Bed Bug Facts & Statistics

2013 Bugs Without Borders Survey

The following bed bug facts and statistics are compiled from the  2013 Bugs Without Borders Survey, conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky:

  • 99.6 percent of U.S. based professional pest management companies have encountered a bed bug infestation in the past year, slightly higher than the 99 percent that reported the same in 2011.
  • As in previous years, survey respondents continue to treat for bed bugs in a variety of places outside private residences, such as college dorms, hotels, nursing homes, offices, schools and daycare centers, hospitals, public transportation and others. The majority of bed bug infestations occur in residential settings, such as apartments/condominiums and single-family homes, with 98 percent and 96 percent of respondents treating these dwellings respectively.
  • Although not a seasonal pest, prime bed bug time appears to be during the summer months with nearly half (49 percent) of respondents saying infestations occur most often then and least often in the winter.
  • Bed bugs continue to be the most difficult pest to treat, according to 76 percent of survey respondents, more so than cockroaches, ants and termites.
  • Clutter contributes to the problem as approximately two-thirds of respondents point to homeowner clutter as the biggest customer-oriented challenge in treating bed bugs, while 58 percent say customers not following advice and 16 percent point to re-infestation.

2011 Bed Bugs in America Survey

The following bed bug statisics and facts are compiled from the NPMA's 2011 Bed Bugs in America Survey:

  • One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel
  • Americans who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As the public's awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation: 27 percent have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip; 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs; 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip and 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.
  • Sixteen percent of survey respondents inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes; 15 percent have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing and 29 percent have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store.
  • Of the 13 percent of respondents who said they knew someone who had a bed bug infestation in their home, 40 percent said they avoided entering the infested home and 33 percent discouraged those who had the infestation from entering their own home.
  • Despite the availability of information, most Americans still have misconceptions about bed bugs. Nearly half of respondents incorrectly believe that bed bugs transmit disease. However, research conducted to date has shown that bed bugs do not transmit disease to their human victims, although some people may experience itchy, red welts; 29 percent inaccurately believe bed bugs are more common among lower income households, and 37 percent believe bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes.  Bed bugs do not discriminate in regard to household income and are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions.

Additional Bed Bug Info

Other NPMA Bed Bug Info & Facts:

  • Bed bugs can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in a lifetime.
  • Bed bugs can survive for seveal months without eating.
  • Bed bugs can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bed bug draw blood for about five minutes before retreating to digest.
  • Bed bugs hatchlings are so small they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress.
  • Bed bugs can ingest seven times their own weight in blood, which would be the equivalent of an average-sized male drinking 120 gallons of liquid.
  • Bed bugs are found in all 50 U.S. states.