LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — Despite the traditional seasonal slowdown in bed bug activity for some regions, BedBug Central’s January Bed Bug Activity Survey may indicate an early start to the season for some of the country.
“January was what we expected to see in terms of historic trends,” said Jeff White, BedBug Central’s Director of Innovation and Technical Content. “It seems as though bed bug activity is overall pretty slow across the country however, the Midwest (Region 4) has over 50% of companies reporting being ‘up’ and Region 3 is not far behind.”
White explained that even though he expects to see the slowdown continue in February, he anticipates that there may be an early start to the bed bug season for a few regions.
“We saw less companies report being ‘down’ in Region 2 for January,” White said. “Since Region 2 tends to be a warmer region, we believe that this region may see an increase in bed bug activity before some of the colder regions. There is a good possibility that Region 2 will see an increase in their February numbers.”
In terms of the colder regions, Region 3 also saw a slight increase in activity from December to January.
“It’s tough to say exactly what is causing the slight increase in bed bug activity for Region 3 as we are still in the heart of the colder months” White said. “It’ll be interesting to see what happens for February’s data because we wouldn’t expect to see that increase just yet but it could indicate an early jump start to the bed bug season. However, only time will tell if this holds true.”
Although White thinks some regions may experience an early start to the bed bug season, Regions 4 and 5’s activity has defied all the historic bed bug data to date. “We saw a peak of activity in November with Region 4, then saw it slowdown in December and the trend remained the same for January,” White said. “However, this is still a region where we are seeing more activity than many other regions.”
White isn’t sure what could be causing the increase in activity for the Midwest (Region 4) and Rocky Mountain (Region 5) areas but he indicates that the regions could still be experiencing an overall increase in bed bug populations while other regions have not been noting an exponential increase in activity for several years.
Tim Goeringer, President of JHTG Inc. DBA Orkin Pest Control in Arizona (Region 5), reported seeing a significant increase in bed bug activity for his region in the past year.
“In my opinion we are seeing a significant increase in bed bug activity and we have entered into performing proactive treatment for hospitality clients, which also accounts for a significant portion of the increase,” Goeringer said. “I believe the increase is due to a warmer than normal winter in our area along with the proactive treatments.”
Goeringer doesn’t anticipate a slowdown in bed bug work anytime soon either. “Our bed bug revenue was up 305% over last year,” he said. “Given what we’re seeing, I anticipate a very strong year for bed bug work as I just received our February numbers and they are up over 100%. I would guess we will be up 50% by the end of the year.”
Larry Bard of Nose Knows Best LLC in Phoenix also noted a significant increase in bed bug activity for his company. “We’ve seen an uptick in canine inspections in medical clinics,” he said.
Bard also noted that compared to this time last year, his bed bug activity has increased dramatically, and he anticipates to see similar results for February’s activity.
White, who is still uncertain about what may happen in the coming months for Region 4 and 5’s activity, is looking forward to seeing February’s numbers for the region.
“It’ll be interesting to see if these regions see an increase in activity more significant and sooner than others because of the activity they have been seeing for the past three months,” he said. “Normally I would expect February to be slow but these regions have been slightly unpredictable, so we will have to wait and see what the data says.”
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