Many people ask whether or not bed bugs are more active during the summer months. The answer is yes and here’s some insight into why bed bug activity increases during the summer months.
The peak season for bed bugs is June through October. The increase in heat and humidity during the summer and early fall months does appear to have the effect of making bed bugs more active. “More active” means that they will want to feed and breed more often. However, bed bugs are indoor pests and do not die out in the winter time, so vigilance is necessary year-round. More movement, more travel, and more activity in the summer inevitably means an increase in bed bug activity. That’s because the opportunity to hop onto luggage, people, and pets also increases as families welcome college students home, plan getaways and host out of town guests. As people continue to travel, the bed bugs become more embedded into homes, hotels, apartments, and other well populated areas.
As mentioned, the increase in travel during the summer months allows bed bugs to spread from place to place very quickly, creating new infestations in many more hotel rooms and homes. Many hotel exterminators and inspectors report an increase in their appointments in the summer. Assuming now that the summer months are worse for bed bug-related problems, let’s look at ways to prevent bringing them back with you from vacation and travel.
Tips for summer travel
The good news is that you can protect yourself and your home from an infestation as long as you’re vigilant and prepared. On your way to a great summer vacation, be sure to take these bed bug prevention tips along:
Research your hotel. Before confirming your reservation, check for recent reports of bed bugs in your hotel at tripadvisors.com and bedbugregistry.com. Some of the reports might be false alarms, but look for a consensus.
Inspect your room. Bring a flashlight and a magnifying glass with you on every trip. With your luggage still in the hallway, pull the sheets off the top half of the bed and check the edges of the mattress for tiny black spots that look like mold spots. These are the tell-tale fecal spots that bed bugs leave behind. It’s rare to find actual bugs since they hide in the walls and furniture very well, but the black spots are a dead giveaway. Also, check the bed skirt in between the mattress and box spring, which should be completely clear. Lastly, most hotel beds have a headboard that should be checked behind if possible.
Zip up your luggage. Even a hotel room that looks spotless could still be hiding the early stages of an infestation. The most effective way to prevent bringing them home is to place your luggage in plastic zip bags. BugZip and other brands make such items specifically for this issue. These are cheap insurance and much more effective than just using the luggage rack or bathtub to try and keep your luggage away from bed bugs.