Bed bug activity varied over the past year, depending on the market segment and geography. Most places seem to be seeing increasing activity, however, as Americans have gone back to work and school and resumed vacation and other travel plans during the spring, summer and fall of 2022.
“Similar to many areas of the country right now, the Boston area is still in a bit of a lull in terms of bed bug calls, but we anticipate getting back to pre-pandemic levels soon,” said Amanda Forrestall of Pest-End in Plaistow, N.H. “People are traveling again, plus students are going back to college in person, rather than remotely. These activities are typically associated with increased bed bug pressure; we are expecting an increase in both our residential and commercial bed bug service calls.”
John Young of Speed Exterminating Company in Cleveland, Ohio, said that while bed bug work in the residential market has fluctuated in recent years, his health care business never stopped growing. “Hospitals and other health care facilities can’t risk having a bed bug move from one patient to another, so if they see even one, they want the room checked out,” he said. “Servicing bed bug accounts isn’t always about treating big infestations. Just as often, it’s about providing peace of mind. People want to be able to say, ‘We know there was a sighting in the courtroom or our business or our hospital, but we can assure you that our pest management company has checked it out and taken appropriate action. We’re OK now.’”
Just more than half (51 percent) of PMPs said that single-family homes represented the largest portion of their bed bug revenue, while 37 percent said apartments and other multifamily properties did. Only 6 percent made the most in the commercial market, and 3 percent in institutional.