A majority of Americans have begun taking precautions against the spread of bed bugs, which is good news for landlords trying to keep their rental properties clear of this menace.
That finding came from the 2014 “Bed Bug Awareness Week” survey conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of the National Pest Management Association.
The survey found that nearly three in five (59 percent) Americans take some kind of precaution against bed bugs. NPMA released the report to help spread awareness about bed bugs and what people can do to curb infestations.
Bed bugs are known for their hitchhiking capabilities and are easily transported, making them an elusive pest and formidable opponent. In fact, bed bugs are considered one of the most difficult pests to control by professionals, due in part to their quick breeding capabilities and tendency to hide in small, dark crevices, often unseen by the human eye, such as behind headboards and baseboards, as well as inside electrical outlets and box springs. Depending on the scope of an infestation, it can take several treatments to fully eradicate the bugs.
Industry experts agree that public awareness is key in quelling infestations. “Education and vigilance are the first steps to help stop the spread of bed bugs, and we’re pleased and encouraged to hear that so many Americans are becoming more aware of their surroundings and taking measures to protect against this troublesome pest,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.
Below are highlights from the survey:
59 percent of all U.S. adults take some kind of precaution against bed bug infestations.
34 percent inspect sheets, mattress pads and mattresses for signs of bed bugs upon checking into a hotel
33 percent wash all clothes in hot water after returning home from a vacation
29 percent avoid visiting homes or locations that have had a bed bug infestation
28 percent remain vigilant of where they place their belongings when in public places
12 percent vacuum suitcases after returning home from vacation
8 percent keep their suitcases in a plastic trash bag or protective cover for the duration of their hotel stays
If they suspected a bed bug infestation in their home, 95 percent of U.S. adults would do something to alleviate the problem:
69 percent would wash their sheets and bedding in hot water
64 percent would clean and vacuum their bedrooms
62 percent would contact a pest professional/exterminator
40 percent would buy an over-the-counter bed bug removal product
30 percent would throw away their mattress and purchase a new one
More information, including bed bug biology, prevention tips and best practices can be found on AllThingsBedBugs.org.
The National Pest Management Association, 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 property from common household pests.