LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – The seasonal slump in bed bug activity has taken back over the country according to BedBug Central’s December Bed Bug Activity Survey. Despite the Midwest having an unexpected spike in activity for November, most companies across the country found themselves “flat” or “down” during December.
“Overall the United States seems to be experiencing the annual slow-down in bed bug activity during the winter months,” said Jeff White, Director of Innovation and Technical Content at BedBug Central. “In most regions more than 50 percent of companies reporting said that they were ‘down’ or ‘flat’ over the previous period compared to August when more than 50 percent of companies reporting in all 6 continental US regions stated being ‘up.’”
Contrary to the rest of the country, the Midwest states are still experiencing higher bed bug activity than usual seasonal trends.
“You’re still seeing a little more activity in the Midwest compared to the rest of the country but no one knows why that is,” White said.
Although the region saw a slow-down from November, more companies compared to other regions were reporting being “flat” or “up” in activity rather than being “down.” With Region 4, 50 percent of the companies reporting stated that they were still seeing an increase in bed bug activity whereas in November Region 4 had 87 percent of companies being “up.”
The only region that observed an increase in activity compared to the month prior was Region 1 (Northeast), where there was a 10 percent increase in bed bug activity for December.
Jeffrey Hauf, president of Regional Pest Management in Baltimore, reported being “up significantly” for December but he explained that it wasn’t because of any major bed bug infestations.
“We service a lot health care customers in our region and the problems with bed bugs are that they get carried into them 24/7,” Hauf said. “So we are not seeing major infestations but we are seeing hitch hikers being carried in to the ER departments.”
White added, “The trend that Regional Pest Management noted in hospitals could be due to the increase in activity hospitals see during flu season, especially seeing how bad this particular flu season appears to be.”
Consistent with Hauf’s observations in Baltimore-based hospitals, Region 1 saw a slight increase in bed bug activity in December. Although the increase wasn’t significant, the fact that we didn’t see a decline in activity in Region 1 could mean an increase in bed bug activity sooner than anticipated in the spring.
Even though the bed bug activity in the Midwest is uncharacteristic for this time of year, White expects the bed bug activity for January to be similar to December’s numbers, if not decline further.
“I would expect January’s data to look similar to December’s and maybe even a little slower,” he said. “All of the personal conversations that I’ve had at conferences that I’ve attended in the past two months have suggested that in most areas of the country bed bugs are very slow right now.”
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