Study shows mixed results for bed bug revenue

By |  December 4, 2017
Rob DiJoseph

Rob DiJoseph

In previous years, most pest management 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, bed bug department manager of JP Pest Services, Hanover, N.H., reports that bed bug activity was up for the year for his firm 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 says.

However, in other parts of the country, numbers were reported as being up in September. Michael Askew, director of Lubbock, Texas-based Bug Tech, says he’s seen an increase in business lately. “We’ve been very busy with our bed bug heat treatments,” he adds, citing around a 10 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 say they 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 says he 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 points out.

In September, 168 respondents completed the survey, a drop from previous months. BedBug Central Technical Director 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,” White says. “It takes about a minute to respond, and the more responses we have the stronger conclusions we can draw.”

To participate in the Bed Bug Activity survey, visit SurveyMonkey.com/r/K8J75LB.

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