Experts say rising temperatures will bring bedbugs back to N.J.
The Star Ledger
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Northeast's bedbug problem is expected to worsen this summer
as temperatures rise and vacationers increase traffic in hotels,
entomologists and pest-control experts say.
Hotels and summer camps are among the businesses seeking
information about policies and procedures for dealing with bedbugs
from BedBug Central, a Lawrenceville-based website offering
products and services aimed at eradicating the blood-sucking
insects, said Jeffrey White, an entomologist with the site.
"They understand that it's inevitable at this point," White
said. "There's really no true prevention for bedbugs other than
Bedbugs' recent spread may be boosted this spring and summer as
temperatures rise, potentially increasing challenges that have
already been faced by North Jersey businesses in recent years -
such as a YMCA branch in Hackensack and senior living facility in
At 65 degrees, it takes three months for bedbugs to become
adults, said Susan Jones, a professor of entomology at Ohio State
University. At 86 degrees, it takes only three weeks for them to go
from eggs to adults.
One pregnant female bedbug can produce up to 300 bugs in about
six weeks, said John Kane, an entomologist and technical specialist
with Parsippany-based Western Pest Services.
"We do get more (reports of bedbugs) during the summer," though
not a sharp spike, said Kane, who handles service calls in New
York, New Jersey and Connecticut. "I definitely expect more
(reports) than last year."
A more important factor in seasonal bedbug surges may not be
temperature changes so much as the travel schedules of their hosts,
"You see big spikes after vacation periods," she said.
Statistics to verify reported increases of bedbug infestations
are hard to come by. That's because homeowners, landlords and
businesses typically are not required to report infestations to
local or state health officials. Hackensack, for example, typically
receives reports of bedbugs only from residents whose landlords are
slow to address the problem, health official John Christ said.
In Paramus, CareOne at the Cupola, a senior housing facility on
Ridgewood Avenue, treated one resident's room for bedbugs last
While bedbugs were found only in one room, the center's
management implemented a plan to have 20 rooms per month inspected
as a proactive measure, according to health records The Record
obtained from the town.
CareOne's management declined to comment, but spokesman Peter
Ward said in an e-mailed statement: "Local health officials were
notified and upon their review, confirmed this was an isolated
incident and addressed by the center to their satisfaction."
In the fall of 2009, the YMCA of Greater Bergen County in
Hackensack faced a bedbug infestation involving eight of the 28
residential rooms the Main Street facility rents out. Some of the
pests also were found in the Y's lobby.
"As soon as we recognized we had it, and we knew it was becoming
an epidemic in the Northeast, we reached out to our members and
informed them of what was going on," said Keith Zebroski, the Y's
senior program director.
The Y then embarked on a months-long treatment plan to eradicate
the problem. Y officials hired an exterminator and replaced
mattresses and lobby furniture. Zebroski said the cost, excluding
new mattresses and furniture, was $11,568.
The Y is ready to face the problem this summer, should bedbugs
appear again, he said.
"We've been through it," he said. "We know how to handle