Travel has been opening up again, with many people making plans to visit relatives for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. In fact, holiday travel could be bigger than ever this year after the prolonged isolation due to COVID-19. The visitors you don’t want to come along during your holiday travels are bed bugs.
How Did COVID-19 Affect Bed Bugs and Travel?
Bed bug infestations related to travel decreased during the coronavirus pandemic. Because people mostly stayed in place, bed bugs didn’t have their usual opportunity to hitch a ride on clothing and in luggage. Even when people switched to a vacation home or moved in with family during lockdown, they otherwise stayed in as opposed to usual activity.
In fact, the lack of movement changed the list of cities with the most bed bug infestations. Because of close proximity and population density, large cities tend to have more bed bug infestations… but New York City had a substantial drop in bed bug infestations during COVID-19. NYC was the sixth most bed bug-infested American city in January 2020. By the end of 2020, NYC fell out of the top ten to position number 12. Working from home also slowed the spread of bed bug infestations.
How Long Can Bed Bugs Go Without Feeding?
No matter where you spent the pandemic, bed bugs could be waiting in your luggage or the place you’re visiting, ready to infest all over again. That’s because bed bugs can go between 20 to 400 days without feeding, and – since bed bugs only feed on blood – that means you’re the target.
Because of this fact, pest experts warn that we shouldn’t be complacent about lower rates of bed bugs. In fact, with travel increasing, bed bug infestations are likely to surge. It’s happened before.
In the 1940s, bed bugs had almost been eliminated in the U.S. due to developments in pesticides. However, bed bug infestations came roaring back by 2000 because some pesticides were no longer being used, and international travel increased.
During those 60 years, the average person forgot basic precautions to deter the spread of bed bugs… which added to the problem. Those who live in multi-family buildings (such as apartments and complexes) are especially susceptible to bed bug exposure.
Arrow Banishes Bed Bugs For Good
Bed bug infestations are persistent and 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.