Tag Archives: bed bugs

Bed Bugs: Can they Freeze?

We’re sure feeling the chill this winter, but are bed bugs? Bed bugs are surprisingly hardy insects and can survive some pretty surprising conditions.

How do bed bugs handle the cold?

Bed bugs can certainly survive through winter and definitely have some tolerance to the cold. Even though it’s cold outside, our homes remain warm havens for bed bugs. Simply turning off your heater won’t do either; it’ll take much more extreme temperatures than what a typical home without heat will register at, to eliminate them.

Fact: To survive in cold environments, bed bugs use “freeze-intolerant” methods, such as being able to lower the freezing point of their bodily fluids.

So at what temperature will bed bugs freeze and die?

In a study done it was found that bed bugs freeze when exposed to 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 80 hours eliminated 100% of the bed bugs. It’s the combination of temperature and time that ensures their demise, so, for instance, at a temperature of 0 (zero) degrees Fahrenheit it would take about 4 days to freeze a bed bug.

If you are in need of professional assistance with a bed bug issue, give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net


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Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home After the Holidays

20977855 - bedbug  cimex lectularius  isolated on white backgroundIf you’re planning a getaway of any sort, best guess is that you’ll want to avoid bringing bed bugs home after the holidays.

Bed bugs specialize in holiday travel; they are sneaky hitchhikers who travel home easily in your luggage and personal belongings. Following the tips below can reduce your chance for bringing bed bugs back from your holiday vacation.

  • If you’re checking in somewhere, the first thing you’ll want to do is to put your luggage in the bathroom tub or elevated on a rack away from the bed and wall.
  • Next, pull back the bed sheets and closely inspect the mattresses (if you packed a flashlight, it will come in handy here), pay special attention to the crevices. You can also check surrounding areas such as the bed’s headboard and nearby couches and furniture. You are looking for tiny black dots, blood stains and for actual bed bugs, dead or alive.
  • If you do find any evidence of bed bugs, request a room change that is not adjacent to or near your current room. Make sure to inspect the new room as you did the first.
  • Perform an outside inspection of your luggage upon returning home. For an extra ounce of protection, you can vacuum out your suitcases. Lastly, as an added safety measure, wash your clothing items in hot water and place dryer-safe clothing items in the dryer for 15 minutes or more on the highest setting.

All of us at Safeway Pest Management wish you a happy and pest-free holiday season!

If you’re in need of professional assistance with a pest issue, Give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Bed Bug Peace of Mind for Sale-Products That We Offer and Travel Tips

Bedbug magnify44032861_sIt’s a worrisome question we all must ponder these days when we decide to travel, will we bring home bed bugs with us? When armed with knowledge and backed with some prevention aids, we can travel and return home more at ease.

Remember When Traveling:

  • If you’re checking in a hotel or motel, put your luggage in the bathroom tub or elevated on a rack away from the bed and wall and closely inspect mattresses, paying special attention to crevices. Also inspect the headboard, sofa and chairs.
  • If bed bugs are found in your room, request a new room, but not a room that is adjacent or directly above or below the room you were originally booked. Bed bug infestations can spread to rooms closest to the infested room of origin.
  • Perform a thorough outside inspection of your luggage upon returning home. Unpack outside of your home and as an extra dose of prevention, vacuum out your suitcase(s).
  • Launder all clothing in hot water. Lastly, as an added safety measure, place dryer-safe clothing items in the dryer for 15 minutes or more on the highest setting.

We can offer some extra peace of mind in the form of products we offer for purchase.

Products for Purchase Include:

Bed Bug Monitors– Offering a couple choice in brands of bed bug monitors for early detection and monitoring.

Mattress Covers and Encasements-Available in multiple sizes.

Large Bed Bug Monitoring Units for Property Management Companies

It is important to note that while monitoring tools and methods have certainly improved; no tool exists that is 100% reliable in detecting bed bugs. If you believe you may have a bed bug problem, we recommend an inspection be performed by one of our licensed technicians or by our certified bed bug dog, Pepper.

