The National Pest Management Associations (NPMA) released their results on the Bugs Without Borders research late in 2018. This report is put together to help get an understanding of some of the trends in the pest management universe. As pest management professionals, we can’t say we were surprised by the results, but when it comes to bed bugs, the facts are truly staggering!
We’ve known bed bugs are a problem for a long time, and they were the star of the show in this year’s report. We are constantly communicating with our clients around Tucson about how important preventative measures really are. This report helps to highlight what can only be described as an epidemic in the world of pest management. Unfortunately, there are still so many more steps that should be taken in order to eradicate this pest from our lives and it appears to be getting worse before it gets better.
The NPMA covers a lot of ground in their report, but we want to draw some attention to their findings on bed bugs. Here are some of the facts we found particularly interesting.
97% of pest professionals treated for bed bugs in 2018
That’s almost everyone! DSR was right there with them. Calls for bed bugs are some of our most common calls, and the problem is only getting worse. Our only question is, where does that missing 3% of pest professionals live, under a rock?
84% of bed bug calls were a case of mistaken identity
Said another way, most people think they have another pest problem in their home only to find out later they have bed bugs. Of the misidentified pests, 71% of homeowners that ended up having bed bugs thought they had fleas and 28% believed it was cockroaches.
More than 50% of pest professional reported summer as the season with the most bed bug calls
Right now, it’s winter so you should be good to go, right? Wrong. This is a national survey, and this only proves what we already know about bed bugs; they really like the warm weather. For us in Tucson, this means almost year around. Don’t let your guard down! Not to mention, the summer also lends itself to another American habit bed bugs love to take advantage of, vacations and travel.
The top three places pest professional encounter bed bugs are single-family homes (91%), apartments/condo (89%), and hotels/motels (68%)
Again, this confirms what we have already seen here in Arizona with our clients. Other common places pest management services reported having treated for bed bugs are nursing homes (59%), school/daycares (47%), and office buildings (46%).
Sure, hotels and motels show up on this list, but quite a few points lower than homes. One of the reasons we believe single-family homes are particularly vulnerable is that homeowners believe their house is a constant and unchanging. This simply isn’t true. Every time you travel, welcome guests into your home, or visit just about anywhere other than your home, there is a potential for bed bugs to hitch a ride back to your house.
Bottom line, if you ask a bed bug, “Is nothing sacred?!” They will firmly replay, “No.” Keeping a home tidy helps, but we are potentially exposed to bed bugs just about any time we walk out the door.
More 50% of reports on a bed bug infestation come after people discover bites on their bodies
We talked about this a little bit in our last post about bed bugs. If bed bugs are discovered, it is often too late. The reason being, they don’t make themselves noticed until they bite, and they don’t bite until they have made themselves comfortable in a home and quickly spread.
Beyond beds, couches, and furniture, the list of other common places bed bugs are found
Bed bugs are always going to be found in their usual spots but the survey revealed other trouble areas like stuffed animals, wheelchairs, school buses, purses, airplanes, and home appliances.
We are constantly learning more about bed bugs and these statistics are certainly shocking. In our next post, we’ll discuss how it doesn’t get much better because bed bugs are learning about us too making them a lot tougher to kill.
In the meantime, call us to set up a preventative maintenance plan. Protecting your home before bed bugs arrive is much easier, less expensive, and causes much less heartache than when dealing with an infestation. Don’t become a statistic, call us today!