The NPMA Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Global Bed Bug Study to Determine Extent of ResurgenceNPMA Staff
Monday, July 26, 2010
A new survey conducted by the National
Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of
Kentucky, confirms what pest management professionals across
the U.S. and around the world have been seeing in the field- bed bugs are back in a very big
way, with 95 percent of U.S. survey respondents indicating that
their company has encountered a bed bug infestation in the past
year. Prior to 2000, only 25 percent of U.S. survey respondents
encountered a bed bug infestation.
"The results of the 2010 Comprehensive
Global Bed Bug Study suggest that we are on the threshold of a bed
bug pandemic, not just in the United States, but around the world,"
said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.
"Because bed bugs don't discriminate between rich and poor, don't
have a preference for climate or environment, public awareness,
education and vigilance are key in detecting and preventing bed bug
In the U.S., bed bugs are
infesting homes, apartments, hotels, retail stores, offices, places
of worship, college dorms, hospitals, daycares, libraries, modes of
transportation, movie theaters, laundry facilities and other places
where humans live and gather.
If the public knows what to look for, bed bugs can be easy to spot. In
fact, visual inspections are the preferred method of determining if
a bed bug infestation exists according to survey respondents. Bed
bugs are the size and color of an apple seed, like to travel and
will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply.
They are elusive, nocturnal creatures, and beside the mattress and
headboard, they can be found behind baseboards, electrical switch
plates, picture frames, wallpaper, upholstery and in furniture
crevices. They come out at night for a blood meal.
The findings of the 2010 Comprehensive Global Bed Bug Study, are
based on responses from nearly 1,000 U.S. and international pest
management companies. Here are several key survey highlights:
1. Professional pest management
companies have reported a dramatic increase in bed bug calls in
recent years. While, there is not one clear answer for the
resurgence of bed bugs, the majority of respondents cited increased
travel and movement of people from across town and around the
globe, lack of societal awareness and precautions, and changing
pest control products and methods.
2. Bed bugs are a much greater
problem in urban and suburban areas with larger populations of
people who live close together and interact in enclosed spaces on a
regular basis. Because of the bed bugs' ability to
"hitchhike" on people and their belongings, these living
environments will continue to see higher infestation occurrences
than those living in rural areas. According to the survey, 52
percent of pest management companies report treating bed bug
infestations in rural areas compared to 71 percent in urban and 80
percent in suburban areas.
3. Bed bugs are THE most
difficult pest to treat, according to 76 percent of survey
respondents, more so than cockroaches, ants and termites. As for where infestations occur,
residences top the list with 89 percent of pest professionals
treating bed bug infestations in apartments/condos and 88 percent
treating bed bug infestations in single-family homes. Respondents
also report other common areas, with 67 percent treating bed bug
infestations in hotels/motels, 35 percent in college dormitories, 9
percent on various modes of transportation, 5 percent in laundry
facilities, and 4 percent in movie theatres.
4. Although bed bugs are not known to transmit disease to
humans, their bites do leave itchy welts on human skin and can
cause an allergic reaction in some people. Additionally, the
emotional and mental toll of experiencing a bed bug infestation can
be severe and should not be taken lightly. Survey respondents report that 99% of
clients who have had bed bugs were "upset and concerned" and 77%
said such customers were "very upset and concerned."
For more information about bed bugs visit the Bed Bug Hub, NPMA's resource on
everything bed bug related, from prevention tips to current
NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's
commitment to the protection of public health, food and