The Memphis, Tennessee-based company, with a market value of $ 5.9 billion, reported that one-time revenue from new bed bug services declined by about $ 3 million in the second quarter due to Covid-19.
Bed bugs usually spread through human movement and can be found anywhere people stay, including homes, hotels, hospitals, and cars. Your bites are painless but difficult to get rid of. They were almost wiped out in the US in the 1940s because of powerful pesticides, but the bed bug population rose again in the early 2000s with an increase in international travel.
“I’ve spoken to several pest control companies who have said they’ll have received fewer calls for bed bug jobs by 2020,” said Brittany Campbell, an entomologist with the National Pest Management Association. She added that new techniques and products have slowed the spread of bed bugs in the past two to three years.
According to Terminix, bed bug infestations have decreased as fewer and fewer people travel and go to offices. However, coverage of the problem has also stopped as people were reluctant to invite professionals to their home for hours of treatment during the pandemic.
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“Bed bugs are still widespread in apartment buildings and are spreading in these communities,” said Richard Cooper, Terminix senior director, Specialty Services. “This can lead to an increase in residents’ self-treatment which is unlikely to encourage further proliferation and may be unsafe if residents fail to use appropriate materials or use materials incorrectly.”
Orkin, a pest control subsidiary under Rollins, Inc., also said bed bug activity decreased year over year. Last year, New York City, an international travel hub, fell from 6th in the top US cities with bed bugs to 12th, according to Orkin, who ranks cities based on the number of treatments given. The three best bed bug locations are Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, DC
Pest controllers warn that when people resume their journey, the insects will spread again. Bed bug service calls gradually increased last fall as people began to travel more, said Benjamin Hottel, a technical service manager at Orkin. And the bugs did not go away: they can live without food for a year.
“Right now they just don’t move, but they’re not dying out. You’re not gone, just inactive, ”said Terminix’s Cooper.
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