Ouch. Are Bed Bugs Worse During The Summer?

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Summer in the Northeast offers a bunch of great things to do, from swimming to hiking to just hanging out with friends and family at a barbecue. But it also comes with several irritants: from mosquitoes to just outright heat. One question we hear all the time is, “Are bed bugs worse in the summer?”. Tacking on an increased bed bug threat to a season that’s already full of pest threats isn’t ideal, but it’s definitely something that needs answering--and we’re here to do just that.

What Are the Signs?

 Before we dive too deep into the seasonal density of bed bug infestations, let’s talk a little about the signs that typically come with one:

  • Bites- Waking up in the morning with a pattern of bites accompanied by a rash is usually a pretty good indication that you have bed bugs in your home. Bed bug larvae bites are smaller and are easily mistakable for other bug bites, so be sure that you pay attention to when the bites are occurring--morning bites merit further investigation.

  • Blood Stains- Brown or red blood stains on your bedding and/or pillowcases can be a sign of bed bugs; if you notice you wake up with tiny blood stains peppering the bed, look in the seams of your mattress for other signs.

  • Black Feces and Insect Skin- This one sounds gross, and quite frankly it is. Regardless, it’s important to look for if you’ve noticed any of the other signs noted above. Black smears, streaks, and pellets often indicate bed bug feces, and in turn a bed bug presence. Also be on the lookout for small shedding in bed seams, furniture or around wall outlets--these are favorite hiding spots for bed bugs and are the most likely spots to find their shed shells.

  • Smell- Bed bugs have a distinct smell that they release as a pheromone, often described similar to a damp towel or locker room. If you smell this in your room or home (and don’t have a bunch of damp fabric lying about), it’s definitely a reason for concern.

But Wait, Are Bed Bugs Actually Worse During the Summer?

While it’s not totally clear whether bed bugs are actually worse in the summertime because of the heat, they do tend to have a peak range between June to October. Why? It largely seems to be because there is a significant amount of increased travel during the summer. This allows them to move from place to place much easier, spreading from one location to multiple locations and infesting more spaces. This causes a range of issues, aside from the obvious nuisance of the bed bugs themselves: while bed bugs may peak in the warmer months, they are still active year-round, including in the winter. Because of this tolerance for varying temperatures, a bed bug infestation will not just go away come winter--which makes immediate treatment all the more important.

What Are Effective Bed Bug Treatments?

 If you do find yourself with a bed bug infestation, there are effective treatments that can eliminate the problem. One of the most effective? Heat treatments. Bed bugs and bed bug eggs cannot survive in environments over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes a high temperature treatment a surefire way to kill any bed bug infestation. That’s why we use it extensively at Thomas Pest Services: it’s proven to be effective, and we have all the tools to do it in a safe, modern, and eco-friendly way. Propane heaters are used to achieve lethal thermal temperature. Warm air is ducted into the area and the heat is distributed throughout the space utilizing high temperature fans, to insure that your home or business will be bed bug.

It’s also a good move to be proactive when it comes to a potential bed bug infestation, especially if you own and operate a commercial space; that’s why we offer customized response plans catered to your specific business or industry. This includes a comprehensive plan that includes employee training, monitoring, inspection, prevention tips, consultation on response to a customer report of bed bugs, and of course quick treatment plans to stop the infestation in its tracks. We mean it when we say comprehensive.

Whether you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, or are just terrified of the possibility, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled this summer, because peak season has already started. If you’re traveling, are renting out a space, or have family members coming home from college, be especially vigilant! It’s always better to catch the problem in its early stages, before it becomes an even bigger problem.

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