New survey: 1 in 5 Americans had bed bug problem or knows someon - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

New survey: 1 in 5 Americans had bed bug problem or knows someone who has

FAIRFAX, VA (FOX19) - A new survey from the National Pest Management Association shows 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.

The "Bed Bugs in America" survey offers a look at how the bed bug resurgence is impacting the lives of Americans. Here are key survey highlights:

1. Americans who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes. The incidence of bedbugs 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. As the public's awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, manyAmericans 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. 

5. 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 bedbugs 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. 

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