We often get asked, "When is bed bug season?" Well, in New England, bed bug season is typically about twelve months long. That's about 365 days a year! But why, you may ask? Because bed bugs are indoor pests. They don't live outside, generally; instead, they dwell almost exclusively with humans. And because they live mostly inside away from the effects of the elements, there is no specific season when bed bugs plague us. But that doesn't mean there aren't times of the year when bed bug infestations surge a little. That's what we're going to look at today.
First of all, it is important to understand that bed bugs are hitchhiking pests. They spread from one location of infestation to another when they accidentally get into transportable items or lay their eggs in these items. So the times of year when bed bug infestations surge is directly linked to this hitchhiking behavior. When there is an increase in travel, you can bet there will be an increase in bed bug activity!
We all love going on vacation, don't we? Some of us take a vacation in the summer when school gets out. Some of us take a vacation in the winter to get away from the snow and chilly New England weather. But no matter what time of year you’re vacationing, you are still at risk of picking up bed bugs. However, the sheer volume of people going on vacations in the summertime does put a blip on the bed bug infestation radar as many homeowners acquire bed bug infestations after returning from their summer trips
Back to School
When kids return to school, the potential for the spread of bed bugs goes up. There are many reasons for this. For one, sports activities bring kids into close proximity to one other. There are also more sleepovers and more opportunities for bed bugs to get into a bag, travel to the school, climb into another student’s bag, and then get carried back to that student's home to start up a new infestation. This causes the number of bed bug infestations to surge.
We do a lot of traveling during the holidays, and this holiday traveling results in a spike of bed bug activity. Big holidays that inspire a lot of people to travel such as Thanksgiving and Christmas have the greatest impact on the spread of bed bugs. This is not just because many travelers stay in hotels and motels. They can also inadvertently pick bed bugs up from the homes of friends and family. It can take a little time for a bed bug infestation to become noticeable in a home. But before it does, those bugs are still able to spread. So, just because you didn't stay somewhere during your holiday trip doesn't mean you weren't exposed to bed bugs.
Peak Bed Bug Activity
This isn't an exact science, so we can't tell you particular months when you should be more cautious about getting bed bugs. But we can tell you that bed bug activity peaks when people do more traveling. Bed bugs spread accidentally. These pests will climb into a person’s belongings and then get transported to a new location. Once there, they’ll do exactly what they were doing at the last location: bite us and feed on our blood, reproduce to grow their populations, and hide out of sight until it’s time for them to feed again.
That's the cycle. Bite. Reproduce. Hide. Repeat. How do we stop this cycle? There are a few things you can do to prevent an infestation from taking root:
Be sure to store all your laundry items in a plastic bag while you're visiting a friend or family member and when you stay in a hotel, motel, or other accommodation. Bed bugs are especially attracted to items that have already been worn, so be sure to store them in sealed bags to avoid bed bugs crawling inside.
Don't lay your clothing items on chairs, beds, and definitely not on the floor.
Consider performing a quick bed bug inspection when you are staying somewhere other than your home.
When you get home from a trip, wash all of your clothing on the hottest temperature setting. This will kill bed bugs in all stages of development. Also inspect the creases of your bags for tiny white eggs or the presence of tiny pale or tan insects and vacuum them out before storing them away.
If you find bed bugs in your New England home, call the bed bug experts at Big Blue Bug Solutions! When it comes to completely eliminating bed bugs, you can trust our team of experienced and highly-trained service professionals to get the job done right! We've been helping home and business owners protect their properties from harmful pests since 1935. Dealing with what's bugging you is what we do! To learn more about our bed bug control services, give us a call today!