LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — In previous years, most pest control companies have reported being busy with bed bugs through the month of September but the results of BedBug Central’s September bed bug activity survey suggest that trend may have ended. The results of the survey and several personal discussions pointed to bed bug activity being down, especially for the East Coast.
Joe Maguire of JP Pest Services in New England said that bed bug activity was up for the year until he saw a big drop in numbers in September. “Everyone I’ve talked to up here seems to be experiencing the same thing,” he noted.
However, in other parts of the country numbers were reported as being up in September. Michael Askew of Bug Tech in Texas said that he’s seen an increase in business lately. “We’ve been very busy with our bed bug heat treatments,” he said, citing around a ten percent increase in business from earlier in the year.
The gap between the two respondents is precisely why the bed bug activity survey responses are so valuable. Without the bed bug activity survey results, neither would have a clear idea what was happening outside their region. Both Maguire and Askew view the survey as a tool to help them understand what is happening in a business that can fluctuate unexpectedly.
Maguire has a few theories about what might have cause the drop in numbers, namely the unseasonably warm weather. Askew thinks he’s seeing an increase because the general population’s lack of understanding about bed bugs leads to further spread of the problem. In the end though, these theories can’t be proven month to month, leaving some uncertainty still in the equation.
The survey results provide data that businesses can rely upon to understand the trends across the country, and both Maguire and Askew know how critical participation is to the usefulness of the data. “The more people that we can get to respond, the more it will tell us as an industry what’s going on. It will help us create more successful treatments protocols and developing new business in the future,” Askew said.
168 respondents completed the survey in September, a drop from previous months. Jeff White is hoping to see the number of respondents go back up so the survey can provide even better data to the industry. “While we are still getting strong data, we hope more people will take the time to respond to the survey. It takes about a minute to respond, and the more responses we have the stronger conclusions we can draw.”
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