Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bed Bugs a Little More Active in Summer

A study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology looked at reports on bed bugs over a four year period in the Philadelphia area and found both that overall populations are increasing and that the highest incidents of calls were in August and the lowest in February.

“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), who mapped the bed bug hotspots in Philadelphia in an effort to find more effective ways to control them. “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.”

Although some conclusions have been infered about bed bug populations this study was based on reports, so it could point to activity rather than populations.  It could be that bed bug populations do not "go down" in the winter, but are not as active, not biting people as much.  Either way bed bugs are a an issue that wasn't present through most of the U.S. from around 1950 to about 2005 and now they are back!

"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," said Mabud.
For more information see http://esa.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/esa/jme/2014/00000051/00000001/art00006

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