Bed Bugs are back and biting all across America; according to a recent survey by the National Pest Management Association. Results from the NPMA survey showed that one out of five Americans has had a bed bug problem or knows someone who has. The Bed Bugs in America Survey shows some of the impact these pests are having across the nation.
Key findings of the survey include:
- Bed bugs are found in all 50 states. Specifically, the pests were encountered by 17 percent of respondents in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West.
- The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.
- Most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and believe that infestations in the United States are increasing.
- Nearly 80 percent are most concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels; 52 percent on public transportation; 49 percent in movie theaters; 44 percent in retail stores; 40 percent in medical facilities; 36 percent in their own homes; and 32 percent equally pointed to places of employment and friends’ homes. The fear of getting bitten topped the list of concerns.
One cause for concern, however, is the finding that 54 percent of those surveyed haven’t changed their daily behaviors to minimize their chances of getting bed bugs.
“I don’t think people are being as active as they can in safeguarding themselves.” stated Missy Henriksen, VP of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association; in an article for the Wall Street Journal. “There’s a small percentage of people that are doing some of the things that they should be doing to best protect themselves and their families.”
While many survey respondents felt that the government should be doing more to stop the spread of bed bugs, Henriksen noted that there are some simple things people can do to minimize their risk of picking up bed bugs that only takes a small amount of time.
Of those surveyed only:
- 27% inspect or wash clothing upon returning from a trip
- 25% check hotel rooms for bed bugs
- 17% inspect or vacuum suitcases upon returning from a trip
- 12% have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs
- 16% inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes
- 15% have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing
- 29% have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store
For tips on how you can protect yourself from getting bed bugs, check out our Best Practices and printable Traveler’s Guide. For more information on the NPMA, Bed Bugs in America, Survey visit http://www.pestworld.org/bedbugs-in-america