Are Bed Bugs Seasonal?

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A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology titled "Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Reporting in Philadelphia, PA" looked at four years of bed bug reports to the city of Philadelphia, and found that infestations have been increasing and were at their highest in August and lowest in February. The findings point to two possible peak times to strike and eliminate the bugs.

“There is surprisingly very little known about seasonal trends among bed bug populations,” said Michael Z. Levy, PhD, assistant professor in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB). “We found a steep and significant seasonal cycle in bed bug reporting, and suspect that bed bugs have different levels of mobility depending on the season, and that their population size may fluctuate throughout the year.”

  • Warm weather could be a driver for migration to other homes and breeding.
  • Contacting the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Vector Control Services, they then mapped the phone calls between 2008-2012 to get a clearer picture of the problem when and where it was happening.
  • Overall, bed bug reports in the city steadily increased by 4.5 percent per month from 2008 to 2012, an almost 70 percent increase year to year.
  • Infestations peaked in August and reached a low in February, the team found. They most likely move more frequently during warmer months, with increased development and reproduction happening as well, the team surmises.

While bed bugs likely migrate actively over short distances, perhaps between adjacent rooms or houses, we think they are starting new infestation hotspots throughout the city by riding on people or personal effects over longer distances.

What does a bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs vary in size depending on the life stage, but an adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs are oval, flat and become reddish-brown and not as flat after a human blood meal. Bed bug eggs are translucent and difficult to see with the naked eye.

What are signs of bed bugs?

Itch red bumps on your skin: Bed bugs bites are itchy red bumps often in a cluster.

Small spots on bedding: After bed bugs feed on human blood, their fecal matter looks like dark spots which are blood spots on the sheets.

Bed Bugs Skins: After feeding multiple times bed bugs will shed their skin moving on to the next life stage. When this happens, bed bugs shed their skin which is light brown in appearance.

What do you do if you have bed bugs?

Contact your local Albany bed bug removal professional right away. Do not try bed bug do it yourself or over the counter products. These methods often times spread bed bugs and are unsuccessful in solving the problem. Before throwing out any belongings, your Saratoga bed bug control specialists can advise you on the best course of action.

Bed bug infestations are increasing according to the National Pest Management Association, as 72% of pest professionals say the incidence of bed bugs in their region is increasing. Since February through August is when most vacations occur, be sure to follow our tips to avoid bed bugs. Contact Thomas Pest Services who is licensed and trained in bed bug removal if bed bugs become a problem. Thomas Pest Services gets rid of bed bugs in Albany, Troy, Latham, Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Lake George and surrounding areas. For questions, contact us by phone 1-877-518-2847,, twitter or Facebook.

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