Two studies have shed new light on bed bug behavior, backing with hard science the field observations of experienced NYC bed bug exterminators. Scientists report that bed bugs like to hang around in groups and they prefer summer’s heat to winter’s cold.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered that groups of bed bug nymphs develop 2.2 days faster than solitary nymphs. Researchers also found that the speed of nymph development was not dependent on the presence of adult insects. “The observations that adults do not appear to contribute to nymph development suggests that eggs can survive and found new infestations without any adults,” lead researcher Dr. Coby Schal explained to PCT Online. Schal and his team are now looking for the sensory cues that trigger faster bed bug growth in social groups. Eventually their research may lead to better bed bug extermination methods.
While bed bugs are active year round and infestations can and do occur during every month of the year, Penn Medicine researchers found a noticeable seasonal pattern in the frequency of reported bed bug infestation. As reported on Time.com, bed bug infestations rise during the warm months of summer, peaking in August, and decline during the cold winter months, reaching their lowest point in February. No reason for the seasonal fluctuations in bed bug activity was determined, but researchers speculated that the insects may reproduce more quickly in warmer temperatures.
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