Winter seems to be a better time of the year for homeowners when it comes to pest control. Bugs and rodents are less likely to be around as they hibernate to stay safe from the freezing winds and heavy snow. But you are sadly mistaken if you believe you can ignore them until spring. In fact, you must be more watchful about some pests, specifically bed bugs, because they tend to frequent places where there is warmth, shelter, and food. Your home makes the best shelter for them, and you become an ideal food source as they feast on your blood.
Getting complacent about bed bugs means you may have a very itchy holiday, as they may actually be more active in winter. The risk of these pesky pests hiding in your bed runs high because of the heavy and multiple covers. You must surely think of how to get rid of bed bugs in the season. Ideally, you must have a prevention and control strategy in place and even opt for extermination if things seem beyond control. Here is a homeowner’s guide to keeping bed bugs at bay in winter.
Change your mindset
Start by changing your mindset because most homeowners overlook bed bugs in winter. While it is easy to believe you can enjoy a pest-free holiday season, the truth is very different. Your home becomes the favorite shelter and breeding place for these unwanted intruders in the cold season. They hide in warm areas they can find, under your mattresses and sheets, inside the furniture, and in every nook and corner. Expect them to come out after dark to feed on your blood when you are asleep. The worst part is that they multiply in the season, so you may encounter a full-blown infestation when spring arrives. Embrace the right mindset that pest control should be a year-round priority.
Eliminate clutter from your home
Clutter is perhaps the biggest risk factor for pest infestation. Bed bugs can easily hide and lay eggs under the unused stuff you never move. Invest in a fall decluttering project to purge your place of unnecessary stuff and minimize the hiding spaces for pests. Commit to a weekly cleanup job throughout the winter to keep bed bugs at bay. Remember to check the storage spaces and kitchen because these areas make safe havens for all pests, including bed bugs. As a bonus, you will have a clean living space that looks fresh and ready for the holiday season.
Clean your linens often
Winter means more linens and heavy covers on your bed, so bugs have a good chance to bury themselves deep within. Imagine dozens of them hiding under the sheets and biting you all night long. Cleaning your linens often is an ideal solution because these pesky pests are less likely to survive in them. Wash your linens, mattress covers, and pillows frequently. Your pajamas and even curtains should go into the washer more often. Also, use the dryer as the heat eliminates bugs and eggs.
Besides decluttering and cleaning your linen, regularly vacuuming your place is another bed bug control measure that works throughout the year. Although it may not solve the problem completely, it does reduce their population. Think beyond vacuuming the floor and deep clean your upholstery. Go the extra mile to clean the cracks and crevices because bugs can safely hide and lay eggs in them. An upholstered headboard might be a problem area, so go the extra mile to clean them.
Do not skimp on winter bed bug treatment
Most homeowners consider waiting for the season to change before calling experts for bed bug extermination. Also, they have some qualms about the bed bug treatment cost amid the holiday season when there is so much more to buy and spend on. But delaying bed bug extermination is the worst mistake you can make. You must call pros sooner than later when you spot the first signs of infestation. Every dollar you spend is worthwhile when it comes to the cost of their services. A professional job is far more cost-effective than a DIY job because it ensures lasting results. Moreover, you can save loads of time in the busy festive season by relying on experts.
Be watchful about holiday decor
As the holiday season arrives and you unpack the last year’s decor boxes, keep an eye on them. Bugs can hide in storage boxes, so you may have more of them once you deck up your home for the holidays. Likewise, check the stuff that comes from outside because the last thing you want to bring home is an infestation. Also, clean and vacuum the area around the Christmas tree and other decor items frequently to steer clear of hidden enemies. A little attention can save you from big trouble down the line.
Give attention while unpacking
Another reason for the risk of a winter infestation is holiday travel. You may end up bringing tons of bed bugs from a hotel room or a relative’s house. Paying more attention to your luggage while unpacking can help. Check the crevices for signs of these tiny insects. Be extra watchful if your luggage is of fabric. You may not spot live insects as they are nocturnal. But telltale signs like droppings or tiny blood stains show that they may be hiding inside your bags and suitcases. You can use the hose of a vacuum cleaner to reach the corners and crevices and get them out. Also, wash clothes, linens, and towels after returning from your vacation. Also, use the tumble dryer to dry them on high heat.
Bed bugs are an all-year problem, so homeowners should not confine the control measures to the warmer months. Winter bug control should be on your checklist, no matter how lazy you feel and how busy you are. Set aside a budget for bed bug extermination because you must get a service as soon as you see a bug. It is a small price for your sleep, health, and peace of mind.