If you’re in need of these products, an inspection or would like service options for bed bugs, give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800  Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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How Do I Know if I Have Bed Bugs?

16053289 - illustration of the bed bug life cycle on a white background

illustration of the bed bug life cycle by blueringmedia/123rf.com 


  1. Seeing Adult Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny, but can be seen by the naked eye, but spotted easier by using a flashlight and magnifying glass.

Look for:  ¼” flat, rusty brown colored bugs that resemble an apple seed. After feeding, engorged bed bugs are more elongated and are a dark-purplish color.

  1. Fecal Stains

After feeding on a human, bed bugs will defecate and leave behind stains.

Look for: Brown stains on sheets that appear similar to a stain a felt tip marker would leave behind. These stains may also be found on pillow cases or on the mattress itself.

  1. Blood/Reddish Stains

When bed bugs become engorged after feeding they leave behind blood spots on the sheets or mattresses. Bed bugs can also get crushed when you roll over them while they’re feeding.

Look for: Reddish stains on your sheets. Stains may also be found on pillowcases and your pajamas.

  1. Case Skins

When juvenile bed bugs grow, they shed their skin a total of 5 times before reaching adulthood.

Look for:  Lighter colored empty bed bug shells.

  1. Eggs and Eggshells

During an active bed bug infestation, eggs and eggshells can be found.

Look for: Pearly white ovals (about 1mm long). Eggshells are similar in size and color but will be less shiny and somewhat flattened.

  1. The Nose Knows

Bed bugs emit a distinctive buggy smell, which comes from pheromones they emit. This smell may only be noticeable in larger infestations.

Smell for: A strong, musty odor.

  1. Red, Itchy Bites

Bed bugs feed on humans while sleeping and leave behind red welts.  Bed bug bite reactions differ from person to person.

Look for: Bed bug bites can range in look depending on how one reacts from the bite. Look for itchy red bumps or marks on skin. Marks may be in a cluster or line.

*Note: Bites alone are not proof that you have bed bugs. Bites and rashes can be caused by various other reasons.

When Inspecting for Bed Bugs…

Bed bugs can be found in various places. Search around the bed, check seams, tags, box spring and in cracks of the bed frame and headboard.

Bed bugs can also be found in seams of couches and chairs, in curtains, in dressers, under wall hangings and in appliances.

Note: A less-cluttered living space makes for an easier inspection and treatment area if bed bugs are found.

Professional Inspection

Early detection is important. A professional inspection by a licensed and trained pest specialist can give you immediate answers.

Our staff (and our bed bug dog, Pepper) are trained to inspect for signs of a bed bug infestation. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or toll free 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.   

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Winter: To Pro Pest Manage or Not


The cold weather arrives and you begin to toss around the question:

“Do I really need professional pest management services in the winter?”

While we can’t answer that question for you, we can offer some information regarding winter pests and helpful tips to keep them at bay. Our friendly, knowledgeable advice and service options are only a phone call away, we are here to Give you Peace of Mind.

Unfortunately, not all pest problems occur during the warmer months. Insects such as bed bugs, cockroaches, various pantry invaders and fleas are year-round problems for many homeowners. Rodents, such as rats and mice, are also prevalent during the colder months and in search of warm harborages.

The best way to protect from pests such as these ever entering your home is to use some smart, early prevention methods. When followed, the suggestions below can reduce the chances of a pest infestation in your home.

  • Keep moisture in check by sealing any leaks and covering any liquids.
  • Make a seasonal plan to seal up any openings where pests can get inside. Openings that offer warmth are inviting to winter pests.
  • Keep food in airtight containers. Clean up spills and keep your sink and dishes clean.
  • Take garbage out regularly and store it in a sealed outdoor container.
  • Be vigilant of bed bugs while traveling over the holidays. Pack a flashlight and keep your luggage in the hotel bathroom while checking the beds for tiny black dots that resemble pepper. Pay special attention to the bed corners and seams.
  • Keep your pest specialist handy for year round advice and for all-season pest prevention and management solutions.


