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Bedbugs REALLY Love This Awful Hot Weather, Guys

By Gwynne Hogan | August 12, 2016 2:38pm
 The Carroll School gave notice to parents confirming that bed bugs are present in the school.
The Carroll School gave notice to parents confirming that bed bugs are present in the school.
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Getty Images/Brian Kersey

Cockroaches aren't the only insects that get frisky in the stifling heat — like flying roaches, bedbugs are also known to thrive in the sticky summer months.

Complaints about the crawling bloodsuckers have spiked 50 percent this summer compared to last summer, according to the city.

READ MORE: Roaches Love This Disgusting Heat So Much, It Makes Them Want to Fly

This June and July there have been 2,328 complaints to the city about bedbugs compared to 1,545 during the same two months last year.

Though overall by the end of July, there were 424 more bedbug complaints than the same time period last year, or 9 percent more.

“We are getting more calls than ever before,” said Rich Miller, owner of Broadway Exterminating and a 40-year-veteran in the industry. “We think that the problem is not getting better. It’s getting worse.”

Like flying cockroaches and other insects of all types, bedbugs also thrive in warmer weather.

It's common to see a increase in bedbugs during warmer months for a number of reasons, explained Louis Sorkin, bedbug enthusiast and an entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History, known for keeping colonies of bedbugs in jars that he lets feed on his own arm.

"They're not really under their own temperature regime," Sorkin said. "Under very hot conditions...things do go faster because it's warmer."

When it is cooler, around 64 degrees, it can take an average of 127 days from the moment a bedbug egg is laid to when it hatches and the insect reaches sexual maturity.

But that length of time cuts in half at 71 degrees, drops down to 31 days at 86 degrees and bottoms out at just 24 days when the temperature hovers around 86 degrees, Sorkin said.

Because of temperatures swings, exterminators are accustomed a boom and bust cycle in bug activity.

"Each year the problem diminishes as the cold weather comes in then as the warmer weather comes in it increases because they're able to survive outside if they're carried," Miller explained.

While in fiscal year 2015 there was a slight 3.5 percent decline in bedbug complaints compared to 2014, the more recent summer surge adds to a decades long trend Miller has observed in his forty years in the industry.

"It started about 25, 30 years ago and it's been getting worse and worse."