Bedbugs less active in winter months?(7 posts)
So I haven't been bitten since about early November....is it possible that the bed bugs hibernate during the winter months and they will come out again when it gets warm?
I am moving soon and am debating on whether or not to take my couch. I haven't been bitten on it since September, but am afraid that if I move it with me, once the weather turns warm they will come alive again to bite me!
Pls help! Thanks so much!
If your couch is inside a heated building and not sitting outside, the bedbugs will not be deterred from finding food. Have you been using/sitting on the couch? Do you have it wrapped in plastic? If you are using the couch as per usual and have not been bitten (and the couch is inside, not outside...AND it's not wrapped up in plastic), then I would have to say the couch is clear and you can rest easy and take the couch when you move. (Although you may want to consider *how* to move it. For instance, are you are renting a moving van? Just because the couch is fine now doesn't mean it can't be reinfested in a van that was used to transport someone else's bedbug-infested furniture.)
Hope this helps.
Bed Bugs do not hibernate in that way that mammals such as bears do. If there is a source of food (i.e a human or animal) they will be active.
There are two possible scenarios to explain your situation:
- Your response to bites is influences by other factors which may be seasonal such as environmental conditions.
- Your responses are due to something other than bed bugs which is again a seasonal issue for you.
If you have not found any of the classic confirming signs:
- Live samples - difficult to find in low numbers as they tend to hide in the smallest of cracks and crevices.
- Faecal traces - easier to find and will always be present if bed bugs are the cause of the bites and considered easier to find than live samples.
- cast skins - as bed bugs have an incomplete metamorphic life cycle (they shed their skins and don't change appearance much other than size and colour) paper thin skins will be found if the population does not only consist of adults.
I would suggest that given that you talk about September which is now in the order of 6 months ago if you cant find these signs in the property around sleeping and sitting area you are unlikely to have bed bugs.
To confirm it I would recommend the following in no specific order:
- Inspection by an experience PCO who will not only know what to look for but should have a better understanding of where to look, they will suggest treatment options when they have confirmed the infestation.
- Inspection by a K9 scent detection unit, again the infestation MUST be visually confirmed prior to treatment starting.
- Use of passive monitoring to see the signs of bed bugs or to help isolate the bed from access.
- Use of active monitoring to see if you can capture and confirm via live samples.
To help help understand the process and need to confirm signs prior to treating NoBugsonme and I produced this document a few weeks ago:
If you research options based on what I have posted above you will not only understand how to tell if you have a problem but will also know what to look for in your next place to make sure you don't move into an infestation but will also be able to deal with the problem before you move.
I hope this helps.
Bed Bugs Limited
In accordance with the AUP of this site and the FTC I must declare that I have a vested interest in passive bed bug monitors as the inventor and patentor of this technology but the advice I have given above I feel is both fair, balanced and covers all the available options.
Wow, thanks for your help!
Louise--It has not been wrapped in plastic, nor placed outside. It's been in our apartment and has been steamed and sprayed twice. We've been sitting on it normally with no bites. I was going to move normally with Oz movers in nyc. Should I ask if they can shrink wrap the couch?
David--do you mean that in winter months, my body might just not react to bites?
When the exterminators came in July, they brought a dog which confirmed the scent near my bed. They sprayed and left me terrified. I had bites, but had not seen any. Then that night I did see a few and got super scared, so I started sleeping on my couch. I know now how dumb that was!
Also, can cast skin just be light brown flakes? Or are they usually in an exact shape of the bug?
How can I tell if a place is already infested? The clusters of inky black dots on the walls? I've also been using bedbug registry a LOT.
Thanks so much for your help! It really helps!
Yes if your bite response trigger has an environmental influence such as pollution then yes there may be times of the year where you appear to not respond. It is not that they don't bite, it is simply that you body requires the combination of bite + environmental conditions to react. They will however continue to leave faecal traces and cast skins if they are present.
If I read what you are saying that they scent detected but did not confirm visually then it may be a false +ve on the dog screen.
Cast skins always look like a paper thin version of a bed bug, they are NEVER flake like in the 14,500+ cases I have visited.
Although I agree with the concept of a bedbugregistry it is NEVER a substitute for looking yourself. The previous occupant may have been a non bite responder or did not wantt o disclose it due to an odd sense of shame. You MUST look yourself and examine for :
- Live samples
- Cast skins
- Faecal traces
To rely upon others to do this is plain daft as the aim of the excercise is to avoid them in the first place not follow the reports of others.
I just wanted to give you an update and thank you for all of your help and words of advice.
I moved with my couch, but after having it in my new apt. for a day or so, I noticed a red bump on my arm. It was small, but itchy, and went away pretty much the next day.
I decided just to get rid of the couch, to ease my paranoia. I've had nothing since!
Going back to what you said about environmental conditions making my body react to bites, I must say, I am not looking forward to another summer in NYC. I wonder if the gross, sticky, hot heat that comes here in July/August makes bedbugs more active and the bites even worse??
If my job in fashion weren't here, I'd move away in a heartbeat, all to better avoid these horrible bugs!!!
Also, yes, the exterminators were horrible. The dog smelled them in my room, and they sprayed and left. After scaring me into paying them 1200 dollars, they left me and my roommate there. Me, terrified, knowing a lot of horror stories about them, and my French roommate who thought they were comparable to head lice!
But after they left and I did a mass purging and cleaning, I saw one crawling on the bed. Then after a few nights on the couch, they had found me and spread.
That's my horror story! And also why I left Williamsburg, where every street I walked along had one or two mattress thrown out in front of the many bars/cafes. Ugh.
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