New numbers from Orkin Canada show bed bug sightings down significantly

Pandemic stops bed bugs

Good news for the Thompson-Okanagan.

Orkin Canada has released its list of the most bed bug sightings in Canada and the Thompson-Okanagan is not in the top 25.

Furthermore, the number of bed bug sightings is down across the country by a big number.

A news release from Orkin Canada indicates, "some hitchhikers just couldn’t catch a ride in 2020." The latest numbers from the pest control company shows sightings, which typically trend upwards, dropped by 20 per cent nationally in 2020.

Turns out diminishing bed bug sightings is one of the upsides of a global pandemic. Travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and a shift to working from home means less opportunities for these unwanted passengers to move around. This is the first time in five years those numbers have decreased.

Orkin Canada began their annual survey five years ago and because bed bugs can easily latch on to people, clothing, and furniture, it is a minor miracle that the numbers have dropped so dramatically.

Bed bugs survive by feeding on blood, so a bed bug’s sole function is finding humans to eat, a task conducted mostly between midnight and 5 a.m. Bed bugs can travel up to 100-feet in search of a meal.

Orkin Canada also believes bed bugs will make a comeback as the economy re-opens, "due to their ability to double in population about every 16 days, it should not be difficult for bed bugs to regain their grip on the Canadian market."

The findings in the study by Orkin Canada are based on the number of commercial and residential bed bug treatments carried out by the company in 2020, January 1 – December 31.

This year’s top 10 bed bug cities are:

  1. Toronto
  2. Sudbury
  3. Oshawa
  4. Vancouver
  5. Winnipeg
  6. St. John’s
  7. Scarborough
  8. Whitby
  9. Edmonton
  10. Ottawa

Toronto and Vancouver remained at one and four respectively compared to 2019, while Ottawa dropped from five to tenth, while Whitby Ontario jumped from 20 to eight.

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