Why did my bed bugs disappear?

Bed bugs are often spread through travel locally, nationally, and globally. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, the level of these different types of travel drastically decreased. The question then needs to be asked, are bed bugs disappearing because of this? According to a recent article in Crain’s Chicago Business, they have seen a reduction in the number of bed bug infestations in the Chicago area since the start of the pandemic.  READ ARTICLE

The number of bed bugs seen due to travel has been impacted by a decrease in travel over the past year.

Why People have been Traveling Less and What that means for Bed Bugs

Less travel has definitely impacted the types of infestations that have occurred since the beginning of the pandemic. Over the past year, people have not traveled as much as usual. Travelers who would usually take planes, trains, or buses have avoided these form of public transportation. With the reduction in use of these forms of public transit also came a reduction in the use of hotels and Airbnbs. Even more, some Airbnbs and hotels closed or shut down. These different types of shared spaces are all very common avenues for bed bugs to spread. When people stopped traveling last spring, the traveling of the bed bugs temporarily subsided as well.

The number of hotels closing has increased over the last year.

Where can Bed Bugs be Found and Where do Infestations Occur?

Even though travel is decreasing, this does not mean that bed bugs are all gone. Some people may ask, “why did my bed bugs disappear?” Bed bugs do not just disappear from hotels or rooms when people go away, unfortunately. Bed bugs are resilient and can live for long periods of time without eating. Hotels are just one place that bed bugs can appear. While the occurrence of bed bugs in hotels have decreased, there are other common places for bed bugs to hide. There are still plenty of infestations in local communities, particularly in community settings such as condos and apartment buildings. The close proximity of these more permanent living spaces makes the perfect environment for bed bugs. Many of these infestations are spread locally through everyday occurrences, such as a sleepover or hanging out with a friend for a few hours. READ MORE

Who is Susceptible to Getting Bed Bugs?

Everyone is susceptible to getting bed bugs.

It may be easy to think that because you maintain a clean lifestyle or do not travel often that you will never get bed bugs. On top of this, you may even go to further measures in order to prevent bed bugs from entering your house. Even though you may go to some of these lengths, the natural travel that occurs as you go about your life will most likely negate these efforts. These pests can be spread through contact with other people or even in your own or someone else’s luggage. Once they are in your home, they look for a consistent place to get a blood meal. This can be a bed or even a couch if a person spends enough time there. Having said this, if you can answer “yes” to the questions “am I a person who comes into contact with other people?” and “do I have places in my house where I spend time regularly on a daily basis?”, then you could get bed bugs. Notice, this means almost everyone is susceptible to these pests!

Spending extended time with friends is just one way bed bugs can be spread.

Why Bed Bugs are not Disappearing, and why They will not Anytime Soon

With the decrease in use of public transit and temporary living spaces, the question still remains: are bed bugs disappearing? The simple answer to this question is no. Unfortunately, bed bugs will not be leaving anytime soon. Even though these common ways of transmitting bed bugs are occurring less, there are many other ways that bed bugs can be spread. If you do end up having an infestation, there are different strategies to eliminate the problem. With different treatments, you may experience relief from these pests for a period of time; however, even though you may have no bed bug bites for a period of time, most bed bugs live over a year without eating a blood meal. When they are without a host to feed on, they go to a dormant stage where they survive minimally until food can be found. A young bed bug will stay the same size for a long time if it doesn’t have a chance to feed. So by having less food, it actually extends the life span of the bug. They will eventually die if they don’t eat, but his takes a REALLY LONG TIME. READ MORE

What about Quarantining?

Over the last year, the world has observed just how hard it can be to shut down communities to prevent the spread of a pandemic. Even more, the quarantine time for COVID-19 has been observed to be, at most, around two weeks. Now think back to bed bugs, which can live over a year without a blood meal; there is close to no chance bed bugs will vanish as a result of a quarantine or isolation! People need to travel and interact with those around them: it is just a necessity for life. Due to this, bed bugs won’t stop spreading!

A decrease in the use of public transportation has been observed over the last year.

Many customers we talk to say that they will just stay out of a particular room or hotel beds to get rid of bed bugs. This strategy is not effective because you will not be able to outlast a bed bug. Once you shut off a particular area of your home, the bed bugs will soon start to detect the carbon dioxide given off by humans in other rooms in the house. Thus, your infestation that started in one room will slowly move into other areas of your house. Your bed bugs are not disappearing, but simply relocating. As the bed bugs move to other areas of the house and the infestation broadens, the more difficult and more expensive killing bed bugs can become.

Are bed bugs disappearing?
Are bed bugs disappearing? No! So treat with heat!

How to Properly Treat a Bed Bug Infestation

Since the answer to the main question “are bed bugs disappearing?'” is no, the best way to get rid of bed bugs is with heat. A bed bug treatment with heat kills all stages of the bed bug life cycle, including the eggs. Chemicals do not kill the eggs. Additionally, bugs do not seem to be deterred too long by over-the-counter bombs or chemicals. These types of treatments push the bugs into hiding, and often times, into neighboring apartments, even. READ MORE Even more, once the bed bugs are pushed into places that are not normal for them, any type of treatment can be much more challenging.

We encourage people to avoid using chemicals, bombs, sprays, and foggers when they come upon bed bugs. It makes the heat treatment much more efficient and effective to kill the bugs in their natural habitat, which is generally within 6 feet of your bed (or sometimes a couch or chair where someone may spend a lot of time). These sprays and chemicals, while they may kill some bed bugs, will just make other bugs scurry out of the way to hiding places that may be more difficult for treatment. We have seen bed bugs crawling on ceilings and wall in hallways after people have used over-the-counter chemicals. This is not their natural habitat. They like to live close to their food source.

So, are bed bugs disappearing?

The answer, for now, is “No”.

Give us a call if you find that you have a bed bug infestation in your home.  We offer a free phone consultation to help you formulate the best treatment plan for your specific infestation. We often utilize canines for inspections as their keen sense of smell can pinpoint the exact location and scope of a bed bug infestation.

Bed bugs die when temperatures reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. We offer heater rentals and full-service options. Heater rentals work well for people that are handy and want to save money. The rentals are great for small treatment areas such as a bedroom or two. Our full service option is great for small or large jobs. We can come to your home with our specialized equ9pment and efficiently and effectively treat large areas. We want to help you be bed bug free! READ MORE