According to a recent survey, one out of every five Americans knows someone who has dealt with a bed bug infestation or has experienced one themselves.
The survey, which was conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), revealed that Americans are concerned about picking up bed bugs in different locations: hotels (80 percent); public transportation (52 percent), their own homes (36 percent); workplaces and other’s homes (32 percent).
Still, many people are misinformed. For example, 29 percent of respondents believed that bed bugs were more common in low-income households. Bed bugs do not discriminate on income, and they can be found in both unclean and sanitary conditions. Nearly half of the respondents thought that bed bugs transmit disease to their human victims. They do not, but their bites can cause itchy, red welts.
The good news? As Americans have become more aware of bed bugs, they’ve taken steps to reduce their risk of an infestation.
“Our survey shows that people are taking the bed bug resurgence seriously and are modifying their daily routines to avoid infestations,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.
The NPMA offers the following tips for people hoping to keep bed bugs out of their homes:
- Check your hotel room for bed bugs before unpacking. Check behind the headboard and carefully inspect sofas and chairs, as well as the mattress and box spring. Do not place your suitcase on the bed. If you see bed bugs, change rooms or establishments immediately.
- When you return home, inspect your suitcase before bringing it inside. Vacuum your suitcase inside and out, and wash all of your clothes in hot water, whether you wore them or not.
- If you suspect that you have bed bugs, contact a licensed pest professional. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to remove, but a professional can perform an inspection and recommend a comprehensive treatment plan.
For more information about bed bugs, visit NPMA’ s Bed Bug Hub at www.pestworld.org/bed-bugs.