Bed bugs have been surging in the U.S. for a number of years now. How has the coronavirus pandemic affected that trend?
A Resurgence in Bed Bugs
Bed bugs had been almost eradicated in America in the 1940s. The recent resurgence that began around 2000 has been caused by the rise in international travel mixed with decreased use of certain pesticides.
The fact that bed bugs had been almost eliminated in the U.S. also meant the general public had gotten lax about procedures to guard against bed bugs. Put it all together, and it’s a recipe for bed bug infestations.
In fact, the 2021 list of cities with the most bed bug infestations changed a bit, with Chicago topping the list. Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Columbus, OH; Cleveland, OK; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Los Angeles; and Grand Rapids, MI round out the top ten. New York City has dropped to 12.
How Did COVID-19 Affect Bed Bug Infestations?
The coronavirus pandemic lockdowns deterred the spread of bed bugs. The insects walk – not fly – so they hitch a ride in luggage, clothing, and more when they travel with people. Then they spread to bedding, furniture, and so forth at the destination.
The drastically lower rates of travel in 2020 (and part of 2021) curtailed the spread of bed bugs. So did the shift to working from home, telecommuting, and virtual offices. The combination of diminished tourists and business travel – as well as remote work – probably contributed to New York City dropping from number 6 on the list of most infested cities in terms of bed bugs to number 12 during the pandemic.
Bed Bugs During Lockdown
Of course, the lockdown didn’t deter the spread of bed bugs in an already infested space. So, if you were unlucky enough to have been exposed to bed bugs, coronavirus didn’t stop them from spreading through your living space. People who live in multi-family buildings, such as apartment complexes, duplexes, and such, are especially vulnerable to bed bug exposure.
On the contrary, some people might have been hesitant to call an exterminator during the height of the pandemic. Here at Arrow Exterminating, we’ve had safe pandemic protocols throughout the coronavirus outbreak to protect both our customers and our employees, so if you think you might have a bed bug problem, call us right away.
Now that travel is resuming, expect bed bug infestations to rise again. Since bed bugs can go a year without feeding on humans… any office or hotel that had a bed bug infestation before lockdown will just resume if it hasn’t been treated in the meantime.
Not sure how to identify a bed bug? The Nassau County Department of Health has useful information. Or call our experts at Arrow to detect and eradicate any bed bugs.
Arrow Banishes Bed Bugs For Good
Bed bug infestations are difficult to treat. If you think you might have been exposed to bed bugs, talk to the experts at Arrow Exterminating about confirming the exposure and how to treat it. Contact Arrow Exterminating today.