Bedbug Infestations Growing in Certain Settings, Survey Finds
The Washington Post
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC - Just as students head back to college and
families finish summer vacations comes the latest bad news from
pest control companies: Bedbug infestations are getting worse and
becoming more common in some places, including dorms, hotels,
nursing homes, hospitals, office buildings, and schools and
According to a survey released Wednesday by the National Pest
Management Association and the University of Kentucky, pest control
companies say there has been double-digit growth in infestations in
the past year.
About 54 percent of pest companies reported treating bedbugs in
college dorms, compared with 35 percent in 2010; 80 percent
reported treating hotels, compared with 67 percent the year before,
and 36 percent report treating schools and day-care settings for
the bugs, more than triple the 10 percent in 2010.
A spokeswoman for the National Pest Management Association said
rapidly growing bedbug populations as well as heightened public
awareness were the likely causes for the increases.
"With bedbug populations spreading, it's important that people
understand each and every one of us has the potential to get
bedbugs," said spokeswoman Missy Henriksen. "This survey
underscores how widespread the problems with bedbugs are becoming
and that pest professionals are treating for them in more and more
a-typical locations. If individuals haven't already started taking
precautionary measures to protect against bed bugs, the time to
start is now."
The survey also found that some customers who attempt to get rid
of the pest themselves often engage in dangerous practices,
including using flammable products such as kerosene, alcohol,
gasoline or diesel fuel.
In July, an overheated chimney apparently caused a fire in a
southwestern Ohio home after the owner attempted to heat the house
up to 140 degrees in an attempt to get rid of bedbugs the family
had inadvertently brought back from a trip, according to news
reports. The fire caused major damage and several firefighters were
treated for heat exhaustion at the scene.
The findings were based on a survey of more than 400 pest
control companies or professionals across the country.