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Winter’s Freezing Temperatures Didn’t Get Rid Of the Bugs, That’s Up to You

As the weather finally starts getting warmer, residents along the East Coast of the United States are starting to prepare for all kinds of pest infestations.

Unfortunately, after this year’s “Bomb Cyclone,” those infestation problems could already be going on tenfold. A cockroach can survive for seven days with its head cut off and hold its breath for 40 minutes, so it’s going to take a little more than some cold weather to kill them off. That brutally cold winter might have affected the majority of us, but certainly not cockroaches and other insects.

According to The New York Times, January’s freezing temperatures most likely didn’t do too much to get rid of cockroaches, bed bugs, termites, and other pests.

“I don’t expect this cold spell to affect bedbug populations in the coming months,” said Jeff White, an entomologist at BedBug Central. “Although it’s cold outside, it’s not cold inside.”

White adds that the Bomb Cyclone that struck the East Coast didn’t last nearly as long as it would have to in order to kill off swarms of insects. According to Mr. White, a homeowner would have to put bedbugs into the freezer for at least two weeks to ensure that the cold would kill them — and other pests could last even longer in those frigid temperatures.

“These bugs have been around longer than people, and they probably have gone through cold temperatures before,” added Dr. Thomas Mather, an entomologist at the University of Rhode Island who directs their TickEncounter Resource Center.

According to Clean Crawls, a popular spot for ants, termites, and other pests to invade is a home’s attic. Insects destroy attic insulation, which is essential for a home’s energy efficiency, as up to 40% of a structure’s energy loss can be attributed to poor air filtration. These pests gnaw their way through insulation materials and create hundreds of tiny tunnels. As they breed and multiply, their nests expand, causing even more damage to a home’s insulation and structure.

Additionally, attic insulation can be in jeopardy of being damaged by too much moisture, mold, and mildew at the hands of these pesky pests. Since attic conditions are ideal for mold and mildew growth, it will only continue to worsen as insects maneuver throughout the home.

Homeowners in all parts of the county are advised to consult with professional exterminators if an infestation is discovered. Waiting too long can result in severe property damage, expensive repair projects, and, since many of these insects can carry bacteria that cause diseases, potentially serious — even fatal — illnesses.

Here are some other insects and rodents that East Coast residents can expect to see this year creeping and crawling throughout a home:

  • Blacklegged deer ticks
  • Flies
  • Paper wasps
  • Mosquitoes
  • Termites
  • Brown marmorated stink bugs
  • German cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Fleas
  • House mice