It doesn’t seem particularly scientific, but television station CBS 2 New York says that bed bugs are spreading in New Jersey at least, in part, because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the station there has been an “alarming” rise in bed bug cases due in part to people not wanting to let exterminators in their homes. Channel 2 says:

"Favio Ulloa, the owner of Prestige Pest Services….says that his bed bug business is up. “Probably 50% more from last year,” Ulloa said. Ulloa said he has as many a seven bed bug jobs a day now, compared to no more than three a day at this time last year. He said fear during the pandemic has kept exterminators out of homes, allowing bed bugs more time to multiply and spread."

According to WebMD, bed bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bed bugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color. Bed bugs typically gain access to your home via luggage, clothing, and used furniture like beds or couches. Channel 2 quotes Rutgers’ student Kate Moro, who had an infestation, as saying: ““That I know that they’re crawling on my skin in my sleep… I can’t. It’s just too much.” Bed bugs do typically feed at night; they feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak.

However, the New York Times says that even though 1 in 5 Americans has either dealt with bed bugs or know someone who has, it is expected that the number of bug bed infestations would drop due to the pandemic as people travel less, and stay in hotels less.

The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed. While you can try to get rid of bed bugs by yourself, WebMD recommends that you hire a professional.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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