Less COVID travel means fewer bed bugs

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company, with a market value of $ 5.9 billion, reported that one-time revenue from new bed bug services declined by about $ 3 million in the second quarter due to Covid-19.

Bed bugs usually spread through human movement and can be found anywhere people go, including homes, hotels, hospitals, and cars. Your bites are painless but difficult to get rid of. They were almost wiped out in the US in the 1940s due to powerful pesticides, but the bed bug population rose again in the early 2000s with an increase in international travel.

“I’ve spoken to several pest control companies who have said they had fewer calls for bed bug jobs in 2020,” said Brittany Campbell, an entomologist for the National Pest Management Association. She added that new techniques and products have contained the spread of bed bugs in the past two to three years.

Terminix said bed bug infestations have decreased as people travel less and fewer workers go to offices. But coverage of the problem also fell because during the pandemic, people were reluctant to invite professionals to their home for hours of treatment.

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“Bed bugs are still widespread in apartment buildings and are spreading in these communities,” said Richard Cooper, Terminix senior director of Specialty Services. “This can lead to an increase in self-treatment by residents, which is unlikely to be effective, encourages further spread and can be unsafe if residents do not use the appropriate materials or use them incorrectly.”

Orkin, a pest control subsidiary of Rollins, Inc., also said bed bug activity decreased year over year. Last year, New York City, an international travel hub, fell 12th out of 6th among the top US cities with bed bugs, according to Orkin, who ranks cities based on the number of treatments they receive. The three most common bed bug locations are Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, DC

Pest experts warn that the beetles will spread again when people travel again. Bed bug service calls gradually increased last fall as people started to travel more, said Benjamin Hottel, a technical service manager at Orkin. And the bugs did not go away: they can live without food for a year.

“Right now they just don’t move, but they’re not dying out. You’re not gone, just inactive, ”said Terminix’s Cooper.

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