Look Out For Bed Bugs This Summer!
By Chris Williams on June 4, 2015.
The National Pest Management Association has just released the results of its 2015 bed bug survey of pest control companies. The Bugs Without Borders survey found (no surprise here) that bed bug infestations in the U.S. continue at a high level with 99.6% of surveyed companies having treated for bed bugs in the past year. That number has remained consistently high for the past five years. But 15 years ago, only 25% of companies had treated for bed bugs and this was mostly in homeless shelters, worker camps, military bases, and other places where people sleep crowded together.
Bed bugs are still a relatively new, old pest for the pest control industry. By that I mean that bed bugs have reappeared as a major pest only in the last 10 years or so. Your grandparents probably remember bed bugs from the old days. They were common pests until the 1940’s when the development of DDT helped, in part, in their demise. Since then, the U.S. had been relatively bed bug-free for about 50 years until a combination of circumstances allowed bed bugs to re-emerge as pests (see “I Thought We Had Gotten Rid of Bed Bugs…”).
You Won’t Believe Where They Found Bed Bugs!
The survey found that the top three places where professionals report treating for bed bugs are apartments/condominiums (95%), single-family homes (93%), and hotels/motels (75%). Bed bugs are also encountered in a wide range of public sites like offices, schools, retail stores, move theaters, and trains and buses. The survey respondents also reported finding bed bugs infesting some unusual sites: in a prosthetic leg, in a 911 Call Center, in a tow boat on the Ohio River, in a dance club, in a vent above a bathtub, and in a casket with a dead body!
Bed Bug Calls Increase in Summer Months
Two-thirds of the pest control companies surveyed said they receive more bed bug calls in summer. This may be because people travel more in summer months and bring bed bugs home from other sites, bed bugs are more active (= more noticeable) in warm weather, and bed bug reproduction rates and development speed up as temperatures increase. If you’re traveling this summer, take precautions to avoid encountering bed bugs. Check out these blogs:
- Holiday Travel? Worried About Bed Bugs?
- Bed Bug Prevention for Travelers
- Do I Really Have to Check My Hotel Room for Bed Bugs?
- How to Avoid Bed Bugs After the Trip
Photo Credit: Jessica Louque, Smithers Viscient, Bugwood.org