The Staff at Safeway Pest Management wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a Pest-Free 2016!

The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your winter pest problem. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 in Muskego, 262-354-3444 in Oconomowoc or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.



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Bed Bug Misconceptions-Putting them to Rest

9555644-image-of-q-a-on-3d-blocks-isolated-on-a-white-backgroundYou may have hoped that a new season and a new year would bring a new lower number of bed bug infestations in Wisconsin, but unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. Many are seeking the help of a professional to eradicate their bed bug problem, and answer their bed bug questions.
There are many misconceptions regarding bed bugs, where they come from, why, and how to deal with them. This is due to the overwhelming amount of information readily available on the internet, some which may be incorrect.

Below are some common questions and misconceptions regarding bed bugs:

Q: How did I get bed bugs in my home? Is it because our mattresses are very old?
A: Most bed bug infestations start with a simple, unknown transaction. For instance, someone you know may be unaware that they have bed bugs at home and they are accidentally carried into your home while staying with you, or the apartment that you share a wall with has a bed bug infestation. Another possibility is that you took a trip and picked bed bugs up at a hotel you stayed at, or bed bugs came in on that furniture you bought at a rummage. You even could have picked bed bugs up during a trip to a movie theater.
Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers!
Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt though, nor are they more common to those at a lower poverty level; they are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. However, a thorough cleaning of an affected area, and reducing clutter can deprive bed bugs of some of their hiding places, slowing down, but not halting, an infestation.
If you are feeling uneasy about your mattresses/box springs, there are encasements that you can purchase to defend your mattress against bed bugs (although a mattress cover will not cure a current infestation in your home).
Q: I have bed bugs. Do I have to treat my pet?
A: Bed bugs will occasionally bite pets, and it is possible for a bed bug to hitchhike in a pet’s fur to get to reach a new and better suited infestation site , but bed bugs will always prefer a human over a pet.
There isn’t any need to treat a pet.

For more information, experienced treatment options, or for knowledgeable answers to your questions regarding bed bugs, call us at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800, or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net
For more information visit some of our past articles on bed bugs (below):

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Traveling Without Bed Bug Hitchhikers

In times past, trip planners probably didn’t have a Bed Bug checklist to go over as part of the trip itinerary, but these days it is a necessity.

According to a survey conducted by the NPMA (National Pest Management Association), 75% of pest professionals indicated that they have encountered infestations of Bed Bugs in hotels and motels.

Using the tips below, you can lessen the likelihood of hitchhiking Bed Bugs following you to your home.


  • Before unpacking your items, thoroughly inspect the entire room. Check behind sofas, chairs and behind headboards. You’re looking for anything from live, moving red/reddish-brown insects and their eggs to blood spots and fecal matter.
  • Check the beds. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners. Look for spotting or small stains.
  • If you find any signs of Bed Bugs, change establishment or request a new room at the current establishment. If you do need to change rooms, make sure you do not move to a room adjacent or directly above or below the suspected infestation. Bed Bugs can easily travel from room to room.
  • Consider packing your suitcases in protective plastic trash bags or covers during your stay to lessen the chance of Bed Bugs entering your belongings. Keeping your things in the bathroom, especially in the bathtub, will also lessen the chances of Bed Bugs entering them.
  • Keep all of your dirty laundry in a sealed bag during your stay.
  • Upon returning home, unpack and inspect your luggage before entering your home. Vacuum out suitcases, place clothing in protected bags and wash all garments in hot water before storing them back into your drawers or closets.


If you find that you have in fact brought home some Bed Bug hitchhikers, it is best to call a licensed pest management professional for help.

Safeway Pest Management is licensed and our technicians have extensive knowledge regarding Bed Bugs and the treatment and eradication of Bed Bugs. We also have our Bed Bug trained dog, Pepper, to inspect and sniff them out. We offer options in the treatment of Bed Bugs, including chemical and heat treatment.

Call our office at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit us online at www.safewaypest.net

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