LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — Bed bug activity skyrocketed in the central U.S. this past November shocking many bed bug experts. BedBug Central’s Bed Bug Activity Survey results revealed that the western portion of the country avoided the expected slump as the weather cooled.
Usually, as temperatures drop so does bed bug activity, and this trend held true all along the east coast and as far west as Louisiana and Wisconsin. However, a swath in the center of the country starting in Minnesota and North Dakota and moving due south through Texas reported a shocking statistic — 87.1 percent of companies saw an increase in bed bug numbers. While the percentages were less dramatic moving towards the west coast, companies still bucked the expected trend and saw activity increase instead of decrease.
Dr. Richard Cooper, technical director at Cooper Pest Solutions, stated that it is very difficult to predict bed bug activity, but still felt the spike depicted in the survey results was noteworthy.
“It surprises me that it’s so dramatic,” he said. “It suggests there’s something different going on in the heart of country that’s driving this, but I don’t know what that might be.”
Carl Braun of Quality Pest Control in Omaha, Nebraska also questions what exactly is behind the jump in numbers that he has seen in recent times. Braun wondered if he was seeing higher numbers because of a true jump in activity or if it was at least partially due to Quality Pest gaining an excellent reputation when it comes to their bed bug work.
Braun noted that they did have a particularly large influx of bed bug business come in during the month of November, which led to an even sharper rise in Quality Pest’s overall bed bug numbers.
Mark Hassman of Hassman Termite in Salina, Kansas also saw their bed bug activity spike in November. “Things have been kind of different this year,” he said. “There have been a couple of months where there’s an increase, but there were a lot in November.”
Though he couldn’t say for sure what caused the jump, he did theorize that the milder weather in November might have contributed.
“We’ve found that it’s difficult to predict trends month-to-month,” said Jeff White, technical director at BedBug Central. “We don’t see a lot of consistency in activity other than seasonal trends.”
However, White hopes that gathering more data will reveal patterns and give companies across the country a snapshot of national and regional bed bug trends.
The November survey respondents was less than typical with 185 respondents. The survey results, which are becoming an industry benchmark, will have greater validity as the number of participants increase. It is completely free and all respondents receive a detailed report on the nation as a whole and each of the five geographic markets. To participate in BedBug Central’s Bed Bug Activity Survey for January and receive detailed monthly regional bed bug data, click here.