Continued Rise of Bed Bug Populations is Hightlighted Nationally in New Research Study & With Upcoming Federal Summit

FAIRFAX, Va. (April 2, 2009) According to a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, bed bugs do not transmit disease to their victims, but infestations continue to increase worldwide.  The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has reported a 71% increase in bed bug infestations in the states since 2001 and urges public awareness in helping to curtail a further rise in prevalence.

The study also found that typically 50% of people exposed to bed bugs experience an allergic reaction. "Bed bugs remain unnerving because they inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin as they bite, leaving their victims undisturbed," said Greg Baumann, senior scientist for NPMA.  "Unless you experience an allergic reaction, you many not even know you've come into contact with bed bugs-that is until an infestation appears in your own home, business or property."

Independently, yet on the heels, of this new JAMA study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a National Bed Bug Summit on April 14-15, 2009.  Held in Arlington, VA, this meeting is open to the public and seeks to address the diverse communities in which bed bugs have become a significant problem, notably housing and hospitality.  This meeting will also feature in-depth, expert discussions of strategies regarding prevention, control and management of bed bugs.

"Bed bugs have become a significant issue nationwide," said Bob Rosenberg, senior vice president for the NPMA.  "We fully support the EPA in its effort to further public awareness of these resurgent pests and further, we hope that this summit marks the beginning of an open and ongoing public conversation about bed bugs and how to best prevent and treat these pests."

Bed bugs can travel easily- from beds to sofa cushions, from room to room and even home via suitcases from travel.  Once an infestation develops - whether in a home, a hotel or even a movie theater - bed bugs are extremely difficult to remove and require the experience of a pest professional to eliminate an infestation.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.