Bed Bug History and Basics

Bed bugs have been a household pest issue for more than 3,300 years, dating back to ancient Egypt. It is believed that they were first brought to the United States by early colonists. However, by the 1950’s, bed bugs had been wiped off the radar, thanks to new pest control products which help to control the spread of infestations in living spaces.
Several factors led to the rise in bed bug infestations in the late 1990’s.  International travel, more targeted pest control products and the lack of public awareness about bed bugs has unfortunately been a factor in the increase.
Below are the top five findings from the 2013 Bugs Without Borders Survey:
1. Nearly all (99.6 percent) pest professionals have treated bed bugs in the past year, slightly higher than the 99 percent that reported the same in 2011.
2. The majority of bed bug infestations occur in residential settings, such as apartments/condominiums and single-family homes, with 98 percent and 96 percent of respondents treating these dwellings respectively. Two years ago, about nine out of ten respondents reported treating infestations in these settings.
3. As in previous years, survey respondents continue to treat for bed bugs in a variety of places outside private residences, such as college dorms, hotels, nursing homes, offices, schools and daycare centers, hospitals, public transportation and others:

  • Hotels/motels – 75 percent (80 percent in 2011)
  • College dorms – 47 percent (54 percent in 2011)
  • Nursing homes – 46 percent (46 percent in 2011)
  • Office buildings – 36 percent (38 percent in 2011)
  • Schools and day care centers – 41 percent (36 percent in 2011)
  • Hospitals – 33 percent (31 percent in 2011)
  • Transportation (train/bus/taxi) – 21 percent (18 percent in 2011)
  • Movie theaters – 10 percent  (17 percent in 2011)
  • Retail stores – 15 percent (21 percent in 2011)
  • Libraries – 12 percent (8 percent in 2011)
  • Restaurants – 7 percent (6 percent in 2011)
  • Airplanes – 2 percent (6 percent in 2011)
  • Laundromats – 9 percent (6 percent in 2011)

NOTE: Percentages denote professionals reporting treating bed bugs in specific locations.
4. Clutter contributes to the problem as approximately two-thirds of respondents point to homeowner clutter as the biggest customer-oriented challenge in treating bed bugs, while 58 percent say customers not following advice and 16 percent point to re-infestation. Bed bugs continue to be the most difficult pest to treat according the 76 percent of respondents.
5. Although not a seasonal pest, prime bed bug time appears to be during the summer months with nearly half (49 percent) of respondents saying infestations occur most often then and least often in the winter. While pest professionals are divided over whether there is “peak season” for bed bugs, more than half of those who notice a seasonal difference receive more calls during summer. Since people tend to travel and relocate more during the summer months, it is possible that a greater number of people unknowingly transport the bugs back home from their travels, or discover them soon after moving.
Article source: Pest World

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