According to the PCT 2020 State of the Bed Bug Control Market survey, while PMPs reported performing fewer bed bug jobs during the pandemic, the infestations they were called to solve were more severe. “I do think the bed bug situations that we come across might be worse because people have been putting off getting it looked at,” said Daniel Conrad, owner of Pro-Tech Termite and Pest Control in Knoxville, Tenn.

Clients may have had money concerns or feared getting COVID-19 from technicians. Regardless, spending more time at home intensified existing infestations. “The more time you spend in an area, the faster bed bug populations can grow because they’re getting blood meals any time they want,” explained Rodney O’Quinn, president of Keller’s Pest Control in Bradenton, Fla.

Tracy Rice, CEO of Rice Pest Control in Anniston, Ala., said the pests weren’t confined to specific areas like he found before the pandemic. “They seem to be more spread out in the structure,” he said. Common areas, such as the sofa and recliners, were key transfer points, he added.

While PMPs provided bed bug services to many markets, the ones that generated the largest portion of revenue were single-family homes (43 percent), apartments and multi-family housing (39 percent) and the hospitality industry (8 percent), found the PCT 2020 State of the Bed Bug Control Market survey.

Bed bug services took place year-round. The majority of PMPs (49 percent) reported no seasonal difference when it came to controlling bed bugs, while 26 percent said summer was the busiest season for this service.