we have is simple- do not attempt to treat this problem with DIY methods or products. In our experience (and we have a lot of it), DIY bed bug treatments fail – completely. In fact, not only do they fail, they can make the problem exponentially worse by causing bed bugs to spread to other parts of the home or even a neighboring unit. You may think you’ve achieved the goal of killing bed bugs but it’s a temporary respite. They will be back. 

For complete bed bug extermination, the best advice we have is to contact a professional pest control company that specializes in bed bug control. At Pine State Pest Solutions, we are Maine’s premier bed bug control pros and are ready to help you get rid of bed bugs in Saco, Portland, and Brunswick as well as throughout our multi-county service area

How Pine State Pest Solutions treats for bed bugs

The first step in resolving a bed bug infestation is to confirm that the pest(s) in question are bed bugs. We accomplish this by performing a thorough inspection, checking:

  • Mattresses
  • Box springs
  • Furniture
  • Baseboards
  • Outlets & switches
  • Electronics
  • Other areas where these bugs hide or where we suspect they might be

After the inspection is complete, we’ll go over our findings and, if bed bug activity is present, recommend a treatment option we think will be best for your situation. 

Bed bug heat treatments offered by our local Maine pest pros

At Pine State, we like to bring the heat to fight bed bugs. As we mentioned above, these bugs aren’t able to survive temperatures that exceed 113°F so by introducing and circulating heated air (not to exceed to 135°F) using our own specialized equipment for a period of time, we know we can exterminate adult bed bugs, eggs, and nymphs that are present.  For a double-whammy, before we release the heat into the infested space, we’ll treat with an application of residual chemical. 

After the heat treatment is completed, we’ll break down our equipment and get you on the books for a two-week follow-up. When we return for that visit, we’ll apply one more chemical application for good measure. 

Conventional bed bug treatments 

While heat is our preferred method of bed bug eradication, we do offer conventional bed bug treatments that are good for light infestations or as a preventative. This option includes steam and/or vacuum, installation of bed bug monitoring devices, application of chemical to kill bed bugs and unhatched eggs. 

A follow-up visit is scheduled to occur sometime in the two-weeks following the initial service and we’ll again use necessary products to ensure bed bugs are history. 

Guaranteed relief for bed bugs for qualifying properties

For property owners who qualify, Pine State Pest Solutions offers a 30-day bed bug guarantee that starts on the day we officially clear the property of bed bugs. Ask us for details when you reach out!

Don’t let the bed bugs bite, contact us today!

If you’re worried about bed bugs in your home or business, contact Pine State Pest Solutions today to schedule a professional bed bug inspection! 


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